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Getting Started With CloudwaysFebruary 28, 2018

 

Here’s how to get started with Cloudways and get your web application(s) up and running.

Launch a New Server

How to Launch a New Server or New Application
  In this KB
  • Launching a fresh application on a new server
  You can easily launch a fresh application on a new server by following the steps listed below. (If you are looking to install a new application on an existing server, you can click here.)

Step 1: Launch a New Server

Log into the Cloudways Platform with your credentials. Click on Servers in the top menu bar and then click on Add Server. Add server

Step 2: Select Your Desired Application

You can select your desired application from our vast pool of applications. Application select

Step 3: Select Cloud Provider and Server Size

  • Now, you can pick one of the following cloud providers.
  • Select server size as per your requirements. You can view the details of the server by hovering over each size. If you want a server size which is not available here, then click on Let’s Talk.
gcc New Server Select Server size

Step 4: Selecting the Bandwidth

Bandwidth can either be expanded by editing so as to drag the pointer or the worth in the crate. Please note that bandwidth usage is based on the pay as you go pricing model. Bandwidth-select

Step 5: Selecting Storage Size of Application and Database

Select your disk sizes for the Application web files and Database. Storage select

Step 6: Selecting Server Location

Select your desired server location from the drop down menu.In this case, USA -Iowa is selected as shown below. 7

Step 7: Launch the Server

Lastly, review your monthly estimated cost and click on Launch Now to get started. Your desired app deploys in the next few minutes. New Server Select Launch server That's it. You have now learned how to launch a fresh application on a new server.
How to Better Distribute Multiple Sites on Your Cloudways Servers
  In this KB
  • Characteristics of Cloud Hosting
  • Why you should host with Cloudways
  Legacy hosting environments are not the best option for hosting multiple websites, owning and managing multiple web properties especially if you are a web agency.

Issues with Legacy Hosting and Large Number of Sites

Typical legacy hosting involved a large server (be it a dedicated physical server or a large VPS style server) with a cPanel or similar and piling as many websites as possible on it. Typical problems faced with this type of deployment are:
  • No isolation – If there is any kind of issue with one of the sites in the server (hacking, DDoS, traffic spike …) it will affect all the other sites on the same server, causing a snowball effect of disgruntled customers and disrupted services.
  • Difficult resources accountability – All the same, when you need to charge your customers for usage or plan for a given site scaling, it becomes very difficult to understand how many specific resources a customer or a site has been using and get a clear picture of the real situation.
  • Laborious scaling – In many instances too (specially dedicated physical servers and a certain type of VPS services), scaling is a complex process and may involve migration of your data from one place to another which is costly, disrupting and made worse if the number of sites involved is large.
  • Complex customization – Lastly, it is challenging to make certain customizations (i.e. upgrade PHP version, switch to MariaDB for extra performance …) when a large number of sites with its own requirements are deployed on the same server, as something desirable for one site may break functionality in another. This generally leads to inaction (when it comes to patching, upgrading …) from people managing the sites and ultimately vulnerabilities exposure and hacking.

How Cloudways and the Cloud can Address This

Cloud services offer you the flexibility of very quickly provisioning and decommissioning servers and the ability of quickly changing characteristics of those servers (scaling up and down i.e.). Cloudways, as a platform, offers the unique ability to deploy cloud servers with exactly the same configuration over the best cloud infrastructure providers and to freely move applications around. In our view, the best practices when you manage a large farm of sites and plan to move to the cloud would be the following:
  • Distribute sites across servers and providers – As said, spinning a server is quick and easy and with Cloudways, even spinning a number of them across multiple infrastructure providers. Instead of deploying a large server and host their tens of sites, deploy several smaller servers and distribute your sites on it. This will address most of the issues above. Ideally too, to minimize risks of a major infrastructure provider issue affecting all your customers/sites, distribute them across infrastructure providers.
  • Cluster sites based on type/size … – As stated above, the fewer sites on a server the best. For big sites, you definitely want to deploy them on their own servers. For smaller sites, group them by type (i.e. WordPress) and deploy groups of max 10 sites on a single server. You can additionally subgroup by site size (how busy they are). The busiest they are, the less you want to put on a single server. Of course, you can cluster sites of the same customer together too in the same server … you get the point.
  • Carefully choose infrastructure provider and server location – Remember that Cloudways is about choice. We choose the best infrastructure providers for you and they offer a huge amount of locations to choose from. Understand each infrastructure provider characteristics and choose one based on your budget, how fast and how often you will need to scale and very importantly, the location you would like to have your server in. The closest the location is to the site offers visitors the best experience.
  • Closely monitor and redistribute applications if needed – Cloudways offers a very strong monitoring system that will give you clear indications when a server is getting close to its limit. This guide clearly explains what to look for. Then you have the option of scaling your server or even moving one or more applications to another server or a completely new server on the same or different infrastructure provider.
  Following these very simple rules will ensure that most of the issues highlighted above are minimized. This way, your customers and your visitors will get the most out of what the cloud has to offer. As usual, if you have specific use cases or have any doubt related to what has been explained above, get in touch with us and we will assist you as best we can.

