Managing your Media Temple VPS hosting keeps getting better (and easier)! Today, we are happy to announce the availability of Plesk 12, the latest version of the Plesk control panel by Parallels. Plesk 12 comes with a suite of new features that include enhanced server-to-site and email security, a more user-friendly overall site and app management, and WordPress integration.
We asked Brian Kuhn, Vice President of Product at Media Temple, a few questions about the addition of Plesk 12 to our VPS product and what it means for our (current and future) VPS customers.
With an improved interface and more site management features, what features in Plesk 12 will Media Temple customers be most excited about?
That’s a great question. There are a number of cutting-edge elements that Parallels has added to Plesk 12, from the security feature additions for intrusion detection and WAF (Web Application Firewall) to the dedicated WordPress Toolkit. However, what our customers might get the most excited about will probably be the changes to the UI of the panel itself: A refresh that is mobile responsive is definitely a great addition.
What are the main benefits of Plesk 12 for Media Temple’s VPS customers currently on Plesk 10 or Plesk 11.5? Why should they upgrade?
Plesk 10 customers should just go ahead and upgrade to Plesk 12 as soon as they can, especially since Parallels is EOL’ing (EOL = End of Life) version 10 this fall. For Plesk 11.5 customers, it really depends on how they use their VPS. One (or more) of Plesk 12’s primary feature callouts (enhanced server-to-site security, increased email protection, WordPress Toolkit, and all of the interface and usability enhancements) will certainly appeal to them, so I encourage them to give it a try!
Does upgrading to Plesk 12 require a lot of heavy lifting from customers? Can the upgrade negatively affect sites hosted with (mt)?
No, it’s actually pretty simple as the control panel is independent of the web site code/content. Customers can refer to our KB article on how to upgrade to Plesk 12 or just email/call/tweet our customer support team for assistance.
What do Media Temple customers with older Plesk versions need to know about the status of their current Plesk licensing?
Current customers can update to Plesk 12 at no extra cost. Also, nothing about their license changes: As long as they remain Media Temple customers, they’ll have a valid license. Parallels is EOL’ing Plesk 10 this fall so, in order to remain supported, we encourage all our Plesk 10 customers to upgrade soon — and we will make sure to remind them to do so as we get closer to Plesk 10’s EOL date.
Do customers have to configure anything to take full advantage of Plesks 12’s new security tools for site, server and email protection?
In general, they don’t. However, there are a couple of things customers will need to set up regarding the security features. Third party applications Fail2Ban and mod_security are indeed not enabled by default, but they can be quickly set up through a user-friendly UI under:
Server Management →
Tools and Settings →
IP Address Banning (Fail2Ban)
Web Application Firewall (mod_security)
Plesk 12 comes with pre-set configurations for both of those applications, so a deep technical knowledge is not needed.
Plesk 12 makes mobile management of sites much easier. Is mobile-friendly site management a highly requested feature among web designers, developers and digital entrepreneurs?
Direct access to Plesk 12 and utilizing the mobile-friendly interface to administer a server is intended to simplify customers’ digital lives by allowing them to manage on the go. Mobile-friendly sites are just good hygiene for modern times — which is why we are in the process of rolling out a mobile-responsive design for our AccountCenter (more to come on that later!). Thus, with Plesk 12 and our AccountCenter, we will provide all our customers with a premium, end-to-end mobile-friendly experience.
What about WordPress integration and other application management?
The new Plesk 12 WordPress Toolkit makes it easier to manage and secure WP sites by providing management of APS- and non-APS-based WordPress installs, as well as updates to WordPress installs, plugins, and themes from a single interface — applying security/updates during install.