With Plesk Onyx 17.8 release we are introducing multiple changes aimed to assist both new and existing Plesk users, improving their User Experience on many fronts. Plesk Advisor makes sure everything from the server itself to the hosted web apps always stays secure, while simplified on-boarding process helps the newcomers to quickly set up and run their websites. Automatic securing of websites with free SSL/TLS certs improves the security aspect even further, making the lives of existing users much easier. More and more Plesk features are being delivered as extensions to ensure that business-critical functionality reaches everyone in timely manner, so Plesk Extension Catalog was improved to provide you with a smooth and enjoyable experience. We are also continuously improving the Plesk experience for those who use Plesk in various cloud services. Read on to get a closer look at the changes in Plesk Onyx 17.8 release.

To view the software requirements for installation and upgrade, refer to the Software Requirements section.

To view the Release Notes for Plesk 12.5, visit this page.

Updated Extensions Catalog

As more and more Plesk features are delivered via extensions, the following improvements were made to provide better experience when working with extensions:

  • Finding the desired extensions is much easier now with faster and overall improved catalog search. Simply start typing a name, a category, or any keywords in the Extension Catalog search box to immediately see relevant results.
  • Browsing the catalog is now more convenient thanks to the addition of extension categories, recommended (featured) extensions, and a separate section for recently updated extensions.
  • You can now reach any extension settings using only one click.
  • All installed extensions are always kept up-to-date by default, with extension updates delivered within 24 hours after their availability.
  • Buying extensions and upgrading extension licenses is now more intuitive, transparent and convenient.

WordPress Toolkit

Lots of cool stuff was added in the WordPress Toolkit to make WordPress developers happy:

  • Safe updates offer optional restore points that can be made before updating WordPress and synchronizing data between two instances.
  • Maintenance mode can be managed in WordPress Toolkit, including customizable maintenance mode template.
  • WordPress instances can be cloned, and selected data can be synchronized between two existing instances.
  • The access to your instance can be protected with a password.
  • WordPress can be preinstalled on a subscription via Hosting Plans.
  • Plugin and theme sets can be created and preinstalled with WordPress.
  • You can upload your own plugins and themes, add them to sets and install them on WordPress instances.
  • Plugin and theme installation is now done through a nice-looking directory with advanced filtering.
  • New security measure offers pingback attack protection.

Coming soon:

  • Configuration of caching for WordPress instances can be easily done with a single click.
  • Smart Updates: WordPress updates can be analyzed by a Machine Learning based AI to see if the update procedure is likely to break something, and to top it all, it's all done without affecting the production instance. This is a Pro feature that will be sold separately.
  • Buy and install top-notch plugins in the Premium Plugin Marketplace.
  • Try improved and better-looking interface for managing WordPress instances, getting a faster and focused WordPress Toolkit experience.

SSL Everywhere

We've significantly improved the experience of working with SSL/TLS certificates, making sure you need almost zero efforts to keep things secured:

  • Each Plesk Panel instance is automatically secured with SSL/TLS out of the box.
  • All new domains, add-on domains, subdomains are automatically secured with SSL/TLS certs.
  • "Keep Secured" feature monitors your websites on an constant basis, making sure they're always secured with an SSL/TLS cert.
  • You can secure your webmail with SSL/TLS certs now.

Cloud Hyperscaling

It's much easier to use Plesk in Cloud Platforms now:

  • The user experience during the deployment of a server with Plesk is now clear and straightforward regardless of the cloud platform.
  • You can quickly access to Plesk after deployment on VMs without SSH access.
  • Amazon Lightsail is now supported.

AWS Toolkit

Easily get additional integrations with Amazon services if you are using Plesk in AWS EC2:

  • Connect powerful Amazon RDS as an external database (Aurora, MySQL, MariaDB, Postgresql, etc).
  • Use Route 53 as an external DNS provider for your domains hosted on Plesk.
  • Use S3 storage as an external storage for your Plesk backups.

Coming soon:

  • Amazon AWS Toolkit will be orchestrating all Amazon services integrations at once.
  • You will be able to install and configure all desirable AWS integrations in one action.

Cloud Backup

We have added the support for the most popular cloud storages so that you can now use the following Cloud providers for storing your Plesk backups:

Improved Initial On-boarding

Plesk now offers a much more welcoming experience for new users now:

  • You can configure Plesk in a single step now.
  • If you want to witness the full power of Plesk and evaluate any Plesk feature before committing to a particular Plesk edition, you can quickly and conveniently get a trial license right after the first login.
  • Starting suggestions are available for those users who are not familiar with Plesk.

