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!

Plesk Obsidian Auto-Updates – the Beginning of a Short Releases Era

Plesk Obsidian short releases

Starting from Plesk Obsidian (major version 18), Plesk is moving away from long periods of time between major releases. Hence, taking the continuous delivery approach. Just like your mobile phone gets periodic updates, your Plesk server will also receive Plesk Obsidian auto-updates each month.

On July 8, we enabled the automatic updates for our Partners and introduced additional functionalities in Partner Central. Thus allowing us to schedule updates for specific days of the week. You can get more info in our partner auto-updates article here.

Automatic updates for the previous Plesk version (Onyx) became available for Partners earlier this year. And this resulted in the highest last version adoption growth in Plesk so far. From July to September 2019, the number of servers running Onyx 17.8 increased by 13% after activating automatic updates.

Plesk Servers by Version Distribution

Plesk server distribution

Short Releases in Plesk Obsidian

From Plesk Obsidian onwards, the release tiers used before – Early adopters, General release and Later adopter release – become obsolete. Starting from major version 18, Plesk will ship monthly updates to your Plesk server(s). The only supported version will be the major version 18. So, we will support the last minor version and the version preceding Plesk Obsidian, including of course, the major version itself. For more details, please refer to the Plesk Lifecycle Policy.

Weekly updates with patches and bug fixes are also a thing of the past. Because everything including new Obsidian features will come directly through the regular monthly updates.

Plesk Obsidian Auto-updates: Why Are We Doing This?

There are three main reasons behind the Plesk Obsidian Auto-updates decision:

  1. Delivering new features to our Partners will be faster and more regular.
  2. We’re going for simplified alignment with Plesk extensions development.
  3. We don’t want our Partners to worry about staying on the latest version.
    Once a Partner opted for an auto-update, their servers will automatically get on the latest updated version.

Coming Soon: New Controls in Partner Central & Plesk

Currently, in Partner Central, Partners can select the weekdays when Plesk can install automatic updates. Soon we’ll be adding further customization settings for updates scheduling.

Anything More to Know? (Frequently Asked Questions)

A: Yes, you can. However, we don’t recommend it because this way you don’t get any security updates and your Plesk server is unprotected. Plesk doesn’t accept any security-related claims in case of disabled auto-updates.
A: In Partner Central, you can select your choice of weekdays for updates installation. Please check our partner auto-updates article here for more details.
A: Your server will automatically update to the latest available Obsidian release. Be careful: Plesk does not recommend this scenario, because as you will skip several releases, updating through several Plesk versions might result in issues due to untested scenarios.

Top Hosting Providers for WordPress Developer Features

Hosting Providers for WordPress

Not all hosting providers are developer-friendly. They’re nice guys and all – but they simply may not have what you need to grow. But what WordPress developer features should you be looking out for? Let’s talk about PHP management and auto-updates, WP-CLI, WordPress Mass Management, Secure Shell (SSH) Access, Git.

Important WordPress Developer Features

Important WordPress Developer Features

We all want to make a great impression. So do hosting providers when presenting themselves to the developers. However, you should know better what’s just glitter and what’s substance. Here are the winning features they should provide.

PHP Management and Auto-Updates

One of the reasons you may choose to buy something over another is the flexibility of change anytime you want. The same goes for hosting providers who offer the ability to change the version of PHP used for WordPress. They may also let you activate/deactivate various PHP modules. Where PHP is involved, you need to look out for hosting providers with top performance too.

Coming second as preference are the providers who only offer the ability to change the version of PHP used for WordPress – but not PHP modules. Only being able to modify PHP variables without a PHP version or module management just isn’t good enough to consider.

Hosters need to find a way for WordPress core to update itself automatically, without having to take any actions. Auto-updates can be by default – and it’s equally fine if a setup wizard or control panel is in place. Providers who offer no assistance with updates or management around updates don’t make the cut.

WP-CLI

Nobody likes bottlenecks – hence, providers who offer the ability to utilize WordPress WP-CLI as a built-in feature are excellent choices. Or simply if they allow the use of WP-CLI from local or remote hosting.

WordPress Mass Management

Multitasking is the way forward in almost everything we do nowadays. In the WordPress sphere, this means being able to perform multiple actions with a single click – Or even the same action on multiple sites simultaneously. Such as applying updates to WordPress core, plugins and/or themes, security checks or any sort of analysis.

For more info on how you can get a handle on self-management, check out our detailed article on Managed vs. Unmanaged WordPress Hosting. Choosing managed or unmanaged hosting depends on your needs, but ultimately WordPress mass management should fall into your consideration.

Secure Shell (SSH) Access

Providers who offer the ability to access WordPress via SSH go on the winning list. SSH does not need to be available by default. But if the customer wants it, the provider should make it easy to enable it.

Git

We like it neat. Git allows you to group the changes in the source code so you have them at hand later on. Providers who offer some type of Git integration or services are part of this category.

Top-Performing Hosters for WordPress Developer Features

Top Hosters for WordPress

When it comes to WordPress web developer top performers, in the Cloud Spectator Report you can find the winners. The only ones who got an A, but not an A+ were HOSTPRESS, CONETIX, and ZNETLIVE with 92%. The hosting providers have in place WP-CLI, mass management, auto-updates, SSH updates, Git, and only partial PHP management.

Second rankers are A2Hosting, BLUEHOST, HOSTINGER. They have full PHP management in place, but missed on implementing either Git, in case of A2Hosting, or mass management – the latter two.

The Raspberry Awards in this category go to 34SP.com, FlyWheel, and Pressable. All of them failed to implement four of the must-haves to get a developer-friendly badge. Therefore, we’ve narrowed down the essential list of WordPress developer features that hosting providers shouldn’t miss. Look out for PHP management, WP-CLI, mass management, Git, and SSH access.

WordPress Features, from Plesk to Developers

Plesk WordPress Toolkit makes a great impression on even the more advanced developers for its one-click “build – secure – run” features. That are simple, yet appeal to both amateurs and experts.

WordPress Toolkit

Build with Plesk WordPress Toolkit

When building a WordPress website, a developer needs to be fast and furious. Plesk’s WordPress Toolkit provides easy installation, a staging environment, and theme and plugin management. In one click, you’ll download WordPress, then create a database with a DB user and an admin account.

The staging environment allows you to experiment with new ideas and only when you are convinced by them, will you go forward. You can also push the on/off button for plugins on one or several WordPress instances. From WordPress Toolkit 4.0 upwards, you even get remote management. Basically letting you bring any WordPress instances on remote Plesk servers to your WordPress Toolkit management area.

Security at Hand

Click on the magic Secure button to detect and protect your core installations. Just check for the items you wish to harden, push the button and carry on. Here you’re getting the latest security recommendations and best practices from WP Codex and WP security experts. Meaning you don’t need to be a security expert or have an on-hand team – because it’s already there for you.

Run and Play

When you hiccup, you drink a glass of water. When your site hiccups, you run Restore Points, and everything goes the way it used to be. Bug invasion? Plesk WordPress Toolkit is going to keep you away from it with debug management.

When updating your WordPress plugins or themes, go into the maintenance mode with a single click. Moreover, with WP-CLI, you can import a database, create a new user, and update themes in a flash.

It’s not an amateur tool, so it’s for the WordPress developers with a bit more experience.  But it’s a small purchase that helps you save a lot of time. Hence becoming more productive, cost-effective – and ultimately more profitable.

We’d love to hear your experiences with developer-friendly providers. So drop a line in the comments and let us know if we got it right or wrong!