Plesk vs cPanel – two hosting control panels compared

Plesk vs cPanel - Battle of the hosting control panels

When it comes to web hosting control panels, Plesk vs cPanel comparison is something you may think about. Apart of DirectAdmin, ISPConfig and Webmin, both cPanel and Plesk has long history on the market of server management tools.

About Plesk and cPanel

Plesk has helped system administrators for over 10 years. Because of its user-friendly interface and wide set of features, admins can manage their servers more efficiently. The latest Plesk is available in Windows and Linux and is designed to work unobtrusively, manage performance and gatekeep in the shadows.

 

Plesk Onyx

cPanel first appeared in 1996. As its a pioneer in this market, cPanel still has a dedicated fanbase for its obsolete products. Even though its current offering is called cPanel 68. Newer iterations of this popular solution are a kind of welding together of cPanel. This facilitates customer account management and Web Host Manager (WHM) which tackles server administration.

 

cPanel

Plesk vs cPanel – Usability

CLI (command line interface) is an option for each of these interfaces. But most users will no doubt want to unlock their goodies via the GUI (graphical user interface).

Most users favour Plesk over cPanel for its tidier GUI, which makes it simpler to understand and more intuitive to use. Its approach is to group tools on the left of the screen – as that’s the side people start reading from. And you can find more options buried under each tool.

cPanel’s approach comes from the ‘garden shed’ approach to GUI design. Because the designers seem to have just thrown everything in there and shut the door. The redeeming feature that helps it claw back some points in the Plesk vs cPanel contest is that you can modify the interface to suit your own preferences.

Security – Plesk or cPanel?

Both solutions boast a variety of features designed to make servers bulletproof. Or at least, safe from incursions by nefarious bots and their human handlers.

But Plesk offers features such as fail2ban – which prevents intrusions, active directory integration, and spam defence for email. Meanwhile, cPanel offers automatic installation of SSL certificates, directories with password protection and IP address denials.

Best Features – cPanel or cPanel alternative, Plesk

So, Plesk or cPanel in terms of variety of features? Plesk and cPanel give clients identical features to manage accounts and servers. Users can configure DNS settings ( read about name servers setup ), manage email accounts and databases. And they also get FTP (File Transfer Protocol) facilities. The cPanel experience can be bolstered with extra apps. But Plesk hits the ground running with straight-out-of-the-box access to more helpful apps and extensions.

Plesk, as cPanel alternative, supports Docker for Linux, putting the 200,000 image Docker catalogue at their users’ fingertips through the web hosting control panel. And Gitman extension makes Git use a feature too. In contrast, cPanel users can only enjoy the same experience via complicated workarounds. Which may not really be ideal.

Plesk vs cPanel: Distros

As we said before, Plesk runs on both Linux and Windows Server, while cPanel is a Linux-only deal. True, you can achieve Windows-server-compatibility, but only via certain tweaking and fiddling.

CentOS, CloudLinux and RedHat Enterprise Linux are the only OS incarnations supported by cPanel. In contrast, Plesk works with 14 Linux distros that include Debian, CentOS, and Ubuntu. This in addition to being compatible with Windows servers.

Solutions Plesk Onyx cPanel/WHM
OS compatibility Both Linux and Windows operating systems are supported.
  • Windows family: Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012)
  • Linux family: Debian, CentOS, Ubuntu, Cloudlinux 6-7, Virtuozzo, Red Hat Enterprise 6-7
cPanel is Linux control panel. Supported distributives: CentOS, Cloud Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
Web servers Apache, NGINX with caching Apache with Nginx caching
Administration Unified authorization procedure for users and administrators. cPanel basically consists of cPanel and WHM – WHM is accessible only for server-related administrational tasks. cPanel access gives control only over website.
Interface Modern UX/UI based on React.Js. Built-in ready to code environment with support of Javascript, PHP, Perl, Ruby On Rails, Python, Java and .NET. User-friendly interface with full control over majority of cPanel/WHM features. Availability of command line and API-based access as the way to automate administrational tasks.
Security A lot of security features are provided from the box e.g. Plesk Firewall, Revisium Antivirus, Fail2ban AutoSSL, cPHulk, built-in support of CSF/LFD and some other useful features
WordPress support WordPress Toolkit provides full list of automation & management features vital for the scalable WordPress infrastructure support. cPanel’s WordPress Manager is far away from perfection.
Extensions/Add-ons Plesk comes with ecosystem of various extensions, covering all possible needs of any server administrator. Among these extensions are Security Advisor, WordPress Toolkit, Joomla! Toolkit, Let’s Encrypt SSL support, SEO Toolkit etc. Extra apps are available via auto-installers.
DBMS MySQL / MariaDB / MSSQL Server databases can be managed via web browser. MySQL/MariaDB databases management via web interface
SSL Let’s Encrypt + Symantec AutoSSL with Let’s Encrypt
Mobile accessibility
Backups Ready to use solutions based on Dropbox, Acronis, Google Drive Compatibility issues can be spotted between various cPanel backup versions.
Technologies Support of Docker, Git, Node.js, WordPress Toolkit Docker, Node.Js & Git can be still supported by cPanel, however workaround here is sophisticated

Plesk vs cPanel – what’s your decision?

After reading this far, it’s obvious that your ideal web hosting control panel will be largely dictated by your server’s OS. But as a human who has to use an interface every day, you want to choose the one that makes your life easier. With 100+ extensions and a more intuitive interface, Plesk seems like the current winner. Though both solutions are feature-rich, the Plesk vs cPanel face-off must be won by the new kid on the block.

