Sunday, January 23, 2011

Web hosting control panel: cPanel vs Plesk

If you have experience with website hosting, you should know that there are various types of control panels out there. You might also notice that cPanel and Plesk are the major players in this field. In this article, we are going to have a deeper look into hosting control panel software; as well as check out the pros and cons of cPanel and Plesk.

About cPanel

Initially released in year 1996, cPanel has been around for a very long time and the web hosting control panel is extremely popular among shared hosting users. The software is originally designed by J. Nicholas Koston; and it’s now managed by cPanel Inc. in Houston, Texas. The software supports a wide range of Unix based OS including CentOS, Red Hat Linux, as well as FreeBSD.
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About Plesk

Plesk, on the other hand, was released back in year 2003. The company is originally a product of SWsoft (after SWsoft acquired Plesk Inc.) but it’s now shipped under Parallels Inc; and the infamous Plesk is rebranded as Parallels Plesk Panel. Unlike cPanel, Plesk supports both Windows and Unix based operating system. Parallels Plesk Panel for Unix support Debian, FreeBSD, Ubuntu, SUSE, Red Hat Linux; while Parallels Plesk Panel for Windows support Windows Server 2003 and 2008.
More details:

Comparing cPanel and Plesk software

What’s good about cPanel?
Popular – cPanel is the most well-liked hosting control panel at this time of writing. Most end users (people who are using the web hosting services) prefer cPanel as the GUI is much simpler to use than any other hosting control panel.
Easy to use, shorter learning curve – cPanel tends to be easiest to learn and use among all hosting control panel. And this is not only true for the end users – even some hosting providers agreed that cPanel is easier to operate.
What’s good about Plesk?
Wide OS Supports – As said, Plesk support both Windows and Unix based OS. This give great convenience to hosting providers as they can implement the same control panel software on both Windows and Unix hosting package.
Support advance features – Parallels Plesk Panel support a lot of advance features that are not available with other control panel software. For example the Plesk has better clustering support and provides comprehensive built-in SiteBuilder software. Nevertheless, these advance features actually made Plesk hard to use and thus not welcomed by most starters.

Other providers in hosting control panel

Besides Plesk and cPanel, you might want to check out: Gnupanel, DirectAdmin, Hsphere, ehcp, Webmin, as well as IxAdmin. Just in case you need a control panel other than Plesk and cPanel, check out DirectAdmin. We find DirectAdmin is the easiest to use and it’s extremely stable due to its simplicity.