Most web servers like Apache or Nginx are by default set up and maintained via the console of the respective operating system. For this purpose it is necessary to learn the corresponding commands. Control panels like Plesk make server administration much easier with their graphical user interface and can be a great help especially for inexperienced system administrators.
What is Plesk?
Plesk is a hosting control panel that helps users manage web and DNS services as well as email mailboxes and other services through a GUI (Graphical User Interface). The software serves as an intermediary between system applications and users. Thus, all operations in the system can be controlled from one user interface.
The software was developed mainly for hosting service providers who can offer separate accounts for server management to their customers. To do this, install the control panel on the server. For Linux systems, the Apache HTTP web server is used, which is supplemented by Nginx as a reverse proxy server to increase performance. Linux is also highly recommended as a server platform due to higher security and stability.
On Windows, Plesk runs on the IIS HTTP server.
The software is offered by Plesk International GmbH in 4 different license models. Depending on the license, 10 to unlimited domains can be managed. There are also differences in the range of functions and service.
Functions of Plesk
Plesk includes an extensive range of basic functions. These include the following, among others:
- Web hosting – users can use the panel to create custom document masters as well as virtual hosts, install and manage the PHP scripting language or ASP, among other things.Configure Net for Windows.
- Email management – Also in this area the software offers many tools like creating own mailboxes, mailing lists or automatic email notifications. In addition, Plesk comes with spam protection and antivirus software.
- DNS management – Plesk provides all the basic functions of a DNS server. However, if desired, these can be disabled and an external provider can be used.
- Database servers – Both the MySQL and PostgreSQL database servers are supported.
- Server administration – Numerous options such as an intuitive IP address management, various server configurations, an event handler, extensive statistics and analysis tools as well as the possibility to create additional administrator accounts support system admins in managing various servers in a time and cost-saving manner.
The list of functions is far from complete. Numerous extensions make the Control Panel extremely flexible and adaptable to the needs of any user.
What are the alternative control panels?
The market for server management programs is large. But one of the best known alternative solutions is cPanel. The software was developed by cPanel Inc. In 1997 mainly for Linux or. Unix operating systems such as CentOS, FreeBSD or Cloudlinux developed. As before, cPanel can also be installed only on certain Linux distributions. It is not suitable for Windows.
As a paid program, cPanel offers extensive tools for server administrators on a graphical user interface, so that it is in no way inferior to the functions of Plesk. In addition, cPanel is also extensible through numerous add-ons.
In addition to the two industry giants, there are also many open source solutions available for server management. Thus, programs such as
Compete with the market leaders.
The decision on which solution is better for which user will be largely based on cost, feature set and the choice of operating system used.
For whom is Plesk suitable
Plesk is clearly aimed at demanding professional system administrators and web hosting providers. Properly configured, the software makes it much easier for end users to manage their hosting packages. This is ensured by the intuitive GUI and the extensive tools.
Plesk is a good solution for the mentioned target group. To try out the software, the company offers a two-week trial version.