Plesk has introduced a Plesk Onyx major update at CloudFest, the well-known conference geared toward the cloud, hosting, data center and managed service provider industries – formerly known as WorldHostingDays. As we’ve communicated earlier on, the team is also present at this event.

The new Plesk Onyx solution comes with enhancements in four key areas: SEO, Site Performance, Server Security, and WordPress Smart Updates with the help of AI.

Getting found with the help of search engine optimization (SEO) is a key success factor for all online businesses, no need to say. But it’s not easy competing for rankings with so much keyword competition and full transparency for customers.

So, you need to really stand out from the crowd if you hope to accelerate your online sales. That’s why Plesk Onyx v17.8 now integrates its own SEO Toolkit, helping a website form and execute an SEO strategy – by enabling users to monitor keyword rankings and benchmark websites against competitors, all from one place.

Performance and Security

More and more web professionals enter the community with a broad range of skill levels, stated Plesk. However, server and infrastructure management would still slip through the cracks. To bridge these gaps and guide you, the Plesk team created Plesk Advisor.

Now, no need to be a server guru or security expert anymore, stated Plesk, because Plesk Advisor shares the best practices with the entire web pro community around the globe. One can just follow the recommended actions and fix all detected gaps grouped by sections with just a few clicks.

With Plesk Advisor, users will get

  • HTTP/2 – to speed up all your hosted websites’ loading times.
  • Security alerts – for early warnings about potential reliability and security issues. Plesk Advisor will analyze and compare your server configuration to thousands of live servers around the world.
  • The Google Authenticator Extension – to enable two-factor authentication for extra protection around user accounts.
  • Non-disruptive Kernel updates – to protect your server against security flaws and vulnerabilities with zero downtime. Because it installs Linux kernel updates without rebooting the server.
  • SSL/TLS Certificates – because a trusted Certificate Authority not only adds to your security, but also boosts your customer’s confidence in your business.
  • The Secure CMS – to automatically and safely remove malware and patch vulnerabilities in most common content management systems (CMS) like WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal.

AI update for WordPress

We have seen machines steadily getting better at learning and processing info, similar to and sometimes even faster than humans. Plesk got in on the action and found a way to automate WordPress using Smart Updates, powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI).

“Machine Learning is not the future, it’s already here”, said Nils Hueneke, CEO of Plesk. “AI will transform major parts of the internet. From doing rudimentary update tasks and helping to secure websites, it might someday automate security operations of an entire web presence.”

As WordPress is one of the most popular CMSs to build websites, it’s a preferred target for malicious attacks. Although there are many WordPress security plugins out there, it would still remain a primary concern for the WordPress community.

Using AI, the new Plesk Smart Updates feature would help mitigate these attacks by keeping plugins, themes and WP core up to date. Smart Updates runs a staged simulation to analyze and verify the compatibility of each available update, comparing the before-after screenshots to check for differences, before applying the update to your production environment.

With the Plesk WordPress Toolkit, users get:

  • Overview and manage all your WordPress sites from one dashboard
  • Singularly or mass-execute updates to the WordPress core, themes or plugins
  • Stage, clone, sync, update, migrate and execute other complex tasks with one click. No more stressed-out dev teams, no more high-risk activities and no more cowboy coding
  • Hardens your site by default, further enhanced with the Toolkit’s security scanner. No security expertise necessary.

“We’re thrilled to announce that WordPress Toolkit on Plesk Onyx 17.8 uses machine learning based artificial intelligence to check if the WordPress update procedure is likely to break something. And it’s all done without breaking the production site,” said Jan Loeffler, CTO of Plesk.

Available on Plesk Onyx version 17.8 only:

  • New interface for managing WordPress instances – “getting a faster and focused WordPress Toolkit experience”
  • Smart Updates – WordPress updates will be analyzed by a machine learning based Artificial Intelligence to ensure the update procedure won’t break the production site
  • Configuration of caching for WordPress instances – can be “easily” done with a single click