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

 

Footer coffee break Elvis Plesky Plesk Blog

Next Level Ops Podcast: Working with Self-hosting Email with Christian Mollekopf

Hello Pleskians! This week we’re back with the ninth episode of the Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops. Only one more to go and we’re already at the close of Season 1! In this installment, Superhost Joe and Christian Mollekopf from Apheleia IT talk about working with self-hosting email.

In This Episode: Choosing An Email Hosting Provider, Reputation Management and Taking Back Control

What should you consider when choosing an email hosting provider? What are some of the options users have when searching for good email providers, especially if you also want to look at enterprise options? Is it good enough to opt for what your web host offers or to use a service like GSuite? What are some of the things you should think about when going the self-hosting route? In this episode, Joe and Christian discuss how to address options and issues surrounding email hosting. 

“I think usually it [email] is something that you are going to use for quite a long time. It’s like a very central part of your infrastructure typically. So, I think it’s definitely worth considering a couple of options,” says Christian. When choosing the right hosting provider, it’s worth considering things like what are the features you require, whether it’s simply email or also calendars and tasks, whether you need shared folders and calendars, and which type of client do you want. Another factor to consider is vendor lock in – just in case you want to transfer to another hosting provider and how easy will it be for you to migrate your data to another system. 

If vendor lock in is an issue of concern for you, then the question arises whether you can self-host your email. What happens when you do that? Some common issues to watch out for are to make sure that other servers can distinguish between genuine email coming from your server and spam coming from other servers, pretending to come from your server, to ensure that your server doesn’t send spam, and reputation management of your domain. To read some of the best practices of self-hosting email, go here.

Key Takeaways

  • What should someone consider when choosing an email hosting provider? Your email is probably going to be a central part of the infrastructure and you’ll use it for a long time to start out by keeping this in mind. The second thing is to consider the features you need, such as a calendar, for example. Do consider your email’s interoperability and vendor lock-in. You should be able to migrate away if you want to.
  • What are the benefits of self-hosting over using a service like Gmail? One word: Control. You maintain control over your solution. If you self-host, you have more control over your email.
  • As a hosting provider, what are some of the pitfalls of hosting email? The biggest pitfall is reputation management. Other services that receive email have to fight a lot of spam. Track the reputation of domains and IP addresses.
  • What features in Plesk help with email hosting? SPF, DMARK, DKIM are built-in. Other UIs for important measures like rate and message size limits and the Plesk Email Security extension with anti-spam. Find out more about the features here.

…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 Next Level Ops, check out the rest of our podcasts. We’ll be back soon with our last 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.

Christian Mollekopf

Christian is a Senior Software Engineer at Apheleia IT.

Did you know we’re also on Spotify and Apple Podcasts? In fact, you can find us pretty much anywhere you get your daily dose of podcasts. As always, remember to update your daily podcast playlist with Next Level Ops.  And stay on the lookout for our next episode!

Next Level Ops Podcast: Solving the Most Common WordPress Problems with Lucas Radke

Hello Pleskians! This week we’re back with the eighth episode of the Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops. In this installment, Superhost Joe and Product Wizard Lucas Radke talk about common WordPress problems and what hosting providers and users can do about them.

In This Episode: Noisy Neighbors, Fixing WordPress Problems, and What Hosting Providers Can Do

What are the most common WordPress problems for hosting providers? In what domains do common WordPress problems fall for most users? How much does WordPress itself mitigate these problems and what can hosting providers and users do? In this episode, Joe and Lucas discuss the three main areas under which WordPress problems usually fall — performance, updates, and security. You can have noisy neighbors when an environment is shared by too many users, impacting your website’s performance. 

Frequent updates are also often a pain point as non-updated plugins and themes can lead to security issues. Hosting providers should ideally provide solutions for this, otherwise it can lead to backdoors that compromise websites. For instance, tools such as Smart Updates for Plesk WordPress Toolkit analyzes WordPress updates and identifies and performs changes without breaking the production site. It also notifies users of any potentially critical updates. 

