Plesk is designed to help IT specialists manage web, DNS, mail and other services through a comprehensive and user-friendly GUI. Plesk is a hosting control panel, an intermediary between system services and users. For example, when a user creates a website through the Plesk GUI, Plesk propagates this request to a web server, either Apache or IIS, and the latter adds a new virtual host to the system. This method of administering all system services from a single web interface reduces maintenance costs and gives administrators more flexibility and control.
Plesk is an essential instrument for hosting service providers (HSPs) - companies that sell shared and dedicated hosting accounts. Being installed on a server, Plesk enables HSPs to organize server resources into packages and offer these packages to their customers. The customers are companies and individuals who need web presence but do not have the necessary IT infrastructure. Learn more about the Plesk's intended audience in the section About Plesk Users.
Each Plesk user group is provided with their own GUI that is customized to fully meet their needs. Thus, HSPs get tools for offering hosting services, including an integrated billing solution that automates their business. By contrast, companies that use Plesk to manage their own web infrastructure do not have hosting selling capabilities in their GUI. Instead, they can perform server management operations (such as system recovery, web server configuration, and so on). Learn more about the Plesk interface in the section The Plesk GUI.
Next in this chapter we explain how different user groups should use Plesk to gain all its benefits.