“I Have Loved Hosting Over The Years, Simply Because I love Working With People. It’s The Perfect Job.”- WINK MARTINDALE
The right admin area or control panel makes an enormous difference for most webmasters. Whether you favor one or another or you’re simply not sure, it’s important to choose to host with the right control panel for your needs. A look at cPanel vs Plesk will help you decide between two of the most popular control panel options in the hosting industry. Both are absolutely able to complete the work, and both include the basics excellently. So, I will try to cover more cPanel Vs Plesk ground to let you know the differences.
Many web hosting service providers carry a control panel with their shared hosting plans, and you generally do not get to choose which choice you get.
Complete Overview of Control Panel
A hosting control panel is a tool that allows you to manage all aspects of a hosting service. It allows you to do most of the complex system admin processes in just a few clicks from the admin interface. You can even do advanced tasks such as server migrations, web server switching etc. in just a few clicks. Earlier this was done manually and took a huge amount of time to set it all up whereas it is just a matter of a few minutes now.
Control Panel Basics
Control panels offer basic information that can be useful for your site. One of the most important aspects is your account at a glance. You can also see how many resources you are using to ensure you are not at risk of exceeding any limitations. There is typically a section where you can change your password, set preferences such as the email address for notifications and the language you prefer. You may see:
Basic elements of a Control Panel
Effectively take charge of a website hosting environment and make sure the website control panel you choose offers the following essential, basic functions.
Domain and DNS Management
You depend on domains to access website resources. Hence, your control panel should have a section that lets you manage everything about the domains you’re hosting on your server. This includes new add-ons and subdomains, or managing existing ones.
Subdomains allow you to create a separate website area or an entirely new website. All while still using your main domain name. So it can be useful to add a prefix to your website domain name, such as support.domain.com. Your control panel needs to allow you to create as many subdomains as you need. The power’s yours!
ost control panels will give you the option to add a number of domains to the hosting environment. You’ll find these as “Add-on domains”. Now, you can choose to assign an add-on domain to a specific website. Or you can simply park it if you currently don’t want the domain to point to any website. Note that a parked domain can point to an existing website. So in this case, every request for that domain is simply redirected to another website of your choice.
Can you imagine if all your DNS data was scattered? You can usually host all the DNS data for a domain on your hosting environment itself. Including the entire range of DNS records, like nameserver and A records, MX records and TXT records. The right hosting control panel for you will allow you to fully customize DNS for each add-on domain you host.
The organization is key. How can you keep track of all your the files on your server? You need an easy way to upload, remove and manage these files. So your control panel should present a GUI that enables quick and easy file management. The simpler, the better. Because whether you use a CMS such as WordPress, or not, file management is a basic daily task for admins. Solving CMS issues is also much quicker with a file manager. There is an alternative – enter FTP (File Transfer Protocol), still supported by most control panels, to be honest. But FTP requires using a separate software application which you’ll need to set up on the side.
You’ll have multiple email accounts (also known as mailboxes) associated with each domain. Your control panel should come to the rescue here too by letting you create, remove and otherwise manage these accounts. It’s common for web hosting packages to include POP3 or even IMAP email free of charge.
Another important feature you should look out for. Doesn’t matter whether you are forwarding to an internal email account or an email account hosted elsewhere. Another common practice for control panels is allowing you to configure anti-SPAM solutions ( including DKIM, SPF, and DMARC ). Handy because it lets you monitor and protect incoming emails against blacklists and open-source filtering databases.
Logging and Monitoring
Every system administrator should stay on tops of key usage statistics, such as visitor counts, memory use and the total use of bandwidth. A control panel will help you identify websites which use excessive amounts of server resources. As well as enable you to avoid high bandwidth charges – before it is too late.
There are different hosting control panel tools. The most popular ones are:
cPanel is a popular control dashboard that helps you manage your web hosting server using a human-friendly web-based interface. It’s especially popular with shared hosts, where it’s the de facto solution provided by most affordable hosting providers. Without cPanel, you would need technical knowledge to manage your websites/server. But with cPanel, you’re able to make changes using a graphical interface – no technical knowledge required.
cPanel is a Linux based control panel that provides automation tools and GUI for helping users to easily manage their websites and hosting accounts.
- Actions available to administrators
- Actions available to web hosting resellers
- End-user website owners are available
In addition to the typical server system administration functionality (such as backup creation, file management, and resource usage analysis) you expect from a control panel, your cPanel account integrates with many third-party products so that you can manage multiple website-related tools in one place.
Sometimes cPanel mentioned with WHM. cPanel is the “client-facing” product or the one you use to do things like edit your website’s files, create new email accounts or manage your databases.
WHM (which stands for Web Host Manager) is the administrative tool used to manage multiple cPanel accounts — if you have more than one website, you will likely have more than one cPanel, which you then manage using WHM. Some of the web hosts that rely on cPanel’s products include GoDaddy, Bluehost, SiteGround, and HostGator.
Feature of cPanel
Use the File Manager interface to manage your files. This feature allows you to upload, create, remove, and edit files without the need for FTP or other third-party applications.
Use the Images interface to manage your images. You can view and resize images, or use this feature to convert image file types.
Use the Directory Privacy interface to limit access to certain resources on your website. Enable this feature to password-protect specific directories that you do not want to allow visitors to access.
Use the Disk Usage interface to scan your disk and view a graphical overview of your account’s available space. This feature can help you to manage your disk expanse usage.
