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Sep 17, 2020

Introducing Productivity Tools in the ICDSoft Account Panel

We are excited to introduce a brand new section in the ICDSoft Account Panel - Productivity.

The ICDSoft Account Panel is your one-stop place to manage all services and features offered by ICDSoft. These include web hosting accounts, domain names, SSL certificates, Advanced Security, Extended Backups, and all features of our partner programs - Reseller and Affiliate.

Today we are bringing the first major feature of the Productivity section - SSH Access. The new SSH functionality allows you to quickly create new SSH keys or add existing ones for accessing your hosting accounts. You can easily add a key to all your existing accounts at once, and also enable an "auto" option which will automatically add this key to new accounts you purchase/create.

The Video Conference section has been moved to the Productivity section. The Video Conference feature was added several months ago, and allows ICDSoft Account Panel users to create and host online video meetings, completely free.

What is SSH?

SSH is an encrypted network protocol that enables features such as command-line access to your hosting accounts and secure file uploads over SFTP. With SSH, you can easily manage the files and folders in your account, work on scripts, connect to your Git repositories, manage your web applications, etc.

Keep in mind that the command-line interface (CLI) is a very powerful tool, and an erroneous command can quickly cause damage. While this may be disruptive to a live site, at ICDSoft we've got you covered. We keep full backups of all hosting accounts for seven days on shared plans, for 15 days on VPS plans, and for up to 12 months on accounts with an activated Extended Backup service, so you can easily restore the account data.

Connecting over SSH

You can configure only key-based access via the ICDSoft Account Panel. While you can configure password-based access on individual accounts via their hosting Control Panels, we do recommend the use of the more secure key-based authentication mechanism.

To connect, you need to import your private key into your SSH client. The process is different for each SSH client, so we recommend that you check the manual of your SSH client for the exact process. Our support team at https://www.suresupport.com can also help you.

Here are a few common use cases for SSH

Managing WordPress - WP-CLI

All ICDSoft accounts include a handy tool for managing WordPress installations - WP-CLI (https://wp-cli.org/).
With WP-CLI, you can easily update your WordPress version over the command line, edit WordPress users, or change WordPress settings. WP-CLI is an extremely useful tool when debugging WordPress problems, as you can make changes to a site, or extract useful information from it, even when the website and its admin panel are not working properly. We have a guide on using WP-CLI at:

https://www.icdsoft.com/en/kb/view/wp_cli_tutorial

Managing Drupal - Drush and Composer

Drush is a powerful command-line utility that is available on all ICDSoft servers. It is used to manage and control the popular Drupal CMS. For an overview and instructions on how to use Drush, you can check their website at:

https://www.drush.org/

Composer, which is another popular tool for command-line management of Drupal sites, is also available on our servers.

Composer - package manager for your PHP projects

Composer is a popular package manager for PHP. Up until now, you had to install Composer manually. With the release of the SSH Productivity tool, we have also installed Composer on all ICDSoft servers, so you can use it right away. You can check the Composer Getting Started guide for more information on this useful tool:

https://getcomposer.org/

Using Git for version control

Whether you develop custom applications or build websites with WordPress or another application, Git is an indispensable tool for the developer. On all ICDSoft plans, you can create repositories for your projects via the hosting Control Panel. For information on how to use Git on your hosting account, please check our online documentation at:

https://www.icdsoft.com/en/kb/view/git

We also have an article that describes how you can deploy changes to your website from your Git repository:

https://www.icdsoft.com/en/kb/view/using_git_to_push_changes_to_your_live_website

WebApps - SureApp

Another common use case for SSH access is managing your WebApps services. WebApps is a functionality of our VPS and WebApps hosting plans. It allows you to run applications built with technologies such as Node.Js, Django, Redis, MongoDB, etc. Our hosting Control Panel already includes a visual interface for managing the WebApps functionality, but you can also use the command-line tool - sureapp.

More information and installation instructions for various apps using our WebApps service can be found at:

https://www.icdsoft.com/en/kb/webapps_node_js

Investigating and cleaning up after a hacking incident

SSH is an indispensable tool when investigating hacking incidents and cleaning up hacked websites. This topic is covered in detail in the following two articles from our blog:

https://www.icdsoft.com/blog/how-to-investigate-a-wordpress-hacking-incident/
https://www.icdsoft.com/blog/how-to-clean-up-a-hacked-wordpress-site/

Best regards,
The ICDSoft Team