Git Commands Cheat Sheet

No Git command cheat sheet would be complete without a section on the Git vocabulary, so we’ve included one to help you get to grips with how Git works and how the commands are run on various entities. In fact, let’s begin there:

Git Commands Cheat Sheet – Vocabulary

#

Git Command

What it Does

1 Bare Repository Repository that doesn’t have a working directory.
2 Branch An active area of development in Git. The newest commit displays the end of the branch.
3 Blame Refers to the most recent alteration to every line in the file. Shows Author, Revision, and Time.
4 Checkout This is talking about the process whereby a particular commit is chosen from the repository and the condition of the file associated with it and the directory tree are reproduced in the working directory.
5 Commit Record of a moment in Git history containing details of a changeset.
6 Diff The difference in changes between saved changes or two Commits.
7 Detached Head The state in which a specific commit is checked out rather than a branch.
8 Fetch Retrieves the most recent changes in the branch and the local or remote repositories.
9 Fork When you Fork the repository, you can add Commits and add Pull Requests.
10 Hash A unique SHA1 code for each Commit
11 Head The name of the Commit at the end of a Branch
12 Index A group of files that hold state information.
13 Merge Includes changes from named commits (from when their histories split from the current branch) into the current branch.
14 Master Git’s default development Branch
15 Origin This is the default Upstream Repository
16 Pull Request Suggests changes into the Master Branch
17 Push Pushes new changes once they’ve been committed
18 Repository A group of Commits, Branches and Tags to identify Commits.
19 Working Tree The directory of files that you are currently working on

Git Commands Cheat Sheet – Configuration

#

Git Command

Description

1 git config –global user.name Sets the username to be used for every action
2 git config –global user.email Sets the email to be used for every action.
3 git config –global alias. Generates a shortcut for the Git command.
4 git config –system core.editor Sets the text editor for all command actions.
5 git config –global –edit Opens global configuration file in the text editor to enable manual editing.
6 git config –global color.ui auto Turns on colour for command line outputs as a visual aid.

Git Cheat Sheet – Set Up a Git Repository

#

Git Command

Description

1 git init Initializes an empty Git repository in the current project.
2 git clone (Repo URL) Clones the repository from GitHub to the project folder.
3 git clone (Repo URL) (Folder) Clones the repository to a specific folder.
4 git remote add origin

https://github.com/username/(repo_name).git

Creates a remote repository that points to your current GitHub repository.
5 git remote Displays the name of remote repositories.
6 git remote -v Displays the name and URL of remote repositories.
7 git remote rm (remote repo name) Gets rid of a remote repository.
8 git remote set-url origin (git URL) Changes a repository URL.
9 git fetch Obtains the most recent changes from the origin but doesn’t merge them.
10 git pull Obtains the most recent changes from the origin and merges them.

Git Cheat Sheet – Local File Changes

#

Git Command

Description

1 git add (file name) Adds current file changes to staging.
2 git add . Adds changes for the whole directory to staging but without deleting files.
3 git add -A Adds every new, modified, and deleted file to staging.
4 git rm (file_name) Stops tracking a file and gets rid it.
5 git rm –cached (file_name) Stops tracking the current file.
6 git mv (file_name) (new_file_name) Alters the filename and gets it ready for Commit.
7 git checkout <deleted file name> Undeletes a file and gets it ready for Commit
8 git status Displays the status of modified files.
9 git ls-files –other –ignored –exclude-standard Displays a list of each ignored file.
10 git diff Displays staged changes in the working directory and index.
11 git diff –staged Displays differences in files between the most recent version and staging.
12 git diff (file_name) Displays changes between a single file and the most recent Commit.

Git Commands Cheat Sheet – Declare Commits

#

Git Command

Description

1 git commit -m “(message)” Saves changes along with a custom message.
2 git commit -am “(message)” Adds all changes to staging and saves them with a custom message.
3 git checkout Switches to the provided Commit.
4 git show Outputs content changes and metadata for a particular Commit.
5 git reset –hard Rolls back all history and changes for a specific Commit.
6 git reset –hard Head Rolls back all local changes in the working directory.
7 git log Displays change history.
8 git log -p Displays the full page for each Commit.
9 git log -oneline Displays a list of Commits and a simple message.
10 git log –follow (file_name) Shows the history of the present file.
11 git blame (file_name) Displays all changes and the user’s name.
12 git stash Does an Interim save of all tracked files that have been modified.
13 git stash pop Restores files that were stashed most recently.
14 git stash list Displays all stash changesets.
15 git stash apply Applies the most recent stashed contents.
16 git stash drop Gets rid of the most recently stashed files
17 git stash apply (stash id) Re-applies content of a particular stash by ID.
18 git stash drop (stash_id) Drops particular stash content by ID.
19 git push Pushes changes to the Origin.
16 git push origin (branch_name) Pushes branch to the Origin.
17 Git push -f origin (branch_name) Force pushes the changes to the Origin.
18 git tag (tag_name) Specifies a tag for a version.
19 git push Pushes changes to the Origin.

Git Commands Cheat Sheet – Branching

#

Git Command

Description

1 git branch Displays a list of every branch.
2 git branch Makes a new branch.
3 git branch -m Changes the name of a branch.
4 git branch -a Lists both local and remote branches.
5 git checkout -b Creates a branch and switches to it.
6 git checkout Changes to a particular branch.
7 git checkout -b origin/ Puts a remote branch from the origin in the local directory.
8 git branch -d Deletes the specified branch.
9 git merge Merges the current branch with the master (first checkout to master)
10 git rebase Integrates changes from one branch into another by rewriting the commit history to produce a linear succession of commits.
11 git rebase Rebases the current branch onto the base, which can be a Commit ID or a branch name.
12 git fetch remote Fetches the specified branch from the repository.
13 git diff .. Shows the differences between two branches.
14 git pull –rebase Fetches the remote copy of the current branch and rebases it into the local copy.
15 git push –all Pushes all the local branches to the specified remote repository.

Plesk and Git Support

Plesk lets you integrate with Git, because for most web developers it’s their go-to code management system. Git makes it easy to handle initial publishing and subsequent updates by deploying your website from repositories to a public directory.

Here’s how to get started with Git:

  1. Install the Git extension in Plesk.
  2. Create a domain in Plesk with a service plan that lets you give management permission to Git.

There are two types of repositories that you can add in Plesk, and you’ll choose the one that best fits your use case:

  1. Keep it local with a repository on your own machine. In this scenario, you send the changes to Plesk from your local repository, and then Plesk deploys the changes to your website.
  2. Use Git hosting remotely. You might want to do it this way if you’re already using a remote repository in BitBucket (bitbucket.org) or GitHub (github.com). You forward your changes to the remote repository, then Plesk gets them from it and deploys them to your website.

