Plesk 2019 Highlights: Looking Back on a Great Year

There’s a long, juicy list of events and accomplishments we had at Plesk this year. As we reflect on our Plesk 2019 highlights, we can learn and plan for an even better 2020. So let’s have a look at some of the proudest moments we had in 2019, before we start the new year.

Obsidian Launch:
Preview and General Release

Perhaps our main achievement this year was the successful launch and rolling out of updates to Plesk Obsidian. In the weeks leading up to the release date, September 25th, we invited users to try a Plesk Obsidian Preview and some of the unique features we were introducing. The Onyx to Obsidian transformation involved a heightened user experience, new security and monitoring tools and an optimized webstack to streamline the web project lifecycle.

A newer release candidate of Obsidian was frequently released until our launch. Finally, we had our most powerful management platform yet. Improved usability, tougher security and max productivity thanks to all the enhancements, new features and extensions of Obsidian. With the release, came the beginning of a short releases era – Plesk Obsidian auto-updates.

From Plesk Obsidian 18.0 onwards, the previous release tiers: Early adopters, General release and Later adopter release – became obsolete for partners. This was for multiple reasons, among which were security, speed and regularity of updates. By January 2020, we hope to have all servers auto-updated from 17.8 to 18.0. Plesk Obsidian was fully released in October 2019 with overwhelming success.

WordPress Toolkit
Updates from 3.5 to 4.4

The WordPress Toolkit 3.5 in February was a big one because it included eight hot security fixes and a new installation experience. In March, we rolled out a major update in WordPress Toolkit 4.0 – Remote management [demo included]. You gave excellent feedback so we could improve and in June, we released WordPress Toolkit 4.1 with a remote management plugin. The later WordPress Toolkit 4.3 in September was all about Smart Updates premium – Namely better user experience, checks and usability features. The final release of the year was a double-whammy – WordPress Toolkit 4.3.5 (Plesk Onyx 17.0 and 17.5) and 4.4.0 (Plesk Onyx 17.8 and Obsidian 18.0). In WordPress Toolkit 4.4, we focused on further UI and settings changes, set installations, action notifications. Stay tuned for our next big release early in 2020 where we’ll have the first prototype of WordPress Toolkit for cPanel!

New Extension Partners and
Hyperscaler Opportunities

At the start of the year, we added NextCloud – a self-hosted file-share and communication platform, to our Beta extensions catalog. Since partnering with Acronis in 2018, we saw them move forward with their latest Acronis features and key findings in Q2. Then in April, we had the birth of CLI command – WPchk – A WordPress Security checker tool for Linux servers.

Further on the security front, we partnered with Cloudbric in October, who provide advanced WAF and DDoS Protection as an extension. This year, Kolab have made two additions to their top groupware product. The first was the Seafile extension integrated into Plesk Premium Email – a file cloud where you can share libraries, directories and files with others. The second Premium Email integration was Anti-spam using Dovecot, SpamAssassin and its Bayes algorithms.

Meanwhile, on the Plesk hyperscale front, both Linode and DigitalOcean became 1-click apps in the Marketplace.

We’ve also relaunched three new CloudLinux extensions in the Imunify360 Products family designed to help you automate server protection: Imunify AV, Imunify QuickPatch and Imunify360.

Plesk and our VR Traveled Across Continents

You can check out what our Plesk VR looks like here.

Plesk was a key sponsor for the biggest hosting and cloud event of the year back in march – Cloudfest. Our team, including Plesk CTO Jan, gave compelling keynotes on WordPress hosting and such. Plus workshops about how Plesk can help one adapt to new tech changes in the industry. Meanwhile, over at our booth, our Plesk Virtual Reality Experience made its debut. Giving attendees a real feel of Plesk and what it does – let’s just say the lines were long for that one.

In June, we took the VR to WordCamp Europe in Berlin. Here, we were able to have some meaningful conversations with the community and gain insights on their WordPress installations. WCEU 2019 was also our chance to help 1&1 IONOS launch their new WP Pro offering in front of 2,700 WordPress lovers. You too can do this by co-sponsoring a WordPress event with us, so get in touch!

