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Plesk vs cPanel: Which Control Panel is Better?

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If you’re in the process of selecting a web host for your upcoming project, one of the critical considerations is determining which of the popular web hosting control panels will better suit your needs. That’s why the comparison between cPanel and Plesk becomes essential.

Both cPanel and Plesk are widely regarded as the top choices for web server control panels, offering robust solutions in the market.

In this comprehensive comparison, we delve deep into the differences between cPanel and Plesk, examining their features, similarities, and distinctions, helping you decide which control panel suits you best.

Key Takeaways

  1. cPanel is easy to use, even for those new to web hosting.
  2. Both cPanel and Plesk prioritize security.
  3. Official support is a crucial consideration when making decisions.
  4. Plesk is compatible with both Linux and Windows servers, while cPanel is limited to Linux servers.
  5. cPanel provides three types of backups: Uncompressed, Compressed, and Incremental.
  6. Plesk is excellent for managing multiple servers with a consistent interface.

A Comparison Between Plesk and cPanel

Features 

Plesk

cPanel

Web Servers

NGINX & Apache

Apache

User Interface

User-friendly UX/UI with modern JavaScript technology

Graphical User Interface

Database access

Offers MySQL or MSSQL Server databases

cPanel provides access to PhpMyAdmin for MySQL database management.

Support

You can contact them 24/7 via call or chat without any charges, regardless of whether you are their partner.

You can either submit a support ticket or opt for priority phone support for a fee of $65.

SSL 

Let’s Encrypt and Symantec

Let’s Encrypt

Extensions & Apps

You can explore over 112 extensions and apps from the App Catalogue and Extension Catalogue.

You can access various apps and extensions through Softaculous.

Operating Systems

Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS, RHEL, Cloud Linux, Amazon Linux, Virtuozzo Linux, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP

CentOS, CloudLinux, RHEL 7, or Amazon Linux

Comparing cPanel and Plesk: Which One Is Right for You?

cPanel and Plesk are among the most popular hosting control panels available today. cPanel, introduced in 1996, quickly became the go-to control panel for commercial servers, especially for users who needed a user-friendly interface.

Plesk, launched in 2001, was developed as an alternative to cPanel, offering compatibility with Windows and Linux servers and providing more flexibility in server choices.

Let’s explore a side-by-side comparison to help you make an informed choice.

Plesk vs. cPanel User Interface 

User Interface of Plesk 

Plesk Onyx features a user-friendly UX/UI with modern JavaScript technology. Its control panel resembles the WordPress admin panel, ensuring a user-friendly experience, especially for beginners. 

Key Features

  1. Beginner-friendly design.
  2. Clean user interface.
  3. Intuitive navigation for locating features quickly.

User Interface of cPanel

Using cPanel is straightforward, even for beginners, as its interface is well-organized and labeled clearly, ensuring easy navigation and access to necessary tools. In cPanel for Linux, items are organized into distinct sections such as Files, Database, Domain, Email, Metrics, Security, Software, and Applications, offering a structured and organized method for handling different aspects of your hosting setup.

Key Features

  1. Grouping of similar features for streamlined navigation.
  2. It features a Graphical User Interface (GUI).
  3. Customizable dashboard for personalized user experience.

Security of Plesk vs. cPanel 

Security is a top priority for both cPanel and Plesk, offering robust features to protect your hosting environment:

Security of Plesk

The Plesk control panel provides various security extensions, including Immunity 360, Fail2ban for intrusion prevention, and seamless integration with Active Directory. These extensions come in free and paid versions, providing flexibility in managing security measures.

Key Features

  1. Plesk Firewall is a customizable firewall for enhanced security.
  2. AutoSSL for automatic installation and renewal of Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates.
  3. Fail2ban is a tool that scans log files and bans IP addresses engaged in malicious activities.
  4. Email spam filters for improved email security.
  5. Timely security patches are implemented within 24 hours.
  6. Automated healing and recovery functionality to address technical issues without expert support.
  7. Secure domain configuration through DNS and DNSSEC settings.
  8. Simplified activation of SSL and HTTP/2 for all websites with Plesk Security Advisor’s one-click feature.

Security of cPanel

cPanel offers a range of renowned security extensions, including automatic SSL certificate installation, IP address denials, and password-protected directories. Ensure the protection of both your systems and your customers with cPanel Security.

