What Do I Need?
- A Dedicated or VPS Linux Server
- Putty for Windows
What are Permissions?
Permissions are super important in all things web server connected and your control panel is a great place to get these right. The permissions set for files and directories are shown in the Permissions column of your file explorer in Plesk. They’re represented as three sets of symbols, such as ‘rwx rwx r–‘. The first set tells us what the owner of the file or directory can do with it; the second tells us what the user group, the file or directory can do with the file or directory; the third set indicates what other users, the rest of the world, that is, Internet users visiting a site, can do with the file or directory. R means the permission to read the file or directory, W means the permission to write to the file or directory, and X gives the permission to execute the file or look inside the directory.
Let’s explore how to fix things when they inevitably go wrong after you’ve been tinkering.
- Fixing Permissions Using the Plesk GUI
- Visit the URL landing page of your control panel, for example, https://www.example.com:8443.
- Click on the ‘Domains’ tab on the left.
- Select any domain from your domains list, example.com.
- Click on the ‘Websites and Domains’ tab.
- Click on the ‘File Manager’ icon.
- Click on the ‘root’ of the directory.
- Scroll to ‘httpdocs’ and right-click the root of the directory.
- A context-menu appears.
- Select ‘Change Permissions’.
- Once the ‘Permissions’ page has loaded, check to make sure that any applicable users have full control of the files.
- To do this, select the user (for example ‘root’) and check the ‘Full Control’ permissions box for the account in the right sidebar.
- Select ‘Tools and Settings’ and then ‘Restart Server’ from the ‘Server Management’ group.
- Fixing Permissions Using the Plesk Command Line
- Use the Plesk Repair Tool.
- Scan for issues and then select to fix.
- Then continue with the permissions fix by using the command line repair tool:
plesk repair all
- Select the defaults to enable fixes of your web server.
- And you’re done. Simples.
As always, keep an eye on the security of your web server and one of the best ways of doing this is periodically running upgrades and updates using the following commands:
sudo apt-get upgrades sudo apt-get updates
Additionally, ensure you check your server’s access logs and always be aware of the permissions being used at any given time on any websites or apps that use the server for hosting.
Personally, I recommend checking your server regularly for issues. Keep an eye on updates and always ensure that the sites using your server for webspace hosting are maintaining regular updates and upgrades. This is hugely important. One of the best ways of doing this is keeping it ‘hands-on’, and if you’re managing sites for clients, keep a regular dialogue with them. Involving them in the active protection and oversight of their data assets will help to protect your server and, in turn, their clients.
Taking this approach also provides ample opportunities for upselling crucial security oversight capabilities to your clients for further protection. Just remember that when bad actors are looking to compromise a website, one of the first places they’ll attempt to enumerate is your webserver software and that includes your control panel, be it Plesk Onyx or cPanel. If any bad actor is able to take over your control panel they’ll functionally have direct control of any and all websites or apps that are being hosted on that web server. Be safe.
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