- Sign up with Vultr
- Deploy server
- Set up Plesk
- Configure/Add domain
- Secure Plesk/Domain
- Install WordPress
- Set up Mail
- Check/Enable Plesk security features
1. Sign up with Vultr
- Go to https://www.vultr.com and click Sign up.
- Enter a valid email address, strong password, and click Create free account.
- Fill out the form to link a payment method.
- For the amount, make sure to tick the box to only link the credit card (US$0.00 deposit).
- Check your inbox and verify your email address.
2. Deploy server
Configure the following options:
- Choose Server – Cloud Compute
- CPU and Storage Technology – Intel High Frequency
- Server Location – Choose a location that is close to your target audience.
- Server Image – Go to Marketplace Apps > Plesk and select Web Admin SE (free edition)
- Server Size – 32 GB NVMe (cheapest US$6/month)
- Add Auto Backups – Disable
- Additional Features – skip
- SSH Keys – skip
- Server Hostname and Label – Provide a hostname/label for your server.
Hit Deploy Now to start installing the server.
3. Set up Plesk
- Access your Plesk server by visiting the URL provided (see Plesk Server Details).
- Click Advanced to copy the secured URL path from Plesk and then paste it directly into your browser for access.
- Enter the root username and password provided (refer to Plesk Server Details) to log in.
- Provide your contact information (name and email address) and create a strong password to use the next time you log in to Plesk.
4. Configure/Add domain
- Access your domain’s Advanced DNS settings.
- Delete existing records (if any)
- Add new records for root, www, mail, webmail, and plesk.
- To confirm DNS propagation, go to https://www.whatsmydns.net/ and check your domain.
Once the DNS is configured, add the domain to Plesk.
- Go to Plesk > Websites and Domains and click + Add Domain.
- Enter your registered domain name and click Add Domain to start the process.
5. Secure Plesk/Domain
Secure your Plesk server with a free SSL/TLS certificate.
- Go to Tools and Settings > SSL/TLS Certificates and add Let’s Encrypt.
- Enter your domain name, email address, and click Renew.
Update your server’s full hostname under system settings.
- Go to Tools and Settings > General Settings > Server Settings and replace the Full hostname with your own domain name.
Add Let’s Encrypt to your domain.
- Go to Websites and Domains > Security > SSL/TLS Certificates and get the FREE Let’s Encrypt certificate for your domain.
6. Install WordPress
Go to Plesk > WordPress and fill out the installation options.
For General options:
- Installation path – Select HTTPS for a secure website.
- Website title – Provide a name for your website.
- Plugin/theme set – None (best to install plugins later through the WordPress dashboard).
- Website language – English (or your preferred language).
- Version – Choose the latest version of WordPress.
For WordPress Administrator options:
- Username – Enter your username
- Password – Provide a strong password for access.
- Email – Enter a valid email address for admin purposes.
Leave the Database and Automatic Update Settings options to default.
Hit Install to start installing WordPress.
Once the installation is complete, click Open Website to view.
Click Log in to access the WordPress dashboard or type in using the format https://yourdomain.com/wp-admin directly on your browser to log in.
Enable Caching (nginx) under Plesk > WordPress > Tools to significantly improve your website’s performance and loading times.
7. Set up Mail
Enable DKIM spam protection.
- Go to Plesk > Mail > Mail Settings and turn on DKIM spam protection.
Add new records (TXT Record) for root, dmarc, default domainkey, and domainkey through the domain’s Advanced DNS settings.
- Refer to Plesk > Websites and Domains > Hosting and DNS > DNS Settings for details/values.
Set up Custom MX in Mail Settings.
- Add an MX record for root using mail.yourdomain.com and 10 values.
Create email address.
- Go to Plesk > Mail and click Create Email Address.
- Provide a username and a strong password to access the mailbox.
- Click OK to create email.
- Open webmail (Roundcube) and send a test mail.
Use the format https://webmail.yourdomain.com/ to access webmail directly on browser.
8. Check/Enable Plesk security features
- Replace the Reverse DNS value with your domain name (Vultr > Your Plesk Server > Settings).
- Install and activate Plesk Firewall (Plesk > Tools and Settings > Security > Firewall).
- Confirm both IP Adress Banning and ModSecurity are turned on (Plesk > Websites and Domains > System Security).
- Confirm System Updates are Enabled/Automatic (Plesk > Tools and Settings > System Updates).
- Enable HSTS, Keep websites secured, and OCSP Stapling (Plesk > Website and Domains > SSL/TLS Certificates > Server Configuration).
- Enable TLS versions and ciphers by Mozilla (Plesk > Website and Domains > SSL/TLS Certificates > Server Configuration)