The Comfortable Advantages of the Hosting Control Panel

Hosting control panel Plesk

Let’s be honest. We all have enough to think about without constant security worries, micro-managing customers, and recovering lost versions of work.

But as a web admin, a lot of time and effort goes into these repetitive tasks every single day. Decades of complex back-ends have left end customers dependent on expert coverage for their sites, leaving necessary but mundane responsibilities to the IT crowd. 

Well, web admins and developers rejoice! The web and server landscape is rapidly transforming to allow automated management. 

Let’s say you need multiple new websites, and they have to be secured. Let’s say you need them backed up regularly, maybe when you’re not even at your desk. Some old sites need to be migrated and your SEO rank is tanking. That’s a lot to handle, right? 

Enter: The Control Panel. Web and server management, taken care of in a few clicks. *Breathe a sigh of relief*. 

So what can you expect from Plesk Hosting Control Panel? Read on.

 

Ease

What you need is a functioning system. But what you want is simplicity. 

With a single interface that organises multiple sites, giving you clear updates on security, back-ups and running efficiency, you can have both. Instead of juggling tools and manually monitoring each and every site’s health, the control panel takes care of complex tasks in moments.

Features like one-click deployment, mail server support, and automated health alerts allow quick streamlining of multiple tasks. On potentially unlimited domains, wherever you are.

Service provider view Plesk

Multiple customer management. Easy monitoring. Backup and security tasks lined up neatly. You’re welcome.

Security

Security is the #1 priority of any online business. Without it, customers won’t even be able to access your page. For that reason, web admins and hosters spend sleepless nights ensuring that their servers and customers are protected.

Under a web manager, you can sleep easy. Besides the necessities like SSL certificates, managed packages compile firewalls, encryptions, antivirus and more, holding the fort for you and your customers.

And guess what? Even your data is backed up and protected in the event of downtime or tricky updates, with a helpful advisor that keeps an eye on that status of your server at all times.

 

Advisor control panel Plesk

Speed

Unboxing any new feature for your site, or indeed setting up the server and domain for the site itself, can be time and soul-consuming tasks. However, web managers – or control panels – are set up with a catalog of extensions that can be installed and launched in minutes, and certain features can become active in one. Single. Click.

Heaven.

Not to mention the inbuilt performance monitor to show how fast your site is running and flagging any issues. So it keeps up the speed for your website visitors too. 

Want to automate your speed optimization? The Speed Kit is just a click away.

 

Speed Kit Plesk baqend

Efficiency

So you’re able to work fast, in total security, with ease. And it’s available on desktop and mobile for full control on-the-go. Just in case you needed further convincing. 

What else could you want?

Well there’s even more on offer if you leave traditional single-track hosting and web management behind:

 

Extensions efficiency Plesk

🚀 SEO Toolkit to put your website on the map,

🚀 G Suite integration because, well, who doesn’t use G Suite, 

🚀 Ultra-streamlined Premium Email with calendar and task lists,

and many more practical tools for WordPress, file and server management, all in one place. In fact, enjoy +100 add-ons beside what the Plesk interface already has built-in. Just, you know, for luck.

 

The future of web management has never been so clear. Customers are no longer content with sourcing each element of the online process in separate locations. They need just one, managed, safe place to work on what they love. 

Conclusion? Hosting control panels are good for the soul.

Ready to take the leap? See options for building and managing your web here

 

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How Formerly Skeptical IP-Projects Turned Direct Plesk Partner

How IP-Projects Turned Direct Plesk Partner

What makes our customers and partners tick? We asked Michael Schinzel, Managing Director at IP-Projects and long-term Plesk partner about what made them choose us. Seems it was a shift of perception, proper support when in need, and open discussions about prices. 

Who are IP-Projects?

The hosting company IP-Projects focuses on personalized direct customer support and its mantra is to solve the needs of its customers. And these very customers asked specifically for Plesk. Why? Because they prefer a user interface that allows them to create and manage domains within seconds – within a single platform.

Watch Michael Schinzel tell the full story of how the “rather small or medium-sized” IP-Projects powered up with Plesk. 

So, based on a pure cost /benefit analysis, Michael says IP-Projects opened up to Plesk. But it was not an instant decision.

Initial Reservations of Plesk and Change of Perception

The start was not very optimistic, as IP-Projects was rather reserved towards using Plesk. The perception was that it was a rather confusing and complicated management panel, some time back in 2011. Therefore, Michael recalls, “until the time when our former license partner had ceased to cooperate with Plesk, we did not deal with your company intensively.”

