Your Automatic Server Update to Plesk 17.8

Automatic Plesk updates for 17.8

Starting from April 22, we’ll roll out auto-updates from Plesk 17.0 to Plesk 17.8 which will focus on server security and feature fixes. You’ll receive your update notification in the next days and can choose to update manually, turn off automatic updates or simply wait for us to handle the Plesk 17.8 update for you. However we strongly advise you to have an up-to-date server for the following reasons.

Why are you getting this server security update?

Official server security stats from Structure Research 2019 say 90k websites are hacked every day, with 43%+ attacks targeting small businesses. Fileless attacks are also quickly on the rise going from 29% in 2017 to 35% in 2018. So we have to be more efficient with security fixes.

What’s slowing us down is developing, shipping backport bus fixes and features from upstream for 17.0, 17.5 and Plesk 17.8. Thus, having less resources to address your uservoice requests. And even though Plesk 12.x has been EOLed since Jan 1, 2019, it still requires highly-critical server security fixes. Even if the issue is not in Plesk, but in the third-parties that Plesk uses.

The result is that we ship bugs fixes faster for the latest supported Plesk Onyx 17.8, than for the others. For example, in May 2018, we had Plesk 17.5 and 17.8 fully-supporting GDPR. Meanwhile, Plesk 17.0 and Plesk 12.x had limitations to satisfy formal aspects.

How we’re rolling the Plesk 17.8 Auto-update for Admins

First, we will update servers for Plesk Onyx 17.0 and then 17.5 users, who purchased a license directly from Plesk Online Store. This should be quick and painless. Most customers who updated from 17.5 to 17.8 said that during the upgrade, each server took just five minutes to update.

Plesk 17.8 auto-update

When will we upgrade your server?

You’ll first receive a pop-up notification on your Plesk panel, then by email, with clarification of the Plesk 17.8 update process. Giving you time to update at your own convenience, or wait until the auto-update takes effect. Plesk 17.0 will be first, starting from April 22, followed by 17.5 from April 29.

Then, if you’re a Plesk 17.0 admin, you’ll see a permanent notification until you update your server. The notification will count down the days until the auto-update. Two weeks after the notification, the server updates will start in small, controllable chunks.

We don’t recommend you opt-out of this automatic update. But if you’re absolutely sure you want to stay on the current version, you can go to Tools & Settings > Update and Upgrade Settings and turn off automatic Plesk updates.

Your Plesk 17.8 auto-update notification

If you’ve received no such notification, it most likely means we’re updating your servers a little bit later. However, it could also be because you haven’t bought your Plesk license directly from our online store. Or, you may be using components deprecated in the latest version of Plesk.

In such cases, your server won’t get an automatic upgrade to the latest version. Please note that servers with Tomcat installed, or servers connected to Multi Server won’t get updates either since their configuration is incompatible with Plesk 17.8.

Why you should enable automatic Plesk updates

What’s great about updating to Plesk Onyx 17.8 is that you also get all the new features, APIs and CLIs. Whereas only a critical subset of new features is back-ported to the previous versions.

Plesk version usage analysis

You can see that 50% of our servers are already on the latest Plesk Onyx 17.8. Every 24 hours, your server already automatically updates installed Plesk extensions and Plesk WordPress Toolkit automatically updates WordPress core and its plugins. Then, every week, you get a bunch of Plesk service updates automatically installing, and these usually contain bug fixes and feature improvements.

This year, starting from the next major Plesk release, we plan to roll out automatic Plesk updates on a monthly basis. The releases will include new features and bugs fixes and there will be no option to opt-out of a server update.

How does the auto-update affect partners?

We understand that some of our partners offer managed hosting and have many customizations on their servers. To avoid impact on their business, we’ll have exceptions for their servers to spread out rolling of updates over time. You’ll receive direct contact or email before we start any auto-update process for partners. Check the dedicated blog post for the process of how such updates will work for partners.

Can you backup before the Plesk 17.8 auto-update?

There is no trigger to do the backup right before Plesk update happens, but you can configure daily backups, and/or backup and update manually before the auto-update happens.

Set up automatic update installation in Plesk - Plesk 17.8 auto-update

Plesk updates within one major version (for example, 17.x) are quite safe. But if you have concerns, please create the backup manually or set up automatic backups right now.

Got any questions about Plesk 17.8?

Ask us directly in our forum or contact support, and we’ll be quick to help. Meanwhile we would love for your feedback on the auto-update process so that we can make future auto-updates more convenient for you.

#6 reasons why you need to update Plesk now

Six reasons why you need to upgrade your Plesk today - Plesk

After New Year, I was sitting in an airport cafe far from home and work, waiting to board. Suddenly, my meditative state of mind was interrupted by two IT-looking guys who, I guess because of my branded hoodie and backpack, asked me if I worked for Plesk. So naturally we got to talking and it turned out that they worked in a small firm using Plesk to manage web projects. As I was the first company employee they had encountered, I ended up listening to their piled-up claims against Plesk.

The same old excuses

It was clear they used an outdated version – Plesk 17.0 on a CentOS server. And their argument for this was the same old “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it”. They bought, launched, configured, and started using. They feared the latest version carried unnecessary problems as new products offer not only new functions, but also new bugs. Because of this, some don’t take the risk. Others don’t know how to update Plesk properly; and others have no clue that new versions are available.

Mind you, I can understand these reasons for not updating, however, they don’t outweigh the advantages of using the latest product versions. Luckily there was still plenty of time until my boarding announcement, so I started argument by going through their complaints.

Reason #1: Better Backup Storage

Reasons to update your Plesk - better backup and cloud storage - Plesk
To create and store backups in cloud storage, just install the corresponding extensions.

