What is the optimum site server setup that I need to have in order to experience the full power of ManageWP?
In order to experience ManageWP to its fullest, there are some functions and commands that can be enabled on your site server.
- proc_open – This function is used to access the shell from PHP. Used to execute zip, mzsqldump, unzip and mysql commands. If this function is disabled, it will resort to an inferior PHP fallback which causes a much higher memory consumption. Some hosts disable this feature citing security concerns, but with encapsulation with modules such as suEXEC, you can easily secure the server environment without sacrificing the functionality.
- mysqldump (shell) – Shell command that exports your website’s database to a single file. If not present, a PHP alternative called PDO is used, which is slower, consumes more resources and is less reliable.
- mysql – Identical to mysqldump, but for database import.
- zip (shell) – Shell command used to create a backup archive of your site. If not available, the backup will fall back on ZipArchive, a PHP alternative with inferior performance that’s known to timeout on some server configurations (especially if you’re behind a load balancer that’s set to timeout if it thinks that PHP is “stuck”)
- unzip – Identical to zip, but for backup archive extraction.
- PHP Safe Mode – Safe Mode is an unsuccessful attempt to solve a lot of shared hosting security problems. It caused a lot more troubles than it solved, and was officially abandoned in PHP 5.4. Some hosts still tend to use this feature because it greatly reduces the load on their servers (kind of like reducing the gas consumption of your car by removing the engine block).
- PHP Version – PHP server-side scripting language is the bread and butter of your website. Older versions use up a lot more memory, run slower and are a lot more insecure. While we support PHP versions all the way back to PHP 5.3 (which came out in 2009 and is no longer developed), we highly recommend updating it (or having your host do it) to at least 5.4, the earliest version still being developed. This will make your site run faster and more securely
- curl – A PHP extension used for HTTP calls. We use it to transfer your backups from and to your websites. Without it you will not be able to clone your website and store your backups offsite.
- fopen and allow_url_fopen – This is used for downloading a backup archive from your source website. If it is disabled, our tool will fallback to fsockopen.
- PHP Memory limit should be set to 256MB (512MB would be ideal) and the PHP Execution time should be 600s (this depends on the size of your website). Additionally, it might help to add these rules to the .htaccess file:
RewriteRule .* – [E=noabort:1]
RewriteRule .* – [E=noconntimeout:1]
You can check whether these functions are enabled or not if you click on your website’s name in the left sidebar and choose Server Information from the dropdown menu:
If some of the functions are not enabled, the Server Information window will look like this:
Another setting should be adjusted as well – Site Server Timeouts, which can cut the backup and the clone process. We have covered this topic on a separate FAQ page.