Thrive tracker is gaining lot of attention due to its features and excellent support. While it’s mostly popular for its hosted solution, it has a self-hosted version that allows unlimited click tracking. This tutorial will help you install Thrive Tracker on Google Compute Engine with Virtualmin control panel and SSL.
Thrive Tracker is fully compatible with Google Compute Engine. GCE VM instances are basically VPS. They can be configured as high performance web servers with little extra work. I’ll walk you through configuring your GCE VM instance and installing Thrive Tracker with SSL. I’ll try to make this tutorial as newbie friendly as possible.
We’ll be building our web server with Virtualmin v6.03 GPL control panel. It’s a free control panel and packs powerful features to manage a web server. Additionally, we’ll be installing Nginx v1.10.3, PHP v7.0.30 and MariaDB v10.0.36. Complete below steps to install Thrive Tracker on Google Compute Engine VM Instance with SSL.
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Get Thrive Tracker Installed
Step #1 – Create a Google Cloud VM instance for Thrive Tracker and install Virtualmin
This step will get your Google Cloud VM instance ready for Thrive Tracker. We’ll create a VM instance with Ubuntu 16.04 as operating system and install Virtualmin. This is the most time-consuming part of the Thrive Tracker installation process. But my step by step instructions will make it easy to setup your Google Cloud VM instance with Virtualmin even if you’re totally new to GCP and VPS.
Step #2 – Disable MySQL Strict Mode for Thrive Tracker on Google Cloud VM instance
MySQL 5.7 and later versions come with strict mode enabled by default. Virtualmin installation script installs MariaDB v10.0.36 on your GCE VM instance by default. And Thrive Tracker doesn’t support MySQL strict mode by default. So let’s disable it.
Tutorial: Disable MySQL Strict Mode on Ubuntu
Step #3 – Add your Thrive Tracker domain to Virtualmin on Google Cloud
Your GCE VM instance is ready to host Thrive Tracker or any other website when you complete above steps. It’s now time to add your Thrive Tracker domain to Virtualmin. Virtualmin has something called Virtual Servers for this purpose. You need to create a top-level server within Virtualmin for each of your domains. Don’t forget to point your Thrive Tracker domain to GCE VM instance with an A record.
Tutorial: Add a domain to Virtualmin
Step #4 – Install PHP 7.1 for Thrive Tracker on Google Cloud
Virtualmin configures server with PHP 7.0. But this is not supported by Thrive Tracker either. But fortunately Virtualmin is capable of handling multiple PHP versions. Follow my tutorial and install PHP 7.1 on your VM instance.
Step #5 – Enable SSL (https) for Thrive Tracker on Google Cloud
Virtualmin offers an option to request a Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate for your Thrive Tracker domain. Now that you have Virtualmin installed and Thrive Tracker domain added to your GCE VM instance, it is the perfect time to enable Let’s Encrypt SSL for Thrive Tracker. Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate are issued free of charge and Virtualmin is capable of auto renewing them.
Step #6 – Obtain Thrive Tracker MySQL database credentials from Virtualmin on Google Cloud
Virtualmin automatically creates a MySQL database for your Thrive Tracker when you add your domain with above instructions. But it won’t display login credentials on-screen. You’ll need this information to complete the Thrive Tracker installation on Google Cloud. Fortunately you can easily get MySQL credentials from Virtualmin.
Step #7 – Install Thrive Tracker on Google Cloud with Virtualmin
You have everything setup for Thrive Tracker now. We took care of every little configuration that is required to run a perfect web server on Google Cloud. This step is to actually install Thrive Tracker on Google Compute Engine VM instance. Complete the installation with below tutorial. You can ignore the prerequisites section.
Tutorial : Install Thrive Tracker with Virtualmin
Step #8 – Redirect http to https with Virtualmin on Google Cloud
Your Thrive Tracker should be fully functional at this point. We will wrap things up by setting up 301 redirects from http to https. This step increases Thrive Tracker security a bit. This will make sure nobody can spying on your Thrive Tracker traffic.
That’s it. If you’ve followed all the steps above, you now have a superfast Thrive Tracker installation on Google Could with Virtualmin control panel and LEMP stack. Head over to our sysadmin support forum to get help if you run into errors.