How to configure external DNS with DigitalOcean DNS extension on Plesk

As a customer-friendly hosting panel, Plesk’s entire architecture and ecosystem are strategically designed to streamline and simplify things for customers. Besides the availability of extensions, the menu empowers clients to self-manage various backend and front-end aspects of their website. One of the very useful extensions in this list is the DigitalOcean DNS extension. In this tutorial, we will learn how to configure an external DNS server quickly and safely with Plesk.

There are good chances that, as a genuine netizen, Domain Name Service shouldn’t be an alien word for you. But sharing more knowledge never hurts. So, let’s dig deeper into this before coming to the main topic – Here’s a first sneak peek: 

DNS described in simple language

Think of DNS as a translator between you and the computer. DNS or Domain Name Server converts the simple English names like www.google.com into “computer language” of numerical codes.

This process of changing general domain names into computer language is called Resolving. The entity/agent that obtains the IP address by communicating with other servers is called DNS resolver. Loaded with sophisticated capabilities, Plesk can work as a reliable and competent DNS resolver.

Here’s what makes Plesk as a DNS server resolver so appealing: 

  • It can act as a backup server.
  • It delivers quick and direct translation services.
  • It offers easy-to-handle translation services on a remote server.

How does DNS work?

A specific storage space containing specific domain addresses either in a file or an authorized server is called domain zones. There are two types of DNS servers – Root DNS servers and secondary DNS servers, commonly known as lower-level DNS servers.

Root DNS servers refer to a hierarchically arranged global storage system containing the entire DNS database and corresponding IP addresses for all domain names. When the requesting browser attempts to access, say www.myexample.com it requests the authorized server to get the corresponding IP address.

Next level DNS servers store partial DNS databases. These servers are owned by business entities or ISPs who have registered their computers on the DNS system. They run the DNS server software to initiate and manage the DNS resolution process. Each DNS server comes with a public IP as well as vital databases of other hosts including their network names and addresses.

The visitor enters the desired domain name in the address bar and hits enter. It initiates the communication between visitors’ system and DNS server. Acting as a DNS client the web browser requests DNS data from a DNS server which is run by the user’s Internet service provider. Acting on the request the server looks into the internal DNS database to find a matching IP address.

In case if the server fails to find the match it forwards the request to another secondary DNS server in the network. If the matching IP is not found there the request is then escalated to the root server containing the global DNS database. After getting the domain name and corresponding IP the data is returned to the web browser through the route of DNS network. This is known as forward DNS. There is another process known as reverse DNS but that is beyond the scope of this article. You can read about it here.

Delegating DNS zone responsibilities

As a domain name client, you can either allow your registrar to handle the DNS zone responsibilities or delegate it to Plesk. The latter option enables you to self manage your domain zone through your Plesk interface.

Just like most of us techies, DNS is also a multi-tasker. Along with translating domain names into IP addresses, it also delivers other vital data like information related to mail domain, IP validity status, etc.

Configure an external DNS server quickly and safely with Plesk

By default the Plesk works as a master DNS server for the hosted website, i.e., other DNS servers can directly transfer their zones file from it. You also have the option to use the third party DNS servers. In this guide, we present the step by step instructions on how to install a digital ocean DNS extension on Plesk.

  •         Go to the Plesk Extensions Catalog.
  •         Search for DigitalOcean DNS and click “Install on my server”
  •         Open the extension.
  •         It opens the page presenting two options for installation namely “0Auth Authentication” and “API token”

Setting up your DigitalOcean DNS using Plesk Extension with API Token

Click on “API Token.” You would be prompted to enter a token. To generate the token, log into your digital ocean account and click API (left bottom). Click on “Generate a new token”. Enter your desired token name in the resultant dialogue box and click the button below it. You would see the details of the generated token. Copy the code.

Next, go to the Plesk tab, paste code in the box, and click the button below it. On the next screen, you can confirm that the digital ocean extensions have been connected. Click on the option “Activate all” and the extension will be active on all the connected domains.

