Dynamic List vs. Active List: A Comprehensive Comparison – Unveiling the Ultimate Winner!

Three years ago, we introduced the Dynamic List – a revamped design for the domain list and domain overview – to address the various issues that were reported by our customers. Since then, we have been dedicated to enhancing it further to better cater to the needs of our customers. The Dynamic List has already garnered positive feedback, with 82% of server administrators and 65% of client-level users adopting it.

We are committed to continually improving the Dynamic List based on our customers’ requests. To achieve this more efficiently, we have decided to discontinue the Active List starting from March 2024. In this article, you will discover why it is advisable to switch to the dynamic list without delay!

Issue: Difficulty in finding the right domain among many – excessive scrolling required

If we examine the previous layouts of the domain list – Classic and Active – they are complete opposites. The Classic list offers a concise view, accommodating a large number of domains on a single screen. However, accessing essential tools necessitates navigating to a separate page. On the other hand, the Active list provides immediate access to all tools but requires endless scrolling, since each domain occupies an entire screen. This poses a nightmare scenario when faced with a list containing 10, 20, or even 100 domains, making it incredibly challenging to find the right one.

What customers say

  • “When a server contains a considerable number of domains, the screen becomes excessively long, necessitating inconvenient scrolling. In some cases, the domain I’m searching for may not even be shown. So I switch to the Classic list, which functions more adequately. However, the Classic list offers only limited options that can be executed immediately.”

  • “Active list is very spread out, even for a small number of hosted domains it requires a lot of scrolling.”

  • “Sometimes I don’t find the item I’m looking for. It’s some kind of mess.”

The Dynamic list has been designed to incorporate the best features from both the Classic and the Active list: all the tools are readily available within the list itself. The most frequently used tools are conveniently placed within the table rows, allowing for quick access with a single click. Additionally, the domain-focused search feature assists in locating the desired domain without the need for exhaustive scrolling.

Issue: Difficulty in tracking the relationship between domains, subdomains, and aliases

In the current Active list, domains are displayed as standalone cards without any visible connections. This lack of cohesion has posed a significant challenge for users attempting to track the relationships between domains, subdomains, and aliases.

What customers say

  • “If you have a lot of aliases and subdomains, it can be difficult to find the one you want quickly.”

In the Dynamic list, all child domains are presented in a clear and intuitive manner, maintaining a direct connection to their main domain. This level of organization and coherence allows users to effortlessly assess the number of related domains, swiftly navigate to the desired one, and effectively trace and eliminate any duplicates or irrelevant entities. With the Dynamic list, the frustrating days of struggling to establish domain relationships are a thing of the past.

Issue: Difficulty in identifying domains with specific installations, such as WordPress

In Plesk, each domain serves as a container for various types of websites, ranging from CMS platforms to web applications and server components for mobile apps. However, it can be quite challenging for users to pinpoint domains with specific installations, such as those running WordPress or utilizing Laravel.

Here’s what our customers have expressed:

  • “It’s a struggle to identify domains where I have WordPress installed. This makes it time-consuming to manage and maintain specific websites.”

In the Dynamic list, domains with WordPress or Laravel installations are clearly indicated by dedicated icons in the quick actions section of each list item. With just a click on the corresponding icon, you can seamlessly access the respective toolkit, enabling you to efficiently manage and optimize your websites.

Issue: Accidentally editing the wrong domain causing data loss and downtime

Picture this scenario: You select a domain, make changes to its settings, proceed to upload dozens of files, and unknowingly overwrite the existing ones. Suddenly, the realization hits you that you’ve been working on the wrong domain. This unfortunate situation has been faced by some of our customers, resulting in websites being offline for hours or even longer, as well as the arduous task of restoring corrupted data from backups, if available. For those without backups, it has been an absolute disaster.

It’s evident that relying solely on the domain name is not foolproof for identifying the correct domain. Recognizing this issue, we have incorporated the website’s favicon directly into the list and included a screenshot of the main page in the domain overview. These visual cues provide users with additional hints to ensure they are working on the intended domain.

With the inclusion of the favicon and screenshot in the Dynamic list, you can now easily identify the website you are working with at a glance, minimizing the risk of accidental modifications to the wrong domain.

Additionally, we have introduced the option to work with domains in an isolated manner on a separate page. This feature proves invaluable when you need to perform a series of operations using different tools and have to navigate between them back and forth.

To access the isolated domain view, there are multiple convenient methods. Firstly, simply hover your mouse over the domain name in the list row, and a special icon will appear, allowing you to open the domain on a separate page with a single click.

Secondly, if you find yourself on a tool page such as “Databases” or “SSL/TLS Certificates” and need to return to the domain overview, you can effortlessly click on the domain name in the page header, instantly taking you to the isolated domain overview page.

Lastly, those who prefer managing domains in isolation at all times can customize this behavior by enabling the corresponding setting in the domain list settings menu. By doing so, the domain overview will consistently open on a separate page, ensuring a focused domain management experience.

By the way, we made an unexpected discovery regarding a screenshot of a website: if there is a critical problem on your website that affects the rendering of the main page, the screenshot can give you an early hint about it.

Issue: Difficulty in locating the necessary controls in the domain overview

Within the domain overview, a multitude of essential tools awaits, offering the means to streamline the development process, ensure website security and stability, and tackle emerging issues. However, even experienced Plesk users often find themselves lost amidst the sea of icons, let alone newcomers.

What customers say:

  • The domain list is too cluttered. Way too many options are shown. Some of them with unclear functionality. And no structure.

  • For the new user, there are a lot of icons and text. This can be overwhelming, causing visual strain.

  • A mix of shortcuts for overarching settings that apply for everything like email and domains, (DNS for example), settings that are only website hosting specific, and settings that are purely mail specific.

To address this challenge, we have implemented a solution that reduces the number of controls. Some controls now appear only when the corresponding CMS or application, such as WordPress, Laravel, or Ruby, is installed on the domain. To access the desired application, simply select the corresponding option during the domain creation process or through the “Install Application” feature.

Additionally, we have divided the remaining options into distinct sections that align with various aspects of domain management. Actions associated with mail management, for instance, have been relocated to separate tabs within the domain overview. However, for those who prioritize mail management as their primary task in Plesk, we have provided a quick link directly in the domain list row, enabling swift access to mail-related functionalities.

Try the Dynamic list now, if you haven’t yet, and share your feedback

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience the power of the Dynamic list. If you haven’t tried it yet, we encourage you to do so and share your valuable feedback.

In our commitment to progress, we will be discontinuing the Active List starting from March 2024. We understand that transitioning to a new layout may require time and effort in rebuilding your workflow and knowledge base. That is why we are providing a six-month transition period. If you encounter any significant obstacles during this transition, we are eager to discuss them and explore possible improvements.

Feel free to share your thoughts through our Typeform survey, the Facebook community, or the Plesk Forum. Together, we can shape the future of domain management and ensure a seamless experience for all.

Take action now and be a part of the transformative journey toward enhanced domain management. Your feedback is instrumental in helping us deliver the best solutions for your needs.

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