It’s essential for them to have a stable, reliable backup system to work on their web projects. The guys mentioned using a remote FTP server for this, however, it was unstable and they sometimes had issues during backing up or restoration. FTP server service and maintenance also required extra resources. So, I prepared my first argument – that with the latest Plesk, they could use cloud storage for backups.

Not just any cloud providers either, but industry giants like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, or even DigitalOcean. They tick off important criteria like security, redundancy, affordability and flexibility. They can easily set up scheduled backups and store them at one time in Google Drive and at another in Amazon S3. So they no longer need to spend resources on their FTP server for storing backups. However, the guys still shook their heads so I went on to my next reason.

Reason #2: Improved Website and Server Performance

“Do you find your websites’ performance important?” I asked, “And what are you currently doing to speed things up?” The guys eagerly explained how they spend all their working hours on that. Tinkering with the server via CLI, picking the required parameters, testing various caching-speeding plugins, and so on. They were really impressed when I told them that they could turn on effective nginx caching in Plesk with just one click and fine-tune. “And if that’s not enough”, I told them, “visit our Extensions Catalog and install Speed Kit – a complete solution for speeding up websites.”

6 reasons to update your Plesk - enable nginx caching
To turn on and configure nginx caching, go to Apache & Nginx Settings of your subscription.
6 reasons to update plesk - turn on nginx caching - Plesk
If you have a WordPress website, then you can turn on nginx caching with just one click.

Reason #3: Finding the important bearded owl

I had to talk about Plesk’s new best friend: the Advisor. The intelligent Adviser-owl recommends ways to improve performance of your Plesk server, without being annoying.  Once you achieve all-round security, you level up to the bearded owl. The other party was so interested I had to open the laptop with my own Plesk server so they could see.

6 reasons to update plesk onyx - screenshot-5 - install advisor extension
Install the Advisor extension and start getting helpful recommendations for your server at once.
6 reasons to update Plesk Onyx - screenshot-4 - the real bearded owl - Advisor

Reason #4: The Self-Repairing Feature

To further prove how the latest Plesk outshines their outdated version, I revealed the new self-repairing feature. This lets you repair Plesk by yourself right from a browser window, without having to connect to the server via SSH. Handy if you don’t have SSH access. And there’s the long-awaited process list that helps identify and manage the processes consuming the most system resources. So, before going to Plesk Support, you can launch Repair Kit to perhaps fix an issue yourself.

6 reasons to update your Plesk - screenshot-6 - How to access Plesk Repair Kit - Plesk
Go to https://domain.tld:8443/repair to access Repair Kit where you can try to get your server back to work.
6 reasons to update your Plesk - screenshot-7 - Find and fix server issues yourself with Plesk Repair Kit - Plesk
With the Repair Kit extension, you can check your server for errors and issues and then fix them.
6 reasons to update your Plesk - screenshot-8 - see what consumes server CPU & Ram with Plesk Repair Kit - Plesk
If you want to know what consumes CPU and RAM on your server, go to Repair Kit’s process list

Reason #5: You’re always up-to-date

Another thing – if their projects grew, sooner or later they would need new, high-demand features, solutions, and technologies. Serious updates of third-party components are always implemented in the latest versions of Plesk on a clean OS. Operating systems on which Plesk is installed also have their own life cycles. So older OS versions stop supporting Plesk over time, as well as outdated versions of third-party components.

Our conversation had become a one-man show, with the guys listening attentively. It was time to finish on a high. So I said that Plesk wants all users to get the best out of the product. From increased reliability to security innovations and implementation of new demanded features. For this to happen, we occasionally stop supporting old Plesk versions.

Lastly – there’s nothing complicated to update Plesk. And once you do, you get access to all the cool, new features our team worked so hard to roll out.

Reason #6: All the latest features and more

I asked if they had seen how powerful and convenient the new WordPress Toolkit became.  And SSL – which offers access to kickass features like “Keep domain secured” HSTS management. Our community, documentation, and support will always help you update and explore new opportunities. Moreover, according to our technical support data, the update from versions 17.0 and 17.5 to 17.8 goes very smoothly and Support requests are very rare.

Finally, I said, “if I was not persuasive enough, trust your peers – the Plesk server-owners. Because 41% of all Plesk Onyx 17.0 and 17.5 instances have already updated by their owners to version 17.8. Also, there are currently 61% of all Plesk servers on Plesk Onyx 17.8. Also, 80% of all new installations are Plesk Onyx 17.8.”

I could see that my recent acquaintances were satisfied and ready to update their server as we said goodbye and went towards our gates. I hope I can persuade you too that using the latest Plesk versions is the right choice for your business.

Are you an expert yet? Take the New Plesk Onyx Quiz | 5 Minutes

Hello and welcome to the first of what we hope to be many quizzes related to the world of Plesk. We’ll start off with the latest from the product itself – the New Plesk Onyx and the March 2018 update.

Do you know what’s been going on? Have you checked out what you can do with our new features, extensions, fixes, and enhancements? Well then, show us what you’ve got! Because we want to make sure you can use the control panel optimally.

The New Plesk Onyx Quiz

You’ve got 14 questions below – answer them as best you can (and no cheating!). 

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

How did you do?

Finally, how was it? Did you get a great score? Almost there but not quite? Let us know how you did in the comments below. You can also join the conversation on either Twitter or Facebook. And then see how you stack up against your peers too.

Think you can do better yet? Fortunately, there’s a free Plesk University course, dedicated to learning more about the new Plesk Onyx. There might be more you can do with it.

First, hit the button below to get the course. Then start completing it. New to Plesk University? Then click “Get this Course” and sign up first.