Maintaining Your Plesk Server

Maintaining your Plesk is easy to do and vital for both the health and functionality of your server. Maintenance of your Plesk server can be broken down into two major components, that is the creation and management of subscriptions, logs, backups, and server resource management. Managing these two components of your Plesk server provides you the administrator, and the user, a more stable and productive environment. In this article we’re going to be showing you just how simple it is to manage your Plesk server.

Creating Backups 

A key aspect to maintaining any server is making frequent backups. All of the content and settings you’ve worked hard to create should be backed up to save you the trouble of permanently loosing any data or having to recreate any of it. Scheduled backups are a great way to make sure you don’t have to actively set  time aside from your busy schedule to take care of making a manual backup as often as you’ve decided to do so. When scheduling or deciding how often you will make backups manually, be certain to have the space and that you’re doing so often enough. Backups should be made at least as often as significant changes are made, or the rate at which important information is collected. You can even set the backup to be made daily if need be. Below we’re going to show you how to navigate to where you will make backups in Plesk, walk you through the process, and describe some of these features.

 Manually Creating a Backup 

To get there, begin by going to Tools & Settings > Tools & Resources > Backup Manager > and select Backup

To do so only at the domain level, begin with the following;  Domains > select the appropriate domain on the right > Websites & Domains > Backup Manager > and select Backup

Plesk_Backup

In the image below you, we’ll be  going over what some of these features are and what they have to offer.

First you’ll notice that there is a field that prompts you for a prefix, here you may choose a prefix for the backup name. There is a field named comments, as the name would suggest, here you may add any comments that are necessary for your records.
The multi-volume option allows you to choose the volume size if you create a multi-volume backup. As for storing the backup, the backup may be stored in the server repository or in a “Personal FTP Repository”. The latter will require the admin/user to configure a personal FTP repository.
You may read more on this subject in the Personal FTP Repository section of this article which can be found below the Scheduled Backups entry.
In addition to storage options you have the option to backup the server configuration, or both the configuration and content. If you don’t want or need the content as a backup you might as well not spend the space storing it. Last but not least, you have the option to suspend all domains until the backup is completed, this will hasten the backup process at the cost of having your domains suspended.

Plesk_BackupNow_1

 Scheduled Backups

To get there, begin by going to Tools & Settings > Tools & Resources > Backup Manager and then select Scheduled Backup Settings

To do so only at the domain level, begin with the following; Domains, select the appropriate domain on the right, Websites & Domains tab >  Backup Manager >  Scheduled Backup Settings

Plesk_Scheduled_Bakup_Settings

As you can see in the image below, as with the manual backup, there are several straight forward fields to be filled out here. First there is the “Activate this backup task”, this will allow you to activate the scheduled task to begin as soon as the scheduled time has arrived. Second a frequency and schedule is to be selected. You can have backups made daily, weekly, or monthly. If you select daily, you may choose the time of day, if you choose weekly you may select a time of day and a day of the week, if you select monthly you may select the time of the day and the day of the month. Under Backup Settings, you’ll have the option to select the prefix to the backup’s name, here you’ll put what you want to be the prefix. Here, as in the manual backup, you have the option to create a multivolume backup, you’ll check the box and input a volume size if you wish to create one. Next, you’ll be able to select from where you’d like the backup stored, one can select “server repository” or you may select “Personal FTP repository”. How to setup the latter is discussed later in the article.  The feature “Maximum number of backups”, allows you to assign a maximum number of backups and it is a good idea to not keep more than you need, as these do take up space. Next is a particularly useful option that when enabled will send an email to a contact address if any errors occur, this is useful if you’d like to be notified when there is an error while performing a backup. Under “Backup content” you can select rather or not you want just the sever configuration or both the server configuration and the content as well. Additionally, you may suspend the running of domains until the backup task is completed. However, if you select the last option all domains will be down until the backup has been completed.

