Choosing the web hosting control panel can be quite confusing when you have the market players like cPanel and Plesk as the key contenders. Together they capture the majority of the market share for account and server management tools.
cPanel was the first one to enter the market in 1996, and that is the reason behind its huge number of legacy users. However, the modern versions of cPanel include cPanel interface for customer account management and Web Host Manager (WHM) interface for server administration.
Plesk, on the other hand, is relatively new and has been around since 2001. Within a short span of time, it is giving cPanel a very tough competition making it harder for the people to choose the one among them.
So let’s compare them to find out which one is better and why.
- User Interfaces
Out of the two, Plesk has a cleaner and easier to use Graphical User Interface (GUI). The interface of Plesk is more simplified with features grouped in a list down the left-hand side, clicking on which will expand to display more options.
Compared to Plesk, the cPanel interface is considered to be more cluttered as it doesn’t group the tools and features to simplify. However, cPanel facilitate customization of the home screen as per the user’s requirements, making it easier for them to find things.
Both the web hosting control panels offer Command Line Interface as well if the user gives preference to it over GUI.
Comparing the two, cPanel loads faster than Plesk. The developers of cPanel have really focused on optimizing the performance by minimizing the amount of memory required.
This allows cPanel to speed up the page-load times inside the panel, and achieve quicker account creations and other server management tasks.
- Features and Tools
On the upper side, cPanel and Plesk both provide similar primary features for server and account management. Both of them facilitate configuration of DNS settings, managing email accounts, running File Transfer Protocol 9FTP) and managing databases.
While it is possible to add extra apps to cPanel, Plesk comes with pre-installed support for plenty of useful app and extensions.
Plesk has support for Docker on Linux which provide over 200,000 Docker images accessible from within the web hosting control panel. It is also compatible with Git via the Gitman extension. Though there are ways to get Docker and Git running with cPanel, Plesk makes it much easier to get the benefit of them without any added complexities.
Although the security features in cPanel and Plesk are different, one thing is common that they both heavily focus on security and are equipped with several security tools.
Automatic SSL certificate installation, password-protected directories, and IP address denials are the cPanel security tools whereas fail2ban intrusion prevention, inbound and outbound email antispam and active directory integration is the security feature provided by Plesk.
What differentiates between the cPanel and Plesk web hosting control panels is the distribution network. While cPanel is only available on Linux operating systems, Plesk is available on both Windows Server and Linux distributions.
CentOS, CloudLinux and RedHat Enterprise Linux operating systems are the Linux distributions that support cPanel whereas Plesk is available on 14 Linux distributions including CentOS, Ubuntu, and Debian, as well as being available on Windows servers.
The choice between the two depends on the operating system on which your server is running.
Both, the cPanel and Plesk, are licensed web hosting control panels available on cloud servers as well as on dedicated servers from Fasthosts.
On CloudNX Root Servers, the license cost for both cPanel and Plesk is £10 per month whereas, on Fasthosts Dedicated Servers, it is £19.99 per month for cPanel and £14.99 per month for Plesk.
After going through these factors, now comes the final question, which one to choose between cPanel and Plesk?
Well, the final decision comes down to two factors – which operating system you are using and which one is easier to use.
Since both of them are available on dedicated servers as well as cloud servers, it is for you to decide which interface you find convenient to navigate so that you can do things faster.