Migrate Your Website

How to Use Cloudways WordPress Migrator Plugin (for WordPress/WordPress MU/WooCommerce) - FREE and Quick Migration
  In this KB
  • Installation of WordPress Migrator Plugin
  • Setting up WordPress Migrator Plugin
  • Migrating website with plugin
  • Purging Varnish cache post-migration
  We will guide you on how to migrate your WordPress site from your old hosting provider to our platform by using Cloudways WordPress Migrator Plugin. This plugin is also useful in case you are looking to migrate a WordPress Multisite or WooCommerce based website(s).

Step 1: Log into Your Site's Admin Panel

  • Enter your WordPress site’s admin username
  • Enter your WordPress site’s admin password
  • Click on the Log In button to log into your site admin panel.
Wp admin Login

Step 2: Installation of Cloudways Migrator Plugin

Once you are logged in into your site’s admin dashboard, click on Plugins option at the left-hand side and click on Add New option. Wp admin Plugins Now enter Cloudways WordPress Migrator under search option and hit Enter. WP admin Search Migrator You will be able to locate Cloudways WordPress Migrator in the search results. Click on Install Now to install it on your website. Wp admin Install Migrator Once it is installed, click on Activate Plugin to activate it. Wp admin Activate Migrator

Step 3: Settings of Cloudways Migrator Plugin

Click on Settings under Cloudways migrator plugin to enter the details to initiate migration process. Wp admin Settings Migrator

Step 4: Enter All the Required Information

Now, you will see Cloudways migrator plugin page where you will need to enter  the following details:
  1. Enter any email address you own.
  2. Your destination site URL, which is hosted on your Cloudways server.
  3. Enter your Application Folder Name. You can find the Application Folder Name in the Application Management tab as explained in this guide.
  4. Enter your Server IP address.
  5. SFTP Username. This is your Master username that you can find in the Server tab (you can use Application credentials too to perform the migration if you are part of a team).
  6. SFTP Password. This is your Master password that you can find in the Server tab (you can use Application credentials too to perform the migration if you are part of a team).
  7. Click on Migrate button to start migrating your website.
Wp admin Migrate Info Migrator

Step 5: Migrate Your WordPress Website

Your migration process will begin once you click on Migrate. Please note that the normal time to complete the migration is between 1-4 hours for a small website housing a DB size of 500MB to 1GB. Migrator BlogVault Migrating Once the migration has completed successfully, the status will show Completed. Migrator BlogVault Migrated To ensure a successful migration, you can simply open a staging WordPress URL (as seen below). Migrate your website Once you are satisfied with the results, you can take your website live from Cloudways. The process to do that is explained here. Important Notes:
  • Please remember to purge Varnish cache of your website from your console. Just navigate to the Manage Services section under the Server Management area. Select Varnish and click on the Purge button. To learn more about Server Settings, please read here.
OR, Let Cloudways experts do the migration for you

Take Your Website Live

How Do I Take my Website Live From Cloudways?
  In this KB
  • Prerequisites to taking your website live
  • How to map your domain
  • How to create an A Record entry at your DNS provider
  • Domain / Subdomain Examples
  • DNS Propagation

Before you Begin

Before you point your domains to your web applications, we assume that:
  • You have already deployed your website on top of a Cloudways server and that everything is tested to be working.
  • You have setup transactional email add-on for outgoing emails (if applicable), otherwise, your application may not be able to send emails
This is the last step of migrating your website to Cloudways; pointing the necessary DNS records to the new Cloudways server. Note: Remember that each Cloudways account comes with one free managed migration (and you can buy as many as you want). If you have any problems during the transition, just get a managed migration! We have divided our KB into two parts. Part A deals with the changes required on your Cloudways account for adding the domain to your web application(s). Part B covers how you can add records at your domain registrar to point the domain. It is essential for you to complete both parts of this guide.  

