WP Cloud Server: Version 1.1.0

We’re very pleased to announce that version 1.1.0 of the ‘WP Cloud Server’ plugin is available from the WordPress Plugin Directory. If you already have our plugin installed then you will soon be receiving a notification that the new version is available for update.

As you’re probably aware the first version was released just a couple of months ago. We received some positive feedback but like everything that’s new there is the inevitable teething problems!

Let’s start by summarising the changes and new features added in this release;

  • Numerous bug fixes and general tidying up.
  • Fixed problems with activating/deactivating modules.
  • Split ‘Server’ and ‘Templates’ into separate pages.
  • ServerPilot Module updated to allow creation of ‘Apps’ manually.
  • Public SSH Key capability added to the ServerPilot Module.
  • Added ‘SSL Queue’ to ServerPilot Module to wait for correct DNS configuration.
  • Added ‘Client Info’ short-code.
  • DigitalOcean Module updated to autodetect disabled data centres.
  • Easy Digital Downloads plugin now only required to sell Hosting Plans.
  • Added the ability for ‘Templates’ to offer ‘Server Location’ as a user-option at Checkout.

Numerous Bug Fixes and general tidying up

We started with a number of bug fixes, particularly in relation to the ‘activating’ and ‘deactivating’ of modules. You’ll find it’s much more reliable with no spurious API messages! You’ll also find that deactivating a module will remove related options from drop-down menus or from tabs, etc.

Split ‘Server’ and ‘Templates’ on to own pages

In the first releases of the plugin ‘Templates’ were just added to the ‘Servers’ drop-down menu. This was not only confusing and misleading, but it also caused problems for us to implement options that were solely for ‘Templates’.

So we have decided to split them on to their own pages. This means there are two pages for listing existing ‘Servers’ and ‘Templates’, and two for ‘Adding’ new ones.

Manually create ServerPilot Apps

Previously the only way for ServerPilot Apps, WordPress Websites, to be created was if a Customer purchased a Hosting Plan. This was very restrictive and we always had this feature in the plan for an early update.

So now you can manually create new WordPress Websites from inside the ServerPilot Module. Just select ‘Create App’ from the sub-menu. Once you have selected the options and filled in the necessary fields just click the ‘Create App’ button and the new website will be created.

ServerPilot Public SSH Keys

If you look after Servers then you will be very comfortable with using SSH to access Servers remotely. The biggest drawback in having to remember usernames and passwords. Using SSH Keys changes this and makes life much easier.

We have added a new page under ‘Settings’ called ‘SSH Keys’ which allows you to add a Public SSH Key. This Key is then installed on new Servers connected to ServerPilot. You can then log-in from the computer where you generated the SSH Keys.

Note that at the moment this feature only works with ServerPilot connected Servers. This functionality is intended to be added to DigitalOcean Servers in the next release of the Plugin.

ServerPilot SSL Queue

ServerPilot offers an amazing feature called AutoSSL which uses Let’s Encrypt to install SSL Certificates for new Websites. If DNS is not configured then AutoSSL will not be available.

When a Customer buys a new Hosting Plan, particularly if it is a new Dedicated Cloud Server then it is unlikely that the DNS for their new Website will be configured.

It is very likely that the ‘Welcome’ emails will provide the information that they need to change the DNS settings for their existing Domain Name.

So. To get around this problem we have added an SSL Queue. If AutoSSL fails because of DNS Configuration issues, then the Domain Name is added to an SSL Queue. Then twice a day the Domain Names in the SSL Queue will be tested.

If AutoSSL still fails then they remain in the Queue. If successful SSL is configured and the Domain Name is removed from the SSL Queue.

New Short Codes

We have started adding Short Codes that allow for information to be added to the front-end of your WordPress Website.

The first Short Code is called. ‘Client Info’ and simply lists details of the Customers WordPress Hosting Plan. It’s very basic at the moment but is the beginning of a whole new area of functionality for the plugin.

DigitalOcean Auto-detect Disabled Data Centres

When you’ve been using DigitalOcean for a while you realise that they occasionally disable a Data Centre for a certain Region if they have limited Cloud Servers available.

This can cause major problems if you’re trying to automate the creation of Cloud Servers. The solution is to auto-detect when a Data Centre is disabled and then move on to the next available Data Centre.

Easy Digital Downloads

The first release of the ‘WP Cloud Server’ plugin forced users to install the ‘Easy Digital Downloads’ plugin. We very quickly realised that some users are just using the plugin to create and manage their own Cloud Servers, and are not interested in selling Hosting Plans!

So. We have removed the need to install Easy Digital Downloads. When the plugin is first installed the on-boarding panels provide a single click install of the EDD plugin if required.

‘Templates’ now have User Selectable Server Location

‘Templates’ provide a set of Server Settings that can then be assigned to a Hosting Plan inside Easy Digital Downloads. The Server is only created when a Customer purchases a Hosting Plan.

When the ‘Template’ is created you can select the Region where you want the Server to be created e.g. New York. But add real flexibility by selecting the new option, ‘Server Selected by Region’.

This means that when the Customer is taken to the Checkout they get a drop-down menu that allows them to choose the location of the Server. The ‘WP Cloud Server’ plugin will then build a Website on a Cloud Server at the desired location.

We hope you enjoy the new release. If you have any problems then don’t hesitate to contact us.

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