Why We Took Plesk to the Nordics #WCNordic

WordCamp Nordic

WordCamp Nordic was two years in the making and we were more than excited to be a part of this very first edition in Helsinki, Finland. There were many reasons why we sponsored and joined the event. Read on to find out.

Top Reasons We Sponsored the First WordCamp Nordic

WordCamp Nordic - Plesk Team
  1. Backing Open Source Projects
    We love open source because we get exposed to new and alternative concepts, techniques and approaches to solving problems. Plus, it helps create innovation opportunities.
  2. Investing in the WordCamp Community
    Being present in a first-time location creates opportunities to meet new people in a different region. If our contribution can help provide more of these events where people can strengthen relationships and create magic – then so be it.
  3. Supporting WordCamp Nordic Values
    We wanted to actively support this very first regional Nordic WordCamp which was a door-opener for more regional medium-sized WordCamps worldwide.
  4. Learning from industry professionals
    We weren’t there just to share our knowledge, contributions and resources. But also to learn from the WordPress experts about small business woes, hosting fears, developer tips, and more. All useful info we can share with our customers for a better WordPress and ultimate online experience.

Julius Haukkasalo on top business mistakes you can avoid

Julius Haukkasalo at WordCamp Nordic

As mentioned before, we were also at WordCamp Nordic to learn. And among the many talented individuals at the event, we discovered Julius. A business owner, who had a lot of wisdom to share on running a company. Especially useful for many of our Plesk customers, who also manage businesses themselves. Here are the top three tips we took from him.

 

  1. Don’t try to do it all alone

 

It’s easy to delegate the stuff you don’t like/care about. We all tend to do the stuff we’re best at. But if somebody can do 80% of what you do – delegate! You also need to prioritize yourself, your workload and how much you can take on while still being motivated and avoiding burnout. You are the most important resource for yourself and your company.

  1. Allow employees/colleagues to fail

Julius compared leading a team with raising a family. When his kids said they “don’t know how…”, or are “not good”, or “too small”, he figures it’s because he tried to protect them too much. Let your colleagues/employees make mistakes and learn.

  1. Don’t delay solving issues

If there is a conflict to solve, go for it without any delays. Sometimes it’s difficult to distinguish when it’s about time to let your colleagues and employees do their own thing and when you are just being coward who tries to avoid conflicts.

Jonathan Sulo on WordPress plugins that hosters fear

Plesk at WordCamp NOrdic, Finland - Jonathan Sulo

One of our priorities at Plesk is speed and performance. So naturally, we had a lot of interest in Jonathan’s session – which was about plugins that drain performance and kill your database. So our hosting partners and customers would do well to stay away from plugins such as these to retain their clients.

He also suggested alternatives to use and some general usage and error-checking tips for WordPress plugins. We feel that the main point Jonathan made is that the most dangerous plugins are the ones you don’t update. Which we of course agree with 100%. Same goes for updating Plesk too.

Moreover, Jonathan believes it’s better to update and break the site than deal with the security risks of outdated software. He then went on to give us a checklist in order to add and run plugins the right way.

Adding plugins the right way

  • Think about whether you really need that plugin. Is it a must-have or nice to have?
  • Avoid plugins that “do it all”
  • Are there server-based or PHP functions or alternatives?

Running plugins the right way

  • Check out the plugin properly first
  • Only install from safe sources
  • Test before and after install
  • Activate for website or network
  • Delete plugins you don’t use
  • Scheduling: use server-based Cron (via control panel) & WP-CLI /usr/bin/php

Finally, he gave valuable advice within and outside WordPress, such as using WP-CLI and checking the error logs via your hosting provider.

Note: You can read our recommendations on WordPress plugins and backup solutions here.

Key Takeaways from our latest WordCamp Experience

Plesk at WordCamp Nordic - booth - support engineers, Francisco and Robert

Having our sales engineers, Francisco and Robert, on site was useful to gather info about the needs of the WordPress community. Plus get valuable feedback about the WordPress Toolkit and its features. A number of potential customers had technical queries about the software and its suitability for their projects – and we could easily answer.