Key Features

  1. AutoSSL ensures automatic installation and renewal of Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates.
  2. cPHulk provides brute force protection.
  3. It supports CSF (ConfigServer Security & Firewall).
  4. Email spam filters enhance email security.
  5. Users can benefit from additional security measures such as SSH access, IP blocking, hotlink protection, leech protection, ModSecurity, and two-factor authentication.
  6. Ability to block or allow individual IPs or entire regions and countries.
  7. Deployment of SSL certificates to websites across your server network.
  8. Encryption of all outbound messages.
  9. Facilitation of easy third-party integration.

Plesk vs. cPanel Support

Official support is an essential factor to consider when making decisions, as it ensures assistance is available in case of any issues or emergencies. 

Plesk Support

  1. You can contact Plesk Support 24/7 via phone and chat support without any additional fee.
  2. Non-customers can seek assistance through their official forum or social media channels.

cPanel Support

  1. You can submit support tickets via cPanel Support.
  2. Customer Service is available during Central Standard Time, Monday to Friday from 6 AM to 6 PM, and Saturday to Sunday from 6 AM to 4 PM.
  3. You can get emergency support for $65 per incident.

Operating System in Plesk vs. cPanel

Plesk works with both Linux and Windows servers, while cPanel is only compatible with Linux servers.

Plesk Operating Systems

  1. Debian
  2. Ubuntu
  3. CentOS
  4. RHEL
  5. Cloud Linux
  6. Amazon Linux
  7. Virtuozzo Linux
  8. Windows Server 2008 R2 SP

Note: Plesk needs to be purchased for the specific OS it will run on; it cannot be used across multiple machines with different operating systems on a single license.

cPanel Operating System

  1. CentOS
  2. Cloud Linux
  3. Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  4. Amazon Linux

Database Management in Plesk vs. cPanel

Both Plesk and cPanel offer robust database management tools essential for website development and maintenance. Here’s a comparison of the database options available in each:

cPanel Databases

In cPanel, databases are often created automatically during tasks like one-click WordPress installations, making the process easier for users. However, developers and occasional users may still need direct access to these databases.

Fortunately, cPanel provides tools like MySQL Wizard and phpMyAdmin for custom database creation and management. While additional tools are available, MySQL and phpMyAdmin are widely used and supported, catering to industry standards.

Plesk Databases

Plesk, like cPanel, offers phpMyAdmin for MySQL database management, ensuring users have access to essential tools.

Additionally, Plesk supports phpPgAdmin for PostgreSQL databases, providing a more comprehensive range of database management options.

Other database management tools in Plesk include myLittleAdmin and ASP.NET Enterprise Manager, offering flexibility for different database needs.

Overall, both cPanel and Plesk cover the essential aspects of database management, with Plesk being more transparent about the specific tools available.

Key Features in Plesk vs. cPanel

When comparing cPanel and Plesk, both offer a rich set of essential features:

  1. Domain management: Easily add, configure, and manage domain names.
  2. File management: Upload, manage files, and perform backups and restores.
  3. Email management: Set up and manage email accounts, access webmail, and configure spam filters, mailing lists, and forwarders.
  4. Database management: Create and manage databases.
  5. Stats: Monitor server traffic volume.
  6. Security: Secure with SSL certificates, SSH access, IP blockers, and more.
  7. Software installers: Effortlessly install popular web scripts like WordPress, Joomla, etc.

Additionally, each platform has its unique characteristics that make it stand out.

Plesk Features 

  1. You can run Plesk on Windows and various Linux distributions like Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CloudLinux, and Virtuozzo Linux.
  2. Plesk has built-in support for Docker, Git, Node.js, and WordPress Toolkit, offering convenient automation and additional management features, especially for WordPress users.
  3. With Plesk, integrating SSL certificates is effortless; it automatically obtains certificates from Let’s Encrypt and seamlessly integrates them into your websites.
  4. For WordPress users, Plesk offers automatic updates, bug fixes, and patches, effectively handling most of your WordPress security requirements.

