One web hosting provider suggested that the best hosts choose a control panel that fits the needs of their business while others simply build a business around their control panel. However, web hosts can actually do both. Those who do carefully test available systems often end up using their control panel for strategic business opportunities. A powerful Plesk platform allows providers to be proactive with their clients. One Parallels client confirms this by stating that Plesk provides the options he needs to upsell his clients, motivating them to grow their infrastructure or to migrate to higher-end products. The bottom line is that Parallels Plesk 12 adds increased revenue potential to a web server installation.
Do Hosting Clients Care About a Particular Control Panel?
The short answer is no. Although Plesk is well-known among providers, it is generally unknown among clients. However, customers are aware when a provider is giving them additional value. Mercedes owners may not know the nuts and bolts of the design of their automobiles, but they definitely know they are driving a Mercedes. Clients who have experienced different providers learn which enhance their business more.
Version 12 Results From a Provider-Centric Design Process
The functionality for Parallels Plesk Version 12 resulted from providers using earlier version. The design team made sure to fine-tune the platform according to provider requirements. A significant source of customer feedback came from the Parallels website forums. At these forums, the Plesk designers showed how the customer feedback led to the features of the new release.
Parallels released Plesk 12 following a process similar to that used by Microsoft for a new release of the Windows Operating System. Providers participated further in the design by downloading pre-release versions of the new Plesk platform, and contributing ideas that ended up in the final release in May 2014. This process made Version 12 a provider-centric solution.
Plesk 12 Flexibility
One of the most powerful features of the new Plesk release is the upgraded reseller management tools. These tools allow the provider to seamlessly convert a client from a customer to a reseller and back again. Hosts utilizing Plesk can offer their clients many options to improve their operations.
Several years ago, a popular caveat stated, “cPanel for Linux servers, Plesk for Windows.” This is no longer the case. Modern Plesk supports both Linux and Windows installations. The Linux/Unix version supports a range of POSIX platforms, including Ubuntu, SUSE, Red Hat Linus, FreeBSD, Fedora, and Debian. Providers are no longer platform-limited when considering a Plesk solution.
New Security Model
The new Plesk Security Core combines the following components to provide a powerful security solution:
- Fail2Ban – this intrusion prevention framework protect servers from brute-force attacks, which occur when malware launches a systematic check for all possible decryption keys or passwords
- ModSecurity Rules by Atomicorp – this web application layer firewall (WAF) examines application inbound and outbound data streams by validating information passed through system calls. On this basis, it accepts or rejects socket calls between the application layer and the lower OSI layers.
- Outbound Antispam – this component filters spam leaving the servers. This helps prevent the associated IP addresses from being blacklisted
- Email Antivirus
This new security model results in increased server uptime as well as fewer support calls
As of August 2013, WordPress has penetrated over 22.0% of the top 10 million websites. The popularity of this easy-to-use blogging tool and content management system makes it an important target for control panel support. The Plesk 12 WordPress Toolkit offers the following features:
- Single point of entry for full WordPress installations as well as themes and plugins.
- Full installation control over installations and updates includes activating and removing themes and plugins.
- Make existing WordPress installations more secure by applying recommended security settings.
Four Editions for Tailor-Made Installations
Whether your customers host basic, self-managed sites or plan to resell full-featured hosting systems, Parallels has the solution for you. The Web Admin Edition and the Web App Edition provide the Power User Mode with the following UI Components:
- Power User View – provides intuitive account, subscription, and reseller management tools
- Custom View Management – allows or prohibits customers changing the Plesk UI appearance. Allows configuration to limit user options to just a few options as required.
The Web Admin Edition and the Web Pro Edition, in addition to the Power User Mode, offers the Service Provider Mode with the following components:
- Advanced Reseller Management – greatly simplifies server management. Allows configuration to move customer accounts to resellers and back again.
- Subscription Management – configures all aspects of a recurring revenue operation, including maintaining subscriber lists, providing automated billing, and managing orders and renewals.
- Account Management – control application access settings, manage servers from mobile devices, and provide integrated developer tools to extend server capabilities
These four editions provide the right tools for each client.
Why Switch From cPanel?
Plesk 12 features often convince hosts using less powerful setups to convert to the Parallels solution. But what about cPanel users who already have a powerful control panel? Here are some compelling reasons for users to make the switch:
- Organization and speed – Plesk is organized by section, allowing a streamlined workflow.
- Ease of migration – For cPanel users who try Plesk and prefer the new control panel, Parallels offers a straightforward migration process for migrating data objects between the two business models. cPanel parked domains are converted to Plesk domain aliases. Plesk creates new passwords for FTP users. The complete migration process is contained in a support paper.
- No missing features – cPanel users can expect full in the use of their new Plesk installation.
Trying Plesk 12 Is Easy
The best way to learn about Parallels Plesk is to put it to work in normal operations. Plesk will need a dedicated server as it cannot share machines with cPanel or other solutions. Website hosts can unleash Plesk on their everyday tasks.
Not all hosting providers have the resources for a full trial. For those customers, Plesk offers a web-based demonstration that allows those clients to see Plesk in action in a simulated business environment. Parallels wants to make sure you have the opportunity to get comfortable with their powerful platform before making any decisions.