Vepp is a Plesk alternative. A fresh look at user tasks
If you are looking for an alternative to Plesk you are in the right place. This article describes a common but usual case when a user needs to create a website on a domain, configure an SSL certificate, and make a backup copy. We’ll describe and compare how these tasks can be performed in Plesk and Vepp.
Plesk, a control panel with a long history, was launched at the beginning of 2000th. Today, this is a solution for professionals: it delivers features both for application developers and businesses, as well as for hosting providers.
Vepp is a new control panel by ISPsystem, a company with more than 15 years in hosting software development. Vepp is created with a focus on common users who need a website and don’t have system administration skills.
Interface and approach to user tasks
When we are talking about technological solutions, not everyone pays due attention to an interface. A control panel is considered to be powerful, reliable, secure, and functional. However, a more convenient and user-friendly web interface allows providing more comfort for customers: they can create a website for a couple of minutes, or spend much time on finding the «Please-let-me-create-this-damn-website» button.
This is how Plesk looks like. You can see how powerful it is and how many functions it provides! The more you look, the more tools you find. It’s great for advanced users, but it can be a challenge for newbies — there are so many buttons, drop-down menus, and multi-level tabs.
This is how Vepp meets his visitors: the web interface is so simple that you want to create a website right from the bat! Vepp has a simple web interface, but joking aside, not because it doesn’t allow you to do anything, but because it is specially designed for users without system administration skills. Vepp takes care of complicated settings and even hides them from a user to make his life easier.
Now, let’s switch from screenshots to real operations. As they say, never judge a book by its cover! We’ll describe the basic operations in both panels: how to create a website from Wordpress template, assign a domain, install an SSL certificate, and make a backup.
Install a panel and connect the server
A control panel is a visual interface for the server. Installing it is a simple operation both in Plesk and Vepp: after sign in, you need to enter your server IP address and password.
The start form: Plesk is on the left, Vepp is on the right
What’s the catch? Plesk is installed on your server and consumes disk space, whereas Vepp is a SaaS-application; it only manages your server without consuming its disk space. However, you can only connect Vepp to a fresh, i.e. an empty server. And if you already have a WordPress website, Vepp will help you quickly move it to the new server along with the theme and plugins.
Add your website to a domain
Let’s create a website on WordPress, the most popular CMS.
Domain. In the client area of your domain registrar, you first need to buy a domain name and assign the IP address of your server. So, the domain will be associated with the server, and your website will be accessible by a good-looking domain name.
Install WordPress. First, Plesk will ask you to enter a domain and open the website management form. We will install WordPress and select a template.
Select a WordPress template in Plesk
There are 3 steps that are not clear:
- you should be very attentive and smart to find how to install Wordpress among numerous features that Plesk provides;
- configure a PHP version for current the WordPress version;
- after you have selected and installed the template you need to specify it as the main template for your website, otherwise, it will be installed but not be used.
In Vepp, all the operations go one after another so it is very difficult to make a mistake. If you want to create your website from a template the panel will offer to assign a domain and select a template that will be installed automatically.
Select a WordPress template in Vepp
Connect a free SSL certificate Let’s Encrypt
Imagine that you go out without your trousers. Well, you can do so but people around you won’t feel comfortable. The same goes for a website without SSL. It works but the browser warns users that it is insecure. Not everyone will decide to visit it. Fortunately, today this technology is available for everyone thanks to Let’s Encrypt, a provider of free SSL certificates.
Plesk. If you accept the Let’s Encrypt policy when assigning the domain, the SSL certificate will be issued automatically. Otherwise, you can find it in the section Extensions; install the module, order a certificate, and assign it to the domain.
In Vepp, Let’s Encrypt is installed by default, this is a must-have module. Getting an SSL is as easy as ABC: If you create a website with the domain that leads to the server the program will rung the task to issue an SSL certificate. Automatically. Normally, this process takes about 24 hours and the user doesn’t need to perform any operations. The issuance procedure is a little more difficult if you first create a website and then assign a domain name, Let’s Encrypt will be issued with three mouse clicks. You can run the process on the website card.