It’s essential for users to be proactive about potential issues from their side, especially non-savvy tech users. What can users do to ensure that they are taking the right precautions? The first thing is to make sure that they use a trusted web hoster who provides them with a secure hosting environment. Recently, WordPress has also had an increasing emphasis on security and recommends some basic security protections. For example, to make sure that access is limited, keeping backups, regular updates, and installing plugins and themes from trusted sources. For WordPress, security is about risk reduction.

“The great and terrible thing about WordPress is the amount of freedom you have. The freedom to set up whatever website you want considerably cheaply. But also the freedom to cause problems for either yourself, your client or your hosting provider,” says Joe, “Because if you’re on a shared host and your website is compromised, then it’s possible that other websites are compromised as well.”

Key Takeaways

  • What are some of the actions hosting providers can take to fix common WordPress issues? Hosting providers are responsible for how well the site performs. Users may expect high performance without paying the price for it. Many users install plugins to help with the performance or security of their website. The hosting provider has to make sure that plugins are updated and to make sure that there are no open doors for hackers. It’s also essential that hosting providers have a properly trained support team, specialized in solving WordPress issues.
  • What can users do to minimize some frequent WordPress problems? Being proactive is very important for users. Along with being informed about what’s happening in the community from a security perspective. Which plugins are having potential issues? What are some of the security issues coming up in the WordPress community? Trying to get the information that helps users reduce security risks should be a priority, especially for non-tech savvy users.
  • To what extent does WordPress mitigate these problems? WordPress has had a recently increased security focus. It’s forcing stronger passwords; it’s verifying email addresses; it has a site Health Checker and Troubleshooter performing checks on users’ WordPress installations; and other criteria for running WordPress sites securely.
  • Which plugins can mitigate some of the issues? iThemes Security is a useful plugin. Smart Updates for Plesk’s WordPress Toolkit has some cool features. WordPress Toolkit checks for updates for plugins, themes, and core. It can automatically perform updates if you choose to do so. Smart Updates makes sure that the proper changes are identified and implemented without breaking the live site.

…Alright Pleskians, it’s time to hit the play button if you want to hear the rest. If you’re interested in hearing more about WordPress hosting, check out this Next Level Ops episode. 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.

Lucas Radke

Lucas is a Product Manager at Plesk.

Did you know we’re also on Spotify and Apple Podcasts? In fact, you can find us pretty much anywhere you get your daily dose of podcasts. As always, remember to update your daily podcast playlist with Next Level Ops.  And stay on the lookout for our next episode!

Next Level Ops Podcast: Tips for Scaling Your Hosting with Jan Loeffler

Hello Pleskians! This week we’re back with the seventh episode of the Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops. In this installment, Superhost Joe welcomes back Jan Loeffler, Plesk’s CTO and Tech Mage, to talk about optimizing and scaling your hosting.

In This Episode: the TikTok Effect, Jan’s Downtime Checklist and When to Scale

What do we mean by scaling and why should you be thinking about it? What do you do if you suddenly become popular on TikTok and visitors are streaming to your website? Before you scale online, what is the first thing you should be doing? Jan and Joe answer these questions and more in the latest Next Level Ops episode.

Avoiding downtime is the first thing you should be considering, according to Jan. “Downtime is the worst problem for your business. Because that means that customers are not able to visit your site anymore,” says Jan. “Most of the downtime is not happening due to the hosting stack or the hosting infrastructure. Usually, downtime happens more often from the user.” 

Before you consider scaling and performance tuning, make sure that you have a process in place for:

  • Disaster recovery and creating regular backups.
  • Not making changes on a live site and using tools that provide you with test environments.
  • Making sure that your website is fast because businesses lose revenue when sites take more than 3 seconds to load.
  • Not using “too poor” hardware and always making sure that you have enough server capacity left.
  • Profiling your server and site activity by using performance monitoring tools to find out where your bottlenecks are.