Michael Schinzel from IP-Projects

IP-Projects go from fear to finding something special in Plesk.  

“In our experience, there is no other hosting control panel with such a diverse offer.”

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“Only in 2014 did we become a direct Plesk partner. From that point on, Plesk established itself as a real alternative to the free dashboard we were using.” 

Finding Solutions to Critical Issues

Plesk is an added layer over IP-Projects’ server infrastructure. Their numerous enhancements such as the SEO Tools, WordPress Toolkit and Joomla! Toolkit, are also valuable add-ons for IP-Projects customers. They discovered it to be a great choice due to our management interface. But one of the strongest arguments for using Plesk is the technical support offered free of charge for direct customers.

“[Plesk Support] created several service tickets for a range of issues. And some were not even 100% coming from the Plesk hosting panel. We always received excellent support from the customer care teams. Without any additional costs. This is how we discovered that Plesk has become a reliable partner in the recent years”

Michael Schinzel

Good Value for Money

When it comes to Plesk pricing levels, Michael Schinzel believes that startups should benefit from a pricing tier dedicated to this category.

Good value for money - Plesk Panel

“This way they would be able to offer new providers good conditions to buy Plesk licenses. For example, a special discount for 1-2 years for direct partners.” 

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With such a settling offer in their pockets, companies on the same range as IP-Projects could build a customer portfolio faster. And once secured, they can scale up by choosing from Plesk’s solutions portfolio. Nonetheless, IP-Projects moved smoothly past this specific initial challenge. And Plesk played a key role in this regard.

How? Plesk is always open to discuss license prices and other possibilities of cooperation with customers. IP-Projects listened to its customers, as does Plesk. They both met halfway. However, being open to price negotiation is not all.

Plesk support for direct partners is the other top differentiator. Faster and leaner operations for direct partners generate happier customers – And this provides great value for money.

Not tried Plesk yet?
See how a free 14-day trial can help your business.

Are you a reseller?
You can sign up for exclusive Plesk Partner Benefits.

Plesk on DigitalOcean is now a one-click app

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 WordPress Toolkit – secure and simple

Staging environment best practices - Plesk WordPress Toolkit

Find full details on Plesk WordPress 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 feature for WordPress Toolkit analyzes your WordPress updates and performs them 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”.

PLesk on DigitalOcean - Now a one-click app - Choose a size - Droplets

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!

Do you really need a control panel? Here’s what we think

Control Panel - Do You Need One?

Web hosting control panels have become wildly popular over the last years for the rich features they offer hosting users. These software solutions allow users easily manage their VPS and dedicated servers as well as shared accounts. And without deep knowledge of system administration too – which in turn simplifies various tasks. Many consider control panels to be absolutely essential, especially on Unix and Linux servers. Others, however, see them as a needless cost.

The Pros of a Control Panel

Control Panel Pros

Your server’s purpose will have a drastic effect on how useful a control panel is for you. If you provide hosting services, a graphical interface to manage websites is a service your clients will expect. However, if you have a single-function server, a free tool like phpMyAdmin might be the only thing you regularly use. Making a control panel unnecessary.

The Cost of a Control Panel

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If you’re considering a control panel, you probably know it may not be free. You’ll need an annual license for most control panels. Unless a web host integrates this extra service into your monthly costs of server leasing. Of course, free control panels do exist. However, the reliability and quality level of these products is in question. And they hardly can be compared to commercial control panels.

A Control Panel and Hosting Business

Control Panel In Hosting Business

For those who hold solid skills in server administration tasks, a control panel can just be an extra, unnecessary layer. There’s no real need for a control panel of any type. Don’t fix what isn’t broken, as they say.

However, if you run a hosting business and care about scalability, it’s a different matter. Having a control panel will likely make completing tasks simpler and more efficient. And therefore, it’ll be a worthwhile investment for yourself and your customers.

The Versatile Plesk Onyx Control Panel

The versatile Plesk Onyx control panel

Plesk is an ideal multi-OS control panel for four main groups: administrators, digital professionals, resellers and end-users. Making it an extremely versatile tool for almost any web host.

Administrators

Admins, including web professionals and hosting providers, enjoy the Plesk control panel for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it is a great tool for configuring services, so providers can use an all-in-one service instead of separately configuring a web or FTP server. After configuring, hosts can combine these services with server resources, such as disk space or traffic, to make hosting packages. These service plans could contain web applications like mail accounts and websites and be sold to clients.

