If you are planning on starting a website or a project, you want the best web host. The top pick is between cPanel Server and Plesk Server. In most cases, the solution you use is determined by your hosting provider. However, if it is a question of choice, a guide is required and our comparison article will help you make the right choice. But before we get into which web hosting service provider is better, Let us first take a look at what a web hosting control panel actually is and then move on to which one will be better suited for you.
What is a Web Hosting Control Panel?
A web hosting service provider gives you a graphical user interface based on the web, acting as your control panel, which provides you easy management for your website. It offers features such as managing domain names, server files, databases, statistics, email accounts, server software, and so on.
This is where cPanel Server and Plesk Server come into play. The main advantage of a control panel such as cPanel or Plesk is not only that it allows you to take care of all management, but also that it is easy to understand. This means that the end-user can do most of the standard server management tasks themselves. As a hosting service for a website, the interaction of the websites with the server plays a decisive role in the smooth functioning of the website functions. These are the most popular control panels used by millions of users. So, the question arises, which of these should you opt for?
This article will provide you with a brief of both cPanel and Plesk Servers, along with the features of each, comparison, and which server will be better suited for your needs. Let us analyze each of them.
Released in 1996, cPanel Server has a GUI that is based on Linux. It offers a user-friendly control panel for the management of your website. cPanel is a platform that simplifies the handling of different hosting services by providing central access to everything needed in a single place. It involves multiple features such as:
- Streamlined directory privacy interface
- IP Address Denials
- SSH Access
- GnuPG key encryption
- Hotlink for preventing media file misuse
- Leech to prevent unauthorized access
- Older, trusted, and cheaper platform for users.
- Free SSL certificates via Auto SSL
- Support for Amazon Linux
- Automatic backup/restore mechanisms
Plesk is also a web hosting panel, developed for both Windows and Linux-based providers. IT was released in 2001 and had an advantage over cPanel as it could be used on Windows-based servers as well. Plesk works with the current configuration and makes all necessary adjustments without problems in server management. It is the best solution for site hosting servers that require a host management solution while maintaining the current configurations. It has multiple features such as:
- Active Directory Integration
- Fail2Ban Security
- Authentication with Social Profiles
- Anti-spam services
- Can run on both Windows and mostly Linux-based servers.
- Built-in support for tools such as Docker, Git, Node.js, etc.
- Automatic updates, security for WordPress
- Easy SSL integration with Let’s Encrypt
Now that we have an idea of what both the Servers offer, let us dive deep into a detailed comparison of the two regarding specific areas to help provide a clear understanding of what each server offers, and the areas where they beat their competitors.
User Friendliness: Both Plesk and cPanel offer a GUI as well as a CLI. The Plesk control panel and GUI has a better edge over its counterpart here as it is simpler and better to use. The tools are grouped to the left with extra options below each tool. cPanel’s GUI is everything just grouped together with thumbnails for everything, but it does offer the feature to modify the interface according to your needs.
Features: The basic features common to both the features include configuration of DNS, email and database management, FTP services, SSH user/key management, backup management, Log File reporting, etc. cPanel has a lot of extra applications but Plesk has support for applications as well as extensions. Plesk has support for Docker as well as Gitman extension for GIT support. cPanel also features such features but with complicated tinkering which gives this point to Plesk for better features.
Security: Both the servers have excellent security management but Plesk has support for fail2ban. It prevents unauthorized access, attacks, directory integration, and spam emails. On the other hand, cPanel has automatic SSL certification and IP address denial services. cPanel also offers cPHulk brute force protection, email spam filters, CSF support, ModSecurity, and two-factor authentication. Plesk holds up its own end with configurable Plesk Firewall, Automatic SSL, and Immunify Antivirus.
Plesk boasts security patches within 24 hours, automated healing and recovery of issues, and Plesk Security Advisor. cPanel encrypts all outbound messages, enables an easy third-party integration followed by a multi-factor authentication for customers. It also allows you a Blacklist or whitelist for individual IPs or countries.
Operating System: Plesk has support for both Linux and Windows servers. cPanel can have support for Windows-server but after a lot of tweaking. Plesk runs many OS such as Debian, Ubuntu, Cloud, Amazon, and Virtuozzo Linux, Windows Server 2008/2012 R2 SP. cPanel has support for CentOS, Cloud Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and Amazon Linux.
