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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 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 “”, 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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Plesk and Django

ponyAs a follow-up to the article about Ruby on Rails and Plesk I’ll try to explain how to organize Django hosting on Plesk.

We will use an Ubuntu 14.04 server and Plesk 12.0 for our experiments. I assume that you will get this configuration somehow.

Plesk may use Apache and Apache+nginx for serving of websites. In the scope of this article we’ll check how to setup Django apps hosting only for Apache without nginx.

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Plesk 12.1.8 Preview

Plesk 12.1.8 early preview is available. This build is not for production usage, only for demonstration purposes.


Preview release highlights:​

Plesk and Ruby on Rails

railsIn this article I’ll try to explain how to run Ruby on Rails applications on a server managed by Plesk. Plesk itself does not support modern Rails apps natively. But this doesn’t mean that you cannot deploy such applications to Plesk hosting.

We will use an Ubuntu 14.04 server and Plesk 12.0 for our experiments. I assume that you will get this configuration somehow. It’s possible to deploy Rails apps on different OS and using different Plesk version, but all further commands will rely on Ubuntu 14.04 and Plesk 12.0 capabilities.  Read the rest of this entry »

Dropbox Backup 2.0

dropboxDropbox Backup is a Plesk extension that extends the built-in Backup Manager and allows you to use Dropbox storage. Read more about the extension in the previous post.

A new version of the extension was recently released. It is available in the Extensions Catalog. In this post, I would like to announce new features implemented in this version. All of them are based on the feedback collected from the blog and the forum. Please continue providing your ideas.

The extension is compatible with Plesk since version 11.5 on both Linux and Windows platforms.

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Plesk 12 and NAT Manager Extension

There might be cases when a Plesk server is located in a private network and it has only one internal IP address. In such cases, website visitors can access the hosted sites via the NAT technology. NAT translates public IP addresses into internal IP addresses and encapsulates this information in network packets.

Plesk uses one and the same IP address for various purposes. For example, an IP address is used for web hosting (Apache + nginx configuration files) and for DNS zone definitions. And here is a problem. In the former case, an internal IP address should be used, and in the latter case, an external IP address. Plesk UI shows only one IP address, but it does not let you configure the mapping (translation) of IP addresses.

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