Plesk_Backup_Scheduled_Settings_Details

Repository Storage

To get there begin by going to Tools & Settings > Tools & Resources > 

Plesk_Backup_Repository_NoBackup

The image above is what the repository page will look like when there is no backup present in the repository

The image below show how the repository appears when there is an backup stored in it. like after a server backup has been made and then stored in the repository. Additionally, you may have noticed that from here you can also access tabs for  Server Repository, Personal FTP Repository, and Current Backup Tasks. 

Plesk_Backup_Repository_Stored

 Personal FTP Repository  

To get there, begin by going to Tools & Settings > Tools & Resources > Backup Manager and choose ”Set up personal FTP repository” or “Personal FTP Repository Settings”

To do so only at the domain level, go to Domains, select the appropriate domain on the right, Websites & Domains > Backup Manager > Set up personal FTP repository, or Personal FTP Repository Settings

Plesk_Personal_FTP_REPOSITORY_SETTINGS_1

After having selected to set up your own personal FTP repository you will be presented with several fields to fill out, please see the image below and make sure to fill out everything with the correct information. We’ll begin with the field FTP Server hostname, this field can hold the value of your resolvable hostbane or IP address where the backup will be stored. After this is the “Directory for backups file storage” is an option which allows you to select the directory where the backups will be stored. FTP username is the field where you input the user account that has the write access to the directory which has already been specified. The FTP Password field is the field where you enter the password of the above mentioned FTP account. There is an option for additional security but even the Plesk supportive text mentions that if you lose your password for this backup you will not be able to make use of the backup. Make sure to remember the password you use if you select the additional security feature.

Plesk_Personal_FTP_REPOSITORY_SETTINGS_2

Managing backups

Your backups can be stored on the server or off of the sever. Either method you choose, the management of these files is as equally important as the task of making backups. If not managed correctly, not having the back up you need or having to many backups can create a variety of issues for you. If there are too many backups, and the creation of backups is scheduled and automated, the unchecked creation of backups will consume your resources, leaving your server vulnerable to instability and decreased performance. Deleting or moving  old or non relevant backups off of the server is a proactively way to manage your disk space and will free up more resources. In order to better understand how to navigate to and manage your Plesk backups please follow the link provided below.

 

Uploading Backup Files 

To get there, begin by going to Tools & Settings > Tools & Resources > Upload Files to Server Repository

To do so only at the Domain level, go to Domains, select the appropriate domain on the right,  Websites & Domains tab > Backup Manager> Upload Files to Server Repository

Plesk_Upload_Backup_File

To upload your backup files, after having followed one the above stated paths, simply click the “choose file” button and navigate to the location of the file. In the event you possess multiple files you may add more than one by clicking on the option right below the “choose file” button. Below you’ll see backup security settings again. Remember you must know the passwords, if assigned at creation, otherwise you won’t be able to use the backup.

Other Backup Settings

Tools & Settings > Tools & Resources > and then selecting Backup Settings

Plesk_Backup_Settings_1

While shorter than a few of the other menus, this set of options does add some customization options that may or may not be for you, and it would be beneficial to any user or administrator to look these options over. For instance, the option to “Run scheduled backup processes with low priority” could work greatly with your needs or it could be a source of frustration if you have the option check marked and want the backup completed quickly. In keeping with the importance of space management you have three more options here, you can elect to or not to compress your files, and you can select a space available requirement before a backup is automatically created. To avoid any possible problems, such as not having enough space for a backup, the option to “Start the backup only if your server has the sufficient amount of free disk space (this option may significantly increase the backup time)” could also come in handy. Do review these options and your personal requirements for available space, and making regular backups.

Resource Management

Similar to managing your backups, managing your system resources is both an important and easy task. You will want to familiarize yourself with this function as not monitoring your server’s system health can lead to many undesirable outcomes such as reduced operation speed, server instability, crashing,  and or a lack of usable RAM or disk space. 

Below is a link to one of our helpful guides. This guide will show you where you can monitory your system’s resources, and how to manage these resources in Plesk. Additionally this guide will also detail what these resources are and what they mean to your system. Learn more by clicking below.