Use the Web Disk feature to access to your website’s files as if they were a local drive on your computer.
Use the FTP Accounts interface to manage File Transfer Protocol (FTP) accounts.
Use the FTP Connections interface to view current connections to your site via FTP. Terminate FTP connections to prevent unauthorized or unwanted file access.
Use the Anonymous FTP interface to allow users to connect to your FTP directory without a password. Use of this feature may cause security risks.
Use the Backup interface to back up your website. This feature allows you to download a zipped copy of your cPanel account’s contents (home directory, databases, email forwarders, and email filters) to your computer.
Use the Backup Wizard interface as a step-by-step guide to assist you in backup creation.
Git™ Version Control
Use the Git Version Control interface to host Git repositories on your cPanel account.
File and Directory Restoration
Use the File and Directory Restoration interface to restore items from backed-up files.
Plesk bills itself as a tool designed to help you “build, secure, and run your apps and websites” in a simple manner. The company is a bit younger than cPanel (cPanel was initially released in 1996, and Plesk was first shipped in 2001).
The Plesk panel is very similar to cPanel and WHM (you can think of Plesk as something that can replace both these products). Unlike cPanel, Plesk is cross-platform and runs on Windows Server (as well as several different Linux distributions), so if you opt for Windows-based hosting, you most likely will end up using Plesk.
Like cPanel/WHM, Plesk allows you to complete the server system administration tasks for your server, as well as integrate with third-party tools so you can manage multiple aspects of your website in one location.
However, do note that you get both the “client-facing” functionality and the administrative functionality in one location, so you get a more powerful experience at the expense of a streamlined interface.
Plesk considers itself to be a complete “WebOps” server control panel, which means that you will get strong website and server security, the ability to manage multiple servers using one control panel, a large amount of flexibility and control, and extensibility so that you can create a Plesk implementation that does exactly what you need it to do.
Hosts that use Plesk for their Windows plans include GoDaddy & A2 Hosting, some of the businesses that rely on Plesk’s products include Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Docker, Google, and Node.js.
Features of Plesk
Docker – Docker is a tool designed to make it easier to create, deploy, and run applications by using containers. You can deploy and manage those containers straight from the Plesk interface. You can build or upload your own image and install the containers locally or to a remote node registered in Plesk.
Integrated WordPress Toolkit
Managing multiple WordPress sites is easier with integrated WordPress Toolkit.
Developers can utilize Plugin and Theme Mass Management to keep their all their installation up to date with an automated update to effectively lower the chances of getting hacked.
WordPress One Click Hardening
Harden all your WordPress Installations using the security scanner. Simply check the items you wish to harden and click securely. It’s all automated and no individual account login is required.
WordPress Security Scanning
Plesk makes sure every WordPress site on your server is secure by identifying any risk occurred during the installation process and secure them automatically.
Plugin and Theme Mass Management
Plesk’s WordPress Toolkit allows you to apply any changes to all installations with just one click. Now users no longer have to log into each individual WordPress installation to update, add, remove themes and plug-in.
All updates settings can be done in a single place with Plesk. System packages and Panel can be set to automatic update. You can disable or block a particular service package in the panel. You can even set predictable updates or upgrades for packages (packages update as it is from the repos, where it was installed from)
System Update Tools
Plesk Onyx now supports DNSSEC to enable users to protect the DNS data of hosted domains. The purpose of DNSSEC is to help secure the domain name resolving process and to reduce the possibility of DNS spoofing. With Plesk, auto-renewing expired keys for a domain, re-signing DNS zone and server-wide management of DNSSec are now possible. You can turn on/off the whole server, have key length management, and get the automatic updates of parent domain zone on the same Plesk interface.
Ruby is an interpreted scripting language for quick and easy object-oriented programming. With Plesk, you get the Ruby language support as a Plesk extension. It makes apps management easy because it allows users to scan, detect, deploy and restart the app. Ruby engine is available in different versions and it defines needed environment variables.
Python is a programming language that lets you work quickly and integrate systems more effectively. With Python, you get Nginx + passenger support and are able to exchange information and instructions with the computer via CLI/API/UI.vGit. It allows you to control your Python support management (activate/disable). You can also choose the favored Phython version, restart application server (Passenger).
Full Git Integration
Git is a free open source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small, to very large projects with speed and efficiency. Plesk also enables you to manage your Git, making managing and deploying your website code easily.
Easily deploy your website content. Push to a local Git repository or pull from a remote one.
Use Git Hub, BitBucket, Travis or any other software engineering service of your choice.
Create multiple branches in a single repository for separating staging from the production code.
Manually deploy for total control or save precious time with automatic deployment.
Plesk Onyx can now provide greater protection for your services and now includes a security advisor to enable all your sites and services to be served from a valid SSL certificate. However, It does this through the Security Advisor extension, which provides an easy set of wizards to ensure your Plesk login has a valid certificate, help enable all sites to be served via HTTPS and even generate the certificates using Lets Encrypt.
Multi-server extension is designed to give you and your clients a single entry point to control web spaces and subscriptions on multiple Plesk Onyx servers.
The Multi-server support includes:
Automatically distribute web spaces or subscriptions on connected service nodes
Both admin and customers can log into to all your servers from one
Centralized account management from across multiple Plesk instances
Subscriptions distributed across service nodes.
Linux Cgroup Limits
This gives you the ability to add limits and permission to each subscription or service plan to prevent overuse of too many resources of a domain affect other domains. It will calculate the number of resources used for each user and limit them when the quota is met.