We also seized the opportunity to connect with a few small to medium-sized partners and enhance our relationship with them. We’re looking forward to being present and doing more of this at more regional WordCamps like Latin America and SE Asia. And of course, hope for a 2020 edition of WordCamp Nordic!

Why WordPress is still the most popular CMS choice for websites

WordPress as the most popular CMS outhere

WordPress has been around for quite some time now – 14 years to be precise. In the time since its initial release back in 2003, it’s become the most popular CMS (content management system) for everyone looking to build a website. In fact, almost 30% of the entire internet runs on WordPress. And the platform claims almost half of the entire CMS market. So you can’t really argue its dominance.

There are a number of advantages to using WordPress that have allowed it to stay ahead of other CMS out there. Now we’re exploring the five critical factors that have helped the platform maintain its reign on the web

Most Popular CMS

1. It’s open source and free

This is probably the biggest reason why WordPress is the most popular CMS. First off, it’s free to download and free to use, so you’re saving money from the get go. There’s more to it than that though. It’s also open source which means it’s constantly up-to-date and and upgraded. There have been 32 major versions since its inception, with new updates released every five months on average.

Despite being around for over a decade, WordPress is still the fastest growing CMS with over 500 new websites being developed every day on the platform. Every second, 17 users hit the “Publish” button on a new blog post they’ve uploaded onto WordPress.

2. It’s very easy to use

WordPress CMS is very user friendly. If you spend a couple of hours exploring the backend of a website built on WordPress, you’ll see just how easy it is to use. One huge advantage is that it needs little to no coding skills, unlike different content management systems like Drupal. If you have some basic HTML knowledge, you can perform almost any task with WordPress.

This is what really sets it apart and makes it the most popular CMS. Because anyone can just install it and start using it straight away. According to recent data, 50% of users in the US work with WordPress. With the runners-up Drupal and Joomla barley making up half that figure combined.

3. It’s SEO-friendly

WordPress is still the most popular CMS choice. 100% SEO friendly

4. It’s highly customizable

Another reason why WordPress has become the most popular CMS over the years. You can use it to build any type of website imaginable. WordPress powers 15% of the top 100 websites in the world, including major brands like CNN, Time, Fortune and TechCrunch. It’s extremely versatile and highly customizable. Therefore, you can use it to build anything from simple blog-style websites and portfolios to more complex e-commerce sites and large-scale government websites.

5. It has a plugin for almost everything

There are more than 50,000 different open source plugins you can install to add value to a WordPress website. You can find everything from anti-spam filters, SEO tools, popup modules and interactive image plugins online. Many of these plugins are also free and constantly updated by a community of dedicated professionals.

A complete toolkit for Advanced WordPress Users

As time flew by, WordPress has grown and evolved into a sprawling and complex platform. Thus, advanced users need plenty of moving parts to use and manage their projects successfully. Thanks to software like the WordPress Toolkit by Plesk, you can quickly upgrade your WordPress experience. Hence, simplifying the work that goes into setting up, securing and maintaining your websites.

This is thanks to the centralized dashboard where you can monitor several WordPress instances at the same time. It also lets you implement changes across multiple instances at the same time, saving you the hassle of having to do this manually. This also applies to updates and by enabling maintenance mode you can update everything simultaneously.

Staging environment best practices - Plesk WordPress Toolkit

Plesk’s WordPress toolkit lets you identify and secure all of your core data with the click of a button. Moreover, you can restore your site back to previous versions if something goes wrong. On the SEO front, you can enable site indexing for search engines too. And even disable it for those instances where you don’t want Google to crawl your site.

Toolkits like this one are yet another reason why WordPress has prevailed as the most popular CMS. This complete toolkit for WordPress allows you to experience the CMS better than ever before.Learn more about it below and get ahead of the curve.

