Plesk is a control panel available on Windows based hosting accounts and servers. Plesk is a popular choice for professionals and beginners alike. Unlike cPanel, Plesk works on both Linux and Windows servers.
This means that if you get comfortable with using this control panel, you can use the same familiar interface in case you need to switch from running sites that require Windows-only applications to those that need to be run on Linux.
It lets you easily manage many aspects of your account, including the files, applications and email hosted on your account or server.
This is a beginners guide to Plesk. It covers the basics of setting up Plesk and getting you started.
What can You do with Plesk?
A lot! This is where you’ll come to…
- Connect domain names to your hosting
- Set up emails for your site
- Install WordPress (or another content management system)
- Back up your website
- Upload files
- Check your bandwidth usage
It has a number of built-in applications users can easily install, so people with zero technical background can add as many feature-rich apps into their website. In addition, experienced owners use can also take advantage of other powerful options such as multiple FTP accounts and direct API access.
The most important concepts you should know about Plesk Panel
- Domain is replaced by subscription. The concept of a domain has been replaced with a concept of a subscription – a hosting unit able to run multiple sites (domains and subdomains) over given resources and services. Multi-domain hosting within one subscription is limited to one IP address. Customers who need to host sites on different IP addresses are advised to obtain additional subscriptions.
- Resources of a client are now resources of a subscription. Customers no longer need to redistribute their resources across domains or subscription. Each subscription is allocated a fixed set of resources according to a hosting plan.
- All web content is now stored in a single directory – httpdocs.
How do You log in?
Once you have purchased a Plesk web hosting and have been provided login details by the host, you would need to enter your Plesk Panel. In order to do so, you can either add :8443 (secured) or :8880 (unsecured) to the end of your website/hosting IP address or website name.
Note: Let’s have a look on the detailed article of accessing the Plesk Panel.
Please make sure that you have pointed the name servers in your domain registrar to the name servers provided by your hosting company. If you have purchased the domain from the web hosting company, the chances are that they have already pointed the name servers and your website is probably live by now. DNS/name server propagation can take up to 24 hours and so your website might not be live instantly after pointing the name servers.
Strengthen Your Security
Once you’ve logged into Parallels Plesk Panel, make sure nobody else can steal your username and password. Change your password at frequent intervals, don’t leave it where it might be seen, and use a combination of characters that cannot be guessed by others.
This means avoid using any word you can find in a dictionary and any sequence of characters that is connected with you (for example, your date of birth or your name).
Remember also to do this for each password you have for the different activities (user, administrator, FTP, and so on). Luckily, Plesk Panel provides a tool to help you – it’s the on-screen Password Generator.
A Quick Intro to Parallels Plesk Panel Interface
Once you’ve logged in, you should see a screen something like this:
Getting Around in Parallels Plesk Panel
Home Tab: On this tab, you will see a summary of the entire Subscription, including links to manage the various areas. We will be discussing each of these features individually on their own tabs.
Users Tab: Each Plesk subscription is having the ability of its own user accounts that can have various levels of access to the subscription’s features. It’s also possible to configure user accounts so they can only access certain subscriptions.
Note: Please check the detailed article on how to manage user roles and accounts in plesk.
Websites & Domains Tab: This tab will probably become your main destination for configuring the resources used by your websites. Here, you can set up FTP accounts and databases, back up your sites, view statistics, use the file manager, and even see a site preview if DNS is not pointed to your server yet. This tab includes:
Web Statistics: To find out how many people visited a site, from what countries and what pages of the site they viewed. Let’s look on the article.
Web Users: You can host on your web server personal web pages for users who do not need their own domain names. These pages usually have web addresses like http://yourdomain.com/~username. Learn to accommodate a personal web page under your domain.
Password Protected Directories: If you have directories in a site that only authorized users should see, restrict access to these directories with password protection. Learn to protect a directory in your site with a password and to specify authorized users.
Hotlink Protection: Hotlinking (also called file leeching, remote linking, direct linking, bandwidth stealing) is a term used for describing a situation when a web page of one domain owner is directly linking to images (or other multimedia files) on the web pages of another domain owner. Learn how to protect a website from hotlinking.
Virtual Directories: A virtual directory is a link to an existing physical directory that is present on the server’s hard disk. Virtual directories can have a number of specific settings like custom ASP.NET configuration, access permissions, and protection with a password. See the article to create a virtual directory in Plesk.
File Manager: If you already have a website created by yourself or a web design studio, just upload the website files and folders to your provider’s server. You can do this using plesk panel file manager.
DNS Settings: Check the detailed article to manage DNS Zones in Plesk Panel.
Add New Domain: If your hosting package includes more than one domain name (website), then you can easily add new domains to the server. Before you start adding a new domain that will use a second-level domain name, like example.com, be sure to register this domain name. You can manage addon domains in plesk.
Add New Sub Domain: If your hosting package includes subdomains, which are additional third-level domain names. Learn out how to manage sub domains in Plesk Panel.
Add New Domain Alias: If you have registered with a domain name registrar several domain names that you would like to point to the same website that you host on this server, you should set up domain aliases. Check detailed article here.
Scheduled Tasks: If you need to run scripts on your hosting account at specific time, use the task scheduler in the Panel to make the system automatically run the scripts for you. Check how to run cron jobs in Plesk.
Databases: In most cases, you will use a database along with a dynamic web page language to create and manage your website. Your website data is stored within the database so that it can be easily accessed by web page and viewed by your website users. Navigate to the article below for instructions on creating databases, creating databases, and logging in to the database.
FTP Access: FTP is used to transfer files between computers on a network. You can use FTP to exchange files between computer accounts, transfer files between an account and a desktop computer or access online software archives.Let’s have a look on article here.[/li_item]
Backup Manager: You can perform backup manually at any time, or schedule it for a specific time. For example, make the full backup once a day at night time when the number of site visits is minimal. You can learn the backing up of your data in plesk.
Mail Tab: You can add email addresses to a subscription. You can also check the usage statistics for each email address so you can identify any over-quota problems. You can also change your webmail default and disable email entirely for the subscription as well. See the articles below for more information on managing emails using Plesk Panel.
Application Tab: Plesk has an entire Application Vault you can install website software like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. The Application Vault makes installing, setting up, and managing these applications easy and integrates them into Plesk. Plesk also take care of how to manage software installed via the Application Vault when it takes backups.
See the detailed article on how to install the applications in Plesk Panel.
Statistics Tab: On this tab you will find the detailed reports on how your website and resources are being used for the subscription so you can find any issues and address them appropriately.
Account Tab: One of the very features accessible from this page are the backup buttons. Here is the customer profile for the subscription, where you can change some administrative and contact details such as your panel password, language, and preferred email address. Learn how to update your contact information in Plesk.
Thats all folks! The information above will help you get started in using Plesk successfully. Now enjoy using your new web hosting and Plesk Panel. Hope this basic guide helped you in familiarising with your control panel.