Plesk Review

VirtuBox

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Hi forumweb.hosting !

Like anyone who want to manage easily multiple websites on a VPS or a dedicated server, i was looking for a control panel with good performance and ready for production.
I have tested several control panels : (following panel are ranked by me and it's only my personal opinion)
  1. cPanel (paid) : The most powerful after plesk and cheap, but only compatible with Apache
  2. Serverpilot.io (free and paid) : First cloud control panel, the easiest to run a WordPress website on a VPS. Many awesome features with the paid level (10$ / month) like free ssl, http2, nginx reverse proxy etc.. For me you should try it and it will be one of the best panel in the next years.
  3. VestaCP : A fresh control panel with many options like apache+nginx, or only nginx and a clean web interface
  4. CentOS webpanel (free) : To young to be use in production, but many good features (varnish cache + nginx + Apache) and it will be always free.
  5. Ajenti (free) : Good panel with many features and a good compromise between interface configuration and text config. But i have no feeling with it.
  6. Webmin (free) : If the design don't hurt your eyes, it's a complete control panel with many features and with good documentation.

But today i will make a small review of Plesk, the best control panel for me.

1) What is Plesk ?

Plesk is a full control panel, you can manage multiple website with a clean web interface, it's really secured and always update.
There are 3 pricing plans depending on what you want :
- Web Admin (10 domains) : to run some website on a VPS it's perfect
- Web Pro (30 domains) : including the WordPress toolkit, it's the best ratio quality/price
- Web Host (no limit) : If you want to run your own web hosting services

2) But why should I try Plesk ?

Because you can test it for free during 15 days ? No, it's not the only reason.
I recommend to try (to use) Plesk because it's a control panel which provide a clean interface to manage your website, from the simple webmaster to the web hosting provider.
There are 3 views available, from the beginner view with simple configuration (domain, database, ftp) to the power user view with full access to advanced features like nginx config, PHP config, firewall etc
You can use Plesk with or without web hosting knowledge, and you will find a documentation for you at Plesk's website.

As you are waiting for features :

For Beginner :
- Website builder (you haven't to code)
- Many Apps you can install in a single click : Wordpress (with themes, plugins and update management), Prestashop, PhpBB, MyBB, Drupal, Joomla
- Security : SSL in 2 clicks with let's encrypt, backup to ftp or dropbox, webmail
- Softaculous available (59 ready to install apps)

For Power User (yes i know you are waiting for real features and it's for them i love Plesk) :

Performance :
- Nginx reverse proxy with caching (disk or memcache)
- Apache 2.4 with HTTP2 + ALPN support
- Multiple PHP version from 5.4 to 7.0 and PHP-FPM (so easy to use :) )
- Many PHP extension : GD, ioncube, opcache, gd, curl etc ...
- Last MariaDB release
- Litespeed web server (i haven't tested it yet)
- JXCore and NodeJS (if you want trending techno)
- Java, ruby, python, .Net support
- DNS management
- Docker + Proxy with Nginx (only in Plesk 17, in beta currently)


Security :
- Monitoring, logs, backup with increment
- mod_security, firewall and fail2ban
- SSL
- Google authentication
- Cloudflare integration
- Antispam
- Antivirus
- file scanner
- ddos protection

And if you want to (or already have) run your own web hosting company, Plesk is available as VMware or KVM image, with Cloudlinux (Linux distribution for hosting company)

I don't think i need to tell you more about Plesk features, but it's for them I use plesk in production. The most important for me is the security, and with fail2ban, a firewall, free ssl management and cloudflare integration,I'm sure to avoid most dangers.
And the feature which decide me to choose Plesk is the Nginx Reverse proxy to handle all static files faster and with less res sources usage.
But I'm maybe trying too much to sell you Plesk, so like it's a user review, I will also talk about the negative aspects of Plesk :