DKIM/DMARC

Protect yourself and your customers from junk mail with modern email validation tools. Sadly, the vast majority of email being sent over the internet is spam.

Some of it is merely annoying, but a lot of bulk mail is actually malicious, used by scammers and phishers to defraud people. To help you keep your customers safe, Plesk Onyx joins the fight with DKIM, SPF, DMARC, and SRS support.

  • DKIM and SPF are modern email validation methods designed to detect email spoofing and prevent spammers from being able to pretend that their mail is sent from a specific trusted domain, when in fact it is not.
  • DMARC is an email validation scheme built on top of SPF and DKIM. It allows webmasters to declare what validation method(s) must be used when checking mail purportedly sent from their domain, and what to do with mail that fails validation.
  • SRS is a scheme for rewriting the envelope sender address of an email message as it is being forwarded, so that bounced mail can be delivered to the sender regardless of their SPF policy.
Learn more.

Git Support

To make deploying your website even easier, Plesk Onyx introduces integration with Git – the most popular source code management system. This feature enables you to do the following:

  • Easily deploy your website content by either pushing it to a local Git repository or by pulling from a remote one.
  • Use GitHub, BitBucket, Travis, or any other software engineering service of your choice.
  • Create multiple branches in a single repository – useful for separating staging and production code.
  • Deploy manually for complete control or enable automatic deployment to save time.
Learn more.

Docker Support

To help you meet the evolving requirements of your customers, Plesk Onyx comes with Docker support. Here is what you can do with it:

  • Have on-demand access to a wide range of modern technologies, such as redis, mongodb, memcached, and many more.
  • Choose from a catalog of available images, or upload a custom image.
  • Deploy and manage Docker containers straight from the Plesk interface.
  • Install Docker containers locally, or to a remote node registered in Plesk.
Learn more.

Windows Server 2016

Plesk Onyx supports the Standard and Datacenter editions of Windows Server 2016, which introduce the IIS 10 web server. This new web server from Microsoft comes with a number of important new features, such as:

  • Wildcard subdomains
  • HTTP/2 support
  • New cipher suites

All of these are incentives to upgrade, and are supported by Plesk Onyx. For the future, we have more features planned, such as SSH and native Docker support on Windows – stay tuned for updates!

System Updates

Plesk Onyx provides server administrators with an easy-to-use tool for keeping their servers up to date. You can update any system packages present on the server either manually or automatically without having to open the console. The tool uses OS package managers (yum and apt) to perform updates, which makes the procedure of updating as robust as if it were done through native OS tools.

The tool provides extra flexibility if you don't want to update certain packages. It is possible to prevent packages from being updated by locking them via two clicks in UI.

Plesk ships a variety of components that were modified or built by Plesk team itself (for example, PHP version packages). You can also use this tool to monitor and update these packages at any time you want without waiting for Plesk updates.

Learn more.

Updated Log Browser

The Log Browser tool added in Plesk 12.5 has been updated in Plesk Onyx. It is now possible for all hosting users to open any arbitrary log file located on their virtual host in Log Browser for easier monitoring. Users can save any opened log file in the list of logs for accessing it in the future. If the log is not required anymore, it can be removed from the list.

Note that only plain text log files can be opened by Log Browser, binary log files are not supported. This functionality is especially useful for those who install and use various frameworks like Yii, Symfony, and so on.

Another improvement of the Log Browser tool is the highlighting of various files mentioned in logs. This can happen, for example, if there's an error in a particular file. The highlighted files can be opened in the embedded editor by clicking them, which makes debugging websites even faster.

Learn more.

System Resource Usage Limits

Limiting the usage of system resources is a big pain point for every shared hoster. Plesk Onyx aims to solve this issue by introducing the ability to limit the amount of system resources that can be used by a particular subscription. This should greatly help to prevent server abuse caused by malicious or poorly written scripts and applications.

The following system resources can be limited by this feature:

  • CPU
  • RAM
  • Disk I/O

This ability is based on CGroups (Control Groups) feature of Linux kernel, so it's available only on OSes with systemd (for example: Centos 7, Debian 8 and Ubuntu 16.4).

