Today Parallels Plesk Panel 11.5 becomes available in a feature-complete preview. With Parallels commitment towards professional hosting, the 11.5 release is focused on professional aspects of the product, including business growth, upgrading, upsell and ease of operations, for both web hosts and website owners.
Easier to adopt and grow
Parallels Plesk Panel 11.5 makes it easier to move from previous versions of Parallels Plesk Panel, helping service providers take advantage of the latest technology and security, and rapidly grow their businesses.
We understand that professional hosters are growing and need technology solutions that will make that growth possible. In Parallels Plesk Panel 11.5, the ease of switching from other versions has been designed in, delivering a simplified and reliable transfer experience.
For example, the updated migration manager is designed to identify possible transfer limitations in advance, allowing you to configure new servers with the correct services, disk space and other resources before starting the transfer process.
During transfers, a new and streamlined process will now communicate errors in a way that is easier to identify and react to, and will help with troubleshooting by keeping all relevant logs in a single dedicated folder. For example, everything about recent transfers will be stored in /usr/local/psa/PMM/logs/migration-2013-04-10-19-39-22-557/.
At the same time, we are also enabling the transfer of sites with remote databases (avoiding "database already exists" errors) and improving backup compression by using pigz instead of gzip which reduces backup time up to 3x. (pigz = “parallel implementation of gzip” - a fully functional replacement for gzip that exploits multiple processors and multiple cores to the hilt when compressing data)
Some of our customers are running a mix of old and new panel versions because of the need to support new and old websites running with different PHP versions. With 11.5 you can mix and match PHP versions on a single server, allowing you to consolidate all websites into the latest version of the panel.
Windows hosters will find Parallels Plesk Panel 11.5 to be considerably faster on many backup and upgrade functions. Mail data is backed up and restored differently (not using slow IMAP), and MS SQL backups are sped up significantly by using native MS SQL backups. Additionally, 11.5 introduces deferred file transfer for less traffic and faster response times.
With these changes it will be easier for you to upgrade to the latest version of Parallels Plesk Panel, achieve greater security and comprehensive IPv6 support, prepare to grow into a multi-server solution someday, and deliver new services beyond shared hosting.
Easier to upsell
With Parallels Plesk Panel 11.5 you can maximize and control your upsell process with management of panel promotions, notifications, and licenses.
With previous versions of Parallels Plesk Panel you had to go outside of the panel to upgrade, upsell or communicate with your customers. With 11.5 and a new License Key Administrator interface called “KA Partner Central” (coming soon – not part of this Preview) you will be able to deliver custom notifications to your users and modify notifications in the panel. Shortly after Parallels Plesk Panel 11.5 releases, we will improve reporting and management of licenses to make it easier to track how and where your Parallels Plesk Panel licenses are used. We’ll also make it easier to add, suspend, or do other typical license operations in a clean, more modern UI.
Along with the growth of the Parallels Plesk Panel catalog of both open source and commercial applications, we have also improved the application experience by adding better search and browse capabilities and a quick unattended application installation experience. To support integration of some premium e-mail applications, such as Open-Xchange, Parallels Plesk Panel 11.5 adds support for the APS Mail Aspect.
Managing applications is also easier in Parallels Panel 11.5. You can install a specific version of an application (for example, if you expect plug-in compatibility issues), and easily keep applications up-to-date. Users get update notifications and can turn on automatic application updating. Hosting providers can turn on forced updates of all applications on the server - to guarantee security patches are loaded, for instance.
Parallels Plesk Panel 11.5 makes the most sophisticated professional web hosting features available to both Windows and Linux admins in a way that is easy to understand and use.
With older versions of Parallels Plesk Panel, some of our partners were frustrated because we did not give them enough control over the system and had to translate your sophisticated system administrative skills into a “Plesk way” of getting things done. We have addressed this concern in Parallels Plesk Panel 11.5 with many improvements for technical users. Parallels Panel 11.5 is more admin-friendly, so less training time is required. Plus, this latest version empowers webmasters to manage PHP and Web Server settings site-by-site in an SEO-safe manner - which includes appropriate configuration of redirects, domain aliases, www-prefix and appropriate suspend to keep sites showing up in search engines.
Parallels Plesk Panel 11.5 moves to well-understood, standard management practices used by Linux and Windows administrators. For Linux Admins, Parallels Plesk Panel 11.5 significantly simplifies the structure of the user’s home directory, allowing you to put your files where you need them, avoiding confusion with “strange” system folders so you can easily locate what you need. It also makes significant improvements in the CLI (command line interface) for admins who want to bypass the GUI to operate more rapidly.
Parallels Plesk Panel 11.5 makes the server administrator and infrastructure provider’s life easier with support of the well-known Atomic and Remi repositories which provide multiple 3rd party updates. To gain maximum performance, our new Hybrid Web Server can send static content and PHP scripts to nginx, while other scripts can still be executed in Apache. Plus, for convenience, database users can access multiple databases with the same credentials for all databases they have access to.
We enable multiple versions of PHP on any server, and you can define the PHP version used per website. This can be your custom PHP build or PHP downloaded from an alternative repository. Additional versions are selected per site and work with the FastCGI or CGI handlers.
Improved security is addressed through support for additional administrators on Linux (so there is no need to share passwords) and by secure FTP, so you can be PCI compliant and mitigate risks of intercepted user passwords.
Parallels Plesk Panel 11.5 is the most sophisticated and feature rich panel product on the market, delivering unparalleled control and professional grade usability and administration. Spending less time on administration and training new admins will drive increased efficiency.
With Parallels Plesk Panel 11.5, you are also only a step away from a next-level multi-server professional hosting solution, Parallels Plesk Automation. This solution is a natural evolution of Parallels Plesk Panel, and allows you to centralize mail and administration, manage Linux and Windows web hosting on the same system, and grow into VPS and services hosting over time. Only Parallels Plesk Panel gives you a clear path to growth.
Best Usability for Website Owners
Parallels Plesk Panel 11.5 lowers support and churn by delivering best-in-class usability for website owners.
Website and domain management is at the core of Parallels Plesk Panel. Although the prior version 10.x GUI looked attractive, the usability for websites and domains operations required improvement.
For Parallels Plesk Panel 11.5 we reworked the user interface to make working with sites more comfortable. Now, the Websites and Domains tab is the home screen with all domains and websites listed prominently on this screen. Our new Active List feature saves time for website owners by giving them more information about their sites and domains along with common tasks in an easy to navigate interface. We are also introducing graphical help screens, built-in operations search, entity search and training videos along with fully searchable documentation.
For email in Parallels Plesk Panel 11.5, you will have more choice of webmail clients – including Roundcube and Horde IMP 5.0.
Taken together these additions improve customer self-service and satisfaction, lowering support costs and customer churn risks for service providers.
You can download Parallels Plesk Panel 11.5 Preview here: http://www.parallels.com/download/plesk/11.5
Adam Bogobowicz, Sr. Director of Product Marketing