At WordCamp US in November, we launched a joint welcome offer for Plesk on DigitalOcean. It’s valid until December 31, so hurry and get yours to start off with a Plesk discount and free DigitalOcean credits. We were also there as a sponsor and had plenty of giveaways alongside our VR experience. We also had the opportunity to offer live coverage on talks on automated WP testing, managing WP multisite and more. Tell us in the comments if this was useful and if you want more of this in future events!

Successful Plesk Customers Among Plesk 2019 Highlights

This year, more than a few customers came forward with their success using Plesk. EverData use Plesk to manage their technical issues. And over 70% of their customers love the product because of its ease of use.

Michael Schinzel, Managing Director of Ip-Projects in Germany, used to be skeptical but is now a direct Plesk customer. Because of direct solutions to critical issues and free support. Lincoln Islam said Coderex doubled productivity since using Plesk.

Kahl Orr from Rise.co said he wouldn’t have the half-million-dollar revenue, high-quality sites and satisfied customers he has now without Plesk. He says Rise.co became more productive and efficient at managing sites. Meanwhile Marcus Karmer from German company – HostPress, attributes becoming a leading managed WordPress company to Plesk.

DuetSoft grew profits by 25% by using Plesk on DigitalOcean. Milosz from managed to start giving more time to his clients, thanks to Plesk’s time-saving features. He also cut costs and stress while gaining a market advantage. Share with us what Plesk has helped your company do in the comments!

My Plesk Self-Care Portal Beta Launch

During the Summer, we were able to announce the first launch of My Plesk – personal self-care portal. Now Plesk Online Store/Retail customers can manage all their Plesk licenses and online store purchases from one place. You can manage your licenses, subscription, edit profile details, find your activation key, even renew or upgrade your Plesk.

If you haven’t already, you can sign up for My Plesk for free. Just by using the same email you used to buy Plesk licenses and extensions. We are still open to feedback about My Plesk beta and there will be more updates in 2020 – stay tuned!

Plesk Educational Resources Took a Leap Forward

Plesk has been on Udemy since October 2019 with five free Plesk Udemy courses to date. So far we’ve had +10,000 students taking courses for using Plesk on major providers: DigitalOcean, Linode, Hetzner, GoogleCloud and Amazon Lightsail – And almost 300 positive reviews – this couldn’t make us happier.

The courses cover how to set up your own cloud server with Plesk. Then how to deploy or move a website (WordPress or otherwise) across the major cloud provider of choice. Meanwhile, there have been over 380 certified users in 2019 thanks to our free Plesk University courses. Following Obsidian, we had certification upgrades to reflect the training. So go ahead and learn something new – for free – before the year is up.

The Top APAC Partner Event in Singapore

The “partner event of the year” – Plesk APAC Partner Day 2019, was our partners’ chance to meet peers and Plesk experts. In light of the (then) newly-released Plesk Obsidian, our insiders went over to share what was new and what was coming next.

Among whom was Plesk CEO – Nils Hueneke, who spoke about the evolution of Plesk, Markus Galler, VP of Sales, and Plesk CTO, Jan Loeffler. Plesk engineers even gave a look behind the scenes of the Plesk Obsidian development. This release, along with some WordPress Community insights, allowed us to discuss tips on how partners could tune their existing infrastructure into value-added services.

 

Plesk 2019 Highlights: Smashing Major Milestones Together

We’re also excited to launch our brand new Virtual Private Server Management Platform, SolusIO. You can become a DigitalOcean-style VPS hoster too with this turnkey VPS solution.

Our platform has had a lot of reach – however this year we’ve hit new records. In May 2019, Plesk-powered mailboxes exceeded the 16 million mark. As of October 2019, Plesk was running on over 400,000 servers – up 20k servers from last year. And for the first time, we had over 1.4 million WordPress Toolkit instances installed.