Setting up your DigitalOcean DNS using Plesk Extension with 0Auth Authentication

Follow the same steps up to step 4 and upon presented the 2 authentication options choose “0Auth Authentication.” It will redirect you to your DigitalOcean account. Select your account and click “Authorize the application”, which will show you a confirmation link. Click the link. You would be taken back to the Plesk extension page click on activate all. It will activate on both extension and DigitalOcean. The existing records will be synchronized for both.

A Final Word

DNS servers offer you some key benefits for the security and performance of your website. However, setting it manually on your hosting server is a tedious process. Plesk simplifies it by offering you a smart extension that allows you to automatically configure external DNS through its DigitalOcean DNS Extension.

In this guide, we explained the benefits as well as detailed steps of configuring External DNS with DigitalOcean DNS extension on Plesk. For more information, you can also check this video tutorial on our Youtube channel. So, if there’s anything you’d like to share with us, drop us a line in the comment section below! 

Next Level Ops Podcast: Using Cloud Services for Your Hosting or Website with Lukas Hertig

Hello Pleskians! This week we’re back with the sixth episode of the Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops. In this installment, Superhost Joe welcomes back Lukas Hertig, our Highest Order Pleskian, to have a chat about hyperscale cloud services.

In This Episode: Cloud-Washing, Competing in a Hyperscale Cloud Environment and Specializing Your Niche

What do we mean when we’re talking about cloud services? What is a hyperscale cloud provider? How can hosting companies compete in a hyperscale cloud environment? Joe and Lukas get the ball rolling on cloud computing in this week’s Next Level Ops. “Unfortunately, there is a lot of “cloud-washing” out there in the market,” says Lukas.

“If you want to use cloud services, it depends highly on your use case or your business. All the great stuff that we’re personally using today - Netflix, Uber, Shopify - is backed by cloud services.”

Lukas Hertig

The main idea behind cloud computing is that it lets you share resources. Amazon was the first to consider this idea when it wanted to scale its services back in the 2000s. Companies can now run their applications on top of technology infrastructure provided by Amazon Web Services. These days, cloud computing is available globally. And a few big competitors have entered the market. One of the biggest advantages cloud services provide is that you can keep your data and your services where your customers are.

That said, in what circumstances can a company use cloud services? “If you want to use cloud services, it depends highly on your use case or your business,” says Lukas. “All the great stuff that we’re personally using today – Netflix, Uber, Shopify – is backed by cloud services.”

Key Takeaways

  • Advantages of using cloud services. There has been concern among European companies about privacy in the cloud. However, today cloud providers are fully compliant with GDPR and local privacy regulations. This has made it easier for businesses to use such services. Using cloud services also depends on your use case. If you are a large enterprise, it allows you to spin up servers closest to your customers at the click of a button. When you are a start-up, it allows you to scale your services very fast.
  • Competing in a hyperscale cloud environment. Hyperscale cloud providers have made cloud infrastructure a commodity. So you need to find new ways to compete on a different layer, not just at the infrastructure level. For hosting companies that means moving from “generalist” to “specialist” managed services. Hosting companies should investigate what niche their customers belong to. This will enable them to provide more targeted technologies and services to their end users.
  • Partnering with hyperscale cloud providers. You can partner with companies like AWS and DigitalOcean using their partner programs and build on top of their hyperscale cloud. These companies are huge but they’re also human! It’s not all about competing but using existing services and building strategic relationships for growth.
  • Benefiting from hyperscale cloud technology. The rise of the platform plays a role here, i.e. look at platforms like Wix and Shopify who are actually using hyperscale cloud infrastructure to provide services to their users. Companies can develop more customized solutions using technology from hyperscalers. These solutions may not even be possible without hyperscaler technology!

…Alright Pleskians, it’s time to hit the play button if you want to hear the rest. If you’re interested in hearing more from Lukas, check out this episode. If you’re interested in knowing more about cloud service models, take a look at this guide. Remember you can find all episodes of the official Plesk Podcast here and here. And if you liked this episode, don’t forget to subscribe and leave a rating and review in Apple Podcast. We’ll be back soon with the next installment.

The Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops Featuring

Joe Casabona

Joe is a college-accredited course developer. He is the founder of Creator Courses.

Lukas Hertig

Lukas is the SVP Business Development & Strategic Alliances at Plesk.

As always, remember to update your daily podcast playlist with Next Level Ops. And stay on the lookout for our next episode!

Did You Know Plesk is Now on Udemy?

Plesk is Now on Udemy - Free Courses Released - Plesk

Over 10,000 students have already enrolled in our Plesk University courses. And with the announcement of our new cloud hosting course series, we’re expecting that number to rise much, much higher. The Plesk Udemy courses cover how to set up your own cloud server with Plesk. Then how to deploy or move a WordPress or other website across five major cloud providers.

1
Plesk on DigitalOcean Udemy Course
Plesk on DigitalOcean Udemy Course
2
Plesk on Amazon Lightsail Udemy Course
Plesk on Amazon Lightsail Udemy Course
3
Plesk on Hetzner Udemy Course
Plesk on Hetzner Udemy Course
4
Plesk on Google Cloud Platform Udemy Course
Plesk on Google Cloud Platform Udemy Course
5
Plesk On Linode Udemy Course
Plesk On Linode Udemy Course

So far, we have DigitalOcean, Linode, Google Cloud, Hetzner Cloud, and Amazon Lightsail. Read on and we’ll explain exactly who the courses are for, what they contain, and ultimately, help you decide if they’re right for you.

Are Our Plesk Udemy Courses For You?

Shared hosting accounts can be incredibly convenient and cost-effective. That’s what makes them ideal for people and businesses with small websites, and equally small budgets. But for growing and large businesses who need things like performance and scalability, they can be incredibly limiting and slow.

Shared hosting means sharing all your server resources — bandwidth, disk, storage space — with many other websites on one single physical server. In contrast, cloud hosting is when your website is hosted on a physical server connected to multiple other servers joined in a cluster (or cloud).

Many people and businesses move to cloud hosting when they need better performance, security, reliability, and scalability. But as a new but increasingly popular option, some are hesitant to do so, believing the process is more difficult than it’s worth. The truth is setting up your own private virtual server is quick and easy. Not only that, but when using the right platform it can make WordPress hosting much simpler and help you offload many tedious and time-consuming tasks like deployment, maintenance, updates, and staging.

Can our five new Plesk Udemy courses help?

Our ‘Make WordPress Hosting Easy’ course series guides you through how you can do all the above and more using the Plesk hosting platform and your choice of five major cloud hosting providers.

All the videos within the courses are accessible and contain step by step instructions which you can follow even if you have minimal technical experience. They’re ideal for everyone from beginners who’re curious about website hosting to web professionals interested in moving from a shared hosting setup to a private virtual server in the cloud.

Five Reasons to Enrol in Our Udemy courses

Before getting into the details, you might be thinking what makes Udemy so special. After all, you could probably find all this information on various websites and forums if you really wanted to.

Well, Udemy is home to Plesk University: a free online training and certification resource that features a range of courses for learning all about Plesk and its extensions. You can find out more Plesk University here.

And so to give you a better idea why we love Udemy and these courses are so great, here are five reasons you may want to enrol today:

1. Up to 1 hour on-demand video

The courses include up to an hour of pre-recorded video lectures. Meaning no waiting around for the webinar of online course to start — you can watch them instantly, in whichever order you like, and all at your own pace.

2. Full lifetime access

Once you’ve completed the course you can go back and revise or re-watch the whole thing or specific lectures whenever you feel like it. There’s no cut-off time.

3. Access on mobile and TV

You can access the courses on desktop, tablet, mobile, and TV. All you need is the Udemy app, which can be easily download via your app store or the Udemy website.

4. Certificate of Completion

On completing the course, you’re awarded with a Certificate of Completion to acknowledge your achievement and for use in your professional portfolio.

5. It’s free!

Arguably the best reason to participate in one of our Udemy courses is that they cost absolutely nothing. You can even enrol to try a few lectures out and see if you like it — there’s zero commitment required.

