cPanel and Plesk are the two most popular hosting control panels in the world. Chances are, if you have ever opted for a hosting account, then one of these two will be at the forefront of it. So, what does each panel bring to the table? How do they differ from one another? Read on!
In this article we have listed Top 6 Popular Free cPanel Alternative
Honestly, the user interface between the two of them is not that different. Many people who use Plesk do report that it is probably the cleaner interface of the two and this makes it that much easier to navigate around. That being said, cPanel is the most popular control panel in the world. Just about every shared hosting platform uses cPanel to some degree. If you are looking to upgrade from your share hosting and are going for a dedicated server, then it is likely that it runs on cPanel. This means that you will be able to jump right in and use cPanel without any issues.
In addition to this, since cPanel is the more popular platform, if you do run into any issues with it, you will find plenty of user guides online that you will be able to sink your teeth into. You will also find tons of Plesk videos too.
Honestly, go for whatever you feel familiar with on the user interface front. They both do much the same job. You can look at a couple of screenshots to compare the two. However, both are designed with the user in mind and you should never require more than a click or two to do whatever you want.
CPanel is the cheaper of the two. On the ‘yearly’ plan, you will be able to get the service for $35 per month. For Plesk, this works out at $40 per month. Not much of a difference. This applies to dedicated servers only.
If you are using a VPS, then the plan for Plesk will be $70 per month if you are opting for an unlimited account however you can opt for a single user account for just $40 per month. If you opt for cPanel’s option, then you will be paying $200 per year.
If you have a web host already, then it is likely that they are able to supply you with a control panel at a discounted price. It is always worth asking them!
Operating System Support
If you want to run on a Windows server, then you have no choice but to opt for Plesk. CPanel does not run on Windows at all. It only runs on:
- Red Hat
- Mostly Linux distributions
Plesk will run on all of these plus Windows. That being said, most people will be running with a Windows server anyway so this is unlikely to be that much of an issue.
CPanel keeps the administration panel separate from the main hosting control panel. This option, known as Web Host Manager (WHM) makes it easy for you to create accounts and the like. You can do this with a couple of clicks.
Plesk goes down the other route. It tries to incorporate both the standard login and the administrator panel into the same system. Many people find that this works a little bit better for them. Not only does it mean they do not have to remember another URL to go to, but it also means that they do not need to learn a completely new system.
If you are moving from another web host, then get the same control panel – simple as that. It is easy to move from Plesk to Plesk. It is easy to move from cPanel to cPanel. However, moving from cPanel to Plesk, or Plesk to cPanel, is going to be nigh on impossible. You can do it by hand, but we are positive that you want to ensure that the process goes as quickly and as smoothly as possible.
One of the key benefits of cPanel is that it offers API-based access. Plesk does not. One of the main advantages of giving people access to the API is that other companies are able to develop add-ons which can extend the functionality of cPanel. There are different add-ons available for Plesk, don’t get as wrong, but you do not have anywhere near the choices that you would have available with cPanel if you ended up going down that route.
That being said, some of the add-ons out there for cPanel are not all that good. It can also be difficult to configure them so they work with your web server. You will only want to go down that route if you know what you are doing. You could end up messing up your whole web server if you do something wrong!.
On a security front, both of the control panels are very much the same. This means that you will be able to have password policies, automatic logout when somebody is idle, blacklist IPs etc. However, from what many people note, when there is a system breach, Plesk seem a bit quicker when it comes to fixing their system. On average, they will have a fix coming out every 9 days. This means that you can be positive that your web server is secure. cPanel, on the other hand, release a patch every 28 days.
It is likely that you will want to brand your control panel with your company details. cPanel makes this incredibly easy. You just upload your company logo, change the colors up, and you are good to go. With Plesk, you will need to edit some CSS, its Easy with some know-how, but a longer process.
If you want to manage your service on the go, then you will be pleased to know that Plesk offers a mobile app. You do not get that with cPanel.
In short, both of these are fantastic control panels. Both offer the same features, both offer the same level of security. Go down the route of whatever feels right for you. If you want something that is more ‘general’ then go for Plesk. It is a touch easier to use. If you want something that works well with Linux, go for cPanel.