Plesk Web Hosting Software

The Plesk control panel is, along with cPanel, one of the most widely considered and used of all web hosting control panels. It offers numerous versions to customers, depending on the required version. The most commonly used are Plesk for Windows and Plesk for Unix/Linux. The control panel interface leans heavily towards the Windows XP school of design with big, brash icons and graphics taking the place of often more difficult text links. However, the graphical interface shouldn’t distract you from what is essentially a very powerful and feature rich control panel that brings genuine value to a hosting account. If you are a hosting provider searching for a quality control panel then the benefits to your clients are massive.

 

Domain Management

Domain management offers a wide range of settings and statistics to help with the management of every domain and sub-domain on an account. The domain management screen provides information relating to the number of sub-domains active for a particular account, mailboxes, web users, auto-responders, and much more. Because the control panel is updated in real time this means that as soon as a change is made to any of these settings they are displayed quickly and easily for you to monitor. As well as providing the current level for each of these settings, the information screen also displays your current allowed limit.

The domain management screen also allows easy navigation to the relevant functions required for domain management. Users have the ability to disable domains, review extensive reports for that domain, view and where applicable amend limits and view domain aliases and administrators. Depending on the level of Plesk account you have you will have access to different features. For instance, as a hosting customer you are unlikely to be able to amend the limits set for a particular domain.

 

Services

The services section of the Plesk control panel is equally useful and vital. It allows access to email details and webmail accounts. It also lets you administer the DNS settings for a domain and manage any databases associated with that domain. Certificates can be viewed and managed and Tomcat is a Java application manager that lets domain owners install and maintain any Java applications.

Hosting

The hosting options incorporate just about every other conceivable aspect of your hosting account. Setup takes you to a screen that shows all details of your existing hosting account and lets you enable, disable, and amend any relevant options. The Web Users option lets you, as domain manager, set up privileges for other users to access and administer changes to that domain. Sub-domain and directories are easily accessed and just as easily changed.

Log Manager and File Manager let you delve deep into the bowels of your domain and your domain activity. You can view all raw access logs and you can also upload, amend, and delete any files in your directories. FP WebAdmin and FP-SSL WebAdmin are included for anyone using the popular Microsoft publisher to design and publish their websites.

Crontab is an automated scheduler that can take a lot of the simple, mundane, repetitive tasks out of managing and maintaining your domain. Other useful applications are all easily installed, and managed through the Application Vault and the Site Preview button, as you would imagine, lets you preview the site through the eyes of your visitor.

Reseller And Hosting Provider Accounts

As a provider of hosting accounts, whether directly or as a reseller for another company, it is imperative that you know you are offering your clients what they want. As well as providing them with all of the beneficial features mentioned above it is important to know that you have the level of control that you need and that your business demands.

Both the Windows and Unix/Linux versions of Plesk allow complete management over account settings. This means that you can revoke or offer privileges depending on account settings or you can alter this manually as and when you see fit. This gives the potential to offer premium customers more than basic customers, while still enabling you to sell add-ons to each and every domain manager.

Statistics are always available detailing information for each of your clients and their domains. How you use this information is up to you but it enables you to monitor users to ensure that they are not using more than their allotted amounts of disk space, bandwidth, or anything else. Alternatively if you notice that a customer is about to reach their limit with a certain element of their account you are ideally placed to offer them more.

Customizable

One of the impressive features of Plesk is that it is almost entirely customizable. As a domain manager it is possible to add and remove buttons from your personal Plesk database. This is the home page, if you like, that you access when you log in. By giving you the power to customize your settings and determine the buttons and links that will appear, Plesk is highly user friendly and incredibly intuitive for all users. The options available are too extensive to show on one single screenshot but the following image gives a sample of some of the features that you can change at will:

 

Administrators, resellers, and host providers also retain this same degree of customization. It is possible to set up various different packages to offer customers and also include domain templates accordingly. Again, control is everything, and administrators have an equal amount of flexibility in the desktop that they see when logged on. Here is just a short sample of the buttons that can be added and removed to customize the appearance of your Plesk desktop.

 Add-Ons

Plesk also offers a wide range of add-ons that can be purchased one at a time or as part of the Plesk Plus bundle. These range in both price and functionality and your requirements alone will determine whether any are needed or not. Game servers, content management systems, and anti-spam add-ons are just a small sample of what you can purchase as a value added extra for you or for your customers.

Plesk Conclusion

Several things really stand out with the Plesk control panel range. The first is the obvious slant towards the Windows XP design of interface. While this might seem too simplistic at first glance it makes your account very easy to navigate especially when you consider the actual number and depth of functions that are available. Plesk is updated on a regular basis and the latest version always includes a raft of upgrades and new features.

If you are looking for a hosting account that offers a powerful and intuitive interface then look for host providers that offer the Plesk control panel. It’s wide range of features, ease of use, and customization make it the perfect control panel for administrators and for clients.

 

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