Plesk Control Panel Review

Definition of Parallels Plesk Panel

Plesk was developed by Plesk Inc, which was later taken over by SWsoft. After few years, SWsoft was rebranded to Parallels Inc. during January, 2008, and thereafter, Plesk became famous as Parallels Plesk Panel.

Overview

Definition: Parallels Plesk Panel is an ingenious software package, commonly used as a commercial web hosting automation program. Plesk control panel makes use of a SSL-enabled web based GUI, incorporated with frames.



There are several types of control panels, and each of them offers something unique to the user. cPanel and Plesk are two popular choices; here's an insight to Plesk control panel.

Compatibility and Usage

Plesk can be used for Windows as well as Linux servers, while cPanel and several other control panels are used primarily with Linux web servers, making Plesk a universal choice.

Features and User-Interface

When you consider the features, there are loads of similarities between cPanel, and Plesk, and hardly any striking differences; the major difference lies in the user-interface.

While Plesk has an intuitive interface, much like Windows XP, cPanel controls are more like an organized set of options in an admin panel. Plesk can be customized using the ‘Virtuozzo’ software to create varieties of templates, and it has been renowned to increase ROI and revenues for professional web hosting providers.

Alternatives to Plesk

Following are some of the control panels that are used as an alternative to Plesk -

cPanel
• Baifox
• Virtualmin
• SysCP
• H-Sphere
• EBox
• Hosting Controller
• Lxadmin
• ISPConfig
• DirectAdmin
• Webmin

Issues with Plesk

Security Issues: There have been security issues raised against Plesk, and biggest one being the fact that all virtual hosts share the configuration, and run under same Apache user.

Taking this issue into consideration, Plesk 7.5.6 and later versions (for Windows) were configured in such a way that all virtual hosts run under corresponding process groups, thereby eliminating the aforementioned problem.

Apache2-mpm-itk Module: Secondly, Multi-Processing Module - apache2-mpm-itk, was introduced in Plesk for Linux for the same reason as well.

8443 Port Default for HTTPS Apps: Another issue with Plesk is the fact that it defaults to Port 8443 for https apps, which causes trouble with Microsoft Small Business Servers, Microsoft ISA servers, and other servers that don’t accept non standard https ports.

But, upgrading apps installed with one-click installation scripts isn’t an effortless process. Many security flaws seem to surface up, making the servers vulnerable after the upgrade process.

Backup & Restore: Its data backup and restore functionality is yet another huge drawback, since Plesk makes use of large amounts of server disk space, before uploading files to the desired FTP server. This limits usable server storage space, and administrators are forced to either leave large amounts of unused disk space or not to backup data very often.

The Bottom-Line

Segregated modular interface and simple installation process make Plesk a hot choice, not to mention the possibility to install web applications in a matter of few mouse clicks using the APS-standard.



Despite all the above-mentioned issues, VPS users also prefer Plesk, since it is a compact software package that doesn't eat up a big chunk of system resources.

It’s quite customizable, and turns out to be a good choice for shared hosting, dedicated hosting, VPS, and all forms of hosting accounts. However, those who find it tough to understand the technicalities, and love to survive with just one-click installation scripts, and automated set-up wizards prefer cPanel over Plesk. Keeping complexity apart, there's nothing wrong with Plesk, and even I prefer it personally over cPanel when I don't need the automated wizards etc.

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