As a first-time hosting customer, you’re more than likely going to need (and want!) something that helps manage your website’s server.
This inevitably means opting for a control panel, which lessens your technical load. While some web hosting providers include a control panel with their plans, others offer a control panel to be purchased additionally.
So, what’s the most popular website hosting control panel on the market these days? cPanel, which was first introduced back in 1996. cPanel is a website hosting dashboard that runs on the Linux Operating System (OS) and helps simplify the management of your website with its graphic interface. (For more background basics on cPanel, check out my previous article.)
Given that cPanel announced last year an unexpected price change in their license billing system and their approach to license options, many hosting providers and customers started looking for alternatives.
Most of these alternatives are “open-source” software, which means they are created and supported by a community of like-minded individuals. And, they’re free. The biggest distinction between cPanel and control panel alternatives boils down to their compatibility with certain software and their level of support provided.
For instance, while “open-source” control panels allow users to create feature requests and leave any feedback, this often means there isn’t a dedicated support team on hand to help tackle any roadblocks or issues.
So without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the alternatives to cPanel and what they offer.
Also from the folks behind cPanel, Plesk is arguably the second most popular control panel on the market. Whereas cPanel runs on the Linux Operating System (OS), Plesk is supported on both Linux and Windows servers. So if you use Windows, Plesk is a sure bet.
Similar to cPanel, Plesk features an aesthetically-pleasing and user-friendly interface. (Some would even argue that Plesk is friendlier than cPanel, but it’s a matter of opinion.) When comparing cPanel vs. Plesk, Plesk features a centralized control panel. cPanel offers separate panels to access WHM subscriptions and user management whereas with Plesk, you can input the Admin or other User credentials from one single login interface.