Plesk on DigitalOcean is now a one-click app

Smart Updates now included in WP Toolkit Deluxe

According to Alex Konrad, Forbes Editor of the Cloud 100 list, Cloud companies like DigitalOcean are revolutionizing how businesses reach their customers today. From digitizing painful old processes to allowing them more time to focus on what they really care about. This is what makes their products unique.

As a Web Professional (Developer, Agency owner, IT Admin) your goal is to provide valuable services to your customers. You want to be able to focus on the things you’re good at. And leave the nitty gritty of technical server management, cost streamlining, running instances, backups, and account management to a VPS. Because a virtual private server fits this purpose exactly. Tired of managing infrastructure and security, when what you want is to focus on coding and improving your product or service? Then Plesk Onyx is the ideal solution.

What is Digital Ocean?

We know DigitalOcean, founded in 2011, as a cloud infrastructure provider with a “developer first” mentality. They simplify web infrastructure for software developers and their mission is to smooth out the complexities of infrastructure. How? By offering one simple and robust platform for developers to easily launch and scale their applications. DigitalOcean is now the second largest and fastest-growing cloud computing platform of all public apps and websites, according to Netcraft.

Over 750,000 registered customers have launched more than 20 million Droplets combined on DigitalOcean. The company is now investing heavily in advancing its platform to further support growing teams and larger applications in production.

DigitalOcean cloud hosting
Image: DigitalOcean

Plesk on DigitalOcean

Plesk manages and secures over 380,000 servers, automates 11 million websites and at least 19 million mailboxes. It’s the leading WebOps, Hosting and Web Server Control Panel to build, secure and run your applications, websites and hosting business. You’ll find it in 32 languages and 140 countries, with 50% of the top 100 worldwide service providers partnering with Plesk today.

Key Plesk Onyx Features

The versatile Plesk Onyx control panel
  • The WebOps platform

Manage all your domains, DNS, applications websites and mailboxes from one single platform.

  • DigitalOcean DNS – integrated into Plesk

The free Plesk DigitalOcean extension integrates Plesk with the DigitalOcean DNS service. This web service is highly available and scalable and you can use it as an external DNS service for your domains. The extension will automatically sync DNS zones between Plesk and DigitalOcean DNS. Here’s how:

  1. After installing Plesk, add your first domain/website.
  2. Then navigate to the domain and click “DigitalOcean DNS” for that domain.
  3. Enter your DigitalOcean API credentials into the extension. Or use OAuth to authorize your DigitalOcean account.
  4. Start having your domains in sync with Digital Ocean DNS.
  • Automated Server Administration

Easily manage your server, including automated updates, application deployment, monitoring, backups and maintenance.

  • User-Friendly Interface

One dashboard to manage multiple sites. Build websites, run updates, monitor performance, and onboard new customers from one place.

  • Security

Plesk on DigitalOcean secures  your applications and websites automatically.  You get a firewall, fail2ban and a web application installed and activated by default. Plus various additional options available on demand as Plesk Extensions. Or by simply upgrading to a Premium Plesk Edition.

  • Ready-to-Code Environment

Enable and manage multiple PHP versions and configurations, JavaScript, Perl, Ruby or Node.js, all in one-click. Every stack is deployed automatically and allows you to do custom configurations as you need.

  • Self-Repair Tools

We built automated healing and recovery functionality into Plesk, so many technical issues can self-repair without any need for support. This starts at fully-automated (safe) updates, including all OS components. And goes to various available manual self-repair tools up to a complete repair panel, in the unlikely event of something going wrong. Additionally, Plesk continuously monitors all relevant system components’ health, and provides notifications to the administrator before something goes wrong.

  • Multi-Language support

Plesk is available in 32 languages.

  • Plesk Extensions

Plesk  is a super-light application, automating all your server components and management needs on Lightsail in a single environment. As your business needs grow, you can use the in-app Plesk Extensions catalog to enable additional features on-demand. Many are free and some provide extra value when premium. Get access by clicking on “Extensions” inside Plesk itself.

Plesk WP Toolkit – secure and simple

Staging environment best practices - Plesk WordPress Toolkit

Find full details on Plesk WP Toolkit here, but here are some key features below.

  • WordPress Simplified:

One-click installer to initialize and configure WordPress from start to finish. One dashboard to mass-manage multiple WordPress instances.

  • Secure Against Attacks

Hardens your site by default, further enhanced with the Toolkit’s security scanner. No security expertise necessary.

  • Run and Automate your WordPress

Singularly or mass-execute updates to the WP core, themes or plugins. Monitor and run all your WordPress sites from one dashboard.

  • Simple, but not Amateur

Get full control with WP-CLI, maintenance mode, debug management, search engine index management and more.

  • Stage and Test*

Test new features and ideas in a sandbox before pushing them to production – No plugins required, no separate server needed.