To get the best out of scaling your hosting, make sure you follow Jan’s Downtime Checklist above. And remember, “It’s also like running a marathon. You shouldn’t always run at the limit because afterwards you’ll get a cold.” says Jan. 

Wise words. 

To check out Jan’s previous feature, go here to learn all about optimizing your website (and get bonus training tips for your next big marathon).

“Downtime is the worst problem for your business. Because that means that customers are not able to visit your site anymore. Most of the downtime is not happening due to the hosting stack or the hosting infrastructure. Usually, downtime happens more often from the user.” 

Jan Loeffler

Key Takeaways

  • What’s the Downtime Checklist? Before scale and tuning websites, make sure that the user is not contributing to downtime. Have access to regular backups, test environments, good hardware and monitoring tools.
  • Speeding up your website and caching. Everything that helps you reduce database calls is your first priority. The second priority is to reduce processing PHP. It’s even faster when you don’t need to call up your web server. This is possible through the Content Delivery Network (CDN). You can use the Speed Kit to speed up your website.
  • Scaling your website. A website should usually be able to handle 200 requests per second. If you’re scaling your business or brand, make sure whether you need a static or a dynamic website. If you run an ecommerce website, then you need horizontal scaling.

…Alright Pleskians, it’s time to hit the play button if you want to hear the rest. If you’re interested in hearing more about site optimization, cloud services and WordPress hosting, check out the rest of our Next Level Ops episodes. 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.

Jan Loeffler

Jan is the Chief Technical Officer at Plesk.

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

Next Level Ops Podcast: Must Haves for Managed WordPress Hosting with Andrey Kugaevskiy

Next Level Ops Podcast: Must Haves for Managed WordPress Hosting with Andrey Kugaevskiy - Plesk

Hello Pleskians! This week we’re back with the fifth episode of the Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops. In this installment, Superhost Joe speaks to Andrey Kugaevskiy, Plesk’s WordPress Paladin. Andrey tells us what to consider when setting up or looking for Managed WordPress Hosting.

In This Episode: Car Mechanics, One-click Hosters, Outdated Plugins, and More

In This Episode: Car Mechanics, One-click Hosters, Outdated Plugins, and More - Next Level Ops Podcast: Must Haves for Managed WordPress Hosting with Andrey Kugaevskiy - Plesk

How well do you know your hosting? Is your website, blog or e-commerce store secure and up to date? Do you get all the support you need? According to Andrey, choosing the right Managed WordPress Hosting is not a bed of roses. It’s, in fact, quite a tricky decision. 

For Andrey, hosters that specialize in WordPress take the pole position. Because every fast, modern, and secure Ferrari has a super-qualified team behind it. “A good Managed WordPress Hosting should handle the things you shouldn’t care about – like the technical infrastructure. So you should only be focused on growing your site or application”, says Andrey. 

Thank you master Andrey for your wise words. We’ll make sure our listeners follow your piece of advice when picking their Managed WordPress Hosting.

“A good Managed WordPress Hosting should handle the things you shouldn’t care about - like the technical infrastructure. So you should only be focused on growing your site or application.”

Andrey Kugaevskiy

Key Takeaways

  • Do your research beforehand: When choosing your hoster, make sure you spot the WordPress connoisseur. Having knowledgeable staff that can support you and your site, makes all the difference.
  • Know your resources and competence: Look at how many visitors you’ll have. There’s a big tech stack running on the hardware (Web, MySQL, PHP, Cache, security). And security is in a weird place right now between totally locked down and unusable, and more free-flowing and open. It’s a question of your knowledge, flexibility, and control.
  • Let your hoster take care of you: Managed WordPress Hosting should care about security issues and good performance. Outdated plugins are a common security problem. It’s important to keep your site up to date. And learn how to optimize your site for better results.
  • WordPress is here to stay: WordPress is growing extremely fast. So, it’s pretty clear that all hosts should have some kind of WordPress support. And most importantly, a bunch of experts. Hosts that don’t do anything for support, could face being left behind.