- There is a good documentation online, but if you have never use nginx before -> start learning how nginx work now because the Plesk documentation explain how it's work but there is not any how to .. I have lost many hours to understand nginx and how to configure it correctly with Plesk
- There is no free version : if you can try it during 14 days, you have to pay after. And I recommend you to buy it from your hosting company if you can, it will be cheaper than the Plesk Store.
Prices (for VPS) : 5$ for the Web Admin, 15$ for the Web Pro, 25$ for the Web Host
But you can have nice discounts with your hosting company, and sometimes it will be free with a dedicated server. Currently I pay 9$ a month for the Web Pro.
- There are many apps and extensions available but some of them are not free.
- It can be frustrating sometimes (often ^^) to use a full control panel like Plesk, because you are not free to add modules to nginx, to install something not included in Plesk. It's a very powerful tools if you accept to use only included tools. Don't think about adding Pagespeed modules, or to setup a custom version of Apache. With the version 17, you can customize your PHP modules but not more.

There are good and bad aspects with Plesk, like any control panel but I recommend it to any beginner who want to start using a VPS and to manage himself. And I recommend it too, to Power Users because if you can't customize all components, you will have a stable and powerful web server with features normally reserved to "trending control panels in beta".
So now it's time to add a referral link and to earn some money :lol:
But i'm not a Plesk Partner yet ...

Quick summary of my review :


Control panel to try :
Serverpilot.io ( everybody should try it )
EasyEngine (if you are a Power User and want a custom and light web server )
Plesk ( Read again from the beginning if you don't know why ..)

FAQ :

Can I use Plesk if i'm a beginner ?

Yes but you need to buy a VPS or a dedicated.

Can I try it for free ?
yes you only have to register with a valid email.

How can i install it ?
First Go to Plesk Website to read server requirement.
On any recent linux OS :

wget http://autoinstall.plesk.com/plesk-installer
chmod +x plesk-installer
./plesk-installer --web-interface

Use --web-interface to configure your standard or custom install of Plesk easily from the web interface.
If you want to try the latest version of Plesk (still in beta) add --all-versions (I'm already using it in production without any problem, but don't play too much with fire)

What OS should I choose for Plesk ?
Debian 8 Jessie 64 bits

Can I install Plesk on a small VPS ?
Yes, for testing i run it on a 3$ VPS with only 2GB RAM. But for production 4GB is a minimum if you use the mail server or the DNS server.

I need some help with Plesk !
Read the doc, browse Plesk knowledge base, and PM me if you don't find what you need.

Plesk is too expensive for me !
Buy it from your web hosting company to get nice discounts. With OVH -> Web Admin Plan cost 2$ a month on VPS

Are you working for Plesk ?
No, i have only lost too much time to setup web servers and to try many control panels before trying Plesk.

I use another Panel currently, can i migrate to Plesk ?
Yes, it's a paid solution, they always have many tools to help you to buy a license ^^


Feel free to ask anything about Plesk here. I'm also open to all suggestions or opinions.

This review is my personal opinion about control panels.
Plesk is maybe not the best control panel for you, and there are many alternative to Plesk.
 
Last edited:

regularjoe

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Hi forumweb.hosting !

There are 3 pricing plans depending on what you want :
- Web Admin (10 domains) : to run some website on a VPS it's perfect


I want to know exact price for running 10 domains with Plesk? it is allowed to buy by periods or lifetime license?

Yes, for testing i run it on a 3$ VPS with only 2GB RAM. But for production 4GB is a minimum if you use the mail server or the DNS server.
How many RAM will Plesk get from your VPS?

- Nginx reverse proxy with caching (disk or memcache)
- Apache 2.4 with HTTP2
- Multiple PHP version from 5.4 to 7.0 and PHP-FPM (so easy to use )
- Many PHP extension : GD, ioncube, opcache,
- Last MariaDB release
- Litespeed web server (i haven't test it yet)
- JXCore and NodeJS (if you want trending techno)
- Java, ruby, python, .Net support
- DNS management
- Docker (only in Plesk 17, in beta currently)

Can I upgrade PHP, Mysql, apache anytime?

