A browser based server control panel such as Plesk or cPanel is an interface that allows web site owners to manage the services provided by their hosting service. These control panels offer a graphical user interface and tools to manage the backend of your website, email configuration and account settings.
Plesk is one of the leading server control panels in the US market. In the European markets, it has a share of 75 to 80 percent. Plesk makes the website administration very easy even if you manage a large number of sites created with different technology.
What is Plesk?
Plesk is the short version of Parallel’s Plesk Panel. It is a great alternative to another popular web server management tool, cPanel. With its graphical user interface, non-technical website owners can also manage their websites easily. With Plesk, website owners can perform all kinds of website management tasks such as setting up the mailbox, creating FTP accounts, managing DNS autoresponders, adding domains, file management, and database management.
- Plesk Interface – Plesk Interface is simplistic and allows webmasters to perform administrative tasks in just a few clicks. Installation of Content Management Systems(CMS), such as WordPress is straightforward with its one click installation. The built-in WordPress toolkit allows you to manage themes and plugins. Control Panel is highly customizable, and you can add or remove buttons as per your requirements. The integrated search box lets the users search for the functionality they need. You can create multiple accounts with limited permissions for your employees to manage your site.
- Security – Plesk is highly secure and protects your site from possible attacks such as malware, trojans, etc. It gives you options to block IP addresses from the control panel. With its ModSecurity Firewall, you can customize the firewall settings according to your preferences.
- Free Site Builder – It comes with a free website builder, and you can build websites with its easy to use, drag and drop functions. You can choose your preferred template from a hundred pre-built templates.
- Automation – With the auto component updater, you don’t need to update your installed components on the interface manually.
- Mobile Monitoring – You can monitor and control your website’s backend with your mobile device.
Plesk Vs cPanel
All the leading control panels provide the essential features for server maintenance but differ from each other in usability, maintenance, security and many other things. Both Plesk and cPanel have a user-friendly interface, but certain differences make each one of them unique.
- Functions – A control panel provides only four core services, DNS, email management, website maintenance and database management. Besides the essential functions, web masters also need other features such as Spam Filtering, SSL management, logs, file management, backup, reseller support, etc.
- Plesk as well as cPanel, both provide the necessary features, but the key difference between these panels is the additional features provided by third-party app developers.
- cPanel provides API based access to the developers to build add-ons and extend the basic functionality of the cPanel. For instance, external providers such as Fantastico, CSF Firewall, RV Skins add a significant number of apps to the interface and provides many advanced security options.
- Plesk’s Extension Directory, Parallel’s Add-on Directory and external app providers such as 4PSA allows the users to add more features to the interface.
- Operating System – Plesk supports Linux as well as Windows Operating System. cPanel, on the other hand, is a Linux only control panel.
- Interface – Both cPanel and Plesk can be used by web masters with a non-technical background. cPanel offers a minimalist design with large icons organized in groups. Most functions can be completed by navigating to only two screens. Plesk Interface is also easy to use, but not as minimalist as cPanel. However, it offers more options right on the home screen. The Interface is easy to navigate with the left-side pane. Essential functions such as email account creation do not require navigating to too many screens, just like cPanel.
- Security – Security of the server and accounts is the most important factor while choosing a server control panel. With the segregated account access mechanisms, security of accounts is ensured on both the control panels. Password policies, Session Idle Time and blacklisting of IPs make both the panels highly secure. For account level security, you can install web application firewalls, anti-spam filters, multi-factor authentication and file upload scanners. Regarding security infrastructure, both the panels are equally good, but Plesk is known for its quick security fixes.
Plesk Onyx offers all the features that the Plesk comes along with a suite of advanced features for web professionals.
Advanced Features of Plesk Onyx
- Git Deployment – You can manage your git repositories and install websites from them directly to the targeted directory. You can use software engineering services such as Github, BitBucket, Travis, etc.
- System Update Tools – You can control the update settings of the individual packages. You can enable the predictable updates and automatic updates of the system packages and the panel.
- SSL Implementation – Onyx provides SSL certificate management for the mailing services. With Let’s Encrypt implementation, you can easily create security certificate for each domain.
- Integrated WordPress Toolkit – With WordPress theme and plugin management, self-repair functionality and other features, it becomes easy for you to mass-manage many WordPress websites with just a few clicks.
- Ruby Support – Onyx provides an environment for the Ruby apps. Ruby is available in different versions. It gives you an ability to scan and detect a Ruby app deployed on the domain. You can also restart the ruby app from the panel.
There are many other additional features offered by Onyx besides the above-listed ones such as Python Support, Plesk Extensions SDK, DNSSec Support, Docker Support, etc.
Plesk is a fantastic server control panel for newbies and advanced users alike. It is designed to allow individuals and small to medium sized business owners to manage their servers without paying for the expensive administration services. With high reliability and security, it empowers businesses to maintain their websites and related services easily.