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Tech blog for Plesk from Plesk developers
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How to Write Your Own Utilities Using Plesk API-RPC and CLI

Plesk API/CLIEvery now and then the Plesk development team gets requests to expand the functionality of existing command line utilities or to add new ones. We try to take such requests into account, but, seeing as major Plesk releases only happen roughly once a year, many months may pass before a customer’s vision becomes a reality. However, there is another way to get the desired functionality. If you find yourself in a situation where no existing utility does exactly what you want to, you can create your own using Plesk API-RPC and expanding upon the functionality of existing CLI utilities. Read the rest of this entry »

Protecting Your WordPress Installations With Fail2ban

There is no two ways about it: having your server compromised sucks. Seeing your website defaced or infected with malicious scripts feels like a punch in the gut. Did you know that modern brute force tools can test millions of passwords per second? It takes around 15 minutes to crack an average password (eight symbols in length, consisting of mixed-case letters, numbers, and special symbols). Is there anything you can do to protect yourself? Read the rest of this entry »

What is Plesk application pool in IIS?

AppPoolsInPleskThis article describes when, why, and how many application pools are created by Plesk in IIS.

There are two types of application pools in Plesk: shared and dedicated. Shared application pools are assigned to serve sites that do not have dedicated pools. Dedicated pools are used to serve only the sites of the customer or reseller to whom the pool is assigned. Dedicated pools isolate sites of different customers or resellers from each other. It increases the stability of different sites if one of the customer’s or reseller’s sites crashes. For more information about application pools and their management see the Plesk Administrator’s Guide. Read the rest of this entry »

Passwords in Plesk – just say No

password-less-loginUsing passwords for authentication has its caveats. Strong passwords are hard to remember, while weak ones are easily guessed. Once you have to keep track of dozens of passwords, committing them all to memory becomes unfeasible; you start writing them down (images of a passwords written on post-it notes stuck to the monitor make security specialists wake up in cold sweat), or reusing the same password for different services (even if it is a good one, recycling a password is far from ideal). Using a special application like 1password is always an option, but some may baulk at the $50 it costs to use the version for Mac. All this makes one wonder: how do I reduce the number of passwords I need to remember without putting security in jeopardy?

Starting with version 12, Plesk comes with a number of features enabling you to log in to the panel without using passwords. Most of the scenarios described further are enabled by Plesk extensions. To install one of those, log in to Plesk, click Extensions in the left-hand menu, and then click Extensions Catalog. In this article I will be providing links to the Extensions Catalog website to make it easier to find the extensions I will be talking about.

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Statistics in Plesk

As they say, there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. We need not concern ourselves with the former, but the latter might be of interest; specifically, statistics in Parallels Plesk. On the surface, the concept appears to be simple enough – it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that it is about crunching numbers pertaining to the disk and traffic usage on a server – but the particulars are relatively obscure. This article aims to give an in-depth, “under the hood” overview of how statistics generation works in Plesk, highlight potential issues, as well as provide some troubleshooting advice.

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Unattended Installation of Plesk in DigitalOcean

Why in the World Would I Need This?

I spend a lot of time developing and testing all kinds of cool stuff for web hosting, and I’m using VMs with Plesk for my experiments. As you can imagine, installing and configuring a new Plesk installation every time you need one can be a bit of a bore. When tinkering, I am using DigitalOcean cloud services, and pre-configured system image is a major time saver. Yes, you heard it right! Plesk handles server cloning really well.

Even if you do not do testing, but are in the managed hosting business, use DigitalOcean, and are sick and tired of installing Plesk manually, this article may be of use for you.

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What is the problem with “ß”

Our German customers frequently ask to start supporting the German “ß” character in Plesk. The character is also known as “sharp-s” or “Eszett”.  So why don’t we just fix this problem?

Well, the answer is that the problem is not in Plesk and is not at the server-side at all. As you may know, international (in fact, national) characters were enabled in domain names with IDNA 2003 protocol, which introduced a procedure converting national names (German, Cyrillic, Chinese, etc) into something looking like xn--fa-hia.com. The idea was that national domain names would  be equally converted into such an ASCII string on the client side (browser) and on the server side (DNS and Web servers), thus all existing Internet protocols  would easily pass this converted ASCII string without any modification. Cool? Exactly! Except that original IDNA 2003 protocol didn’t support several characters properly and one of those was “ß”.  It was interpreted as mere ‘ss’. So “faß.de” domain (for example) was processed as “fass.de”, ignoring the national character.

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Extensions: IDE and APIs Hinting

Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 12.39.17A development process should be comfortable. It means that you should have an editor or an IDE that allows you to express your thoughts in a fast and easy manner. Of course, the editor or the IDE requires fine-tuning. If you are working on a new extension for Plesk, I suggest to take a look at PhpStorm. It’s a great IDE by JetBrains for PHP-based projects. Good news are that PhpStorm has a 30-days trial and you can try it for free. Out of the box PhpStorm does not know anything about Plesk extensions. And we’ll try to do the development of Plesk extensions a little bit more comfortable.

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Plesk Mobile Manager for Windows Phone

 

Plesk Mobile Manager for Windows Phone 8.1 is now available.

You can download it from Windows Phone store.

Here is an overview of the main features of Plesk Mobile Manager.

 

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How we made life better for WordPress users in Plesk

WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world today, powering more than 74 million websites in the world and 47% of all websites using a CMS. It’s giving birth to dozens of millions of new posts and comments each month, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. WordPress also dominates application installations in Plesk – in fact, it comprises almost two thirds of all known applications installed on Plesk servers. After looking at all these numbers, it should not be a surprise for any person involved in hosting industry that we have decided to address the growing market of WordPress users by adding a tool that helps them manage and secure their blogs. Enter WordPress Toolkit, available in Plesk 12:

Toolkit overview

In this article I will explain the ways WordPress Toolkit helps WordPress hosters and users, address some misconceptions, answer several frequently asked questions, and share some spoilers about what’s to come in the next versions of WordPress Toolkit.

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