When you’ve got Git repositories enabled in your domain, you’ll be able to see a list of the ones that have been created on its page. For each one you’ll see the name, the current branch and the deployment path. The Deploy button (look it for it near the repository name) lets you deploy the files from a repository (if it’s been set up for manual deployment) and the Pull Updates button lets you get the changes from the remote repository.

Conclusion

It’s much easier to work on a complex project when you have a list of Git commands in front of you, so we hope that this Git command cheat sheet proves to be useful.

Guide on Website Management

Effective website management doesn’t demand a comprehensive understanding of web development. The two areas are very different.

A website is like a car: even the best models created by leading designers can’t run without a little maintenance here and there. Great websites may look sleek, polished, and perform to the highest standards — but only because of the experts working hard behind the scenes. And websites can break down or crash without regular maintenance to keep them in good condition, too.

However, the management of a website isn’t always as simple as it should be. Instead, it can be a complex process with many rungs on the ladder to success. In this post, we’ll explore effective web management in detail and cover the tools you need for the best results

1. Backup your site’s data

Do you back up your data from your computer’s hard drive on a regular basis? You need to do the same with your website.

The primary reason is because of potential issues such as cybersecurity breaches, network glitches, or hardware failures. You’ll be able to access your backup and get your site running again with minimal disruption.

Here are the main benefits of backing up your site and data for good web management:

Eliminate data loss

If website data is deleted by accident, either by yourself or a colleague, you could lose lots of hard work and face the risk of downtime. But with a backup, accidents won’t lead to such severe fallout.

Reduce revenue loss

When your website generates revenue through sales, every second of downtime can impact your profits. But regular backups can keep costly downtime to a bare minimum.

Cut lost time during a website renovation

You’ll have a lot of stored data if your website has been live for a number of years, such as images, product pages, content, and more. All this should be backed up when you’re renovating or even rebuilding your site.

Otherwise, years of hard work can go to waste and you’ll need to start building the website again from scratch.

You can take advantage of many website backup solutions, though you’ll need to research your options before you choose. Don’t worry, though — we’ve provided a few suggestions to help you save time:

Backing up your data with Plesk

With Plesk hosting platform you already have built-in backup solution which is capable to back up the entire server or/and individual websites, schedule these backups, perform them in full and incremental way and store backups locally and remotely.

For those who are addicted to WordPress, Plesk offers WordPress Toolkit – a single management interface that lets you simplify all management routines. With WordPress Toolkit you can clone a WordPress site, including all website files, database and settings, without the need for any third-party plugins

2. Stay on top of landing page performance

Landing pages are crucial if you utilize paid ads (e.g. PPC). These are the first pages visitors will reach when they click on an ad on a search engine results page or social media network, and they have to perform at their best to make a positive first impression.

However, landing pages can be affected by a number of common issues:

  • Heavy traffic may cause slowdown
  • Newcomers might struggle to understand what you’re actually offering
  • Your web server could be experiencing a glitch
  • You may be trying to sell products which are out of stock

Regardless of the problem, you’ll be able to spot it sooner rather than later if you check your landing pages regularly. Some of the best landing page tools include:

  • VWO Landing Page Analyzer: This creates a comprehensive report covering key parameters including focusing on the goal, relevance, persuasiveness, and more
  • UnBounce: This provides you with a free report on strategies with the potential to optimize your landing page conversions

3. Preparing for downtime and managing it right

Downtime refers to the length of time that your website is unavailable to visitors. Around half of all downtime is caused by equipment malfunctions, such as overheating processors or a power cut. While reliable hardware offers good protection, your website could still become inaccessible because of equipment malfunctions.

Common risks include:

Hosting issues

All websites are hosted on servers belonging to ISPs. The price these businesses charge can be high, but it’s a valuable investment to keep your site online 24/7.

A lot of ISPs claim to deliver uptime of 99.99 percent. This may seem amazing, but a couple of brief sums suggest otherwise. 0.01 percent of 24 hours is 8.64 seconds, and if you multiply this by seven, you get 60.48.

Across one month, this amounts to just over four minutes, and in a year, it’s around 52 minutes. That’s not a huge amount, but it could still cost you a few sales, especially if you experience significant downtime during a busy period.

We’re not trying to tell you that your website will be down for that period of time every day — you may not experience any downtime at all in any given month. But even if it’s down for a couple of hours one day and operating fine the rest of the year, you could still lose out due to hosting issues.

Keep that in mind when considering your website management strategy.

Attacks from cyber criminals

Cyber attacks are a common threat in the digital age, and two particular types pose a real risk:

DDoS attacks: During a Distributed Denial of Service attack, a hacker will keep your server flooded with requests. A server only has the ability to respond to a set number of requests, and if the incoming amount goes beyond this, your website server may crash.

Dangerous bots: Many hackers create bots with the ability to pick up on weaknesses in networks and vulnerable websites. They exploit any flaws they spot and bring websites down with ruthless efficiency.

So, we know a few reasons why downtime may occur. But how can you prepare for it?

Determine if your site IS down

Your website might appear to be down, but that may not be the case. You can use isitdownrightnow.com and similar sites to check.

Get in touch with your hosting service

You can reach out to your hosting provider to find out if they have a problem causing your website issues. But take a look at your email first, as the provider may let you know if they plan to put the server out of action temporarily ahead of time.

Identify if the issue is on your end

Any employees in your business who take responsibility for your website maintenance and/or development might be to blame for issues. For example, they could have taken an element out, made a problematic update on a plugin, or done any number of other things that disrupt your website performance.

Explore activities in the site’s backend to spot any adjustments that came before the issues, and once you know the reason, try to understand why it led to such a negative outcome. This will help you stop it happening again.

Finding a prevention is better than working on a cure after the fact in good management of a website. Take these steps to save your website from experiencing downtime.