Part A (Domain Settings at Cloudways)

Step 1: Get Your Server IP and Select Application

After you log into your Cloudways account, note the IP address of the server where your desired web application is deployed. Cloudways Server Management Now, click on the www quick button located on the right side of the screen and next to the server name, and then select your target application from the list. Cloudways Application Management

Step 2: Mapping Your Domain

Under Application Management area, click on the Domain Management section located on the left side of the screen. There are two ways to point your domain for which details are mentioned below. Primary Domain (Recommended) To ensure your deployed Cloudways application knows which website name (i.e. www.mysite.com) it should respond to, i.e., map a primary domain to your application. Now enter your website name in the domain field. It should be an FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name) like www.mysite.com, blog.mysite.com, shop.mysite.com etc. Click on Save Changes button. Cloudways Domain Management Additional Domains (Optional/When needed) Additional Domains refer to alias website names that you want your application to respond to (i.e. www.myalternatesitename.com). You would not need it, and you can set them anytime. Or, if you have a multisite website, for example, WordPress MU and you want to map different domains to subsites of your multisite network, you can use this additional domains feature. Make sure to keep your main domain added under Primary Domain option. You will have to follow the same DNS-related steps listed below for primary domain and/or additional domains that you add to your application. Additional domains

Part B (Settings at Domain Registrar)

Step 3: Create an A Record Entry in Your DNS Provider Panel

Now you need to access your DNS provider panel and create the proper DNS record ( A Record). We provide here more specific instructions for three well-known registrars: Creating an A Record with Godaddy Creating an A Record with Namecheap Creating an A Record with Dreamhost For other registrars / DNS providers, the high-level process is mentioned below:
  1. Log into your DNS provider panel or console.
  2. Navigate to your DNS Management page. The location and name of this page vary by provider, but it can be found under Domain Management or Advanced Settings and then select the domain name that you want to update.
  3. Locate the Records section. Choose to create an A Record from the drop-down list and then complete the below fields:
    1. Host / Name (subdomain i.e. first part of your domain before the first dot)
    2. Value (the IP address of your server)
    3. TTL (‘Time To Live’ is a propagation time.  The value should be lowest i.e. 1 minute or leave this option default as per your registrar).
  4. Click the Save Changes button to apply the changes.

Examples (Record Type, Host, Value)

Below are some examples which can give you a hint of how you can point your domain or subdomain to your application hosted on the server at Cloudways. www – use it when you want to point a domain (ex: www.mysite.com) to the IP address. A Record | www | 188.166.XXX.31 @ – use it when you want to point a root domain (ex: mysite.com) to the IP address. Some providers (like DreamHost) accept blank Host/Name field for the root domain. A Record | @ | 188.166.XXX.31 [any subdomain] – you can use any name of a subdomain (ex: dev.mysite.com) that you want to point to the IP address. A Record | dev| 188.166.XXX.31 As explained, the process can vary significantly from one provider to another. In the case of any issue, contact our Live Chat agents or open a support ticket and we will assist you accordingly.

Check if DNS Propagation has Completed

Once you are done with adding/updating DNS records, it will take time up to 24 hours (depending on your domain registrar) for the changes take effective across the internet. You can check the status of your domain(s) propagation by using some online available tool such as https://www.whatsmydns.net That’s it. Once your domain has been pointed, your website is live on Cloudways!

Upgrade Your Account

How to Upgrade Your Cloudways Account from Trial to Full
  In this KB
  • Process to upgrade your Cloudways account from trial to full
  • Unlocking the full potential of our platform.
  Most users sign up for Cloudways with a limited-time free trial. In order to get the best out of Cloudways and once you are satisfied with the trial, you should upgrade to full. The following steps will explain how to upgrade your account from trial to full.

Step 1: Go to Your Account Area

Log into the Cloudways Platform with your credentials and click on the profile icon located at the top-right bar and select Account.

Step 2: Enter Credit Card Information

Select Credit Card option and click on Authorize Credit Card. authorize CC Complete the form (as shown below) and click on Authorize when done.  If everything goes smoothly, your account has been upgraded to full. 4 Important Notes
  • We charge in arrears (so we charge you for the services on a given month at the beginning of next month). You will not be charged anything today.
  • Explore our funds functionality, so you can avoid unforeseen issues with your account if there are problems with your credit card.

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Getting Started FAQs

For Getting Started FAQs, click here.

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