The Five Free Udemy Courses

“A wonderful course for wordpress admins and web admins who make wordpress on a day-to-day basis.”

Mustafa Karrokhi, Course participant

Each of our courses is presented by university instructor and corporate trainer Chase Raz. Chase is a clear and engaging instructor with a decade of experience in teaching business and technology to a wide range of students.

The courses range in length from just over thirty minutes to an hour. Each includes everything you need to know to set up your private virtual server and deploy or move a website with Plesk, whilst also being short and concise enough to watch on the go or in between migrations.

One requirement  is that you have a basic understanding of concepts such as “website,” “IP address,” “firewall,” “server,” and “DNS”. And for some, a web browser and SSH terminal (e.g., PuTTY). Other than that, you’re ready to dive in.

Make WordPress Hosting Easy with Plesk on DigitalOcean

Learn how to set up your own DigitalOcean scalable virtual server, otherwise known as a droplet, in our web hosting course for DigitalOcean.

You’ll also learn how to use the Plesk Hosting stack on this droplet to power your WordPress and other websites. The course content includes a brief introduction, a bonus lecture on Plesk Obsidian, and sections on Deploying a DigitalOcean Droplet, Getting Started with Plesk, and Managing WordPress Websites with WordPress Toolkit.

In total, the course has 21 lectures that come to a run time of 41 minutes, and an impressive average rating of 4.7 out of 5.

Simplifying WordPress Hosting with Plesk on Linode

In this course you’ll learn how to set up your own private server on Linode and deploy a new WordPress website or move your existing website to Linode quickly and easily.

You’ll also learn to master the WordPress Toolkit. The course consists of five sections: Introduction, Deploying a Plesk Server on Linode, Getting Started with Plesk, Managing WordPress Websites with WordPress Toolkit, and a brief conclusion. All in all, the course has 19 lectures and a total run time of just under 39 minutes.

WordPress Hosting Simplified with Plesk on Hetzner Cloud

Learn everything you need to know for setting up and running a website on very own Hetzner cloud server using Plesk, with our WordPress Hosting Made Easy course for Hetzner cloud.

Through the course’s 21 lectures, you’ll be guided by Chase through five sections: Introduction, Deploying a Linux Server on Hetzner Cloud, Getting Started with Plesk, Managing WordPress Websites with WordPress Toolkit, and a Conclusion.

You can complete the 4 out of 5 star rated free course in a little under 50 minutes — and access it at anytime once you’ve completed it.

Easy WordPress Hosting with Plesk on Google Cloud

On this course you will learn how to set up your own private server with a Compute Engine virtual machine running on Google Cloud Platform, otherwise known as Google Cloud or GCP.

You’ll also discover how to use the Plesk hosting stack on the virtual machine to power your WordPress and other websites. The course sections include: Introduction, Bonus Lecture on Plesk Obsidian, Deploying a Google Cloud Instance, Getting Started with Plesk, and Managing WordPress Websites with WordPress Toolkit.

The 20 lectures have a run-time of 45 minutes, an average rating of 4.1 out of 5, and over 4,000 students who have already enrolled.

Simpler WordPress Hosting: Plesk on Amazon Lightsail

On our final course for Amazon, learn how to setup your own private server on Amazon Lightsail using the Plesk hosting stack.

The course’s 21 lectures cover five main areas: Introduction and Bonus Lecture on Plesk Obsidian, Deploying a Lightsail Instance, Getting Started with Plesk Onyx, Managing WordPress Websites with WordPress Toolkit, and Conclusion. The course has a run-time of 36 minutes, over 4500 enrolled students, and an average rating of 4.4 stars out of 5.

Take Your Free Udemy Course Today

Ready to move from a slow and limited shared hosting account and set up your own lightning-fast cloud server?

Have questions? Drop them in the comments below.

How Simplyyourself.online Found More Time For Their Clients

Simplyyourself.online Web Agency Success Story - Plesk

Miłosz Ryćko-Bożeński lives in Gdańsk, Poland and runs a Web Agency co-owned by his wife. Together they have over 40 years experience in all things internet-related. Most of their customers are small and mid-sized businesses (B2B) and Simplyyourself.online is responsible for clients’ websites. From design and brand creation to development to marketing strategy and campaign execution.