Hire separate businesses to host your website and domain name

The domain name is your website address, such as facebook.com. It’s recommended to host your website files with one company and your domain name with another. Why? Because if your website goes down for any reason, the other host should have it up regardless.

Consider a hosting company offering monthly plans

Numerous hosting companies provide customers with competitive yearly plans, but a monthly deal should be available too. This is ideal to try the service and see how it measures up.

Make sure you assess your site’s hosting performance through tools such as Pingdom. If it’s all working well for you, you might want to change to the annual plan to make a long-term saving.

Back up your website on a regular basis

Your most recent website backup should be hosted by another company, to make sure your prospective and existing customers can access your site even when the main version is unavailable. This applies to all websites you may have, as part of responsible multiple website management.

4. Optimizing your database

Your website will have a database if it’s a subscription-based domain (such as a blog) or a store where products are updated regularly. This database features all the information you add to your site.

For good website management, you need to remember that each database brings responsibilities — including good database optimization.

Here are the benefits of optimized databases:

  • Take up less space
  • Encourage your site to load more quickly
  • Boost the security protecting your website data

You can approach this in various ways, but the quickest and simplest is to optimize your database with specialized solutions. You may want to consider:

5. Evaluate load times

Page load times are critical to effective web management. You need every page to load as quickly as possible to satisfy users. But over time, your website will have more and more content and a heavier database. This causes your site to send more requests to the server, and can increase the loading times.

Plenty of factors can lead your site to slow down, including:

Excessive plugins

Having an excessive number of plugins will lead to excessive lines of code in your site’s back-end, putting extra strain on your website’s server. That causes page load times to increase.

Image-heavy visuals

Most ecommerce websites are packed with images, resulting in extra HTTP requests for your server and longer load times.

Performance of your site server

Shared servers can be particularly problematic, as they host multiple sites and manage HTTP requests to various pathways. Servers that perform poorly will be unable to keep traffic to all of the sites running as smoothly as users expect. Load times will slow down as a result.

Heavy traffic

As a business-owner, you invest considerable funds in marketing to bring traffic to your site, but as your traffic volume increases, your server needs to process an incredible amount of requests.

As slow page loading can boost your site’s bounce rates, your traffic and conversion rates can suffer down the line. But checking on your page load speeds will help you stay up to date on potential issues. Try PageSpeed Insights or GTMetrix to run tests on your site’s speed.

Once you’ve done this, scour the test report generated by your chosen tool carefully to pinpoint issues increasing your load times. This will give you the insights you need to tackle the problem yourself or hire an expert.

6. Assessing website forms for potential risks

You may have subscription forms on your website, along with checkout forms and search bars. Hackers can leverage these via a technique known as SQL injection, which provides them with unwelcome access to your database. You should check the forms on your site regularly to ensure your visitors’ data remains safe from hackers.

You can use various tools to assess your site’s forms for vulnerabilities, including ScanMyServer and Acunetix.

7. Taking out elements that can be considered redundant

Websites generally don’t need all of the elements loaded with them, and some can actually cause it to slow down unnecessarily. These may include changes to content and spam comments.

Such redundant elements load along with critical ones when users visit your website. That’s why you need to practice good management of your website and clean it regularly — take advantage of such tools as WP Optimize or Autoptimize.

8. Evaluate the performance of your website on different devices and browsers

Your website’s device and browser compatibility was likely tested after it was developed. However, various updates may have changed its performance since — plugins you’ve installed, content you’ve uploaded, new lines of code you’ve input, etc. can all make a difference.

If one or more of these adjustments fails to sync with certain devices or browsers, your website may not function as it should. That can lead to a poor visitor experience, rob you of conversions, and disrupt revenue generation.

If you test your website’s compatibility across all devices and internet browsers regularly, you can continue to deliver a quality experience for your visitors. Choose from various tools designed to assess browser compatibility, including Lambda Test, TestComplete, and CrossBrowserTesting.

Want to evaluate your site’s compatibility with devices? Try BrowserStack and Katalon.

9. Paying attention to analytics

Your website’s analytics area carries key details about your visitors’ locations, the number of clicks, traffic channels, traffic volume, search volume, and more. Take the time to check this area frequently to understand how your website performs and gather insights you can use to optimize it. This can enable you to recognize potential performance issues with your landing pages.

While Google Analytics offers comprehensive details on your users’ behavior, this information can be considered number-intensive. Visualization can make data easy to understand, so have your site’s analytics visualized through Domo, Zoho Reports or Infogram for a simpler approach.

10. Effective management of situations related to customer experience

You have to take good care of your customers. Without them, how can you expect to generate the revenue you need?

Your customers keep you in business and deserve a quality website for purchasing products or services. That’s why it’s worth putting time into resolving customer-related issues as cleanly, quickly, and efficiently as you can.

Here’s how:

Create professional responses to reviews

Customer reviews can influence people’s decision to buy from your website. Opinions may start to differ as you make changes to your site, even if they’re intended to improve the experience visitors have. They might write a review to share their frustration and put others off using your site at all.

Alternatively, customers could be so impressed they’re compelled to recommend your site to fellow buyers via positive reviews.

In any case, it’s crucial to respond to reviews regularly. This makes the writer feel recognized and valued, and it can actually help to improve your search engine ranking too. Show customers that you pay attention to their feedback and engage them in a professional manner, even if their review enrages you.

Make maintenance pages on your website unique

Sometimes, it’s hard or even impossible to avoid downtime. Your website will need to be taken offline briefly to make crucial changes.

During your site’s downtime, visitors will be greeted with a dedicated page to inform them the website is under maintenance. But don’t go for a generic design — boost your customer engagement with a creative, valuable maintenance page instead.

For example, keep the text in line with your established brand voice. If your website has a quirky style, your maintenance page should too.

Don’t be afraid to embrace humor, such as a cute graphic that helps to combat the frustration people may feel when they find they can’t actually use your site when they want to. Include links to resources on other websites that customers could find helpful when your site is inaccessible.

One terrific “placeholder” page can be found in Google Chrome: when your internet connection fails, you’ll be presented with a pixelated dinosaur on a gray screen. This is actually a game you can play, and it’s a lot of fun!