Alright Pleskians, it’s time to hit the play button if you want to hear the rest. You can listen to our previous episodes here and here. Or if you want to simplify the way you manage your website, you can also take a peek at our WordPress Toolkit. 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.

Andrey Kugaevskiy

Andrey is a Senior Program Manager at Plesk.

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

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

moneyicon2

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. 

Customer Expectations and How Hosting Companies Can Respond

What your web host customers want - Plesk

The high quality of server infrastructure became a commodity. The price race to the bottom is already at the finish line. That is why it is not surprising that many hosting companies look for a different value they could offer to their customers.
Additionally, users nowadays expect more than just excellent performance.

Customers Expect #1: Great User Experience

It’s all because of Steve Jobs. He has fostered expectations regarding user experience to an enormous level and made it the backbone of Apple commercial success. It was not only about how the product looks. It was also about how it works and how it is packed. The most important thing was the overall experience the customer had while using the product.

But it isn’t just Apple, both Google and Facebook have acquired digital agencies specialized in design with the sole purpose of understanding the overall experience users expect.

Nowadays, this trend is also visible in Hosting industry. Companies like GoDaddy, WP Engine, Liquid Web, and FlyWheel have all completely redesigned their user interfaces, and several others are already working on their new control panels. But again, it is not only about how the interface looks. It is about smartly-designed customer journey which gives them perfect overall experience from using the hosting company services. What those companies did was to create a completely new environment for their users. An environment where users feel safe, comfortable and well taken care of.

Perfect Dashboard

Customers Expect #2: Great Features

But design is not the only part of the overall user experience. Users also expect more features from hosting companies.

Why? Because they don’t spend their days naming databases anymore. They want to do another thing with their websites. They want to update the cms, update plugin. Or maybe create a safe, verified backup? They want to do security scan, just to make sure, that everything is fine. Finally, they want to test their websites after having done all those things, because they need to be as professional as possible for their customers. And no, with current hour rates that freelancers or digital agencies get they don’t have nor time nor money to test everything manually in a proper way.

And they feel that their hosting provider doesn’t give them tools to do that. It’s a matter of time before they start to think that their hosting provider doesn’t care about them or their businesses.

Safe Automated WordPress Update feature is trending right now as the new must-have for innovating hosting companies. It includes detecting possible updates of a website’s CMS (as well as plugins and themes), updating and – most importantly – testing the website afterward to make sure it looks exactly the way it used to before updating. Again, all those cool, automated features should be put in the right order, creating an easy and simple user journey, complemented by great, proactive support. Users don’t want tools, which are as difficult to use, that it is less time consuming to keep doing their job the old school, manual way.

Perfect Dashboard extension

Customers Expect #3: To Have it All ASAP

Back in 2015 Perfect Dashboard was the first provider to offer a fully automated WordPress update technology with a visual testing engine. As the time went by we’d seen more and more hosting companies using that technology or building their own alternatives. It seems that the possibility of updating website software without worrying about breaking the website is becoming a new standard among the leading web hosting providers.

  • In March 2017, Chris Lema, VP of LiquidWeb, announced their ”Visual Comparisons” feature release.
  • In April 2017 GoDaddy’s ManageWP announced their own solution trying really hard to keep up their competition.
  • In June 2018 Safe Automated WordPress Update solution will be a standard feature provided by innovative hosting companies.
  • In April 2019 it will become a commodity, just as safe infrastructure became a commodity lately.

 

 

Starting today, every hosting company that uses Plesk can offer Safe WordPress Update feature to their customers through Perfect Dashboard extension for Plesk servers. Just make sure that this extension is allowed in your company’s extension directory.

This insight was brought to you by Perfect Dashboard, makers of the Perfect Dashboard extension for Plesk.