Deploy Plesk on Alibaba Cloud to Build and Run Your Websites and Apps

You can now pair Plesk’s web hosting platform with Alibaba Cloud’s suite of cloud services to build, secure and run your websites, applications and online business on an unrivaled developer environment.

Plesk is used by the world’s leading web professionals. Whether you’re a developer, content manager, IT administrator, digital agency, or an infrastructure provider, you’ll have everything you need to run your website, infrastructure and business from one simple hosting platform.

Running on more than 377,000 servers, 11 million websites and 19 million mailboxes across 140 countries and 32 languages, Plesk offers a complete idea-to-production platform and a catalog of extensions to empower web professionals at all levels, from small digital agencies to giant web hosts.

Here at Alibaba Cloud, we decided to pair the Plesk platform with our cloud services for many reasons. Not only is Plesk easy to install and upgrade, it also provides cutting-edge innovation and productivity increases for its users – and it’s a highly secure, open platform. All these practices match Alibaba Cloud’s ethos to help power and grow your business.

With Plesk on Alibaba Cloud, you can manage up to three domains, access the WordPress Toolkit SE, manage users and access the Plesk mobile manager.

What’s more, the Plesk Web Admin SE Image is free on Alibaba Cloud AND we will give you 30% off your cloud server with a Plesk yearly subscription.

This tutorial will teach you how to install Plesk on your Alibaba Cloud account, how to open ports for Plesk and create a website using Plesk on Alibaba Cloud.

You can also find out more about Plesk on Alibaba Cloud here: marketplace.alibabacloud.com/plesk.

Installing Plesk on Alibaba Cloud

Log in to your Alibaba Cloud account. If you do not have an Alibaba Cloud account, you will need to create a new one.

On the Alibaba Cloud Console, go to Elastic Compute Service (in the left navigation bar).

Click Instances, and then click the Create Instance button in the top right corner of the screen.

Next, you will need to fill in the basic configurations, including your billing method. There are three options here:

Subscription
Cheaper in the long run but requires prepayment and a monthly commitment. If your ECS instance is placed behind a Server Load Balancer instance, you only need to purchase a small amount of bandwidth for the ECS instance for you to connect to the instance and perform administration remotely. If you decide that Plesk on Alibaba is right for you, we recommend using this model for web hosting.
Pay-As-You-Go
This usually costs more per hour, but you can cancel at any time and are billed by the hour. This pricing model allows you to try out Plesk on Alibaba cheaply, but is not well-suited for hosting. You cannot apply for an ICP license for a Pay-As-You-Go ECS instance.
Spot Instance
Offers a discounted rate compared to the standard Pay-As-You-Go pricing. The price may vary to reflect demand and supply. You set the highest hourly rate that you are willing to pay. When your bid price surpasses the market price, your instance starts running. ECS can choose to release your spot instance following a market price change. You cannot apply for an ICP license for your spot instance.

Next, select the data center region and zone. If you plan to host small business websites, we recommend choosing the data center region and zone closest to their geographic location to decrease page load times for local visitors.

Next, select the Instance Type.

When choosing the ECS instance to deploy Plesk on, pay attention to the amount of memory it comes with. The more websites you intend to host, and the more traffic the hosted websites generate, the more memory you will need. Your Plesk System Requirements should give you an estimate of the amount of memory your setup will require.

If you are not sure which instance to choose, we recommend starting with the a .tiny or .medium instance and upgrading it later, if necessary, but please note that only the subscription pricing model supports an instance upgrade.

Next, set your Image. There are four different images to choose from:
Public Image
Alibaba Cloud provides official public images. These images only include standard system environments. You can apply your customization and configuration settings based on these images.
Custom Image
Custom images are created from system snapshots. These images include the standard system environments, configured user environments and applications. These custom images can be used as a preset to create more instances, saving you effort to set up the system from scratch.
Shared Image
Shared images are accessible to all users by default. Alibaba Cloud cannot guarantee the security and integrity of the images shared with you. Use at your own risk and discretion.
Marketplace Image
The image Marketplace provides certified images. Preinstalled with OS, configured user environments and applications, this image can be deployed immediately. It is suitable for website building, application development, visualized administration and other personalized use scenarios. As such, we highly recommend this image.

Choose Marketplace Image and then click on “Select from image market”.

The Image Marketplace menu will appear. Type “Plesk” in the search box and choose from the BYOL and WebHost configurations. Plesk WebHost is ready to work out of the box. There is more information on this choice in Appendix One.

Under Storage, we recommend selecting SSD Cloud Disk for your website hosting and adding at least one Ultra Cloud Disk for storing backups.

You can also add a Data Disk, if required.

Click “Next: Networking” and check that your network configuration is correct.

Click “Next: System Configurations”. Here, you can set the authentication method for your instance (password or key-based authentication).

Click “Next: Grouping”. Here’s where you can add a tag to your setup, if required.

Finally, click “Next: Preview” and review your Plesk setup. If you are happy, check the terms of service and click “create order”.

You will be taken to the payment screen and once successfully processed, your instance is activated.

You can see this new instance in the Alibaba Cloud console (Elastic Compute Service > Instances > click the data center region you specified during purchase).

Your instance is now up and running. To begin using Plesk, you need to perform a short post-install configuration where you purchase and bind an Elastic IP address.

How to Bind an Elastic IP

Log on to the Elastic IP console and click Create EIP.