11. Proper web management for key site elements

When we talk about “website elements”, we’re referring to everything included on the front end of your site and behind the scenes. Video, images, plugins, text, and all the other crucial components responsible to keep your website performing as it should.

But how do you manage your website elements? You can try the following techniques:

Keep content updated regularly

If you’re satisfied with your website’s performance and feel there’s no real need to adjust your content, you could actually be inhibiting your site’s growth without realizing.

As trends in online content continue to fluctuate frequently, your website can be improved by assessing how well your existing content aligns with said trends. Effective management of a website demands updating content as and when required, to cater to the latest visitor expectations.

That means putting time into research, but that’ll pay off when you drive more traffic, attract new customers, and boost conversions. Still, don’t rush into it: run A/B (or “split”) testing to determine if your new content actually performs better than the material it’s due to replace.

Update plugins to their latest versions

When you have a number of plugins installed on your website, you need to be aware of the latest updates and the changes they make. Plugins are essential for backing up site data, compressing images uploaded, and more.

Updates are released frequently, so stay on top of your plugins to ensure they’re the latest version. They tend to perform more strongly than previous releases, so you can expect your site to function to a higher standard too. Your security will stay up to date, as well, which is vital to defend against cyber attacks.

But updates may cause issues, such as glitches, due to incompatibility problems. If this is the case, another update should be released fairly quickly to minimize the damage.

12. Managing high traffic and related issues

When you run an ecommerce site, there’s a high chance your traffic will spike during busy periods. For example, Black Friday and the run up to Christmas can lead to major increases in traffic volume. But when this happens, you could exceed your server’s capacity limit — causing it to crash.

That could cost you much-needed traffic and eventual conversions. To avoid this problem, try to find a hosting company offering scalable services to ensure you can accommodate more visitors than usual.

Another important component of website management is running high-traffic tests to find out how strongly it can perform in challenging conditions. By checking reports from high-traffic tests, you can identify issues in the structure of the code or your plugins.

You can use these tests with Pingdom and LoadNinja

13. Efficient management of website security

Good security is fundamental for any website today. Hackers have more sophisticated tools at their disposal, enabling them to attack networks of any size, disrupting businesses, hospitals, government operations, and almost anything else.

One of the best ways to safeguard your site is to bring in an expert to review it, identify potential gaps, and recommend preventative actions. Individuals qualified to do this typically have years of experience and outstanding technical skills.

However, even if you choose to follow this recommendation, you can take other steps to boost your website’s security further. Try these:

Password management

A major element of good website management is implementing quality passwords to minimize the risk of security breaches. Even if you set up complex passwords for accessing your website’s backend, these may still be stolen. Hackers continue to find new ways to crack defenses, so effective password management is vital to ensure solid security.

Consider the following:

  • Implement a tool designed to generate passwords, such as LastPass or RoboForm, which can create complex passwords and keep them stored safely for you
  • Don’t use one password for more than one website or application — if it’s stolen, every account it’s connected to could be at risk
  • Alternate your passwords regularly, ideally at least once per week, to ensure any stolen passwords won’t be valid for too long
  • Employ two-factor authentication on your website as an extra security layer

Further steps to improve your website security

To ensure your site’s security further, try these:

  • Renew your site’s SSL certificate as and when required, to prevent your website from being spoofed
  • Contact your hosting company on a regular basis to keep up to date on their current security measures and request recommendations; change to a dedicated server if that’s possible
  • Keep access to your website’s backend out of the hands of people who don’t genuinely need it or have left your business
  • Work with a security expert and ask them to install quality software designed to trace attackers’ IP address, so you can block them to prevent further issues
  • Undertake security testing on your site on a regular basis, such as IndusFace or NetSparker, or you could hire website management services to handle this on your behalf

Security Management under Plesk

Plesk hosting platform has enhanced level of security right from the box. Recently, Plesk launched Advisor, which unifies the best possible security practices and performance tune-up of the server and hosted websites.
Read more about best Plesk Security practices

Summary

We’ve covered a wealth of best practices for effective web management in this guide. To help with future reference or when you’re consulting with providers of website management services, we’ll run through them again below:

Standard maintenance

  1. Backup of your site and its data
  2. Optimize your database for best performance
  3. Check your landing pages
  4. Prepare for downtime and know how to manage it
  5. Check the load times of your website
  6. Take redundant elements out of the site
  7. Check for signs of vulnerabilities in forms on your site
  8. Review your analytics to find valuable insights
  9. Check the performance of your website across all devices and browsers (e.g. Google Chrome)

Effective management of situations related to customer experience

  1. Be responsive to user comments and reviews
  2. Make sure to keep “under maintenance” pages on your site distinctive and engaging

Proper web management for key site elements

  1. Keep your content updated
  2. Keep individual plugins updated regularly

Efficient management of website security

  1. Manage your passwords effectively
  2. Take all further steps required to boost your site’s security

Managing high traffic and related issues

  1. Run tests on your site to assess its ability to cope with high traffic volume

So, by now, you should have gained some valuable insights into website management. While this can take more time than you have to spare, your website will perform at its best in the long run. However, there’s a simple way to get around this: hire a specialist in process automation. They will know how to create codes to complete key processes when required.

This does incur a little more expense, but you’ll have more time to focus on your business and what actually goes onto your website.

Conclusion

For effective website management, you’ll need to keep embracing the latest procedures as you add more and more innovative elements to your site. As a result, the individual(s) responsible for managing your website have to evolve along with it.

Remember: your website is critical for interacting with your customer base, engaging your audience, generating leads, and processing sales. If you can keep your website maintained to a high standard, it will provide the results you need for longer and prevent you from experiencing major disruptions.

 

You may find working with a provider of website management services brings you the best results, particularly if you’re worried about handling multiple website management yourself.

All About PostgreSQL Remote Access Under Plesk

Once you have installed the PostgreSQL database server, you may notice that the remote access mode is unavailable. This is a default setting implemented for effective security. But you might prefer to enable PostgreSQL remote access to the PostgreSQL database server so you can use it remotely from different locations, such as your house or workplace. So, how do you do it? Read on to find out all the key information on Plesk PostgreSQL remote access.

