The control panel is an interface panel used by the hosting companies to manage their websites. Control panels provide control over various aspects of server and website through the graphical interface and automation tools.

Most popular control panels are: cPanel, Plesk Panel

Both Plesk and cPanel are two powerful control panels with rich features and similar functionalities. They are popularly used by millions of web hosting solutions. Often, your choice will come down to your own personal needs.

If we will sort out the better panel according to features only then it can be difficult to get the right answers. As both panels are doing their job well.

This article is an assessment of how cPanel compares to Plesk so you can decide which one might be the right choice for you.

Commonly available control panel functionality:

  • Server logs
  • File management
  • Configuring email accounts
  • Maintaining users accounts
  • Web log analysis software for visitor information, including page visits
  • Database management functionality for user access and data manipulation
  • Resource reports on availability including available space and used space and bandwidth

Let’s run through some key differences:

  • Realibilty:

    Probably the main thing that may influence your choice is the look and design of the control panel interface. cPanel is one of the most popular and widely-used control panels. It’s quite complete and allows a business to manage and maintain nearly all aspects of server operation.

    Plesk is the “big one” in the control panel world. It’s intended more for those customers who desire the advantages of server hosting but have high-end control needs.

  • Terminal Access:

    Both Plesk and cPanel offer command line access. cPanel has both command line access and API-based access, enabling interaction with third-party software.

    Plesk offers a command line access tool called the Panel Action Log Command Line Access Tool.

  • Operating System Support:

    cPanel runs singularly on Linux systems, and it officially supports three versions – CentOS, CloudLinux, and RedHat. So if your experience tilts more towards a Windows server, cPanel is probably not the right choice for your needs.

    Unlike cPanel, Plesk offers support for a much wider variety of operating systems including variations within Linux itself. In addition to the three Linux OSs supported by cPanel. Plesk can also run on Ubuntu, Debian, and openSUSE. Plesk is the famous and best control panel that provides Windows support.

  • Compatibility:

    In respects to functionality, both cPanel and Plesk are very similar. In most cases, you will miss nothing if you just switch from one to another. These two control panels are not compatible with each other. If we talk about migration, it can be a nightmare for you. As if you create the backup of one of them then you will not be able to restore it on the other.

  • License Fee:

    Plesk or cPanel licenses are often provided as part of a hosting package, but they’re not always.

    The costs of these both control panels vary widely as does their pricing structure. None of them is open source. For most customers, cPanel is cheaper than Plesk.

  • User Interface:

    cPanel’s interface is more simple, and all features are accessible directly from the front page. Thus you don’t have to learn new routines for common web hosting tasks when using cPanel.

    On the other hand, Plesk is organized in different sections. Thus it requires some time to get used to how things are done with it. Though sometimes this allows you to work faster with it.

  • Admin Panels:

    cPanel comes with Web Host Manager (WHM) as standard, although shared hosting users will never see WHM unless they upgrade to reseller or VPS hosting. The cPanel side is for the website owner, whereas WHM is for the server administrator. The both systems cPanel and WHM both have separate logins and interfaces.

    Plesk, on the other hand, has a single login for administrators and users. They look similar but the options are quite different.

  • Add on Applications:

    A web hosting package equipped with cPanel usually offers more features than one utilising Plesk. cPanel can be integrated with a number of add-on applications such as Fantastico, RV Skins and CSF firewall, thus providing end-users with a wide variety of functionality that cannot be obtained in the Plesk environment.

  • Platform Support:

    Unlike cPanel, Plesk supports both Windows and Linux platforms. This enables a web host to diversify their offerings and cater to a broader range of customers. The end-users also benefit as they often have access to both Windows and Linux features.

  • Third Party Applications Support:

    In contrast to cPanel, Plesk does not integrate with many third-party applications outside of Microsoft products for added functionality. For this reason, Plesk is not very popular as a Linux server even though it does support the platform

Lets’s have a quick view of their differences in a table:

cPanel Plesk
Price
    Easy to Use
        Features
          Plugins Available
            Platform Linux Windows, Linux
            Popularity
                Supported OS CentOS, CloudLinux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SmartOS CentOS, Debian, CloudLinux, Windows Server 2008 R2/SP2/2012
                Open

                Source

                No No
                Frontend/Bacend Perl/Perl PHP/PHP&MySQL
                IPV6 

                Support

                Yes Yes
                MultiServer

                Support

                Yes Yes
                Terminal SSH, Java Applet SSH, Java Applet
                DNS

                Features

                BIND MSDNS or BIND
                Email

                Software

                Exim Qmail
                Firewall CSF IPTables
                External MySQL 

                Servers

                No Yes
                External DNS

                Synchronisation

                Yes Yes
                Postgree

                SQL support

                Yes Yes
                PHPMyadmin

                Integration

                Yes Yes
                Database

                Access

                MySQL MySQL, MS SQL
                Webmail Roundcube, Horde, Squirelmail Horde IMP
                Anti Spam SpamAssassin, BoxTrapper, Spam Box SpamAssassin
                Anti Virus ClamAv DrWeb
                Web Servers Apache Apache
                Security SSL, phpSuExec, SuPHP, mod_security SSL, Suexec
                Errors Last 300 Errors, Custom Error Pages Unknown
                Reseller Login Yes with WHM11 Yes
                Auto Installer Fantastico Application Vault
                Demo Site
                cPanel Demo
                Plesk Demo

                Final Thoughts: cPanel or Plesk?

                Let’s stop flipping the coin now. There are certainly pluses and minuses for each system.

                It is hard to say which is better between cPanel and Plesk. It is mostly a matter of personal choice.

                The basic gist is cPanel is outstanding for Linux based users while Plesk is the preferred option for Windows fans.

                The best option should be based on the features that most closely accommodate your environment and clients.

                I would recommend once you pick the control panel stick with it, the biggest issue is migration. The migration issues can be a nightmare.