Web Professionals

Such as web design agencies. They often buy VPS hosting that already has Plesk installed, or they add it on themselves. The benefits of this control panel for those in the web design industry include managing multiple aspects of their web presence and controlling service management operations.

More on VPS Control Panels here.

Web developers may use the Plesk control panel as a hosting platform to build websites, test them and show the results to clients. It gives control over their server backup and PHP settings – both important for a web administrator.

Resellers or Web Hosters

Another group that will appreciate the benefits of the Plesk control panel. Your business will resell HSP hosting services, using Plesk to purchase tons of resources. And then dividing them.

You can then sell the reduced packages to end-users with additional services. And you, as a reseller, will get to lower your expenses by allowing HSPs to perform server management.

End-Users

Even end-users benefit from access to a control panel. Through a host or reseller, customers can obtain a hosting plan and use Plesk to manage their various services.

Some of the features of the Plesk control panel for end-users include creating sites that they can then populate with their own website content and adding mail accounts.

So, is a hosting control panel actually for you?

Functionality is the main reason to think about it here. Will your server gain functionality with a control panel – and if so, what kind?

Consider if a control panel would save you time, whether it would make the server more attractive to potential clients, and if it could simplify regular tasks.

Get in touch with the button under here to find the right Plesk Onyx fit for you and your business. Or simply sign up for one of our free trials by clicking below. 

What is a Control Panel? Everything you need to know

Managing web services offered by a hosting provider used to require extensive sysadmin knowledge, including the ability to control server services via CLI. For some experts, this can be an effective way to manage servers. But for most system admins, a control panel with a GUI presents a much easier way to manage and monitor all hosted services you use.

This smoothens how you manage your services – be it web hosting, mailboxes, server databases, DNS settings and more. Monitoring is another important control panel function. And the better hosting control panels will offer you ways to stay abreast of CPU, memory and bandwidth use.

Superiority and functionality of panels will vary. But what you need to look out for is a user-friendly GUI, the ability to run Cron jobs as well as advanced security features. Let’s go for a full run-through what your next control panel should look like, what to expect, and what you shouldn’t settle for.

Basic elements of a Control Panel

Effectively take charge of a website hosting environment and make sure the website control panel you choose offers the following essential, basic functions.

Domain and DNS Management

You depend on domains to access website resources. Hence, your control panel should have a section that lets you manage everything about the domains you’re hosting on your server. This includes new add-ons and subdomains, or managing existing ones.

Subdomains

Subdomains allow you to create a separate website area or an entirely new website. All while still using your main domain name. So it can be useful to add a prefix to your website domain name, such as support.domain.com. Your control panel needs to allow you to create as many subdomains as you need. The power’s yours!

Add-On Domains

Most control panels will give you the option to add a number of domains to the hosting environment. You’ll find these as “Add-on domains”. Now, you can choose to assign an add-on domain to a specific website. Or you can simply park it if you currently don’t want the domain to point to any website. Note that a parked domain can point to an existing website. So in this case, every request for that domain is simply redirected to another website of your choice.

DNS Management

Can you imagine if all your DNS data was scattered? You can usually host all the DNS data for a domain on your hosting environment itself. Including the entire range of DNS records, like nameserver and A records, MX records and TXT records. The right hosting control panel for you will allow you to fully customize DNS for each add-on domain you host.

File Manager

Organization is key. How can you keep track of all your the files on your server? You need an easy way to upload, remove and manage these files. So your control panel should present a GUI that enables quick and easy file management. The simpler, the better. Because whether you use a CMS such as WordPress, or not, file management is a basic daily task for admins. Solving CMS issues is also much quicker with a file manager. There is an alternative – enter FTP (File Transfer Protocol), still supported by most control panels, to be honest. But FTP requires using a separate software application which you’ll need to set up on the side.

Mailbox Management

You’ll have multiple email accounts (also known as mailboxes) associated with each domain. Your control panel should come to the rescue here too by letting you create, remove and otherwise manage these accounts. It’s common for web hosting packages to include POP3 or even IMAP email free of charge.

Mail forwarding is another important feature you should look out for. Doesn’t matter whether you are forwarding to an internal email account or an email account hosted elsewhere. Another common practice for control panels is allowing you to configure anti-SPAM solutions ( including DKIM, SPF and DMARC ). Handy because it lets you monitor and protect incoming emails against blacklists and open-source filtering databases.

Here are three great tools that free you from junk email by the way.

