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Plesk is a web hosting control panel, similar to cPanel, used for hosting management. It typically runs on a Windows operating system and requires licensing to operate outside of offered free trials. Although Plesk is not entirely free, it provides multiple benefits for managing your websites or servers. Many of these benefits integrate into a CSM (Content Management System), which you can use to install popular website applications like WordPress, Drupal, and more.
Plesk's user management model is suited for dedicated and shared hosting to provide server administrators with the ability to set up new websites, reseller accounts, email accounts, and the editing and creation of DNS entries through a web-based interface. Plesk's features and solutions include the automation and management of domain names, email accounts, web applications, programming languages, databases, and infrastructure tasks to offer a ready-to-code environment with solid security across all layers and operating systems.
Plesk supports the most popular database engines, and it is shipped with the corresponding database management tools to do so. Plesk for Linux supports MariaDB, MySQL, and PostgreSQL database servers. Plesk for Windows supports Microsoft SQL and MySQL.
The Plesk Platform includes extensions for Backup, DNS, Cloud, Security, and Server Tools. And its control panel allows its users to set up new websites, reseller accounts, email accounts, edit and create DNS entries, and many more through a web-based interface.
Plesk is used and offered by thousands of Hosting companies and Cloud Service Providers around the world. These include incredibly well-established companies like GoDaddy, AWS, Google, Microsoft Azure, and many more.
Plesk's web server management tools secure and automate server and website administration as well as operations to free up time and allow developers, designers, and agencies to focus on their core businesses.
Plesk offers three licenses for use with options for both a dedicated server or a virtual server (VPS) with the choice to. Note that the dedicated server licenses are more expensive for each offering.
Plesk Web Admin Edition: Admin edition allows for the management of up to 10 domains. For basic management of simple websites, without the extended tools and features that more comprehensive editions offer.
Plesk Web Pro Edition: This provides management capability for up to 30 domains while providing the ability to use the Plesk WordPress Toolkit.
Plesk Web Host Edition: The penultimate offering by Plesk delivers unlimited domain management to the owner. Plesk's Web Host Edition provides the ability for an administrator to also create additional reseller accounts, acting as a web host provider.
Plesk also offers a robust learning center at Plesk University. Plesk offers certifications, courses, and exams by which anyone can become a master. Pick from a multitude of topics, ranging from the Plesk Obsidian Expert platform to the SEO Toolkit offerings.
A cloud VPS with Windows Server 2012 or higher installed, Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection, and a Plesk license are required in order to continue with this tutorial.
You can purchase Plesk licenses through several means, but Hostwinds provides them through our services. You can purchase the licenses from the Services and Addons section of the Hostwinds Client Portal.
To order your Plesk license through the Hostwinds Client Portal, you will need to first log into your client portal by moving to the top right of the Hostwinds.com website and clicking on the Sign in link. Once you have done so, you will be transported to the Client Portal and from here, look at the left side of the blue menu bar for the Services dropdown link. From this dropdown, click on the Order new Services link or View Available Addons link. Clicking on either of these links will take you to a page that will present a Categories drop down on the left side of the dashboard.
From there, click on the Licenses link to view a list of licenses available to you and search for a Plesk Panel license. Click the green Order Now button on the License Edition you would like to purchase and pay for the license. Once purchased, you can view all of your license credentials by going to the Services dropdown link and clicking on the My Services link. Click then on the License name or the green Manage button to the right in the same row to move to the license's information page. You will now have all the information you need to complete the rest of this tutorial.
Note: Before installing Plesk, you must first log in to your Cloud VPS and run a windows update.
Step 1: To start, you will need to download the Plesk installation package provided. From a web browser window inside the VPS, go to:
Step 2: Next, you need to run the Plesk Installation Package.
Do this by opening the Windows command prompt, and then run the following:
Open Windows command prompt, and then run the following:
Cd c:\users\administrator\downloads plesk-installer.exe --web-interface
Step 3: Log in to the Plesk Installer using the login credentials for the administrator account.
Step 4: Click Install or Upgrade Product, select Plesk and make sure you are installing the latest stable version. Once you have done so, click "Continue" to begin the Plesk download.
Step 5: Once the latest version of Plesk finishes downloading, click "Continue" to start the installation. You must pick a Plesk administrator password to use when you log in to the admin account, which is the same as your Cloud VPS login password.
Then click "Continue" to start the installation, and once complete, click OK. Now that the installation of Plesk is complete, the Plesk Obsidian shortcut will be on your desktop. Use this to access the Plesk Server from the VPS, or go to http://IPADDRESS:8443 in a different browser to access your Plesk Server remotely.
Written by Hostwinds Team / July 31, 2021