Next Level Ops: Season 1 Recap

Hello Pleskians! As we approach our second season of Next Level Ops: The Official Plesk Podcast, we’re bringing you a Season 1 Recap while you get ready for more quality content. 

The podcast was created for you, Plesky reader (and listener), to give you industry insights and tips into the world of web hosting, development and management. 

So let your curiosity fly and learn through listening to these 10 curated episodes, hosted by podcast wiz Joe Casabona.

Episode 1 

20 Years of Evolution in Web Hosting

Kicking off our first ever episode of Next Level Ops, Joe meets Lukas Hertig, veteran Pleskian and fellow hosting enthusiast, to look back on 20 years of websites and hosting.

As they re-live the early years of websites and hosting (the ‘wild wild west’, in the words of Lukas), the interview unpacks the industry evolution from 2000 to today. From the first dynamic webs, to major disrupters like WordPress, the conversation ponders the growth of web hosting, and questions the future of hosting as-we-know-it. 

Looking for a trip down memory lane? Stream the episode here:

Lukas Hertig  

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

Episode 2

Partnerships and High-Level Hosting Support

In this chapter, Joe interviews Pleskian Partner wizard, Francisco Pereira Carvalho, to delve into the global nature of today’s hosting market.

With more than 32 languages supported, serving 140 countries worldwide at Plesk, Francisco describes the essence of understanding what’s important for different cultures and regions. He explains that members of the Partner Program benefit from the intuitive and easy Plesk tool with the advantages of an international team.

Enticed yet? Stream the episode to find out more about the program here:

Francisco Pereira Carvalho  

Francisco is the Head of Sales at Plesk.

Episode 3

The Power of Extensions

If you’ve ever built a website, you’ve probably installed at least one or two extensions to enhance your web management. They provide extra tools and features to make your website run smoothly or to improve user experience.

In this episode of Next Level Ops, Joe talks to Jan Loeffler about Plesk’s extensions and kits that make users and admins love the Plesk experience. Some of the so-called ‘Lighthouse extensions’ – which are the most popular ones with users – are included as standard on Plesk. Others, like the SEO Toolkit, are available for download.

But what makes them so great? Let Jan and Joe tell you in Episode 3:

Jan Loeffler  

Jan is the Chief Technical Officer at Plesk.

Episode 4

How Not to Become a Security Engineer

For the fourth instalment of the series, Joe chats with security warlock Igor Antipkin about safeguarding websites. As he explains, the need to educate and be aware of potential threats is real. Web admins need to know the software they use, and share key insights with their own communities.

Alright, so now you’re getting worried. But have no fear, this episode explains how easy security can be with Plesk (and how to avoid dedicating your life to it):

Igor Antipkin  

Igor is a Security Engineer at Plesk. 

Episode 5

Finding the Right Managed Hosting for You

As WordPress continues to grow, traditional, service-free hosts could be left behind. This is what Andrey Kugaevskiy tells us in this episode of Next Level Ops, spelling out the benefits of Managed WordPress Hosting. 

In this month’s discussion with Joe, we learn how choosing a suitable WordPress host can be tricky, and you should keep WordPress-savvy people around if you’re not sure. Andrey suggests, for a smoother, easier and safer experience, take the option of host + management, any day.

Hear the full break-down of Managed WordPress options to make your life easier:

Andrey Kugaevskiy  

Andrey is a Senior Program Manager at Plesk.

Episode 6

Competing in a Hyperscale Cloud Environment

Welcoming back Lukas Hertig, episode 6 explores the world of cloud hosting, its applications in our everyday lives, and ‘hyperscaling’. In other words, companies like Netflix and Amazon that are scaling their operations thanks to shared services in the cloud.

More and more, hosting services opt for the cloud, with its flexibility and specialist managed services. So how do you compete in that environment? Are you thirsty to know how to benefit from the cloud, from experts?

Well then listen to this episode here:

Lukas Hertig  

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

Episode 7

The Downtime Checklist and Web Scaling

Jan Loeffler, tech mage at Plesk, returns for this edition of Next Level Ops to discuss scalability and hosting. 

As you grow your online presence and traffic starts streaming in, Jan talks of the necessary steps for scaling. Have you considered how you’ll avoid downtime? Does your server have the capacity to grow? How long will customers have to wait for the page to load? Jan suggests a Downtime Checklist for scaling and optimization, but you’ll have to hear the full version in the episode here:

Jan Loeffler  

Jan is the Chief Technical Officer at Plesk.