Learn more

DNSSEC Support

The DNSSEC acronym stands for Domain Name System Security Extensions. It is a set of DNS protocol extensions that were introduced by IETF with the goal of signing DNS data to secure the domain name resolving process.

DNSSEC was made to help make the Internet a safer and more secure place. Since we are committed to providing the best in security to our clients, Plesk Onyx offers the support for DNSSEC, allowing users to protect the DNS data of hosted domains with DNSSEC extension. The extension gives users the ability to do the following:

  • Configure the settings used for key generation and rollover
  • Sign and unsign domain zones according to the DNSSEC specifications
  • Receive notifications related to DNSSEC records and keys
  • View and copy DS resource records and DNSKEY resource record sets
Learn more.

SSL Improvements

As the Internet grows and evolves, so does the threat from hackers, spammers, and other malicious actors. To stay one step ahead of the cyber-crooks, security must be the order of the day. Plesk Onyx comes with a suite of security improvements that will help you to harden your server:

  • Customers can now force HTTPS connections to websites hosted in Plesk. Learn more.
  • Connections to the Plesk mail server can now be secured with SSL/TLS. Learn more.
  • Connections to the Plesk webmail can now be secured with SSL/TLS. Learn more.

Protecting your websites with SSL/TLS certificates not only gives visitors peace of mind – it helps your Google rating as well! Here at Plesk we run a tight ship, and enable you to do so, too.

Ruby Support

Ruby is a popular programming language among web developers. Plesk Onyx introduces proper Ruby language support as a Plesk extension.

The Ruby extension available in Plesk Onyx allows users to quickly and easily deploy Ruby apps on their domains. Both Ruby on Rails and Sinatra frameworks are supported. With this extension you can:

  • Enable Ruby support on any given virtual host
  • Choose which Ruby version should be used on a domain. Both UI and CLI calls use rbenv utility to achieve maximum conformity
  • Install gem file dependencies via UI using Bundler tool
  • Specify custom environment variables
  • Edit configuration files

It is strongly suggested to install the Tools required for building Ruby gems component in order to facilitate quick and painless Ruby gem installation. With this component you can sit back, forget about gem dependency hell and enjoy painless gem file installation since most dependencies will be resolved for you automatically by our tools.

Learn more.

Plesk Multi Server

Multi-server support for distributed virtual environments.

  • Automatically distribute webspaces or subscriptions on connected service nodes.
  • Both admin and customers can log into to all your servers from one.
  • Centralized account management from across multiple Plesk instances
  • Subscriptions distributed across service nodes
Learn more.

Node.js Support

An open-source, cross-platform runtime environment for developing server-side Web applications, Node.js has been around for just a few years, but has already garnered no small amount of popularity and support. Using the widely used JavaScript language, it helps web developers write lightning-fast applications. Node.js support in Plesk enables you to:

  • Add Node.js applications to your websites with just a few clicks.
  • Easily manage the application from Plesk (start/stop/restart the application, install NPM packages, run scripts, edit the configuration files – Plesk does it all).
  • Have multiple Node.js versions installed on the server (Plesk for Linux only)
Learn more.

And also

nginx-only website hosting

If you're looking for nginx-only hosting for your websites, Plesk Onyx delivers. nginx proxies requests to Apache by default, but it's possible to turn off Apache and have content served by nginx only.

Improved Plesk Installer experience

The usability of Plesk Installer was improved for both Web UI and console modes. The installer now features steamlined experience with less clutter on the screen, which facilitates faster and more comfortable installation and upgrade experience.

Remote SmarterMail (Plesk for Windows only)

SmarterMail is a powerful MTA widely used on Plesk for Windows servers. However, to get its premium features, a commercial license must be purchased, and if you run multiple Plesk servers, buying a separate license for each server can get pricy. We added the remote SmarterMail support feature in Plesk Onyx to help you make the most of your commercial SmarterMail license.

You can register a remote SmarterMail 15 or later server in Plesk, so that it is used to provide all email-related functionality to your customers. Doing so comes with certain limitations, however – for example, settings such as spam filter settings or autoresponders must be configured on the SmarterMail side, in effect replacing Plesk features with their SmarterMail counterparts.

Learn more.

Dropped Features

The old must retire to give way to the new – such is the way of the world, and Plesk is no exception. In Plesk Onyx we say goodbye to some of the less popular functionality to better focus on the most popular and widely used features. To see the whole list of dropped features and components, refer to the following Knowledge Base article: https://kb.plesk.com/en/129387

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