  • Cut Out Complexity*

Stage, Clone, Sync, Update, Migrate and more. Execute all these complex tasks with one click. No more high-risk activities or stressed-out dev teams.

  • Smart Updates powered by AI*

Smart Updates, included in WP Toolkit Deluxe, analyzes and performs your WordPress updates without breaking your site. Otherwise, it will warn you the update may be dangerous.

  • One-Click Performance Optimized*

You can reach a maximum performance of your WordPress sites and no time and with great simplicity. Just enable NGINX caching in one click and combine with Speed Kit, powered by a distributed Fastly® CDN and Varnish cache.

*Some of these features are not available within the free Plesk Web Admin SE but require an upgrade to a higher value premium edition of Plesk or Plesk Extension.

Plesk on DigitalOcean (free) includes Plesk Web Admin Edition SE, a free version of Plesk with up to 3 domains and good for small websites and certain limitations. To gift yourself with a higher value Plesk edition, check out our Plesk Upgrades.

How to deploy Plesk on DigitalOcean

  1. First, log in to your DigitalOcean account.

2. Then, from the main dashboard, click “Droplets” and “Create” -> “Droplets”.

Plesk on DigitalOcean now a one-click app - How to deploy - Create Droplet

3. Under “Choose an image”, click “one-click apps”

4. Select “Plesk”.

5. Choose your size and then a data center region. If you plan to host small business websites, we recommend choosing the zone closest to their geographic location to reduce page load times for local visitors.

Note: Plesk runs smoothly with 1GB RAM and 1 vCPU for smaller websites and environments. Running many websites or higher traffic requires a larger droplet size.
Please also refer to the Plesk infrastructure requirements for details.

Plesk on DigitalOcean now a one-click app - Finalize and create Droplet

6. Additional options such as Private networkingBackupsUser data, and Monitoring are not necessary for most Plesk users. Then click “Create”.

7. You can log in to your droplet using:

  • A root password, which you will receive by email. If you go with this option, skip the “Add your SSH keys” step and go to the next one.
    • Just type in your browser: https://<your-droplet-IP>:8443 . You will potentially see for 30 seconds some finishing procedure of the automatic deployment. Afterwards you will automatically land in the initial on-boarding of Plesk.
  • An SSH key. If you go with this option, click New SSH key to add a new SSH key or select a previously added key (if you have any).

Note: Using SSH keys is a more secure way of logging in. If you use a root password, we strongly recommend that you log in to the droplet command line and change the root password received by email. The command line will automatically prompt you to do so.

Enjoy and let us know if there are any questions!


  1. Hi,

    You can speed up the creation of Droplet with next user script at step #5 and skip section “Connecting the instance via SSH”:


    sh <(curl || wget -O –

    /usr/local/psa/bin/init_conf -u -passwd YoUR_PAS5W0RD-here

  2. This is fantastic. We actually have a current need for this and had just been experimenting with digitalocean the past week. Thanks for this writeup.

  3. Hi,

    Great article, just one question. As someone thats coming from using Plesk with a “regular” hosting provider. Whats the process for keeping the linux install patched/updated from a security perspective? (We chose CentOS).

    • Matt, Thank you!

      There are two ways.

      In-place upgrade is performed using Plesk Installer on the same server. This strategy can be used if the OS installed on the server is supported by the target Plesk version and has not been discontinued under the terms of the Plesk Lifecycle Policy. However, if the server has hosting software that is not supported by the target Plesk version (for example, hMailServer, MDaemon, or Gene6 FTP Server), it is strongly recommended to do an upgrade by transfer.

      Upgrade by transfer is the process of switching to the latest Plesk version by moving all of the hosting data and settings from the current Plesk server to a server with the latest version of Plesk installed. This strategy is preferred when upgrading servers with an OS that either falls under the end-of-life policy or is approaching the support termination date. Upgrade by transfer also allows you to minimize downtime of services on the production server, as websites stay online while the transfer is in progress.

      You will find more tips here:

  4. What about licensing? Do you consider a droplet a VPS or a dedicated server?

  5. It depends. A VPS server would be considered the in-between hosting option, perfect for when you have outgrown shared hosting but aren’t ready for a dedicated server just yet.

    It may matter in how you configure things. DigitalOcean Droplets are KVM virtual machines.

    License types are based on the operating environment in which Plesk will be running:

    VPS licenses can be used only on virtual instances based on hypervisor technology such as Virtuozzo, Xen, “KVM”, Hyper-V, or VMware.

    Dedicated server licenses can be installed on either a dedicated server or on a VPS (Virtual Private Server).