Episode 8

Solving Common WordPress Problems

“The great and terrible thing about WordPress is the amount of freedom you have.” Guest-starring to discuss common issues with WordPress, product wizard Lucas Radke explains the value of a secure hosting environment. With so much margin for error, web builders, admin and users have to be proactive in preventing risks for their WordPress.

But hope is not lost. Click play to learn how powerful hosting and plugins make your life easier and avoid the most common WordPress mishaps:

Lucas Radke

Lucas is a Product Manager at Plesk

Episode 9

The World of Email Hosting Providers

Are you searching for the best email hosting provider, and don’t know where to start? Scratching your head about enterprise options? Then put on those headphones and tune in to this edition of the Plesk Official Podcast, where Joe speaks to Christian Mollekopf from Apheleia IT to clarify the features and pitfalls of email hosting.

You’ll learn about calendar options, self-hosting, spam control and more. Click play to get the full intel:

Christian Mollekopf

Christian is a Senior Software Engineer at Apheleia IT.

Episode 10

Toolkits and Tips for Web Development

For the final episode of this season of Next Level Ops, special guest Brian Richards, Creator of WPSessions, takes us listeners through the modern tools for everyday web developers

Besides imparting useful tips about coding, Brian provides a specific list of great web dev tools and learning resources, suitable for keeping any developer in-the-know. 

Intrigued? Get your coding fix by pressing the play button:

Brian Richards

Brian is the Creator of WPsessions and an independent web developer.

Did this series leave you wanting more? To make sure that you get your regular dose of tech podcasts, Season 2 is coming soon. Watch this space, or our Spotify and Apple Podcast channels to get the latest updates.

Get to Know our Season 1 Host:

Joe Casabona

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

SSL Certificates and Web Security – A Guide

In today’s world, web security and SSL certificates have become mandatory. When ranking websites, Google, the largest search engine on the planet, looks for SSL certificates for better rankings and prioritizing. And they have also started the initiative of “HTTPS everywhere” to make the web a more secure place and highlight the importance of web security.

This article will discuss more on what SSL certification is, what types there are, and compare two major companies that provide SSL certificates – DigiCert and Sectigo.

What are SSL Certificates?

SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. This layer establishes a secure connection between the web server and the web browser. When a website has an SSL certificate, a small lock symbol appears at the start of the link. And HTTPS appears in the URL instead of HTTP, which means that you are browsing securely.

SSL uses cryptographic techniques to provide safety to users. The web browser attempts to connect with the webserver and sends a message to the server to identify itself. The web server sends its SSL certificates to the web browser for verification. The browser verifies the certificate and sends a connection request to the server, and the server sends back acknowledgment, and the encrypted session gets started. The data that goes back and forth between the browser and the server is therefore encrypted.

An SSL certificate provides security to the website’s data. It’s almost impossible to breach into the data with SSL, and even if there is a breach, the data is in extreme cryptography and can’t be deciphered. Customers’ information like usernames and passwords are safe and secure when the website has an SSL certification. Important transaction information like credit and debit card details and online wallet details are highly secured with SSL certification. 

Google gives top priority to secure websites and helps them rank faster. The first thing a user notices when visiting a website is the security, i.e., SSL and HTTPS, so it is essential to have a secure website to gain credibility with the customers and indirectly generate more revenue.

Types of Certificates

Depending on the capacity and purpose at which we operate our website, there are four types of SSL certificates:

N.B. Wildcards are a handy sub-type of DV or OV certificates.

Let’s look into each certification in more detail.

Extended validation certificate (EV SSL)

EV SSL is the most trusted and most used certificate by businesses around the globe. These certifications are issued under guidelines that are proposed by the CA/Browser forum. They can only be published by the subset of CAs (Certified Authorities) and require legal verification of the certificate’s requestor. This certificate uses the same encryption techniques as the other two types. EV certificates show a green browser bar, which indicates security and credibility.

Organization Validated Certificate (OV SSL)

These certificates show that an organization is valid. The owner of the business must show proof of both the physical and legal existence of the company. The users will see a lock at the start of the address bar, which indicates that the site is secure and safe from hackers.

Domain Validated Certificate (DV SSL)

These are some of the most commonly used certificates. The verification process for DV only verifies the domain of the website (business). This verification is to check whether the requestor is the owner of the domain or not.

