Web Hosting Control Panel Smackdown: cPanel vs Plesk
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A server control panel is a solution used for web hosting that allows people to manage their hosted services from a single, simplified place. These control panels are typically available for servers that run on both Linux or Windows operating systems. Often, web-based control panels come with a graphical interface and a tool suite that has been specifically designed to simplify the process of hosting a website.
Two of the most common web hosting control panels are Plesk and cPanel. While each has their own range of features and benefits, it’s important to remember that these options are both powerful administration tools with plenty of great security options. In today’s articles, we’re going to dive a little deeper into the functionality in Plesk and cPanel and discover what each option can offer for website owners.
Defining cPanel and Plesk
cPanel is fundamentally a Linux-based control panel for web hosting, which features a simple graphical interface, and an intuitive automation suite that makes it easier for you to manage your web hosting needs. cPanel was designed using a three-tier structure, and its functionality can be tailored and changed to suit the needs of resellers, administrators, and end-user website managers, depending on the requirements at hand. Sometimes, website management and server administration can be controlled through a web browser, and cPanel is currently the most popular control panel solution.
“Plesk” on the other hand is a web hosting service control panel that gives people the ability to maintain and configure both Linux and Windows servers. With the Service Provider management features, you can use simple and effective controls to create subscription packages for individuals, resellers, and customers. Additionally, bundled WordPress support tools make using Plesk 12.5 security features easier – which is perfect for shared hosting. With Plesk, unlimited domains and accounts can be supported.
The Main Features to Evaluate
To help you decide which control panel is right for your needs, you’ll need to assess the different features and functionalities that each solution can offer. For example:
Web hosting developers can automate system administration solutions. cPanel is designed to function as a virtual private server or dedicated server, depending on requirements, and the latest version supports installation on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Cloud Linux, and CentOS. Application-based support is wide-reaching for MySQL, PHP, and Apache, and email support is offered for POP3, IMAP, and SMTP.
Command Line Access
Both cPanel and Plesk deliver command line access through the control panel. cPanel provides command line access as well as API access, which means that you can enable interactions with third-party software. On the other hand, Plesk offers an access tool for the command line known as the “Panel Action Log” tool.
Ease of Use
At the level of user interface management, cPanel can aggregate numerous functions into a range of high-level groups that include email, preferences, logs, files, security, databases, domains, and software services. On the other hand, Plesk offers ease of use through functions that are divided into users, email, resource usage, domains, websites, statistics, and applications.
If you get tired of the control panel you’re using, then you might want to remove it. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to remove cPanel, as this would require you to reformat the entire server and re-install your operating system. While “uninstall” scripts are available for Plesk, they’re not often recommended.
What About Multi-Server Clustering?
One of the most important areas where cPanel and Plesk differ is in the fact that Plesk is unable to support multi-server clustering. To take advantage of this solution, you will need to use an add-on called the “Plesk Automation Services”. On the other hand, cPanel now has functionality for managing multiple services at once. Root users can also use remote access keys, and share configuration settings across servers.
At the same time, it’s worth noting that Plesk can sometimes lead to slower loading on websites than cPanel, particularly in the case of Linux servers. Additionally, with Plesk, you can manage MYSQL or MS SQL servers from your web browser. On the other hand, with cPanel, you can simply move into PhpMyAdmin, which allows you to manage various MySQL databases. When it comes to database activities, if you need to access the MS SQL solution from the panel, you’ll need to stick with Plesk.
Deciding Whether to Use cPanel or Plesk
There are many considerations that may go into making your decision whether to use cPanel or Plesk. For instance, Plesk has a more detailed range of support requests than cPanel and allows for management of the MS SQL server from your web browser. Plesk is also well-integrated with the Windows OS, and it’s easy to use.
Plesk also comes with a fairly-detailed and intuitive support request form that requires you to provide as much information as possible about the problems that you have with your web hosting panel. For some people, this may be more frustrating, as there’s more to fill out, while others will prefer the attention to detail.
However, on the other hand, cPanel can load faster than Plesk, and it can aggregate various functions into simpler, high-level groups to provide easier accessibility. Many people believe that cPanel is best for Linux environments.
When it comes to accessing support through cPanel, you simply need to enter your email address, name, and issue into the cPanel interface.
Ultimately, it’s hard to argue with the fact that Plesk and cPanel are two of the most popular and efficient server panels for web hosting clients. While each option comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, it’s worth noting that the best choice for you will be based on the features and requirements that accommodate your personal environment and clients. When making your decision, remember to think about your server configuration, operating system, access control, and security needs.
At the same time, it may be worth noting that Plesk is generally more suitable for Windows OS while the cPanel configuration is better for Linux.
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