Last week at HostingCon in Miami Beach, FL, Parallels launched the latest edition of Parallels Plesk. Parallels Plesk 12 offers four distinct versions optimized for web hosts, of course, but also application developers, digital agencies managing WordPress, and web admins.
“In the hosting space, there’s still quite a bit of growth. But what we’ve noticed is most of that growth is coming from two specific categories of hosters. One is the three large ones: AWS, Linode and Digital Ocean. The next set is the top 50 hosters by growth as well,” John Zanni, Parallels chief marketing officer, service providers says. “The next group after that is actually shrinking their share of web servers. We looked into that to understand why. What came out is the companies that are growing are not offering just basic shared hosting anymore but offering solutions that are targeted to specific audiences. An example is application developers or managed WordPress hosts.”
The last group, managed WordPress hosting providers, will benefit from the new WordPress toolkit in Parallels Plesk 12, which helps to simplify the daily tasks required to manage and secure WordPress sites.
“Today, while WordPress has gained a lot of popularity, it’s actually very difficult to manage servers that have 30-40-60 installations of WordPress,” Zanni says. “Because there are over 23,000 plugins, keeping them all up to date is quite difficult as different individuals can add those plugins fairly easily.”
The WordPress Toolkit allows users to manage multiple WordPress installations, easily install, update, and remove WordPress as well as securely install WordPress and harden existing installations by applying the most common recommended security settings with rollback support.
“What we did is we created a tool or capability within Plesk that goes and compares the instance of WordPress and the add-ins to what is the latest on the WordPress site and then notifies the hoster in very simple, easy-to-use dialogue,” Zanni says. “WordPress becoming mainstream is attracting, unfortunately, hackers and malicious activity as well as the need for less technical people to be able to use these WordPress sites.”
In terms of security, Parallels Plesk 12 has a new security core which combines ModSecurity, Fail2Ban and Outbound Antispam tools. The security core helps secure servers against persistent attacks, as well as increase uptime by automatically blocking malicious attacks in real-time. Outgoing spam protection prevents servers from being blacklisted.
“At HostingCon the focus is educating service providers on Plesk 12 so they can grow their channel and create new offers,” Zanni says.
Some of the initial partners that are offering the latest version of Parallels Plesk include 1&1 Internet Inc., Conetix, GMO Cloud KK, HostMySite, LeaseWeb, PacHosting, RIDE and STRATO.