Most often, users think about backups when they have already lost their data or the data are corrupted. Unfortunately, backup copies do not appear out from anywhere, you need to create them regularly beforehand. So if you don’t backup your data it’s high time to start doing so!
To create a website copy in Plesk you only need to find the button Copy on the card and specify the required parameters. You can create either a full or partial copy, connect several cloud storages. The Backup Manager manages the copies. It displays a list of copies and their statuses.
Backup settings in Plesk
Backups in Vepp are available on a website card, but they don’t provide extended settings. The control panel will create a full copy of your website, you can save it as an archive on a server or on Google Drive. You can expand the copy or download it to your desktop at any time.
The section «Backups» in Vepp
Website card and how to keep a finger on the pulse
You can create a website and forget about it forever, but it is not the path of the samurai successful user. It’s important to monitor the system state, update applications, protect it from viruses, make backups. A website card should display all the information you need.
On the Plesk card, you can see the WordPress version. SSL statuses, available modules, and plugins. Every item has detailed hints. From this page, you can go to the Wordpress admin area to edit the content.
Website card in Plesk
On the website dashboard in Vepp, we can also see the WordPress and PHP versions, website availability, and traffic. Here you can install an SSL, scan the website for viruses and cure them, if any, or go to the Wordpress admin area. The website statistics is pulled from Google Analytics.
Website card in Vepp
Support, tutorials, documentation
For those who choose a control panel, support service and documentation is a weighty argument. Because these services are an essential part of the product.
Plesk has a good Help Center: it provides text descriptions of the functions and video-tutorials. If you cannot solve a problem you can always ask questions in social networks or community forums. Plesk has many users who can help you. Its documentation provides detailed articles.
Vepp doesn’t have powerful forums and many users yet. However, the product is so easy to use that you will hardly need any help. If you still have questions our support team will assist you and send you feedback directly to developers. If you need to use the documentation you can be sure that is comprehensive and simple. It describes Vepp functions and corresponding terms so a user doesn’t need to google for some information.
|Plesk Web Admin Edition
(up to 10 domains)
(8% discount if you pay for 1 year)
(up to 5 websites)
(10% discount if you pay for 1 year)
These are the basic tariff plans from developers when you buy control panels directly from the official websites. Please note that the versions have different limits: Plesk offers 10 domains, and Vepp offers 5 websites with an unlimited number of domains.
Resume: Plesk vs Vepp
The Plesk web interface provides a lot of features. On the one side, it is good as advanced users can manage their servers and create any websites. But from the other side, a new user can be lost among a large number of buttons, tabs, and terms. That’s why Vepp will meet the needs of a website owner who don’t have time to study web administration.
|Operating system||Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS, Red Hat, CloudLinux, Virtuozzo, Windows.||CentOS 7, Ubuntu 18.|
|Web servers||Apache.||Apache, Nginx.|
|Administration||Different access levels to server depending on the version. Clients and admins have different tools.||All settings in one place.|
|Interface||Provides may buttons and tabs, the Dashboard displays all the functions.||A user-friendly web interface, most settings are set per default and not shown on the Dashboard.|
|WordPress||You need to install the WP module and templates, as well as correct a PHP version.||When you select a template, the WordPress template gets installed automatically. No additional settings are required.|
|Available PHP versions||From 5.2 to 7.1.||From 5.2 to 7.3.|
|Databases||MySQL, PostgreSQL, MariaDB.||MariaDB.|
|Let’s Encrypt||Installed by default.||Installed by default.|
|Backup copies||Full, partial, incremental. Can be saved on a server or external storage.||Full copies; server, desktop storage or Google Drive.|
|NAT support/ can be installed in Clouds||Available only on special cloud versions.||Yes.|
|System requirements||RAM 512 MB + 1 GB, disk space 10 GB.||Freshly installed server with CentOS 7 or Ubuntu18, RAM 1 GB, x64.|
Besides, Vepp has a free trial version for 14 days.
Still have questions? Simply contact us, tell about your website, server, and your goals. We will be more than happy to help you!