  6. What does mean “WARNING!
    Some problems are found during create reverse DNS zone – there is error during utility ‘/opt/psa/admin/sbin/mk_reverse_zone’ execution, please fix the problem and run it again.(see log file: /var/log/plesk/install/plesk_17.0.17_installation.log)”


  7. good morning and excellent article

      I have a question, I have a droplet in production with magento, is it possible to install the plesk control panel without causing problems to the website? or is it necessary to start from a clean machine?

    thanks and good job

  8. nice feel like going back to DO

  9. This article is out of sync with the current Digital Ocean UI, and also seems to leave out at least one step (the reverse DNS lookup doesn’t work because the hostname isn’t set up properly on a new droplet), so there’s some missing info on droplet prep. The one-click install CLI command in the post doesn’t work (I found one elsewhere on the website using Google that does work). Finally, the post doesn’t tell you how to log in to Plesk (what’s the username and password?), so I couldn’t actually get it configured.

    You really need to update this article to provide complete step-by-step instructions. The whole reason that I’m installing Plesk is that I don’t want to learn how to be a Linux admin, so expecting me to know stuff that an admin would know is not really reasonable.

    • You are right. And also the documentation at digital ocean is not correct. You only get the password per mail, when you NOT choose to use SSH. When you use an ssh key, you don’t get this email with the password! (Not unimportant to mention huh?)

      Then you need to login as root (with ssh key) with putty. There is written how to get a temporary link to setup putty.

      But anyway: It’s so annoying working with it because the whole thing is so buggy and unstable.

  10. I encountered an issue which I cannot view my site after initial installation via SSH my chrome keeps loading the url but eventually it displays an error message “This site cannot be reached, took too long to response”.

    It turns out that port 8443 is disabled on my droplet I had to run “sudo ufw allow 8443” in order to continue.

    Try that if you have similar issue.

  11. This seems to be under the assumption I have purchased a license. I have not, but I do use the DO service, and have for quite some time. Does this mean I simply need to setup my server accordingly and plesk and DO will work in tandem, and I do not have to purchase a separate key?

  12. Nice helpful article.
    I see that other cloud server providers are offering Plesk for free, but i am not sure if its free to install Plesk on DigitalOcean or do we have to buy license from Plesk ?

  13. Annoying article – please allow us to copy the command easily and simply!!!

  14. Hi, is it possible to use DO Volumes as additional storage for Plesk?

    I guess plesk sees the additional (volume) drive but we can not use it for webspaces, is this issue still the same?


  15. Can Plesk be installed on managed Kubernetes service from Digital Ocean?

    Will we able to benefit ourselves from high availability using your one click app? This would be really nice.

  16. @Juan Manuel – unfortunately Plesk is not yet tested on the new Kubernetes Service of DigitalOcean. But we are happy to look into this with them to see how this could benefit our one-click application there, especially from a high availability point of view.

  17. I deploy Plesk on DigitalOcean, but when I install plesk I don’t go through droplets (one-click apps). my question do I get Plesk Web Admin Edition SE, a free version of Plesk with up to 3 domains?

  18. Hello @aep saeful hidayat – thanks for your question.

    Unfortunately, the free Web Admin SE edition is only free when using the installation over the one-click droplet as then the license is coming with it.

    In case you install Plesk yourself, you can either use a trial or alternatively buy a license from here:

    Usually, there is no need to install Plesk on DigitalOcean by hand – as the one-click app is a fully functional Plesk and just a different license (and you can upgrade at any time over

    hope it helps


  19. This thing is the newest badass joke from Plesk.
    It’s unstable as crap. From time to time it just caps the public network connection to your droplet forever. Then the droplet is only reachable from the DO web condsole. Not via putty, not via browser anymore. Not via reboot. There is nothing you can do against it.
    You can just restore the droplet fron a backup or snapshot, and wait till it happens again. Maybe after a couple of minutes, maybe after a couple of days. But it will happen, that’s for sure.
    again and again and again and again and again.

    What is this thing good for? Do you really think we put a serious website on this buggy joke thing?

    And yeah, it’s not digital ocean that causes this. it’s plesk. because when you reboot the droplet, you can reach the droplet for a short time via putty again, till plesk is loaded.

    • Hi @Daniel,

      Thank you for the feedback and sorry that you had such experience. Could you please contact our support so they can check about your issues? They are available 24×7 and the best place to get such things in order.

      thank you for understanding


  20. Hi i have installed Plesk with CentOs 7 on my digitalOceans account and after login when i click try to open phpMyAdmin associated with Plesk :8443/phpMyAdmin it comes up with error

    phpMyAdmin – Error
    Error during session start; please check your PHP and/or webserver log file and configure your PHP installation properly. Also ensure that cookies are enabled in your browser.

    session_start(): open(SESSION_FILE, O_RDWR) failed: No such file or directory (2)

    session_start(): Failed to read session data: files (path: @@PMA_TEMP_DIR@@/session)

  21. Is this better than manually installing it and who offers support for plesk?

    • Hi Felix
      It is the same (or better) than installing it manually. The version on DigitalOcean provides you a built-in free license for up to 3 domains as well as support for the first 30 days for free.

      After the first 30 days and to have continued free support, you may either purchase a paid license of Plesk or a support package.

      Details can be found here:

      thank you 🙂

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