Wildcard Certificate (Wildcard SSL)

A useful type of certificate that secures all subdomains at once, along with the main one. It’s therefore not necessary to issue a new certificate if a new subdomain is changed or created. Only available on DV or OV certificate types, for security reasons.

Where to get SSL Certificates

There are many SSL certificate providers across the globe. This article will discuss two of the top companies that provide the certification, and those are Digicert and Sectigo.

SSL Certificate using DigiCert

DigiCert.Inc is an American based digital company that provides users with digital security. They help users across the globe to get the validation required for SSL certificates through Public Key Infrastructure. DigiCert is the world’s largest certificate authority, representing 60% of the EV certificates and 96% of the OV certificates globally.

Among its extensive range, it offers three major certifications, namely DigiCert Basic, DigiCert secure site, and DigiCert secure site pro. According to the security level users need on their website, they choose from the given options. The basic variation is cheaper, and as secure features are added, the cost also increases.

SSL Certificate using Sectigo

Formerly known as Comodo CA limited (Rebranded as Sectigo in November 2018), Sectigo company holds the authority for issuing SSL certificates. The company offers digital security to both organizations and independent consumers. With more than 20 years of experience under their belt and hundreds of thousands of customers worldwide, Sectigo is one of the leading companies that provide web security with SSL certifications.

Sectigo broadly offers six types of certificates for the customers who want their website secured from malware. They include DV SSL, OV SSL, EV SSL, WILDCARD SSL, MULTIDOMAIN SSL, and SINGLE CERTIFICATES. They are also an award-winning innovation company with excellent customer support.

DigiCert vs Sectigo – feature comparison

Now, let’s take a closer look at each metric and compare them.

 

Key size and encryption strength

The key size determines the number of combinations it takes to break an encryption algorithm. Both DigiCert and Sectigo offer 2048 Bit keys so their encryption is very hard to break. The encryption strength is also the same for both, which is 256-Bit.

Root Domain Support

Sectigo and Digicert now secure and cover domains both with and without www.

Validation level

Both Digicert and Sectigo support all the validation certificate types, including domain validated certifications. However, Digicert brand does not offer DV SSL – the most basic and common type – except under its sub-brands. So, Digicert itself serves more enterprise-level needs whereas many users search for DV SSL with Sectigo.

Multiple Domains and Sub-Domains

If we want to cover multiple or sub-domains with SSL certification, both Sectigo and DigiCert provide multi-domain certificates called SAN certificates. We can add up to 250 Multi-domain SANs with DigiCert and 100 SANs with Sectigo.

Issuing Authority

Comodo Ca is a well-reputed brand with more than 20 years of experience. They rebranded themselves in fall 2018 to Sectigo, but they still have the largest market share of CAs. DigiCert, formerly known as Symantec, has also been around the block for many years and has vast industry experience.

Certificate Costs

With so many free SSL certificates available in the market, it sounds like a feasible idea to settle for one. But with premium certifications, you get both customer support and value for money. On top of that, OV and EV SSLs provide a further layer of customer trust as the certificate itself lists the business or registered organization. They can’t be issued to individuals.

Both DigiCert and Sectigo offer premium customer support and services. 

Final Words

We have now seen what SSL certification is and what benefits it provides to website owners. And also, we have seen different types of SSL certificates based on usage and capacity. 

Looking at the two top SSL providers, with their powerful encryption and multiple validation options, the choice is tough. Both will secure your site robustly. Both have long-held authority and experience. The only thing to consider is whether their specific certificate types match your site. 

Looking for domain protection for your blog? DV SSL with Sectigo will be great. Maintaining a high-traffic site with multiple sub-domains? Both brands can get you a top Wildcard version of the OV SSL certificate. Know your site, think security and trust, and you’ll know what certificate works best for you.

Secure your domain now

At Plesk, safety and credibility are provided by powerful Sectigo plugins for you and your customers. Through the SSL It! extension, DV and DV Wildcard releases are among the many certificates you can easily install to secure your domain.

The next screenshot shows how SSL It!’s page looks like for a domain without a configured certificate but when the Sectigo extension is already installed:

Let’s click “Buy Now”. Purchasing a PositiveSSL certificate via store.plesk.com:

After purchasing, Sectigo (Certification Authority, CA) verifies a domain and issues a certificate. When the certificate is issued, the extension automatically installs and secures the website in Plesk. As you can see, SSL Labs rated the website secured with a Sectigo certificate on A grade.

Just four easy steps, and your site is protected. 

Want to learn more about web security? Our podcast reveals all.