About Scott Orchard
Scott Orchard is a designer and web developer living in Orange County, California, who specializes in Wordpress or Shopify-based e-commerce projects. I’m available for hire.
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Tagged: web_design

Migration Tips to Media Temple (dv) 4.0 from (dv) 3.5

I recently transitioned to Media Temple’s (dv) 4.0 from their (dv) 3.5, and though it was a pretty painless process, I’d like to share the following suggestions to ensure a smooth transition for anyone else considering upgrading:

  1. Following their guide was very helpful, Migration Manager makes the transition fairly straightforward:
  2. Item 12 on their guide didn’t make sense until I moved everything over. All your Domains are under Subscriptions and should be listed under your name, this is the menu you’ll use the most and it allows you to launch the Control Panel for all domains under the subscriber, which after migration will be you.
  3. The new Control Panel is where you’ll manage Users, Email Address, FTP, Stats, etc. You’ll have a Subscriptions drop down at the top which allows you to quickly switch between all domains under that subscriber. All previous email users have roles now and can now login to your server and manage their email accounts. The only caveat is that they can see all other domains on that particular Subscriber’s Control Panel. This isn’t a big deal for me, most of my customers don’t want to manage anything, but I’ll be creating different subscribers for each domain to prevent unauthorized access.
  4. I had one client that had another developer request access so I setup a limited account on Plesk 8.6, which showed up as a Domain Administrator. Since all my domains were on one Subscriber, this person had access to all my accounts, which wasn’t ideal, so I did the following.
    1. Go to the Customers Tab, create a new account with the customer contact information and give them a username and password (I used the FTP username and password to keep access the same as on the old server), but give a fake domain name, since it requires you to add domain name information when you create a customer.
    2. Go to the Subscriber panel, check the domain name in question and hit Change Subscriber at the top.
    3. This will take you to a page showing all your Customers, which for me is just myself and the other administrator. Change the subscriber, which allows the previously used FTP login to directly access the Control Panel for that domain, but not any of your other accounts.
    4. If you use Spam Assassin for email accounts, it seemed to be active for everyone by default. I use it myself and only had it active on a couple other email addresses. One of my clients complained she was missing email so I tried to raise the setting under Server Management > Settings > Spam Filter Settings in Plesk, but it didn’t seem to take. To fix this, I SSH’d into the server as root, Rebuilt Qmail/Mail server configuration and Restarted the Qmail/Mail server. After that, checking the mail log showed only the correct email addresses using Spam Assassin.

    Additional Performance Tuning recommendations, as I noticed the base configuration was maxing out my allotted RAM and didn’t want to immediately upgrade the server to a higher plan:

    1. If you use Media Temple’s name servers for DNS (all my domains point to ns1.mediatemple.net and ns2.mediatemple.net), you can disable DNS on your server. I followed the article here, second item on the page: http://wiki.mediatemple.net/w/(dv)_HOWTO:_Misc._performance_tuning. After disabling DNS I saw RAM usage drop to about 70%, and no maxed-out resource errors.
    2. If you haven’t done this before I recommend raising Courier IMAP connections on the server. I enabled this on my old server since Apple Mail would frequently report it was timing out on the email account. After the quick change, no more problems:

    Here’s a couple other links that might be useful during the transition:

    Common SSH Commands, since I always forget these: http://wiki.mediatemple.net/w/Common_SSH_Commands

    Wiki page for all things (dv) 4.0: http://wiki.mediatemple.net/w/Category:(dv)_4.0

    I hope your transition goes smoothly, I’m extremely happy with the upgrade, Plesk 10 offers a lot more bells and whistles for my clients and hosting resellers. I’ve been a happy customer with Media Temple for years, I think their service and support are top-notch and this was a welcome upgrade.

Running Multiple Internet Explorers’s with Tredosoft & Virtual PC

Running multiple Internet Explorer versions on one system used to be a bit unreliable and offer some problems for web developers that need to ensure cross-browser compatibility. Thankfully there are a couple options, one from Tredosoft another from Microsoft.

What Do I Know recently touched on Tredosoft’s Multiple IE, which allows you to install IE 6 through IE 3, while allowing Internet Explorer 7 to remain untouched on your system. This is a great aid, something I’ve been using for a few months thanks to a recommendation from a friend. Tredosoft’s solution is much more stable than the archived browsers from Evolt.org, and they seem to run pretty well at the same time if you need to check 2 or 3 browsers at once. I haven’t tried this with Parallels, but I’ve heard it runs well this way, I do know that this isn’t compatible with Vista yet, which would be nice. I have noticed a slight tendency for IE6 to crash and/or incorrectly render some pages, which brings me to my next recommendation.

The other option is to download Virtual PC 2007, which looks like it’s Vista compatible, and the IE Application Compatibility VPC Image, which is a small Virtual PC image with Windows XP and Internet Explorer 6. In my opinion, this way is a little more involved, but I’ve seen pretty accurate results on IE6 when compared to an acutal PC running IE6.

Take a look at both options, they seem to work well for me. Though I’m not running Windows XP or Vista on my laptop yet, I have a late model Powerbook so no Boot Camp or Parallels, I plan on picking up a Macbook Pro after the next revision and finally be able to run OS X, XP, Vista and possibly a Linux distribution to become more familiar with Linux systems for a pretty solid web development testing environment,

The Web Design Survey from A List Apart

A List Apart Web Design Survey 2007A List Apart has a Web Design Survey for 2007, if you have some time, answer a few questions that could help give better demographics on web design. Plus you could win some free stuff.