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What is Plesk and How to Use It?

Posted on by Chika Ibeneme | Updated:
Reading Time: 5 minutes

When you host your website or application on the web, you need a control panel to manage various aspects of your server. The choice of control panel largely depends on your hosting provider and factors such as pricing and ease of use. You need to use a control panel that is price friendly and easy to use.

Plesk is a popular platform for managing your online server. But what is Plesk, and how does it work? If you're interested in knowing what Plesk is and what it can do, this article will provide all the information you need, including its features, pricing, and more. Without any further ado, let’s jump right in!

What is Plesk?

Plesk is a control panel that gives users an interface for managing their website, application, and server. This platform was initially developed in Russia in 2001 and sold to Parallel. Plesk became an independent entity in 2015. In 2017, British Oakley Capital Limited acquired Plesk and has since been part of WebPros.

It is among the leading and most popular control panels for managing Virtual Private Servers (VPS) and dedicated servers. One of the reasons behind Plesk’s popularity is its intuitive and friendly UI, which makes it easy to use even if you don’t have plenty of server management experience.

What is Plesk Used For?

Plesk provides users with a friendly interface that they can use to manage various aspects of their server, website, or web application. Before using Plesk, you need to sign up with a hosting provider that includes Plesk as one of the panels you can use to manage your server. HostGator, GoDaddy, HostWinds, and Liquid Web are popular providers supporting Plesk.

With Plesk, you can perform several tasks on your servers. Some core tasks that users can do using the Plesk interface include the following;

  • Email Accounts: When you subscribe to a hosting plan, most providers give you the option to create custom domain names. Users can utilize Plesk to create, manage, and organize emails for their domain names.
  • File management: You can use Plesk to create folders, rename your files, move them between folders, or delete them entirely from your server if you wish to.
  • Backups: Plesk can also backup your website or server data. When creating backups, Plesk allows users to export the backup file to a cloud storage platform.
  • Database management: Plesk allows users to manage databases, including MySQL and PostgreSQL.
  • Domain: It also allows users to manage multiple domains from one place.  

What is a Plesk Server?

It refers to a virtual or bare metal machine set to run Plesk as its control panel. The Plesk server allows users to host a website or web application that others can access and use on the internet. Plesk Server supports the most popular operating systems, including Linux and Windows.

When deploying a Plesk Server, users can decide the computing resources they need depending on the kind of application they intend to host and their budget. Besides the computing resources, the pricing of Plesk servers also depends on other factors, including the number of domains to be hosted, customer support priority, and access to several other tools that one may need to manage their website or web app.

Features of Plesk

WordPress Toolkit

The WordPress Toolkit allows users to easily install, manage, and remove WordPress websites from their servers. In addition, the toolkit enables users to configure updates and create plugins and theme packs. It also allows users to monitor the performance and security of their websites.

Server Management

With Plesk, admins can manage their server resources and performance and control the different users' access levels. All this is done using Plesk’s straightforward and intuitive user interface. If you are new to Plesk, read this guide to learn How To Add Users and Assign Roles in Plesk.

Application Vault

This is a marketplace of applications you can install on your server with just a few clicks. Some common apps in the Plesk app catalog include Content Management Systems (CMS) such as WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal, eCommerce platforms such as Magento, OpenCart, and PrestaShop, and CRM software such as SugarCRM and vTiger.

Plesk also allows users to disable apps they may not want their customers to access. So, customers will only have access to relevant apps to the service for which they paid. For instance, if a customer pays for managed WordPress hosting, you may have to disable the other apps that are irrelevant to that service.

Migration

Plesk allows users to migrate their website or web apps from other web hosting control panels. Users can also migrate their sites from one Plesk installation on their VPS or Dedicated server to another. Check out this comprehensive guide on how to do a Plesk-to-Plesk migration.

Security Features

Plesk has several security features, including SSL Certificates, a built-in firewall, malware scanning, data backup, brute protection, password policy, and 2-Factor authentication. These features are crucial for the security of your servers and all the applications installed on them.

eCommerce Features

Plesk has several built-in eCommerce features, including payment gateway integration, product management, shopping cart setup, and customer order management. These features make it easy for users to manage and grow their eCommerce websites.

Customer Management

Plesk also has a customer portal, allowing customers to access support, manage their accounts, and purchase additional services they may need. This reduces the workload on the administrators since customers can perform most of the tasks alone.

Self-Repair Tools

This is one of the new features that Plesk has added recently. It allows users to use command-line and GUI-based tools to fix errors or any issues affecting their servers.

Plesk Advisor

This tool helps users monitor and improve the performance of their servers. The Plesk Advisor guides users through various actions they can take to optimize their server for optimal performance, stability, and security. In addition, users can view their scores for different parameters, enabling them to identify areas for improvement.

Extensions

Plesk has over 150 extensions users can install to enhance the capabilities and functionality of their website or web application. Some useful applications in the Plesk extensions store include antivirus software, an SEO toolkit, a backup manager, a server health monitor, a resource usage monitor, CloudFare integration, and more. All these can be installed with just a few clicks.

Reports and Analytics

Through Plesk Reports and Analytics, users can monitor their website's or web application's real-time performance, allowing them to make informed decisions. Performance, traffic, and resource usage are metrics users can view in the Reports and Analytics dashboard. Plesk also presents these metrics in a visual format that is pretty easy to interpret.

Application Management

This feature allows users to install and manage the applications on their server easily. For example, users can install apps such as blogs, forums, and e-commerce sites with just a few clicks, saving them time.

With all the features and capabilities that Plesk has, choosing to Supercharge Your Hosting with Plesk should be a no-brainer if you care about performance and user experience.

Plesk Pricing

Plesk has four pricing plans for their VPS and dedicated server options. Below are the details for all the plans and the features of each.

Conclusion

In summary, Plesk is a comprehensive server control panel with several features and handy tools for managing your web apps, websites, and servers. Its straightforward and intuitive interface makes it easy to do website and server management tasks, including creating and managing email accounts, installing SSL certificates, performing backups, monitoring performance, and more.

Plesk also includes core security capabilities such as its built-in firewall, malware scanning, and password policy, enabling users to protect their websites and apps from several cyber threats. We also saw that Plesk has several extensions users can take advantage of to enhance further the functionality and capabilities of their Plesk control panel.

Overall, Plesk is an all-in-one solution that website owners, managers, and developers can use to manage their servers and websites effectively. It is also well-priced compared to other platforms with similar capabilities.

Liquid Web offers Plesk on VPS Hosting, Cloud Dedicated Servers, and Dedicated Servers. Linux and Windows options are also available. Contact our sales team to see which choice is right for you.

Avatar for Chika Ibeneme

About the Author: Chika Ibeneme

Chika Ibeneme is a Community Support Agent at The Events Calendar. He received his BA in Computer Science in 2017 from Northern Caribbean University and has over 5 years of technical experience assisting customers and clients. You can find him working on various WordPress and Shopify projects.

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