Yesterday, I have spoken to Artem, the business development manager for ISPsystem. Apparently, what we are seeing at VEPP is more like a SaaS model, we are expecting a provider’s version.
Why am I paid attention to VEPP? There are two reasons actually, the unconventional control panel layout and the security addon I have yet to try out. Website security has been important to the website owner.
- Use the built-in antivirus
- Firewall settings
- Enable spam and fishing protection
- Configure an external backup storage
If this is true, this can be a little better than 2 existing renown control panels, added the user-friendliess. At this moment, the info has given to me is little. So, I’m looking forward to deploying the provider’s version and share more with the readers.
It is a simplified control panel for WordPress mainly developed by ISPsystem. They advertise “With Vepp you can easily install WordPress, assign a domain, and get a free SSL. You’ll be sure your website is stable and secure.”
I was asked to try. The installation is untraditional. You prepare a server instance and assign it to your account at my.vepp.com to get started. Apparently, if you want to change to other server or server details, you have to write in. I do not like the idea that this is not self-serviced. Maybe there is a reason for that, let me dive deeper and probably I will find the reasons.
Anyway, the installation started at my.vepp.com because I’m further it has taken me 30 minutes than the advertised 10 minutes to install VEPP. I assume providers will have this “my.vepp.com” set up in their infra. This will get closer to the users and significantly cut down the installation time.
Before we are going to the 2nd part of this review, I have asked myself a few questions. Do I still need to update my server OS? If the updates will break my previous installation? If kernelcare is compatible? Can I install other libraries and components in my server? How about another website and web application?
I will address these in my 2nd round of review on VEPP.
Important services and ports
Today, I would like to talk about the important services, ports and how should you treat them. I have seen many servers and VPS have them in default. I strongly urge everyone to starts to restricting and protect ing them. this is necessary.
- SSH service port 22 – This is remote Shell access for a Linux server. You can use TCP wrapper or iptables to restrict access by certain IP addresses. Also, change port 22 to something else that you can remember. Do not keep its default settings.
- RDP – ports 3389 change the administrator username and restrict IP addresses using the advanced firewall in Windows server OS.
- MySQL port 3306 limited to a local connection.
- MSSQL port 1433 limited to a local connection.
- Plesk administration port 8880 & 8443 using Plesk administration restrict access or use 2FA under tools and settings.
- cPanel / WHM port 2086, 2087, 2082, 2083, and even 2092 and 2093 you can restrict access using IP addresses in WHM. Use 2 FA for WHM and cPanel access.
- FTP port 21 active mode if possible restrict the access using IP addresses or at least use a strong password.
About Plesk Onyx
Not long ago, we have briefly spoken on Plesk Onyx vs cPanel. There are pros and cons of these control panels. However, I like Plesk Onyx a little more.
In Chinese, we call it 先入为主 means the first impression. Honestly speaking, it’s easier to navigate on Plesk as compare to its competitors.
Recent years, Plesk Onyx is stable and reliable, it is not bug-free, actually, I haven’t seen anything like that. When I have encountered an issue, at most times I’m able to get a solution or at least a workaround from the knowledge base.
I felt that the support team has done a very good job. People like us prefer looking into the KB than writing an email to the support team. Basically, we want to solve the issue fast.
Other things I want to mention, it is their extensions. I’m overwhelmed by the extensions available. They do not cost a lot and there are many for different purposes.
If you are a Plesk Onyx user, I can see a few of them are useful. Like the Kernelcare, imunify360 and anti-spam from SpamExperts and MagicSpam. There are a few free extensions are useful too like the watchdog, Pagespeed etc.
In Plesk Onyx, you can switch on HTTP/2 when your Nginx is enabled. HTTP/2 is faster and more secure if you are not aware. I also suggest you use PHP-FPM for better performance, the PHP website performs better in FPM.
Another great feature in WHM/ cPanel easily neglected is the modsecurity. It is useful you have not got any web protection like Sucuri Firewall Pro. Users did not enable this feature to protect their open sourced website like WordPress, Joomla etc. This module is enabled by default but there is no rule to process. So it is as good as it is disabled.
Go to modsecurity to install vendors, I use OWSAP commonly. And remember to enable to process the rules in configuration. The rules will stop common attacks and viabilities of your website. This is important feature to those do not have ant web protection.
This is a very useful tool in WHM/ cPanel. But many server admin or users have neglected this. Either it is not often used or the control panel has many features and too clustered. But nevertheless, today I’m showing you these tools found in WHM/ cPanel.
There are 2 transfer tools might be handy if you are moving to another host. The Restore a Full Backup/cpmove File and the transfer Tool. So both do the same job but the processes are different. You must know these tools in case one has an error. Restore a Full Backup/cpmove File is kind of semi-migration tool. You go to the website via cPanel of the source server and do a Full backup, The backup will be in certain formatted name recognised by cPanel as a restoration when it has completed. The backup file will be located in your home directory. You can either use rsync if you have the root access or use FTP to the source server. Place the backup file in the backup home directory of the destination server, and you use Restore a Full Backup/cpmove File to restore a backup file.
On a full backup, you can also use FTP 0r SCP remotely dump the backup file to the destination server also. But I found that rsync is more reliable. It is a personal preference, o it is about transfer a file from the source to a destination server.
The other is the transfer tool. The tool migrates the desired accounts or websites from the source server to the destination server. So the transfer tool might be suitable to an intermedia user. You need root or sudo users to access, to migrate the accounts. After you have initiated a transfer, you do not need to stare or watch them. You can safely close your browser, and the session is still active. You can come back to review the entire transfer process later. Most are self-explanatory, I will not further elaborate.
These 2 migration tools have a high success rate. Even you are migrating a website from another control panel, which limited to the ‘Transfer Tool’. They have saved us plenty of time and effort.
If you are using a WHM/ cPanel control panel, it is common you might have forgotten to set a hostname for your server. Here is how you can do it. After updating your server hostname, remember to add a ‘A’ record in your DNS and rDNS for the server IP/