The Destruction That is Plesk

ExplosionsI did it again, I put my trust in Plesk. Wanted to do some more cleanup, and ended up with very squeaky clean site.

I'm starting to think I should do backups before every operation in Plesk. Let me show you, yet another way, how you can destroy your site.

 

Cleanup Again?

I wasn't satisfied with the domain name I had, it was way too long. So I went out and bought a new one, null-dev.com. A geeky domain with a reference to Linux. And I know it should be the other way around, but dev-null.com or devnull.com was already taken.

Armed with my new domain, I created yet another website in Plesk. This time however, using the same root directory as my other domain. This was the critical error I made, that later on would lead to it's destruction.

Website Types

Here is a quick rundown on what I did, that ended up blowing up in my face. In Plesk, when you setup a domain, you can choose 1 of 3 types. 

  • Website Hosting
  • Forwarding
  • No hosting

When you choose Web Hosting you can specify the document root of the website. I chose to point it to the same root as my other domain, and it worked. Both the new and old sites showed the same thing. This was the transition period, to test out if everything works before the full switch.

After I was sure that nothing was broken, I changed the old site's type to ForwardingRemember, both sites had the same document root. Well when you switch, the document root option disappears. I wasn't alarmed by that, it is quite logical to remove a option that is not relevant to the given type. It's not until I refreshed my browser that I saw a blank page with a error.

Plesk's designers had the brilliant idea of completely removing the document root directory from the filesystem when you switch from Web Hosting to Forwarding. Thanks, don't let me know that my files will be deleted out of existence. 

Lessons

What did I learn from this experience? That Plesk is very dangerous software to use! Be wary of every click you make, you don't now which "feature" will destroy your data. Having backups is very important, especially when changing something with this software.

I would not recommend this software to anyone, I've lost all faith in it after losing my work twice. On the upshot, I now will be doing backups every day, thanks to Plesk!

Tomasz Bogdal

Engineer by day, hacker at night. I take the road less traveled, dissect the unknown. Give me something new, and I'll master it by the dusk of dawn.

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