Logging and Monitoring

Every system administrator should stay on top of key usage statistics, such as visitor counts, memory use and the total use of bandwidth. A control panel will help you identify websites which use excessive amounts of server resources. As well as enable you to avoid high bandwidth charges – before it is too late.

Advanced Control Panel Features

Not every control panel offers the same features. Although you should make sure basic elements are covered, we recommend you consider the following features too when you evaluate a control panel.

Security: TLS/SSL

The ability to manage TLS/SSL is an essential feature of your control panel. These encryption features prevent your confidential data from getting intercepted. So you can protect user credentials and credit card numbers that hackers can effortlessly steal, via something as common as an unsecured wifi connection.

Check out 5 tips to make your site and server more secure.

Further Security Features

Here at Plesk, we expect all control panels to offer more advanced security features in this day and age. For example, you can get protection against HotLinking. What’s HotLinking? Well, it’s when an unscrupulous website owner links videos or images on your website. And then they display these media assets as their own content.

There are two problems with this. First, the website is stealing your content. Secondly, it’s stealing your bandwidth. HotLink protection can restrict the access other servers have to image files on your server.

Also, consider that you need to be able to block access to a web server directory in all cases. Unless there’s a file that the web server can load, such as index.html. Leaving directory access unrestricted can lead to security threats taking hold.

Read more about why Security is important and how Fail2ban, ModSecurity, and Firewalls help.

ModSecurity

Have you thought about unauthorized users? Included in some control panels, ModSecurity is an application firewall that’s operated on an open-source basis. And it helps you monitor applications, while also logging activity and implementing access limits where necessary. One way of blocking access is by blocking IP addresses. ModSecurity will help you do this.

It also helps to have SSH access, which gives you encrypted file transfers and logins. Useful to configure the remaining services that you cannot configure via the control panel.

Automation

There’s only so much time in a day, right? And you don’t want to be working round the clock. Automating server maintenance is useful for system administrators because it frees up time they can use for other tasks.

Many control panels allow you to use Cron as a scheduler, which runs scripts at specific times on specific days. Great for automating server tasks like database view updates, performing backups and checking your site for broken links.

Custom Error Pages

Standard rule of System administration – Glitches will happen. And you don’t want to serve an unprofessional error message to customers, revealing who your hosting provider is. This is where the custom error message comes in.

You can customize a range of messages in a worthy control panel, including the typical “404 – not found” message. Your messages can, of course, be more descriptive and contain elements including your company logo and instructions on finding help.

Managing Databases

The bigger the website, the more users and the more content involved. Larger websites will manage content by means of a database. Any CMS, such as WordPress, will install a database on your web server. As is the case for most e-commerce platforms.

In turn, many hosting services supply MySQL as an open-source DBMS (Database Management System). Your control panel will let you add, configure and remove databases as you need.

Custom versus Commercial and Open Source Control Panels

Web hosts tend to offer one of two types of control panels. One is a commercial or open source control panel. Usually purchased from a third party, like a million other web hosts around the world. Or you can have a custom panel that is proprietary to the web host, often developed in-house. Custom control panels can be very clean and easy to use. But be aware that they are sometimes unexpectedly limited in functionality.

Some custom control panels, however, are a real mess and become more of an obstacle when it comes to server management tasks. Beginners can also struggle to switch from a custom panel to a more fully-featured panel later on. If you choose a host that uses a popular control panel, like Plesk, you’ll find you can easily switch to another host without needing to re-train your staff on the new control panel.

But if you’re confused, see which made our list of hosting control panels for 2019.

So why have a Control Panel?

You’ll find control panels included in almost all hosting packages. The control panel your host uses is unlikely to be the most important factor you consider when choosing a host, but it’s an important consideration nonetheless.

And as with any software product, the optimal way to evaluate a website control panel is to experience it yourself. Most panels offer a live online preview or free trial which helps you evaluate the functionality and GUI user-friendliness. Plesk offers a free trial, so while you’re here, check it out and see how it feels.

It’s a good idea to try and perform the routine tasks you regularly perform and to compare how long it takes you. A visually-stunning control panel is not necessarily the most effective tool. Luckily we’re a bit of both. But don’t take our word for it. Try it out before you decide, and get in touch with us if you need to.

Plesk Multiple Server Management – How it Works

The biggest challenges we run into as system admins and web experts are multiple server managementsite management, and maintenance. If we don’t do this right, we face consequences. We waste time and resources. So it’s essential to own a web hosting control panel – making the whole thing simpler. While being able to create sites, apps, automate tasks, handle website security, and more.