 

 System Notifications

System notifications are another important feature that an administrator will want to familiarize themselves with. Below you will find both how to navigate to this feature as well as an overview of the options listed in the Notifications system.

To get to your notification settings, first we begin by logging into Plesk, selecting Tools & Settings under Server Management on the left hand side of the menu which is also indicated by the red arrow. After this we will select Notifications which can be found on the right hand side of the page under the Field titled Plesk, which is also indicated by the red circle. Please see below for further guidance.

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From inside the Notifications menu we can see that there is a wide range of options to set up email notices for specific system events. Following the image below we will discuss further what some of these options mean for you.

notifications_p2_plesk

Notifications can be sent to default privilege holding positions, such as Administrators, Resellers, or Customers, in addition to this and just as useful is the option to indicate an email address for each event that can generate an email notice of a system event. The email addresses need not all be the same unless this is the desired organization for the notifications system you will be setting up by selecting the options on this page. Once you have selected the relevant notices, from account type creation to system resources and disk usage warnings, merely hit OK or cancel at the bottom of the page to either save or discard the changes made.

Plesk Action Log Settings

Action Logs as the name would imply, are logs witch contain instances of actions taken on a domain or server. Following the image and navigation instructions below you will find an overview of how to manage this page.

To get to the Action Log Settings, begin by  logging into Plesk, selecting Tools & Settings under Server Management on the left hand side of the menu which is also indicated by the red arrow. After this we will select Action Log under the Plesk field, you can also see this circled in red below.

action-logs_p1_plesk

Once in the Action Log Settings menu you can filter by date, clear log, download log, and at the bottom of the page choose for how long or for how many data entries your system will store this information. The information you can choose to be logged ranges from IP address creation and updates, to when a Reseller updates a plan or when the “DNS zone of a subdomain under an additional domain”.  You may select and de-select those items which you would like to appear on the log or you can accept the default method which will provide the most information.

action-logs_p2_plesk

 

Subscriptions

Subscriptions are both a powerful and unique feature of managing domains in the Plesk server. Subscriptions can be looked at as profiles for domains, these subscriptions are created and have certain properties. Following this, resellers or customers can be created and then in turn subscribed to the subscription and even have various plans setup to assure the appropriate privileges to members. Below we will cover the previously mentioned facets of the subscriptions feature, Adding Subscriptions, Managing Subscriptions, Inside the Subscription.

Adding Subscriptions

Naturally, after having discussed what subscriptions are you may now be curious as to how to add a subscription yourself. Below you will find a link that discusses just that and will walk you through navigation to implementation.

Managing Subscriptions

Once you have added your subscription(s) you will need to manage this feature to get the most out of it. Managing subscriptions is both simple and effective, below we will examine the various options and configurations available to you in managing subscriptions.

The Subscriptions page Earlier, it was from here that a subscription is created by clicking Add Subscription, the first management option on the left and within the Subscriptions page. Again and for your convenience, please find the  link included in the Adding Subscriptions portion of this article directly above this topic.

To get there Login, click on Subscriptions on the left menu, and then click Add Subscription

subscription_1

Change Plan: From here you can change the association with service plans for the selected subscriptions. You can select the new service plan you would have created under Plans, or add and remove Add-on plans.

To get there Login, click on Subscriptions on the left menu, and then click Change Plans

subscription_2_changeplans

Change Subscriber: In this menu you may reassign a selected subscriber, a useful option for dynamic servers where subscriptions may change semi-often.

To get there Login, click on Subscriptions on the left menu, and then click Change Subscriber

subscription_3_reassignselectedsubscriptions

Change Status: This drop-down menu will allow you suspend or activate subscription(s) you have selected from the bottom menu.

To get there Login, click on Subscriptions on the left menu, and then click Change Status

subscription_4changestatus

Remove: This will allow you to remove a subscription selected from the primary window, use careful with this option.

