Parallels Plesk Reality vs. Myths
By Craig Bartholomew, Vice President, Shared Hosting, Parallels
Many people claim to know Parallels Plesk, but we regularly see postings about Plesk that indicate enough out-of-date knowledge that some people may want to take a fresh look at Plesk. Our release of Plesk 10.4 is a chance to finally put some myths about Plesk to rest.
I came to Parallels from Microsoft in June 2009 to lead the Plesk team, after 21 years there in product development. I found a very talented team here at Parallels that was beginning to invest more heavily in both enhanced testing as well as improved processes to improve quality. For the past two and a half years, my team and I have stayed focused on customer needs, performance, security and, of course, quality. Plesk 10.4 is the 5th release in the Plesk 10 line, and is the culmination of a lot of hard work in quality assurance and innovation.
We hope you’ll take a fresh look at Plesk – not simply believing those who profess deep knowledge of Plesk in Forums – but in reality knew only Plesk 8 or 9. We believe that Plesk will give you the best path forward toward the future of Hosting, as we take more and more steps to future-proof you – such as our industry-leading support of IPv6 and SNI. Our 10.4 online demos are up and running now under the Demos tab on http://www.parallels.com/products/plesk/demos/. Please check them out.
To help you further along the way of understanding where we’re at on 10.4, I’d like to debunk 20 myths about Plesk. Here are the first five:
Myth #1: Plesk does not give me the control I need. Plesk really annoyed me when it would overwrite the changes I made as an Admin.
Reality: Earlier versions of Plesk were a bit like nannies – overwriting the config changes you tried to make. In Plesk 10.4, you have the control over your environment that you have been demanding. Our innovative Custom PHP Settings gives you intuitive control over versions and settings for PHP per VHost or website (depending on the permissions you set). Advanced users can go beyond the simple drop-down selectors in the UI and configure their own advanced settings. Also in Plesk, Hosters can define custom Apache configuration templates for each VHost, and go to the revised Tools & Settings page in Plesk 10.4 to turn on/off Apache modules.
Myth #2: Plesk is not secure. I’ve even seen that in Wikipedia.
Reality: Well, we can’t speak for Wikipedia (which really needs to be updated on this – any volunteers?), but we have put special focus on fixing every known aspect of Security in Plesk 10.x. Version 10 is easily configured to pass PCI scans. In addition, we randomly generate new Admin passwords (replacing insecure default passwords) and have added a password strength indicator. We have addressed cross-site scripting vulnerabilities – including adding a token to pass any input from forms in the UI. If we encounter security problems (typically in 3rd party components), we respond quickly with fixes.
Myth #3: Plesk does not provide good Site Isolation for shared hosting.
Reality: Since the outset, Plesk 10 has offered site isolation. Plesk does this using FastCGI to provide industry-leading shared hosting account density per server. So, we not only give good site isolation, but also good economics on the number of shared hosting accounts per server.
Myth #4: Plesk is too expensive. It is more expensive than other Control Panels.
Reality: Plesk used to be more expensive if you tried to run Plesk on non-Parallels virtualized environments. We are fixing that by making the Plesk Unlimited Domain VPS license available on all virtualized environments. Also, the Plesk Unlimited dedicated license is typically at $39.95/month or lower at most of our hosting partners – which is competitive. But, because Plesk offers you integrated Billing and integrated Site Creation, the combined price of the Plesk family is advantageous to you in both price and simplicity. And if you choose to enable Parallels Partner Storefront in your Plesk Panel, you can partner with Parallels to resell high value SaaS applications from leading application vendors – all with a few mouse clicks. We think of “value” more than price – and we think we offer very, very good value.
Myth #5: The included Billing with Plesk is the old ModernBill, which is quite buggy and outdated, so it really isn’t worth much.
Reality: Plesk’s Customer and Business Manager is several generations advanced from ModernBill and now is available on both Linux and Windows. Initial configuration and the entire UI has been streamlined and updated based on usability testing. It supports international currencies, international tax rules, and a reseller tier now. There is very strong active development and dramatically improved QA on this product. The reasonable price means you should definitely take a second look at this.
Check this blog next week (or better yet, subscribe to it) for the next five Myths about Parallels Plesk Panel.
We encourage you to be myth-busters on Plesk. Check out our website at http://www.parallels.com/products/plesk/ and spread the word. It’s a new Plesk we are talking about now, and you should check it out.
All the best,
VP, Shared Hosting