How Simplyyourself.online found more Time For Their Clients - Plesk
Miłosz Ryćko-Bożeński

Let’s be honest – nowadays it’s not too difficult to get into website building. One of the things that sets us apart from the freelancer and agency crowd is our focus on security, marketing and convenience. In our opinion it’s best for our clients if they focus on running their business instead of being distracted by creating or managing their websites.

Plesk WordPress Toolkit helped us create a product which fits the needs of a conscious market. Thanks to that, we can focus on giving value, sharing knowledge and helping our clients develop their online businesses. But it was not always smooth-sailing – Here’s our story.

How Simplyyourself.online partnered with Plesk

How Simplyyourself.online partnered with Plesk

"Without Plesk I wouldn’t have time to share my knowledge with my clients."

Two years ago, we decided to completely revamp the way our business runs. I wanted to find a solution that would allow me to utilize my wide range of technical skills. Plus offer me almost endless automatization.

At first, I was looking for free, open-source solutions. But then I found Plesk. And I fell in love with its possibilities right from the start. Plesk addresses the needs of people like me – understanding how crucial ease of use is. By pairing Plesk’s flexibility with my technical skills, I was able to create a highly automated product. Thanks to Plesk, my server ‘just works’.

"We love the transparency Plesk offers"

Another reason Simplyyourself.online loves Plesk is the transparency it offers.The market is full of agencies who offer websites and hosting, but don’t give clients access to the server or WordPress admin panel. In our opinion, such an approach is unethical. With Plesk we can continue to perform our tasks, while also giving our clients freedom of action, plus a sense of security.

"Plesk works

When correctly configured, it works uninterrupted."

Plesk works. This may sound like a simplistic description, but it’s one of Plesk’s biggest advantages. By simply working, Plesk allows me to focus on sharing my knowledge with my clients. And helping them to improve their business.

How our business has improved

How our business has improved - Plesk

Since introducing Plesk and DigitalOcean, business has improved for us in a number of ways. Especially since our cost have lowered, as have our stress levels – We have more time. Also we have a market advantage.

  • Cost reduction.

Before partnering with Plesk, I considered hiring a dedicated server administrator. But, with Plesk, this was unnecessary. As it gave me operational freedom, allowing me to manage everything easily myself. With more time to dedicate to clients, I was also able to significantly lower the costs of my services.

  • Time and stress. 

Thanks to Plesk WordPress Toolkit and Smart Updates, managing my clients’ websites is almost maintenance-free. Moreover, if I have any issues, I simply contact the highly-qualified Plesk team, who always give timely responses. No longer do I have to worry that something will stop working any moment. Now I can act with a ‘don’t touch a running system’ phrase in mind.

  • Market advantage. 

Our partnership not only saves us time, but also gives us a market advantage. With more time, I can now offer a wider range of services. So I can fully meet all of my clients’ needs, including beginners, as well as advanced users, who may want to use specialized tools, like, for example, Docker.

Simplyyourself.online’s bright future

Simplyyourself.online’s Bright Future - Plesk

We have exciting plans in the pipeline. As an ongoing project, we want to further develop our services, as well as provide 99.99% yearly uptime. Moreover, we want to work on implementing High Availability solutions, and eventually translate our offer into English. Another plan for the future is to become a Plesk partner, and help in the development of the WordPress Toolkit.

We hope to maintain our strong and trusted relationship with Plesk WordPress Toolkit and DigitalOcean going forward. With them on board, I can continue to save valuable time, and work on helping my clients improve their business instead.

Duetsoft Profits Grow by 25% Using Plesk WordPress Toolkit & DigitalOcean

Duetsoft success story with Plesk and DigitalOcean - Plesk

Khandaker Ikrama, owner of Duetsoft web development agency, sheds light on how Plesk’s WordPress Toolkit helps his agency work effectively. Managing custom development and web design for WordPress on multiple customer websites. Read the story of Duetsoft, Plesk and DigitalOcean below.