Plesk: What it is and how it works

Plesk and PostgreSQL go together beautifully. You may have heard of Plesk: it’s one of the U.S.’s and Europe’s biggest paid hosting platforms. Different editions are available, and Plesk is designed to support Windows as well as various editions of Linux. These include CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu, Cloud Linux and RedHat.

Database servers are required for Plesk, for the storage of its databases as well as those utilized by its various elements (such as the webmail service). Databases developed by hosting clients’ sites and APS apps (e.g. WordPress) are necessary too.

Plesk can support most of the popular database engines. The list of compatible options includes MySQL and, of course, PostgreSQL. It’s shipped with relevant tools for effective database management, and Plesk is able to work with database servers located on the same server or a remote machine.

We’ll take a closer look at connecting Plesk and PostgreSQL below.

PostgreSQL: What it is and how it works

This database system both utilizes and extends the SQL language. To do this, it leverages an object-relational model that stands apart from others. PostgreSQL is capable of handling highly-demanding workloads, designed to keep data stored safely and affording outstanding scalability. PostgreSQL was created at the University of California at Berkeley, as part of its POSTGRES initiative in the mid-1980s. In the decades since, PostgreSQL has undergone considerable work and adjustment — the core has expanded consistently through rigorous ongoing development.

The open source PostgreSQL community is incredibly committed, which makes this database system one of the best. It enjoys a reputation for ongoing data integrity and extensibility, as well as its strong out-of-the-box functionality. As a result, PostgreSQL can be run on the majority of the biggest operating systems in the world.

Another key facet of PostgreSQL is that it complies with ACID requirements, and has done so for almost two decades. Many solid add-ons can be used with PostgreSQL, too, such as POSTGIS. You can use this extension to utilize geospatial data for your database.

With all this in mind, it’s no surprise that PostgreSQL is regarded as one of the open source community’s biggest relational databases. It’s the primary option for a vast range of companies, individuals and organizations.

Last but not least, PostgreSQL is simple to set up and get running. All you need to do is pick the app you’d prefer to make and rely on PostgreSQL to safeguard your data in a strong database.

Using a Plesk server to configure remote PostgreSQL access

PostgreSQL is set to “localhost” by default — you’ll be refused entry if you attempt to connect to the server from outside the machine.

So, to enable access to PostgreSQL server remotely:

Step 1: Connect to PostgreSQL through SSH

Step 2: Execute the right command to get the location of postgresql.conf file (such as /var/lib/pgsql/data/postgresql.conf): psql -U postgres -c ‘SHOW config_file’

Step 3: Open postgresql.conf file and put this line at the end: listen_addresses = ‘*’

Step 4: Get the location of pg_hba.conf file:

grep pg_hba.conf /var/lib/pgsql/data/postgresql.conf

/var/lib/pgsql/data/pg_hba.conf

where /var/lib/pgsql/data/postgresql.conf is the file resulting from the second step

Step 5: Put this at the end of /var/lib/pgsql/data/pg_hba.conf file: host samerole all 203.0.113.2/32 md5

Some important points:

Connection is allowed from this remote IP: 203.0.113.2/32. If you’re aiming to enable connection from any IP, make sure to specify 0.0.0.0/0 .

The authentication method is md5. This demands that clients provide a double-md5-hashed password for secure authentication.

The user “john.doe” from database example1 can only access that database.

For different methods of authentication, check PostgreSQL documentation.

To put the changes into effect, restart PostgreSQL server through: Plesk > Tools & Settings > Services

Virtual Infrastructure Management Guide – What it is and How to Use it

Long gone are those days when companies depended on massive physical infrastructure hardware like memory, network cards, chips, and processing and storage resources. Virtual infrastructure helps companies of all scale leverage these tools with fewer costs and many other significant advantages.

This article shall look into virtualization and how managing it correctly will help companies scale up significantly.

Virtualization

In the physical infrastructure, we dedicate every server to a specific purpose. But the server may not be used to its full capacity. With virtualization, we can add more functionality to a single server and use it more efficiently. This migration reduces the maintenance and electricity costs of the additional server. With virtualization, we can run multiple virtual machines on a single hardware operating system.

Now how can we run multiple virtual machines on single hardware? The answer is Hypervisor. A software that can run virtual machines on top of hardware or as a hosted software. Let’s find out more!

Hypervisor

When it comes to hypervisors, the are two different types we have to look at: 

  1. Bare-metal Hypervisor. It runs directly on the hardware. These hypervisors have their operating system, and they are known for their stability and performance.
  2. Hosted Hypervisor. It runs inside the operating system. So these have an extra layer of software beneath them when compared to bare-metal Hypervisors. These perform well in restricted and small environments.

Hypervisors are present on top of a computer (operating system) or installed directly onto the server. Hypervisors allocate the physical resources to the virtual machines as they need so that they can work efficiently. Whenever a user or program requests additional resources, the Hypervisor will send a request to the physical hardware. And the changes will save locally.

A virtual machine can be treated as a data file. This data file can be moved from one computer to another and simultaneously work on both.

Types of virtualization:

  • Data Virtualization. It provides us with data from various resources devoid of its format and source for users and applications to use.
  • Desktop Virtualization. It’s sometimes called Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. With VDI, users can access all their files and applications on any computer.
  • Server Virtualization. With server virtualization, the physical hardware servers are divided into virtual servers. These virtual servers can operate multiple Operating Systems (OS).
  • Operating System Virtualization. We can run multiple OS such as Windows and Linux on multiple virtual machines.
  • Network Virtualization. With network virtualization, we can combine multiple hardware networks into a single network called a software-based network and the reverse is also possible.

Physical vs. Virtual Infrastructure

We can have multiple Virtual Machines running on a single physical device using the virtual infrastructure. Instead of allocating a single task to a machine, we can allocate multiple. 

As with the OS, we can install different types of OS in virtual machines. We can install a hosted hypervisor and run Linux OS on the virtual machine.