- ddos protection
How to use Plesk to against DDOS attacks? Do I need to install 3rd party add-ons or integrate CDN services?
 

VirtuBox

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Hi regularjoe !

I want to know exact price for running 10 domains with Plesk? it is allowed to buy by periods or lifetime license?
It will cost 5$ a month for 10 domains. It's the current prices at Plesk store. Fix price, not sure about period but no discounts by the Plesk store. And no lifetime.

How many RAM will Plesk get from your VPS?
It depend of your configuration. If you don't use memcached module, around 400mb for the web server (apache + nginx + php ) but every module will use RAM and with memcached Plesk will simply use all the RAM. (500MB free). But performance with memcached are better than SSD disk.

Can I upgrade PHP, Mysql, apache anytime?
No you can't, any Plesk component will be update with Plesk and after full test from the Plesk team. You can run testing release to get the latest software, but if you crash, it will not be Plesk fault.
And to be more clear for the component, you can install or delete at any time a Plesk component -> http://prntscr.com/b0i6rl
And you can choose PHP version and handler for each domain. On my dedicated I have some wordpress with PHP7, and old software in PHP5.6.

How to use Plesk to against DDOS attacks? Do I need to install 3rd party add-ons or integrate CDN services?
Any feature I have list in my review can be install in a single click from the panel. There are 9 principal extensions for plesk (by principal I mean you can install it during the first setup of plesk, others extensions can be installed after via the panel). -> http://prntscr.com/b0i7r9

You can install for free the Firewall, Fail2ban, and mod_security. But it will use your server ressources because it's software protection. To protect your server agains DDoS, you should use cloudflare. But don't use the extension, it require the BIND DNS server, and for me it's not a good idea to host yourself your DNS.
Simply sign up to Cloudflare website and use Cloudflare as DNS server. You will save few MB Ram and get a real DNS server with anycast and fast propagation.

There are also premium extension from company like Admin-Ahead or Nimbusec. They offer DDoS protection, but i don't think you want to buy something you can have for free ^^

You can see my custom setup here -> http://virtubox.cluster003.ovh.net/host/?v=plesk.png

Edit : i have just answer to your fail2ban thread. With Plesk you don't need command line, and all jails are already created. Just to activate it.
 

regularjoe

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regularjoe
Hey Leto,

Great article and your answers.

You just missed a thing, you don't guide how to install Plesk on VPS

Can I install it for my self or do I need to request a ticket to my hosting to install it for me?
 

Gonzalo

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There are good and bad aspects with Plesk, like any control panel but I recommend it to any beginner who want to start using a VPS and to manage himself. And I recommend it too, to Power Users because if you can't customize all components, you will have a stable and powerful web server with features normally reserved to "trending control panels in beta".
If you have just a choice between cpanel, directadmin and plesk, which one will you choose, why?

I am familiar to cpanel and not ever used plesk but since your reviews about this control panel, I wanted give it a try.
 

VirtuBox

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Can I install it for my self or do I need to request a ticket to my hosting to install it for me?
You can easily install it yourself if you have a VPS. I haven't write a guide to install it because all informations are in the plesk documentation and there is only one or two command line to use. All the configuration can be done using the web interface and anyone can do that easily.

But if you need help to setup plesk, you can PM me :ertery:
 

VirtuBox

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Update 26/06/2016 : Nginx proxy rules for routing Docker containers now available on Plesk Onyx (beta). If you want to use Docker and manage it from a control panel.
You can use the free trial ;)
 

Luxin Host

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Fantastic Review @VirtuBox
Im sure that will clear alot of things up for many.
i would personally choose Cpanel as I have been using it for years and when tried Plesk, was not so satisfied .

However I do recommend everyone to try Plesk out as well, it has a very simple and user friendly panel.
 
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