Why we partnered with Plesk

Why Duetsoft partnered with Plesk

My agency began as a very small company two years ago. At that time, the agency’s ability to deliver services was wholly dependent on me and my skills. However, I soon made the decision to scale my business.

The problem was that all my customer’s had different site and maintenance priorities. And, unfortunately, I didn’t have a team large enough to cover all of their needs well. So I needed to find a reputable company to outsource all of these maintenance tasks.

Plesk came into the picture when I read a piece of content on WPMayor about How To Manage Multiple WordPress Sites Efficiently.

When I realized I could keep over a dozen websites simultaneously updated and supported with Plesk, I was relieved. Now I could put that extra time towards other activities – ones which might net the company a higher profit margin.

“Automation is a term I was familiar with - in this context it simply means having software or a tool that can perform a routine job automatically, without the need for constant input.”

Moreover, the fact that, with Plesk, I wouldn’t need to hire and manage a lot of freelancers was a bonus.

Duetsoft’s smooth transition to Plesk

Duetsoft's smooth transition into Plesk

“Plesk is super easy to install and configure on DigitalOcean in just a few clicks.”

Getting started with Plesk was as easy as 1-2-3: We used the Plesk One Click App from the DigitalOcean Marketplace. Then started with one website on DigitalOcean. The first test website went really well, and it just grew from there. The transition going forward was just as smooth as the test and startup phase.

I can honestly say that testing new plugins, features and design ideas is easy with the WordPress Toolkit Extension. You simply test everything in a sandbox before publishing live on the website. Furthermore, you don’t need any extra plugins or separate servers for this – the WordPress Toolkit in Plesk manages everything.

“The WordPress Toolkit is an agency dream, giving you an array of tools for customization, management, security, hosting, and automation for all your websites and the infrastructure they rely on.”

Overall, our partnership with Plesk has been one of honesty and transparency. And we always receive timely responses. This enables my agency to make sure our clients always have support on everything from basic requests to Remote Management or Smart Updates powered by AI from Plesk’s Extension Catalog.

Business benefits for Duetsoft

Business Benefits

The initial goal in using Plesk and the WordPress Toolkit was to automate and offload WordPress maintenance tasks. However, I got much more than I originally bargained for. There were three key areas in which Plesk helped my agency grow:

1. Revenues increased with more clients

‘’Since we started working with Plesk on DigitalOcean, revenue has increased - a lot!”

It wasn’t only about making various WordPress maintenance tasks easier and automating them as much as we could. But also about having the capacity to no longer turn clients away. Now, I can capture them all.

2. Profitability has gone up with investment in automation

The total amount of revenue coming in isn’t the only way I’m reaping the rewards either. Profit margins are much higher now, too. With the WordPress Toolkit, agency team members can now focus on tackling tasks that play to their strengths. It’s this investment in automation and task orchestration that’s made my operations run much more efficiently.

3. Greater functionality gave added value to customers

Since Plesk are WordPress specialists, and provide so many different features and functionality, I now feel as though my customers are truly taken care of. It’s this added value from features like Smart Updates powered by AI or Remote WordPress Management that has contributed to my agency’s growth.

Future goals for our Plesk partnership

Last year, a lot of our goals were based on basic financials. Now we want to move forward in 2019 (and beyond). We anticipate to continue to experience the same level of growth.

Khandaker Ikrama owner of Duetsoft Plesk

“My agency experienced a 25% increase in profitability”

I also hope to expand further on our value-added services. Managed services are becoming increasingly popular with businesses around the world. eCommerce, in particular, is an area that I hope to do more with, as it’s a particular niche with a lot of ongoing needs. However, I believe that my agency, in conjunction with Plesk managed services, can easily take care of them.

Managing WordPress for one website or thousands doesn’t have to be a chore. And it shouldn’t be something that holds your company back from scaling, or generating a solid profit margin either. If you want to give the best to both your customers and your agency, then you need to work with an infrastructure provider and partner you can rely on. Thankfully I found trusted partners in Plesk WordPress Toolkit and DigitalOcean.

