The choice of web hosting control panel can have a huge impact on the way his user interacts with the server. The panel provides all the features needed to manage users’ projects.
Both cPanel and Plesk offer the following common website management functions:
- Domain Name System Management
DNS editing, domain renewal/forwarding, subdomain management, mail domains and registering new domains
- Database Management
MySQL, PostgreSQL, and other database systems
- Email System Management
Setting up new email accounts, email forwarders/quotas and spam filters
- Backup Management
An in-house back-up utility or access to a 3rd party backup application
- FTP Management
User account admin, password management, and file system quota
- Plugin Systems for Configuring Additional Services, Installing Apps and CMS
e.g. WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, ZenCart…
Still, there are some differences between cPanel and Plesk in users’ point of view. Let’s have a deeper look on each panel features.
- Admin Panels
cPanel comes with Web Host Manager (WHM) as standard, shared hosting users will never see WHM unless they upgrade to reseller or VPS hosting.
So the cPanel side is for the website owner, whereas WHM is for the server administrator. Although linked, the two systems have separate logins and interfaces. Plesk, on the other side, has one single login for administrators and users.
- Reseller Support
cPanel supports resellers and a section is dedicated to them, helping them to setup servers name, manage IP pools and assign accounts within a single interface.
The Plesk panel does not come with a reseller section by default, but allows to create a reseller profile by using the “Service Plans” feature.
Both panels offer security features for keeping web apps secure, including multi-layered authentication and web application firewall (WAF) protection.
The biggest difference between the two panels might be the migration of a website from a server to another server.
Both Plesk and cPanel make it easy to migrate from one server to the other, assuming user moving to and from the same control panel (cPanel to cPanel or Plesk to Plesk). But moving from one panel to the other is difficult and nearly impossible. Once a control panel picked, it is highly recommended to stick with it.
- Operating System Support
cPanel is a Linux control panel that functions either as a VPS or a dedicated server. It is compatible with CentOS, CloudLinux and Red Hat OS.
Plesk is more flexible, as it supports Windows OS (Windows Server 2008 R2 / 2012 / 2012 R2) but also adds various Linux distributions to its list of operating systems’ support: Debian, Ubuntu, Virtuozzo, CloudLinux and Red Hat Enterprise. Plesk might be the better option if your website executes ASP or .NET code, or directly accesses Microsoft Access or MySQL databases.
- User Interface
cPanel has a simple and graphical interface that allows access and management of most of the features (PGP keys, FTP accounts, mailing lists and more) from the front end. It has a command line and offers API based access that automates administration tasks.
At first sight, Plesk looks having the cleaner and a more attractive interface. But cPanel is more popular, more users are familiar and comfortable with it. So for them, the interface might be friendlier. As far as interfaces go, Plesk may be a bit more modern-looking, but cPanel has the advantage of displaying all its features on a single page. The final choice will come down mostly to personal taste.
The user-friendly cPanel has been created for Linux-based servers which power the majority of the web. It thus makes cPanel the most popular option.
Plesk is available for both Linux and Windows, which is great if you want to stick with a similar panel across multiple servers.
Both panels are fast, stable, secure. They offer feature-rich web hosting management tools that simplify workloads and helps users to succeed. For making the good decision, choices are always determined based on the needs of a business operating system, security needs, configuration of server as well as the growth of your business.
So choose one that accommodates with your business environment the best!