What you may have missed at last weekend’s Cloudfest Hackathon

This year, the intention behind the Cloudfest Hackathon was for the big guys to contribute to the open source communities. The pitched projects were across different CMS – WordPress, Drupal and Joomla, and involved diverse companies. The participating developers and sys-admins were free to choose which projects they wanted to contribute to. And so the event began!

The Cloudfest Hackathon Event

Cloudfest Hackathon event location 2018 - Plesk sponsors

Inside Europa-Park in Rust, the Cloudfest Hackathon kicked off with a casual get-together lunch. And with the presentations of the open source projects by host Jeffrey Hardy, it was time to hack! It was also time to repeatedly hear the most used expressions in the development world: “But it works on my machine”, “Must be a bug” or “This worked earlier!”

Some were more prepared than others – check out these guys’ matching hackathon wardrobe and hairstyles. We take the Cloudfest Hackathon coordination very seriously around here.

Though it was clear that most people are used to collaborating together on projects remotely, it still seemed like an overall amazing experience to bring everyone together and create some great code with those like-minded people, in person.

Plesk Team on Projects 1 and 5

Pleskians at Cloudfest Hackathon 2018 - Plesk people post

Here at Plesk, we’re very supportive of open source projects. So we were more than happy to help co-organize the event and be part of a great sponsor list. That way, attendees could go without having to worry about accommodation and travel expenses. Our fellow Pleskians participated in developing 2 out of 6 proposed projects. Project 1: “Automated security check for WordPress plugins” and Project 5: “Domain Connect Example DNS Provider”.

Cloudfest Hackathon 2018 - Project 1 - Plesk
Cloudfest Hackathon 2018 - Project 5 - Plesk

For project 1, we built a simplified command line tool to extract security reports out of the RIPS static analyzer. Then it sends them to given email addresses to integrate them into CI tools or extension pipelines. Just like the WordPress plugin repository SVN. As for project 5, I’ll let our CTO, Jan, tell you all about that:

Project insights from David and Arnold – CMS Garden and GoDaddy

I got the chance to chat with two iconic people behind the projects ideas we got involved in – David Jardin (CMS Garden) and Arnold Blinn (GoDaddy).

David met the founders of a German startup who located an important safety gap in Joomla core with a security scanner tool they had developed. The Joomla community strived to implement the tool into the Joomla extensions directory to use it for plugin and core review. Today, 30% of all websites run on WordPress and David’s passionate about making the web a safer place. That’s why he suggested working on this project for the WordPress CMS, as well during the Cloudfest Hackathon.

One of Plesk’s main goals is to make the web a safer place and ease the workload that comes with managing WordPress and Joomla! sites. Find out more about the toolkits we developed to facilitate your working life by clicking below.

Project number 5 was already a huge success during last year’s Cloudfest hackathon. Arnold explained that Domain Connect is an open standard that makes it easy for a user to configure DNS for a domain running at a DNS provider to work with a Service running at an independent Service Provider. The user can do so without understanding any of the complexities of DNS. This project is very valuable and it’s kind of surprising that it has not been initiated and realized years ago. This project had the most contributors by far with up to 12 people working on it at the same time.

The result was a step higher than we thought

The Cloudfest Hackathon lasted 3 days with 55 coders working on 6 different projects until the late evenings. This edition had brilliant minds behind it like Timo Kargus, David Jardin, Sabrina Waltz and our CTO Jan Löffler.

Plesk at Cloudfest Hackathon 2018 - I'm a nerd - get over it

This team managed to create a unique and inclusive setting for innovative projects and brilliant code in a laid-back atmosphere that we won’t easily forget. And they happily confirmed that the new open-source thinking everyone brought to the Cloudfest Hackathon was a huge success.

The idea is to move further in this direction and to aim for more participants and open source projects across different CMS next year. Cloudfest’s organizer team will soon be in the early planning stages for 2019’s edition. And we can tell you now – us Pleskians will be involved in one way or another. Stay tuned.