Why Choose Plesk Over cPanel?

Plesk takes a holistic approach with over 100 extensions to help you customize a dashboard for your specific needs. It includes features standard to web management tools such as providing a website overview, file management and efficient backups.  But Plesk goes beyond standard, to combine functionality into a single platform that can be used for development, management and automation of websites.

It is a must have for web professionals, giving you the ability to deploy changes quickly, manage multiple websites from one dashboard and configure advanced HTML notifications.  Plesk has robust mail and server security that can help reduce outages. It’s also a popular choice for hosting WordPress websites largely due to it’s easy to use WordPress Toolkit.  Plesk runs on all runs on all virtualization and container platforms, plus cloud providers like ServerMania.

Plesk System Requirements

Plex can be installed on a Linux or Windows Server but this article will focus on Windows Servers.  Click here for a full list of supported versions of Linux and install requirements.

Window Server Requirements

Windows Server 2012, 2012 R2, 2016 and 2019 are supported.  All versions must be 64 bit.  When installing on a Windows Server you need to set a static IP address and use a NTFS partition.

If your website will use Active Server Pages or Microsoft FrontPage Server Extensions you will need to install these components separately from the Plesk install.  Additionally, if you are using Microsoft SQL Server, it should be installed and configured to use standard or mixed security mode.

It is not recommended to install Plesk on a Windows Server that is acting as an Active Directory Domain Controller or backup Controller.  Doing so may cause the server to crash during the creation of domains.  In general, you want a fresh server with internet connectivity.  Open ports 8443 and 8447 if installing by browser.

Supported Browsers

The latest versions of Mozilla Firefox for Windows and Mac OS, Microsoft Edge for Windows, Apple Safari for Mac OS and Google Chrome for Windows and Mac OS are supported.  There is also support for recent versions of iOS (8 and up) and Android (4.x and up) for phones and tablets.

Plesk Installation Instructions

You have three options for installing Plesk on your server.  You can install via browser using the Plesk Installer.  You can use a One-Click installation or you can even do an Unattended Installation.

The installation process should take about 30 minutes.  During the process you will select components to install.  Components can always be added or removed after the initial install.

Installation via Browser

Installation via a browser is easy and gives you the advantage of selecting what components you want to install from a graphical interface.

  1. Connect to your server by Remote Desktop Connection.
  2. Download and run the Plesk Installer on the server.  You can get the Plesk installer download from plesk.com/plesk-free-download/
  3. A browser window will open and prompt you for the Administrators credentials.
  4. An install wizard will open in the browser.  Choose Install or Upgrade Product.  The screens will allow you to select what components you wish to install.  Some components may require you to enter parameters, such as mail server address for mail components.

Installation via One-Click

The One-Click installation is quick, but will install a default set of components.  This will be fine for most users.

  1. As in the previous example, connect to your server by Remote Desktop Connection.
  2. Go to a command prompt as Administrator.  From a windows start menu, type cmd and then right click on Command Prompt and choose Run as administrator.
  3. Run powershell.  From the command prompt type c:>powershell.
  4. Download the Plesk Installer.

  1. Install Plesk.

  1. The One-Click install will automatically install the latest stable release and  a set of default components and features that will meet the needs of most users.  Remember, you can always add or remove components after the initial install.

Unattended Install

The unattended install gives you the greatest level of customization and may be necessary if the default release ran into issues on your specific server configuration.

  1. Follow steps 1-4 of the One-Click Installation.
  2. Choose which release you want to install by listing all the available releases.
  3. Choose what components you want to install by listing all the components available for the specific release.  For example:
  4. Install the desired components using –install-component.  For example:

Plesk Post Install Configuration

After installation you will want to complete some basic set up.   Access Plesk using https://<ip_adress_or_hostname>8443.  Login using Administrator and your server administrator password.

Complete the installation by setting a new password for the Plesk admin user.  You can also link your account to a FaceBook, GitHub or Google account.

Enter your Plesk license activation code.  You can also choose to do a free trial for 14 days.  You will be prompted to agree to an End-User License Agreement.  Plesk will then initialize.

There are two different user interface types included with Plesk called views. Power User view is best for someone running a personal website.  Service Provider view is designed for a hosting provider with a large number of customers.  Service Provider view is only available in Web Pro and Web Host editions.  You can change your view at any time.

Now you are ready to begin managing apps, websites and hosting using Plesk.