A virtual infrastructure can mean you have numerous servers and physical resources in a server room to store your business data in an enterprise setting.

Benefits of Virtual Infrastructures

  • Efficiency. Virtual infrastructures make the most efficient use of the physical hardware. Because the virtual machine uses the resources whenever it needs. So some machines are active at times, and others are not. This efficiency will directly result in less wastage.
  • Development and Testing. With the ease of use the virtual machines provide to us with operating systems and application installing, we can easily leverage this on improving both development and testing.
  • Scalable. Virtual servers adapt according to the company’s needs. They got built on the concept of what you use is what you pay.
  • Flexible. It allows for multiple server and networking configurations compared to a hardwired physical infrastructure, which requires more capital and effort to change. Virtual machines are easily portable so that you can move them between servers without problems.
  • Secure. Virtual infrastructure provides us with double security. All the traffic has to go through physical infrastructure first, and then there is additional security between the virtual machines. The security barrier that comes with the separation of virtual machines keeps the system devoid of bugs and viruses. 
  • Load balancing. The soft-ware based server balances the load given to the devices. The load gets distributed equally so that no machine gets more load than the other. 
  • Backup and recovery. If there is a physical infrastructure failure, we have to wait until the system is revived and running again. Virtual machine backups assure us of quick and efficient recovery.

More About Virtual Infrastructure Management

As we have seen, there are many benefits from virtual infrastructure when compared to physical infrastructure – many companies are migrating to the virtual infrastructure. Now, we shall see how we can manage this infrastructure to get the maximum out of it. 

Planning and Design

Many companies make the mistake of not planning well enough before migrating to virtualization. Every area of the company will somehow or the other be affected by the virtual infrastructure migration. Only the administrators and architects are held responsible for planning and design. This approach can lead to further roadblocks in the functioning of the company.

Critical members from every team must be involved in the design process, and everyone should see how the migration affects their team and suggest insights. This design will help smooth functioning even after the migration to the virtual infrastructure.

Efficient planning about the implementation of the infrastructure is also equally important. It may seem tempting to implement everything at once since virtual infrastructure provides us with the new OS, virtual machines, e.t.c. The idea doesn’t work out. A step-by-step plan can help us with implementing the infrastructure efficiently and correctly.

Performance and Capacity

We no longer need to check the performance of the infrastructure manually. Automated tools can help us in performance management, application management, and predictive recommendations. So, with the insights we get from the tools we can make decisions.

There are also many server management tools to monitor, track, and model and predict CPU, memory, network, and storage needs for your virtual environments. We can decide on hardware resources based on this analysis.

Storage

Virtual infrastructure greatly reduces the cost of storage. But the opposite is also true if it is not managed correctly. The virtual infrastructure uses shared networked storage. The migrated data centers always present on the shared networking storage—thousands of copies of data sitting idle on the repository.

The capacity needs should be planned correctly to avoid the wastage of the storage resources. The deduplication of data will help us greatly in reducing storage wastage.

Infrastructure Management 

Virtual sprawl is another major problem in virtual infrastructure management. The speed at which the servers are created is significantly reduced. This speed will lead to creating more and more virtual machines, and some are left in idle state and left unattended. This will directly place the server’s burden in the form of permissions, backups, upgrades, patches, and monitoring. If not monitored correctly, this will lead to a stall.

The solution to this problem is to have a request and approve the process. The management lifecycle should be monitored at all times. The idle virtual machines must be decommissioned immediately, and the storage must be allocated efficiently to the correct virtual machine so that the load is balanced.

Backup and Disaster Recovery

In virtual machines, we cannot load backup into everything. The backup gets loaded on to the shared physical resource. This resource backs up data of all the virtual machines that are running on its hardware. If there are more machines on a single machine, then the load is drastically increased on the hardware. This may lead to malfunction or even failure in the application. This can be taken care of by carefully keeping up with the management lifecycle. The load must be carefully observed so that the backup doesn’t get choked. Otherwise, we could lose so much data in a matter of minutes.

… So, as we’ve seen in this article, virtualization has a lot of advantages that can be leveraged if managed correctly. And we’ve also talked step by step about what is virtualization, types, virtual vs physical infrastructure, benefits of virtual infrastructure, and how we can manage virtual infrastructure for maximum benefits.

Fancy giving virtual infrastructure management a try? You can find more information about our virtualization solutions here (Plesk VPS) and here (SolusIO). Drop us a line in the comment section below if you like to share your experience with virtualization with us. Until next time!

All You Need to Know About the Plesk WordPress Toolkit 4.10 Release

We’re happy to announce the release of The Plesk WordPress Toolkit 4.10, the last major release of the WordPress Toolkit 4.x line. Don’t worry, we’re not abandoning the project. This is simply our way of saying that the next big WordPress Toolkit version is going to start with number 5 – hooray!

Discover the Plesk WordPress Toolkit

WordPress Toolkit 4.10 is also the last major WordPress Toolkit release that supports Plesk Onyx 17.8. Although we’ll continue to release security updates for Plesk Onyx customers until its End of Life. However, if you want to keep getting major new features and improvements, it’s time to update your Plesk. WordPress Toolkit 5.0 will only be available for Plesk Obsidian.

With that said, let’s see what’s new in the Plesk WordPress Toolkit 4.10.

Site Backup

Users have been asking us for a long time to introduce a simple tool for quickly backing up a single WordPress site. Plesk has a great Backup Manager tool that works wonders in the majority of cases, but it might be overkill sometimes. 

Specifically, the issue some customers have with Backup Manager is that it backs up the whole subscription with all its sites and data instead of a single site. This can be particularly annoying if you have several sites on a subscription – for example, one staging site and one production site. 

Backing up such a subscription requires much more time and disk space than needed if you want to back up just your production site, for example.

WordPress Toolkit 4.10 introduces a tool for backing up and restoring individual WordPress sites to address this issue. 

