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A breakdown of cPanel and Plesk

A breakdown of cPanel and Plesk

When setting up a server from scratch, you may want to install management software with a Graphical User Interface (GUI). This will allow you to control a range of aspects with the click of a mouse, and without accessing a terminal text interface. With the range of solutions out there, which one should you use?

In general, web hosting control panels allow administrators to manage domains, email systems, and FTP management. Additional features include backup management, SSH management, as well as log file access.

Although most control panels contain this software with a lot of overlap in functionality and more, they are separated by how users are handled, and may be geared towards specific hosting packages.

For this article, we will be looking specifically at cPanel and Plesk, which are two of the most popular solutions around. This will include their main differences, which will affect most users. As a brief overview, cPanel is created using Perl and PHP and can handle Linux servers.

Plesk, on the other hand, was created with PHP, C, and C++ and is able to handle both Linux and Windows systems.

What is cPanel

Also known as cPanel and WHM, this is one of the most common interface solution used for website hosting companies for a range of packages, though limited to Linux, of course. It is ideal for administration and end-user purposes.

A common complaint with cPanel is its lack of official Windows compatibility, though there are workarounds for it. Even with the drawback, it is considered one of the fastest pieces of software in its class as its developers focus on speeding it up with each release.

One of the benefits of cPanel is its support for EasyApache 4, as well as the latest versions of PHP. The system is able to manage and maintain a range of systems that some admins may find too complex. cPanel can also automatically install and keep SSL servers up to date.

When it comes to comes to security, cPanel uses password-protected directories, IP address denials, SSL/TLS, and GnuPG keys. Additional security measure can be added through more modules for the system. Adding to this, users in cPanel only require a single password, which is created during the account creation process.

cPanel further moves website account management to a different part of the system. Called WHM, this robust system allows administrators to handle all of the managing aspects. The downside is that it is a separate program to the core of cPanel.

What is Plesk

Plesk stands out from cPanel as it’s able to run on a range of Linux versions, such as Ubuntu and CentOS, as well as Windows. Plesk has Git and Docket integrations as well – these alone make it the perfect solution compared to others.

With SSL, Plesk can automatically handle the security measure and HTTPS-only access. This entails running HTTP2, notifications if the server is being threatened, and configuring database files for secure access.

For security, Plesk uses active directory integration, social media authentication, anti-spam services, and Fail2Ban intrusion as well. The account security measures allow administrators to limit certain aspects, but Plesk allows for far more functionality in this regard. Administrators can create subscription rolls and blanket what can and cannot be accessed.

Unlike cPanel, Plesk includes its website administration features in the same package and interface. This means that subscriptions, domains, and global server settings are all handled in the same area of the software.

Regardless if you chose Plesk or cPanel, either should be an excellent fit for your web hosting and server needs.

The Author

Michael O.

Michael is the founder, managing director, and CEO of HOSTAFRICA. He studied at Friedrich Schiller University Jena and was inspired by Cape Town's beauty to bring his German expertise to Africa. Before HOSTAFRICA, Michael was the Managing Director of Deutsche Börse Cloud Exchange AG, one of Germany's largest virtual server providers.

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