cPanel Features

  1. cPanel is a widely adopted platform among hosting providers, often offering cost-effective solutions for end-users. 
  2. It enables the setup of free SSL certificates through Let’s Encrypt (AutoSSL) while providing the flexibility to switch to Comodo or other certificate providers.
  3. Although cPanel supports fewer operating systems overall, it includes support for Amazon Linux, a feature absent in Plesk. 
  4. cPanel offers excellent automatic backup and restoration capabilities, providing users with built-in mechanisms for efficient backup and restore processes.
  5. It facilitates quick installation of cPanel & WHM in less than 5 minutes and provides a one-click HTTPS redirection feature for websites.
  6. Users can also use cPanel’s capability to build Node.js applications and benefit from adding Imunify360 to the Security Advisor.
  7. SpamBox is enabled by default on new cPanel accounts.

Note: Plesk supports Nginx and Apache Web Servers, while cPanel currently only supports Apache web servers.

Backup in Plesk vs cPanel

Both Plesk and cPanel offer robust backup solutions, each with its unique features:

Backup in Plesk 

Plesk offers two types of backups: Complete backup, which includes all data regardless of when it was last updated, and Incremental backup, which only contains data that has changed since the previous backup.

Incremental backups reduce backup operation time and disk space usage. You can store these backups in Plesk’s internal or external FTP storage.

Key Features

  1. Backup scheduling capability.
  2. Ability to back up the entire server 
  3. Option to back up individual user accounts/subscriptions.

Latest Feature: Enhanced security with password protection for sensitive data in backups.

Backup in cPanel 

cPanel provides three types of backups: Compressed, Uncompressed, and Incremental backups. Compressed backup saves information in a compressed format, reducing disk space usage. Uncompressed backups are faster but consume more disk space. Incremental backups utilize hard links for efficient disk space usage.

Key Features

  1. Supports daily, weekly, and monthly backup intervals.
  2. Enables scheduling and retention settings
  3. Backup files are stored locally in the /backup/ directory by default.

Note: cPanel & WHM lacks an interface for restoring system backup files.

Plesk vs. cPanel Pricing 

Both cPanel and Plesk offer various price plans tailored to different needs. It’s essential to review the descriptions of each plan to ensure you select the right option for your requirements.

Plesk Pricing

  1. Plesk offers three different plans for VPS and Dedicated Servers.
  2. Benefits include applying for their partner program if managing more than 20 servers.
  3. A monthly payment option and extra discounts for annual plans are available.

cPanel Pricing

  1. cPanel offers three options: Solo, VPS, and Dedicated, with both monthly and yearly payment options.
  2. Users can benefit from more than a 30% special partner discount.
  3. Like Plesk, extra discounts are available for annual plans.

Plesk vs. cPanel: Which is Better?

The web hosting control panel selection significantly impacts your server management experience, offering the features essential for your project’s success.

  1. cPanel stands out for its simplicity and compatibility with Linux-based servers, which dominate the Internet landscape.
  2. Plesk benefits users managing multiple servers who prefer consistency in their control panel interface.
  3. With separate licenses catering to 10-30 websites, Plesk can be more cost-effective for smaller portfolios. However, for more extensive website portfolios, cPanel may offer better affordability.
  4. For beginners starting their journey into website ownership, Plesk is recommended over cPanel due to its user-friendly interface.

Conclusion

In short, choosing between cPanel and Plesk depends on your specific requirements and preferences. If you prefer a Linux-based control panel with a large community, extensive features, and a user-friendly interface, cPanel is an excellent option. On the other hand, if you need compatibility with both Linux and Windows servers, along with modern UI and customization options, Plesk might be more suitable.

Both cPanel and Plesk offer robust solutions for website management, so it’s essential to assess your needs and choose the one that aligns best with your requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Is Plesk identical to cPanel?

Ans: Plesk and cPanel are different web hosting control panels, each serving similar core website and server management functions. Understanding these differences is essential when choosing between Plesk and cPanel.

Q2: How do cPanel and Plesk differ?

Ans: cPanel and Plesk are popular tools for managing servers and hosting websites. The big difference is what types of servers they work with. cPanel is for Linux servers, while Plesk can handle both Linux and Windows servers.

Q3: Does both cPanel and Plesk offer a graphical user interface?

Ans: Yes, both cPanel and Plesk provide users with a graphical user interface, simplifying the management of hosting accounts, server configurations, and website settings.


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