To get there Login, click on Subscriptions on the left menu, and then click Remove

subscription_5remove

Adding New Customer & the Subscription: When creating a new customer you will be presented with the option to create a subscription for the customer, and at the completion of filling out the information here proceed to the customization of the subscription.

To get there Login, click on Customers on the left menu, and then click Add New Customer

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The Reseller & the Subscription. In the add a Reseller menu you will notice the option to both, add a subscription through a service plan and the ability to proceed with customization upon completion of the creation of the reseller account.

To get there Login, click on Customers on the left menu, and then click on Add Reseller

Resellers_p1

Inside the Subscription

Beyond managing the subscriptions, there is familiarizing one’s self with the  layout of an actual subscription. Below you  will find an overview of how to navigate to many key features once you’re inside the subscription. Below will key items of interests such as Email, FTP Access, and Databases, as well as the major tabs as can be seen in the image of the primary subscription window called Websites and Domains, below. Websites & Domains is where you will first navigate to after clicking on a subscription. As can be seen many primary features are available from this page. You may tweak your PHP settings, access Web Statistics, SSL Certificates, FTP settings, Mail settings and more from here.

To get there Login, click on Subscriptions from the left hand menu, then select the appropriate subscription, the page loaded will be the Websites and Domains page.

subscription_6inside

Mail: As seen below will grant you the option to create an email address, remove an email address or to fine tune your email settings for this subscription/domain. Once created emails will appear in the central area directly below the field Email address.

To get there Login, click on Subscriptions from the left hand menu, then select the appropriate subscription, and then from the Websites and Domains page, select the Mail tab.

subscription_7insidemail

Applications: As shown in the image bellow this menu will allow you to both browse, install and manage your third part applications such as the popular CMS application known as WordPress. On the left hand side of the menu you can browse by Manage My ApplicationFeatured ApplicationsAll Available Applications.

To get there Login, click on Subscriptions from the left hand menu, then select the appropriate subscription, and then from the Websites and Domains page, select the Applications  tab.

subscription_8insidemyapps

Files: As can be seen in the image below allows you to manage both files and the file structure for this subscription/domain.  From here you have the options to Upload, create new files, copy, move, rename, extract files, add to archive, and more.

To get there Login, click on Subscriptions from the left hand menu, then select the appropriate subscription, and then from the Websites and Domains page, select the Files tab.

subscription_9insideFiles

 

Databases: From here as can be seen in the image below, from here you can you add, remove or manage any databases yon your subscription/domain

To get there Login, click on Subscriptions from the left hand menu, then select the appropriate subscription, and then from the Websites and Domains page, select the Databases tab.

subscription_10insideDatabase

 

File Sharing: As can be seen below this is where permissions can be set on files to be viewed by others, share, publish and email link, delete, and more. You have the ability to browse and work within the preset options, Personal FilesShared Files, Public Files, and Password Protected Files.

To get there Login, click on Subscriptions from the left hand menu, then select the appropriate subscription, and then from the Websites and Domains page, select the File Sharing tab.

subscription_11insidefileshare

Statistics: As can be seen below, from here you will be able to review and query your disk-space, disk usage, traffic, and to look at your Web Statistics and Data Transfer.

To get there Login, click on Subscriptions from the left hand menu, then select the appropriate subscription, and then from the Websites and Domains page, select the Statistics tab.

subscription_12insidestats

 

Users: As can be seen in the image below and gleaned from the title,this page will allow you to manage and create users who can access features on Plesk. You may also assign user roles, and disable users here as well.

To get there login, click on Subscriptions from the left hand menu, then select the appropriate subscription, and then from the Websites and Domains page, select the Users tab.

subscription_12insideUsers

Account: As can be seen in the image below you may permissions you are assigned, and what features you may use and operations you may perform in Plesk according to your Subscription’s terms. This page will also include other information about the subscription, such as the plan name, setup date, status, disk space, traffic, domains, hosting options, and permissions.

To get there Login, click on Subscriptions from the left hand menu, then select the appropriate subscription, and then from the Websites and Domains page, select the Account tab.

subscription_12insideAccounts

 

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