Backups: Security is the most important issue for providers as well as users. Plesk offers both a complete backup facility to store all data since the last update and incremental backup to store only modified data since the last update. It also allows you to schedule backups and offers individual user backup subscriptions. cPanel offers compressed backup, to save disk space, uncompressed backup, for faster access, and incremental backups just like Plesk.
Costs: cPanel offers Solo, VPS, and Dedicated subscriptions for a monthly or yearly basis. Plesk offers VPS and Dedicated server plans and a special partner program if you manage over 20 servers. Both give you a discount on the annual subscriptions. If you want to host your site on an external web hosting company, go for cPanel otherwise Plesk if you want to host them on your web server.
Webservers: Plesk has support for Apache, NGINX, IIS whereas cPanel works on EasyApache 4 with NGINX caching.
Administration: There is a unified authorization for both users and administrators in Plesk. cPanel also has WHM(Web Host Manager) accessible for administrative tasks whereas the cPanel controls the website. With WHM you can also resell cPanel hosting accounts.
Databases: Plesk offers support for a variety of databases such as MySQL, MSSQL Server, and MariaDB that can be managed with the help of your web browser. cPanel on the other hand has management and support for MySQL, and Maria DB via its web interface.
WordPress: The WordPress dashboard is a lot similar to Plesk. So if you have worked on WordPress, working on Plesk will be a walk in the park. Plesk and cPanel both offer a one-click installation of WordPress.
After this detailed comparison, there might still be confused as to which one should you go for, the cPanel Server or the Plesk Server. Let us now give you a list of features common to both of them so you know what you are definitely getting regardless of your choice, before recommending the server for your specific needs.
Features common to cPanel and Plesk:
- Management, Configuration, and addition of new domain names.
- File management for uploading, managing, and backup/restoration of media.
- Email management for setting up mail accounts, accessing webmail, configuring spam, and mailing lists.
- Management of Databases
- Statistics for server traffic
- Security features like SSL, SSH, and IP Blockers.
- Applications and Software Installers for web scripts.
Let us now give you our verdict as to which web server hosting provider is better suited for your needs. The main difference between Plesk and cPanel lies in their user interfaces and the Web servers they support. The user interface of Plesk is quite similar to the admin panel of WordPress and is supported on both Linux and Windows servers. When comparing Plesk and cPanel, look at the functionality of the user interfaces, performance, ease of use, and security to determine which is better suited to your needs. Files, databases, domains, emails, metrics, security, software, and applications are just some of the different sections you will see in your cPanel Linux dashboard. Both cPanel and Plesk are considered clean, whereby all Plesk functions are summarized on one page. Here is what you can opt for:
- cPanel is better for small or medium businesses. All the essential work for the business can be done on the cPanel effortlessly so there is no need for the extra features offered by Plesk.
- Plesk is better for digital agencies and large businesses. It meets business requirements better than the cPanel and has a design that is more user-friendly. Plesk provides you faster delivery and options which might be required by digital agencies but cPanel’s traditional architecture and system make it better for small businesses.
- If you are looking for a better and easier GUI, then go for Plesk. It has a better interface, with support for extensions that offer solutions for almost every little problem.
Plesk and cPanel differ on the web servers that they support and the GUI. Most of the internet is powered by Linux-based servers but Plesk does have an advantage of Windows-based servers under its belt. Plesk is the better option if you have to manage multiple servers and is also the cheaper option if you have a few sites only. cPanel is the better option if you manage a large number of sites. Go for Plesk if you are new and are just starting your business or website.
cPanel may have dominated the market for as long as it has existed but Plesk has caught onto it rather soon. With the better features, GUI, and server support, Plesk is the winner in most cases. If you are looking to migrate, do so after proper consideration as it is a tidy process and may cause a lot of issues. If you are new, you can check out free demos of both the cPanel and Plesk to provide you with an idea of how things would move if you were using them. Both the control panels offer excellent capabilities for managing your site and have a lot of community, and user bases to help you with your problems if any do arise.