This link has been previously directing users to Plesk Backup Manager for the corresponding subscription. Now it opens a new window for backing up a particular site:

Backing up a site is as simple as clicking Back Up, no configuration or setup is required. A separate directory in the user’s webspace stores all site backups. When you use Plesk Backup Manager to perform a scheduled backup or to back up your stuff to cloud storage, these site backups made by WordPress Toolkit will be usually included.

In addition to backing up your site, you can download backup files to safely store them elsewhere or upload them on a different server. Restoring a backup could actually be quite destructive for a website since its data will be rewritten. So a corresponding warning is shown. Hesitant users are given the option to back up their site before doing a restoration, as a helpful suggestion.

Backup is a very complex and involved topic. So we had to make some compromises to efficiently use our resources. Clicking download icons will take you to File Manager, while in the future it’ll start the download process immediately. We’ll also relax some restrictions on supported backup file names and metadata to make sure that a wider range of WordPress backups is supported for restoration purposes. And the restoration process itself is more user friendly.

Right now, the feature is focused on backing up and restoring data in the context of an existing website hosted in the same place. Working with WordPress Toolkit-made backup files uploaded to a different server is a difficult process now. And we’re looking into improving that in the nearby future.

There aren’t immediate plans to introduce features like cloud backup or scheduled backup – users can employ Plesk Backup Manager for that. The goal of this feature is a quick and effective creation of WordPress site backups for further processing outside of WordPress Toolkit. And this is the direction we’ll be focusing our improvements on in the next releases.

cPanel Support

Our efforts to make WordPress Toolkit work on cPanel are coming to a happy end soon, as the project is going through its final lap already. We still need to fix some issues and add a couple of things, but we’ve already hosted several demos for large hosters, getting very positive feedback.

The product will first launch with the novel pay-as-you-go licensing – available exclusively to a number of hand-picked partners. After a short period of time, it’ll become available to the general public, with a more traditional licensing scheme based on license tiers. Stay tuned for a special announcement to learn more about this landmark event.

Bug Fixes and Multisite Support

Our colleagues in cPanel helped us uncover a couple of potential security issues, which we have promptly addressed. We have also fixed several annoying customer bugs. As far as research goes, we needed to figure out the existing limitations of multisite support in the WordPress Toolkit, so we could improve it in the future releases. Extensive research into multisite support was conducted, and a lot of new information was unearthed. 

Now, we have a clear understanding of what we should fix to make WordPress Toolkit work better with multisites.

Future Plans – What’s Next?

The team is already working hard on WordPress Toolkit 5.0, which will also be the first public WordPress Toolkit release for cPanel. This version increase also warrants changes in WordPress Toolkit UI to make sure it focuses on important things and stays responsive, flexible, and useful. 

After the release of WordPress Toolkit for cPanel the team will have more free hands to work on feature requests and various improvements. So we expect a lot of interesting things to be released until the end of the year. Keep your feedback coming, and we’ll keep the releases going! 🙂

Once again, many thanks to the whole WordPress Toolkit team for their hard work. And thank you for your attention. If you have a question related to the Plesk WordPress Toolkit, please let us know in the comment section below. Until next time!

Announcing Plesk Onyx Support Policy Update

Calling to all Plesk Onyx users – it’s time to say goodbye to your current software version. The dynamic hosting industry evolves very quickly. And our goal as a WebOps leading platform is to provide our customers with the best solutions. Plesk Obsidian entered the game so you can access the most complete tool on the market. With optimal usability, increased productivity, tougher default security, and many more key improvements.

With the launch of Obsidian last year, Plesk ended the era of upgrades and introduced the era of short releases. Switching to regular updates is imperative to always deliver a secure and stable version of Plesk. That is, with new features and improvements that partners and customers expect to get from an intelligent software solution. Find out more about Plesk Obsidian 18.0 mass update and new partner controls in this article. Also, keep in mind that only Obsidian gives you access to the full extensions catalog.

In order to fully accompany you to make the digital transformation easier, we provide you with the best support, that requires an update to the latest software version. In this regard, Plesk has an end-of-life support policy which is primordial in order to deliver innovative and cost-effective solutions.

Plesk Version Lifecycle

The table below describes when specific versions of Plesk will enter the extended support phase and when patches for critical issues will no longer be available. If the Plesk version in use is EoL (End of Life), Plesk strongly recommends upgrading to a supported Plesk version.

Product Released Extended Support* End of Life**
Plesk Obsidian June 4, 2019 *** not applicable not applicable
Plesk Onyx October 11, 2016 October 11, 2020 April 20, 2021

*In terms of Plesk Onyx, there is a 4-year support period, after which the product will no longer be available for new purchases and will only receive patches for critical issues. The Extended Support Period is six months starting from October 2020.

**End of Life: Once the Extended Support period is over, the product will stop receiving further development (including critical patches), and technical support requests will no longer be accepted.

*** Starting from this date, Plesk began accepting technical support requests for Plesk Obsidian (General Availability version launched on October 22nd, 2019).

Benefits of Auto-updates

It’s worth noting that Plesk is committed to supporting only Plesk Obsidian (18.x), and not older versions than the two previously released.

Here’s a good example. If a user installs Plesk 18.05.28 as a fresh instance but after a few weeks decides to install a new instance, its version will be 18.0.29 and not 18.0.28 anymore. Nonetheless, version 18.0.28 will still be supported until the following two newer versions are released – in this case, until version 18.0.30 is released.

This is why it’s very important to check your current version of your Plesk before asking for support. It’s possible that you’re no longer using a supported version – that is, the current version or the one before – and all you need to do is to update your Plesk to get full performance. You can turn the update option on to automatically update versions and simplify your admin tasks – at the end of the day, this is what Plesk’s here for 🙂  

Essential benefits of auto-updates are the following:

  1. No need to upgrade or migrate to a new major version each year.
  2. Immediate access to new features or improve existing ones.
  3. Constantly patching potential security vulnerabilities.
  4. Boosted speed and performance.
  5. Protection of user’s data.

You can find more information about Plesk Support Policy end-of-life on our lifecycle policy and change log pages. 

Got any questions about short releases and the Plesk Obsidian auto-updates? Drop us a line in the comment section below!