Plesk Onyx is an all-around control panel and WebOps solution. Devs rely on it for its coding environment. Not to mention everyday tasks as it offers many extensions. Including Node.js, Ruby, WordPress Toolkit, Joomla Toolkit and more.

Plesk Control Panel Bonuses

Plesk supports Docker, which empowers developers to create and manage their new software. Do this by managing and deploying all Docker containers straight from the control panel. Additionally, Plesk offers GitHub integrations – deploying apps and sites quick from a Git repository, remote or local.

Plesk server management continues to add to its multiple server management capabilities. By giving absolute control of multiple accounts and subscriptions across all servers.

Multiple Server Management with One Control Panel

Plesk’s Multi Server extension lets you administrate multiple servers and routine tasks with just one control panel. Doesn’t matter if you’re a hosting provider, reseller, or manage your own hosting. Constantly switching between several hostnames, username IDs, and so on is exhausting.

Plesk designed its Multi Server extension with this in mind. For effective and secure multiple server management. With this extension, you can perform hosting actions on many servers. And manage the infrastructure with ease. This because memorizing hostnames, passwords, and login identifications become unnecessary.

It’s similar to simple web server management. However, the same scope of features is related to a number of servers. All through a single control panel.

Use Plesk WordPress Edition

Why the Multiple Server Management Extension?

You can install this extension directly from Plesk’s extension list. But note that you need to install Onyx on all your servers first. You’ll have all the features that Plesk has. But with this extension, you’ll gain additional functionalities:

  • Managing as many customer subscriptions and accounts as you want from your control panel.
  • Choosing between any billing systems you like, including yours.

It’s a very useful business-ready platform. Ideal for development studios and web designers who manage many different sites and clients.

What Plesk Multi-server management Consists of

  • At least two nodes which are all connected to each other using the SDK extension.
  • The basic two nodes include Service nodes and management nodes.
  • Plesk multi-server that will be installed on all extensions with all nodes.
  • All of the nodes that will have the same license key and configurations.

Subscriptions and Customer Account Management

So we said that this system comes with two nodes – service and management nodes. You use the service node to manage hosting. Because it has the power to host sites, system databases and emails. It also ensures quality load-balancing. This is important since it decides which node will provide hosting for the new subscription. Meanwhile, the multi-server extension has a separate API extending from Plesk’s API. Giving the power to add commands within the system.

The management node is a single Onyx server. Useful for both customers and administrators. And it servers a single point login spot. All new customer accounts go into this node too. But remember, this node has no tools for any hosting actions. So we use the management node to create accounts and the service node to manage their hosting.

Additionally, when a customer logs into the management node, they see and manage all subscriptions hosted through service nodes. You can see the following information on the subscription tab:

  • Status – a status sign that shows whether a subscription is successful or not.
  • A service node IP address that is provisioned for a certain subscription.

This is how Plesk server management can help you with web server management and multiple server management. You as an admin can rely on this comprehensive platform for its capabilities at all times.

UPDATE: Starting from Plesk Onyx 17.8 Multi Server feature is no longer available

How to migrate your services to a server managed by Plesk Panel

How to migrate your services to a server managed by Plesk Panel - Plesk

First published on Nov 13, 2017 – Updated on Feb 4, 2019

Nowadays, a server operating system might host some of the following services:

  • Web service and associated applications used by websites
  • Mail service
  • Database services
  • DNS service

Often there’s also an installed control panel software that helps to facilitate the deployment and management of these services. So migration of the data and services from one server to another one is, in this case, the process of transfer of the control panel data and content (such as websites, mail, databases, DNS zones) to the new server.

Disadvantages of manual backup/restore

Disadvantages of manual backup / restore - server migration to Plesk

Generally, the migration procedure backs up some data on the old server. Then, transfers the backup file to the new server and restores it there. For such a complex environment, the transfer of data to another server isn’t the easiest option. You can, of course, move all the data piece by piece using the native backup/restore tools for each server component and file copy. However, it often takes an unreasonable amount of work-time and manual operations.

The other disadvantage is that it’s not possible to make a seamless transition if the services on the old server are active. Some data will be lost in transfer staying on the old server or some services will be down during the transfer.

Migration to a server with Plesk

Let’s now suppose you have Plesk Onyx on the new server. In this case, it will be easier to transfer all the data (web/mail/databases/DNS/Control Panel data). Because Plesk provides a special tool, the Plesk Migrator Extension, which automates the process.

