I'm used to configuring custom Apache installs but have never used Plesk. A job requires that I add a site to a CentOS 5.5 box with dozens of other sites already configured on it using the Plesk control panel.

I don't want anything to do with Plesk TBH and in an ideal world I want to create my own custom virtualhost directive and not have to use/learn Plesk in any way. It's evident from a nose around the box that none of the usual locations/VHost methodologies from a default Apache install are available and that Plesk has a unique setup.

My question is; Is it possible to mix and match Plesk VHosts with custom ones? Can Plesk setup VHosts and normal non Plesk set up VHosts cooperate i.e. exist happily on the same box? Does going rogue outside Plesk cause issues when the owners of this box come to upgrade Plesk for example?

There is no available image for testing and I don't trust their backups or version control so I want to be sure this approach isn't causing trouble before I attempt anything on this box.

Any input from anyone who has the Plesk experience to know if what I want to do is "A good idea" TM would be greatly appreciated and hopefully of use to others in my position.

Many thanks

  • 1
    While I 100% understand your position, I could not recommend it. It's nice having manual control over your work, but Plesk isn't that obscure. You should just add the site in Plesk and modify any config changes you need. It isn't rocket science, nor does it strip away your ability to customize your apache config. No sense in having all sites except for one handled by Plesk. This approach seems highly unprofessional, even if more technical. Nov 15 '13 at 9:26
  • Yes agreed David, I've gone with doing everything through Plesk on this occasion although I look forward to finishing this project and never touching it again ;) Thanks for the useful input Nov 15 '13 at 10:42
  • This question appears to be off-topic because it is about working with a service provider's management interface, such as cPanel. Jan 14 '15 at 9:01

From my experience, if you install Plesk and try to modify files around by hand, you will end to compromise your Plesk and, definitely, your host. Plesk doesn't work by editing text files, but keeps its configuration in databases and other binary stores. So, it's not reccomended to mix custom configurations with the Plesk ones.


The other answers are about customizing Plesk setup, while your question seems to be of slightly different topic, about your own setup co-exist with Plesk.

Yes, you can put your own VHost in native Apache config and Plesk will not break/overwrite it. Just make sure you are not putting it in any Plesk generated file (would normally have a header warning to not modify the file).

i.e. you could put it in /etc/httpd/conf/conf.d (standard location for CentOS-like OSes). As long as your VHost and Plesk vhosts setup correctly, they will live happily together.

However, there are several drawbacks to this approach, which you may need to consider seriously:

  • latest Plesk versions often bring Nginx proxy in addition to Apache for optimized load. This is done very much transparent for Control Panel users, but you may need to learn Nginx setup in order to make your site compliant;
  • your vhost will survive Plesk upgrade, it might not survive service reconfiguration done through Plesk. As your site will be the only broken, control panel owners may later blame on you;
  • just in case control panel owners would need any tuning later over your site, they will be unable to perform it in their usual way;

Generally as this customers of yours is using Plesk already, adding another site in Plesk shouldn't be complicated. i.e. if I am adding another site, its docroot will appear in /var/www/ (i am using CentOS) and its Apache config will be located in /etc/httpd/conf/ (again - CentOS, and I am on Plesk 11.5). The other responder here already gave a reference to proper customization guidelines.

  • Thanks Sergey - I accepted the simplest direct answer but appreciate the extra detail especially Re: Nginx Cheers Nov 15 '13 at 10:40

It's not generally recommended to mix custom configurations with Plesk, however Plesk is flexible with customizing domain configuration. Custom Web Server Configuration instructions are available at http://download1.parallels.com/Plesk/PP11/11.5/Doc/en-US/online/plesk-administrator-guide/index.htm?fileName=71933.htm Information about Editing Virtual Host Configuration Files can be found at http://download1.parallels.com/Plesk/PP11/11.5/Doc/en-US/online/plesk-linux-advanced-administration-guide/72064.htm

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