On the purchase page, select the region, bandwidth, and purchase quantity for the EIP and then click Buy Now.

Complete the payment.

On the Elastic IP Address List page, choose a region.

All the Elastic IP addresses under the selected region are displayed.

Click Bind next to the target EIP.

In the Bind dialog, select the ECS instance that you want to bind. Click OK.

Note: You can only bind an EIP to an ECS instance in Running or Stopped status.

On the Elastic IP Address List page, click Refresh on the upper-right corner.

When the EIP address status changes to Allocated, it indicates that the ECS instance bound with the EIP can communicate with the Internet.

We have covered the necessary steps to install Plesk on Alibaba Cloud. Now, let’s find out how to use your new Plesk installation.

Logging in as a Server Administrator

How to Open Ports for Plesk

On the Alibaba Cloud Console, go to Elastic Compute Service.

Select the regions where you’re running the instance we have just configured.

Next, click Instances to view all the instances in your desired region. In this example, we will select Singapore:

The following screen will appear. Click Security Groups in the left-hand menu:

Find the Security Group that your instance uses and click Configure Rules on the right-hand side of the table:

Click Add Security Group Rules:

Specify your port range, IP addresses and description (which are available on your Plesk control panel) on the following form and click OK.

Check the list of Plesk ports at docs.plesk.com Administrator’s Guide > Plesk Administration > Ports used by Plesk.

How to Create a Website on Plesk

When your subscription is created in Plesk, a domain is created as well. We call this domain the subscription’s main domain.

However, if your subscription settings allow it, you can create one of more add-on domains.

Let’s learn how to do this in Plesk now.

Please note, depending on your Plesk version and the applied theme, the appearance of your Plesk platform might be different from what you see in this tutorial.

Click Add Domain.

Type in the name of the new domain in the Domain name field.

If your account is associated with multiple subscriptions, you can choose one of them to be the parent subscription for the new domain. Click Location of the website’s files to select the desired subscription.

As we are creating a website, leave the Hosting type set to Website hosting.

Leave the Activate the DNS service and the Activate the mail service checkboxes selected, unless you plan to use third-party DNS or mail services for your new domain.

By default, a new domain’s home directory (the Document root) is created in the subscription’s home directory and its name is identical to the domain name. You can choose a custom home directory for the domain by typing its path in the Document root field (relative to the subscription’s home directory).

If you want visitors to your website to be redirected to the domain name with or without the www prefix, select the corresponding options under Preferred domain.

We recommend selecting the your_domain option to ensure optimum search engine indexing of your website.

If you want to use Git repositories to copy your website files to the hosting, click Enable Git support.

Click OK to add the domain.

The new domain has now been added:

You can fill your new website with content by installing the WordPress content management system. A tutorial “How to use the WordPress toolkit” is available on the Plesk site. Alternatively, you can simply upload your content using the File Manager and there is also a “How to use the File Manager” tutorial available on the Plesk site.

Summary

In this tutorial, we have introduced the Plesk web development platform on Alibaba Cloud. We have provided guidance on installing Plesk on Alibaba Cloud, including how to bind an elastic IP and logging in as a server administrator.

Finally, we have provided two tutorials to help you get up and running with Plesk on Alibaba Cloud, including how to open ports for Plesk and how to create a website on Plesk.

You can also find out more about Plesk on Alibaba Cloud here: marketplace.alibabacloud.com/plesk.

Appendix One: Choosing Between Plesk WebHost and BYOL

This section explains the differences between Plesk WebHost and BYOL and provides recommendations on choosing between them.

Both configurations provide all of the components necessary for web hosting plus the most popular and widely used features. However, there are some differences you should consider before choosing which option to go with.

Plesk WebHost is ready to work out of the box. WebHost comes with a Plesk license pre-installed and includes a wide variety of components and features, aimed both at shared hosts and web professionals.

Plesk WebHost is a good fit for you if:

• You want to try out Plesk.
• You do not have a Plesk license.
• You want to start using Plesk right away.
• You do not want to spend time on configuring Plesk.

Instances based on WebHost images come with a pre-installed Plesk WebHost Edition license, which will be billed even if you replace it with any other Plesk license. If you want to use Plesk Web Pro Edition or Plesk Web Admin Edition, you need to base your instance on a BYOL image.

BYOL stands for “Bring Your Own License”, meaning that you have to supply a Plesk license obtained separately to operate an instance with Plesk BYOL. By default, Plesk BYOL does not include a number of components supplied with Plesk Web Host. You can install these components manually, if desired.

Plesk BYOL is a good fit for you if:

• You are familiar with Plesk.
• You have a Plesk license.
• You know exactly which Plesk components you need.
• You do not mind spending a little time configuring Plesk.

The following Plesk configurations are available in the Alibaba Cloud Marketplace:

Note: *The Recommended components set includes all components necessary for web hosting (including the web server, a mail server, a database server, and so on), plus the most popular and widely used features. For more information about Plesk BYOL, see the topic Choosing Between Plesk WebHost and BYOL. For more information about Plesk Onyx on Ubuntu 16.04 (Web Admin SE), see the topic Plesk Web Admin SE.

Note: **WordPress Toolkit in Plesk Onyx on Ubuntu 16.04 (WebAdmin SE) provides only basic functionality. To use premium WordPress features, upgrade your Plesk license to Web Pro or Web Host Edition.