About Duetsoft

About Duetsoft Plesk

Duetsoft is an intentionally small web development agency based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. They focus on custom development and web design for WordPress, the CMS of choice for businesses of all sizes. Whether they are individuals, resellers, ISVs, SMBs, or enterprises.

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!

How to scale up your server to serve more traffic

Product launch coming up? Huge ad campaign? Then you’re expecting an increase in website traffic. This can be heavy on your server, leading to longer load times and errors. But a high traffic event doesn’t have to be a bumpy ride. You can keep it all running smoothly by following these seven tactics on how to scale server to serve more traffic.

Tactic 1: Get VPS to up your site’s tolerance

When you first build the infrastructure of your site, do so with contingencies in place for dealing with increased traffic. Instead of using shared hosting, consider adopting a Virtual Private Server (VPS) plan. Giving you built-in tolerance to cope with added traffic long term.

Tactic 2: Speed up loading times with CDN caching

Scale Server using Servershield by Cloudflare

Integrating a Content Delivery Network – like ServerShield by Cloudflare that Plesk supports, is a good technique before an event. A CDN lets you store copies of your site, known as caching, on data centers worldwide.

Find out how to enable NGINX caching on Plesk here.

So, when the increased traffic sets in, visitors will be directed to a copy of your site from a data center, instead of your web host’s main servers. The result is faster loading times for visitors and less strain on the server.

Check out how to reduce server load with Memcached too.

Tactic 3: Make your site as light as possible

Strip away what isn’t necessary to make the essentials as streamlined as can be. Lighten the load for pages expecting more visits by excluding images or Flash wherever possible. Use text instead of images in the site navigation and put most of the content in HTML. Choose static HTML pages over dynamic ones as the latter places more load on your servers. You can reduce server load further by caching the static output of dynamic pages.

Tactic 4: Minimize HTTP requests and file sizes

You can speed up load times by combining all JS files together, and all CSS files together. Also, by using CSS Sprites and combining most of your images into a single sprite, you turn multiple images requests into just one. And presto, you have another way to scale up your server to serve more traffic.

Tactic 5: Test out how to scale up your server

Don’t wait until the event to discover how well your site will perform under stress. Introduce load gradually to your website beforehand using a service, like radview or smartmeter, that does load testing with simulated traffic. Our friends at Digital Ocean sum up load testing nicely. The analysis and performance metrics available will help you to understand how much load your website can handle and where you need to improve.

Tactic 6: Go for automated server scaling

If you prefer to address sudden spikes in traffic without having to monitor constantly or intervene via live personnel, autoscaling is for you. You get an automated method to allocate resources so you can match the amount of traffic you’re experiencing. Autoscaling also provides essential support for website content at any scale if you need another way how to scale up your server to serve more traffic.

Tactic 7: Upgrade your infrastructure independently

To prevent a domino effect of failure, you should make sure critical functions are not too interdependent. Distribute your load across multiple servers and upgrade them. Your hosting provider can upgrade physical and virtual memories and increase I/O and entry processes limits.

With Plesk, you can choose from industry-leading hyperscale cloud services to ensure you always have reliable, high-performance resources on standby to ensure a growth spurt doesn’t bring you grinding to a halt.

So, there you have it – seven ways on how to scale server to serve more traffic. By being ahead of the game, you can ensure your site sails through each high traffic event smoothly.

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.

Unattended Installation of Plesk in DigitalOcean

Unattended Installation of Plesk in DigitalOcean

Why in the World Would I Need This?

I spend a lot of time developing and testing all kinds of cool stuff for web hosting, and I’m using VMs with Plesk for my experiments. As you can imagine, installing and configuring a new Plesk installation every time you need one can be a bit of a bore. When tinkering, I am using DigitalOcean cloud services, and pre-configured system image is a major time saver. Yes, you heard it right! Plesk handles server cloning really well.

Even if you do not do testing, but are in the managed hosting business, use DigitalOcean, and are sick and tired of installing Plesk manually, this article may be of use for you.

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