This growth gives us every confidence that our solutions are useful and that partnering with Plesk makes sense as we go into 2020. Aside from the Plesk 2019 highlights, we want to mention the strong support we get from our customers every day. Your feedback and trust allows us to improve and keep doing what we do. We would have never achieved so much without you.

These accomplishments are not a brag but a reminder not to underestimate how much is possible in a year.
Tell us below – what have you achieved this year?

Did You Know Plesk is Now on Udemy?

Plesk is Now on Udemy - Free Courses Released - Plesk

Over 10,000 students have already enrolled in our Plesk University courses. And with the announcement of our new cloud hosting course series, we’re expecting that number to rise much, much higher. The Plesk Udemy courses cover how to set up your own cloud server with Plesk. Then how to deploy or move a WordPress or other website across five major cloud providers.

1
Plesk on DigitalOcean Udemy Course
Plesk on DigitalOcean Udemy Course
2
Plesk on Amazon Lightsail Udemy Course
Plesk on Amazon Lightsail Udemy Course
3
Plesk on Hetzner Udemy Course
Plesk on Hetzner Udemy Course
4
Plesk on Google Cloud Platform Udemy Course
Plesk on Google Cloud Platform Udemy Course
5
Plesk On Linode Udemy Course
Plesk On Linode Udemy Course

So far, we have DigitalOcean, Linode, Google Cloud, Hetzner Cloud, and Amazon Lightsail. Read on and we’ll explain exactly who the courses are for, what they contain, and ultimately, help you decide if they’re right for you.

Are Our Plesk Udemy Courses For You?

Shared hosting accounts can be incredibly convenient and cost-effective. That’s what makes them ideal for people and businesses with small websites, and equally small budgets. But for growing and large businesses who need things like performance and scalability, they can be incredibly limiting and slow.

Shared hosting means sharing all your server resources — bandwidth, disk, storage space — with many other websites on one single physical server. In contrast, cloud hosting is when your website is hosted on a physical server connected to multiple other servers joined in a cluster (or cloud).

Many people and businesses move to cloud hosting when they need better performance, security, reliability, and scalability. But as a new but increasingly popular option, some are hesitant to do so, believing the process is more difficult than it’s worth. The truth is setting up your own private virtual server is quick and easy. Not only that, but when using the right platform it can make WordPress hosting much simpler and help you offload many tedious and time-consuming tasks like deployment, maintenance, updates, and staging.

Can our five new Plesk Udemy courses help?

Our ‘Make WordPress Hosting Easy’ course series guides you through how you can do all the above and more using the Plesk hosting platform and your choice of five major cloud hosting providers.

All the videos within the courses are accessible and contain step by step instructions which you can follow even if you have minimal technical experience. They’re ideal for everyone from beginners who’re curious about website hosting to web professionals interested in moving from a shared hosting setup to a private virtual server in the cloud.

Five Reasons to Enrol in Our Udemy courses

Before getting into the details, you might be thinking what makes Udemy so special. After all, you could probably find all this information on various websites and forums if you really wanted to.

Well, Udemy is home to Plesk University: a free online training and certification resource that features a range of courses for learning all about Plesk and its extensions. You can find out more Plesk University here.

And so to give you a better idea why we love Udemy and these courses are so great, here are five reasons you may want to enrol today:

1. Up to 1 hour on-demand video

The courses include up to an hour of pre-recorded video lectures. Meaning no waiting around for the webinar of online course to start — you can watch them instantly, in whichever order you like, and all at your own pace.

2. Full lifetime access

Once you’ve completed the course you can go back and revise or re-watch the whole thing or specific lectures whenever you feel like it. There’s no cut-off time.

3. Access on mobile and TV

You can access the courses on desktop, tablet, mobile, and TV. All you need is the Udemy app, which can be easily download via your app store or the Udemy website.

4. Certificate of Completion

On completing the course, you’re awarded with a Certificate of Completion to acknowledge your achievement and for use in your professional portfolio.

