Lately I got a chance to work on lot of server. Working on 6-7 server in 15 days it not much for a full time server admin, but for a programmer who only manage server to fasten his development process is really long ask. During this process I have 2 encounter with Plesk and unfortunately both time Plesk proves to be a pain in neck.
First encounter was during setup a new Windows machine. My client purchase a Leased Term license of plesk and in return plesk send them 10 days temporary license which is expected to install on server and later plesk will auto update the license from online server. This is what I understand during our communication with plesk. However my client took 15 days to pass me the license and server access or you can say they hire me after 15 days of buying license. When I install plesk and try to upload license it naturally says, it is expired. Then we try to contact Plesk support, we call USA support, India Sales support, email to plesk, but no response and no guidance how we get corrected license. After 7 days of talking with plesk we drop the idea of having plesk on server.
Here comes the second problem with plesk. You just cannot run the “uninstaller” because they never build uninstaller for their PERFECT software. luckily my client get the computer formatted at no additional cost, otherwise I have to search and delete all file manually, which I don’t want for two reason. I hate deletion they always leave traces anyways and it is lot more work then expected.
We later use Microsoft’s Free WebsitePanel. An Awesome software with ease of use for our purpose. We can install any version of SQL Server, MySql, PHP, ASP.NET and configure that easily. Plus we pay nothing to get it.
My second encounter came with a Linux/CentOs Based VPS with Plesk, where I need to upgrade the PHP version from 5.1 to 5.3 on client demand. I search on internet and found that Plesk do not distribute PHP so they do no provide any upgrade method. But there is atomic shell script available to help update. I did that update. PHP was upgraded. We run it, but as you have expected Plesk is broken now. Been on VPS it frequently goes out of memory and create all problems. We ultimately decide to drop that server as it is just test server :).
I got saved both time and will never try a Plesk. Horrible software, powered by horrible support. Plesk is good for non experience, but nightmare for custom requirements. Never use it if you love to configure your server for speed or customization.