This is the migration tool that Plesk provides for migration to the latest, recommended Plesk Onyx versions. You install it via Plesk Panel like any other Plesk Extension and it has a handy user interface too.

There can be different reasons for migrating services and/or data from one server to another. Let’s go through the typical server migration scenarios and see how Plesk makes the whole process simple.

Moving your services to the Cloud with Plesk and our hyperscaler partners

Migration from another control panel/hosting environment to Plesk

Migration to the new Plesk and Operating System versions

Moving your services to the Cloud with Plesk

Moving your services to the Cloud - Server migration to Plesk

It’s become popular to move onto cloud services and scale your business. You can easily install Plesk on the most-loved cloud platforms, like:

And once you install Plesk, you can migrate to the cloud instance with Plesk from anywhere, in a standard way.

There will practically be no difference as it doesnt depend on where Plesk is installed (cloud instance, virtual container/ machine or a physical server). You always migrate to Plesk using the Plesk Migrator Extension (this is the number one tool for Plesk migration).

Migration from another control panel/hosting environment to Plesk

Migration from another control panel/hosting environment to Plesk - server migration

If you have any control Panel you would like to leave for Plesk – check out our list of supported Panels. We might already have implemented the support of migration from it.

Your Panel not on the list yet? No problem. Plesk has a dedicated migration assistance team who can prepare the scripts for migration or do a full, paid migration service for you, if needed. Do not hesitate to contact us so we can help you implement the migration method from your server environment to Plesk.

You can even do this from your Panel (one that is not yet supported) on your own, using our custom migration framework.

Migration to the new Plesk and Operating System versions

Migration to the New Plesk and OS systems - Server Migration to Plesk

Another common reason to migrate to a server managed by Plesk is to update the old Plesk version and/or Operating System. Please check the Plesk EOL policy. We recommend that you migrate to the latest Plesk version (Plesk Onyx, since 2017) on a supported operating system.

You can check what upgrade/migration options are available for your OS/Plesk version in the Migration Process Guide.

More common migration scenarios

  • Joining and migrating services from several Plesk servers, one by one, to a new, bigger, more powerful server.
  • Migrate part of Plesk subscriptions to a new server.
  • Shift to the Plesk Multi-Server product.
  • Moving data to a server in another datacenter.
  • Switch to a server with upgraded hardware.
  • Transfer from a physical server to a VM/container.

In any case, the Plesk migration process is the same – you always migrate to Plesk using the Plesk Migrator Extension on the target Plesk server.

Common questions around migration to Plesk

Common questions around server migration to Plesk

Usually, when the migration planning has started, the following questions appear.

  1. Which tool should I use to migrate?
  2. What should I configure/check/install on both servers?
  3. Are there any ports that need to be opened on the servers?
  4. Will be there any services downtime during migration?
  5. How do you sync outdated data on the old server during migration?
  6. How much disc space do both servers need for migration?
  7. Is it possible to keep IP address of the old server instead of changing the domains’ DNS records?

You can find the answers and more details about the migration process in the Migration Process Guide document.

In most cases, Plesk migrator will warn you about the problems which need to be solved when it does automated pre-checks. Also, it will warn about problems when it does automated post-checks on migrated objects. Based on the warnings you can always do required corrections and repeat the migration of the problem customers/mailboxes/websites/databases any time.

Typical Plesk migration steps

Typical Plesk server migration steps

A short overview of the migration steps (more in detail in the Migration Process Guide)

For steps 1 and 2:

  • Install Plesk on the destination server.
  • Install all 3rd party components/software that your services use on the source server.
  • Make sure to install all products licenses.
  • If you plan to migrate databases, make sure that you install and register database servers on the Plesk Panel. Do this in the destination server of the same or higher version than the source server.
  • Install all available PHP versions via Plesk Panel installer on the destination server.
  • For Windows – Install the latest .NET framework version on the server.
  • Then, you can just install the Plesk Migrator Extension on Plesk Panel in the destination server.
  • Start the migration to Plesk from there.
  • Follow the hints of the automated pre-check/post-check procedures.

For step 3 and 4:

This will not interrupt your services on the source server. It will merely copy data from the source server and will validate them on the destination server. It will warn you if something is missing or if you need to configure something.

When you are satisfied with the migration result, you can sync data in step 6 from the source server to update it and switch domains’ DNS (or move IP addresses) to complete the migration in step 7.