5. It’s free!

Arguably the best reason to participate in one of our Udemy courses is that they cost absolutely nothing. You can even enrol to try a few lectures out and see if you like it — there’s zero commitment required.

The Five Free Udemy Courses

“A wonderful course for wordpress admins and web admins who make wordpress on a day-to-day basis.”

Mustafa Karrokhi, Course participant

Each of our courses is presented by university instructor and corporate trainer Chase Raz. Chase is a clear and engaging instructor with a decade of experience in teaching business and technology to a wide range of students.

The courses range in length from just over thirty minutes to an hour. Each includes everything you need to know to set up your private virtual server and deploy or move a website with Plesk, whilst also being short and concise enough to watch on the go or in between migrations.

One requirement  is that you have a basic understanding of concepts such as “website,” “IP address,” “firewall,” “server,” and “DNS”. And for some, a web browser and SSH terminal (e.g., PuTTY). Other than that, you’re ready to dive in.

Make WordPress Hosting Easy with Plesk on DigitalOcean

Learn how to set up your own DigitalOcean scalable virtual server, otherwise known as a droplet, in our web hosting course for DigitalOcean.

You’ll also learn how to use the Plesk Hosting stack on this droplet to power your WordPress and other websites. The course content includes a brief introduction, a bonus lecture on Plesk Obsidian, and sections on Deploying a DigitalOcean Droplet, Getting Started with Plesk, and Managing WordPress Websites with WordPress Toolkit.

In total, the course has 21 lectures that come to a run time of 41 minutes, and an impressive average rating of 4.7 out of 5.

Simplifying WordPress Hosting with Plesk on Linode

In this course you’ll learn how to set up your own private server on Linode and deploy a new WordPress website or move your existing website to Linode quickly and easily.

You’ll also learn to master the WordPress Toolkit. The course consists of five sections: Introduction, Deploying a Plesk Server on Linode, Getting Started with Plesk, Managing WordPress Websites with WordPress Toolkit, and a brief conclusion. All in all, the course has 19 lectures and a total run time of just under 39 minutes.

WordPress Hosting Simplified with Plesk on Hetzner Cloud

Learn everything you need to know for setting up and running a website on very own Hetzner cloud server using Plesk, with our WordPress Hosting Made Easy course for Hetzner cloud.

Through the course’s 21 lectures, you’ll be guided by Chase through five sections: Introduction, Deploying a Linux Server on Hetzner Cloud, Getting Started with Plesk, Managing WordPress Websites with WordPress Toolkit, and a Conclusion.

You can complete the 4 out of 5 star rated free course in a little under 50 minutes — and access it at anytime once you’ve completed it.

Easy WordPress Hosting with Plesk on Google Cloud

On this course you will learn how to set up your own private server with a Compute Engine virtual machine running on Google Cloud Platform, otherwise known as Google Cloud or GCP.

You’ll also discover how to use the Plesk hosting stack on the virtual machine to power your WordPress and other websites. The course sections include: Introduction, Bonus Lecture on Plesk Obsidian, Deploying a Google Cloud Instance, Getting Started with Plesk, and Managing WordPress Websites with WordPress Toolkit.

The 20 lectures have a run-time of 45 minutes, an average rating of 4.1 out of 5, and over 4,000 students who have already enrolled.

Simpler WordPress Hosting: Plesk on Amazon Lightsail

On our final course for Amazon, learn how to setup your own private server on Amazon Lightsail using the Plesk hosting stack.

The course’s 21 lectures cover five main areas: Introduction and Bonus Lecture on Plesk Obsidian, Deploying a Lightsail Instance, Getting Started with Plesk Onyx, Managing WordPress Websites with WordPress Toolkit, and Conclusion. The course has a run-time of 36 minutes, over 4500 enrolled students, and an average rating of 4.4 stars out of 5.

Take Your Free Udemy Course Today

Ready to move from a slow and limited shared hosting account and set up your own lightning-fast cloud server?

Have questions? Drop them in the comments below.