Web hosting is a technical process. If you are a new website owner, there is a chance that the technicalities associated with hosting your website may overwhelm you. If you opt for a reliable hosting company, they help you out with all aspects of the initial setup. However, the later maintenance, especially the daily tracking, is your responsibility as well. You can opt for a managed plan, but it is always better to know how to manage your hosting setup.
This is where a control panel comes to the rescue. These are applications through which you can control the finer aspects of your hosting and website. While there are many control panels available, cPanel and Plesk are, by far, the most popular ones.
There are several reasons for its popularity – ease of use, intuitiveness, comprehensive control and versatility are just a few of them. In this article, we’ll be looking at the strengths and weaknesses of each of these two applications, we’ll try to understand the differences, but more importantly, we’ll try to decide which one is the best for your VPS Hosting setup.
What is cPanel?
cPanel is a Linux-based control panel that helps you simplify hosting server and website management. You can manage your hosting account and domain, publish websites, create email accounts, streamline your web files and do a lot more with your cPanel dashboard. Based on the Graphical User Interface (GUI), it is easy to use and navigate.
Between cPanel and Plesk, cPanel control panel is the more popular one and in some ways, it’s the default choice of a control panel for a lot of users.
cPanel has two crucial advantages. One is that it’s very easy to use. It’s been designed for newbies; it has an amazing help section, everything is laid out intuitively, and there’s a huge and willing community that’s ready to help.
The second advantage is that cPanel has been designed exclusively for Linux systems. So, everything is designed with that in mind. The server world is full of Linux systems. So, cPanel and Linux make a potent pair.
What is Plesk?
Plesk isn’t radically different from cPanel. It is also a web hosting control panel that allows you to easily manage your hosting account and server with the help of a web-based interface. It helps you to automate a wide range of activities, such as manage web files, create email accounts, create user accounts, create and manage domains and so on.
Plesk features a clean, minimalist design that’s been developed to be intuitive. There’s one sidebar which acts as a command centre, of sorts. Finally, Plesk offers server management and account management as standard, which makes life considerably simpler. As a cherry on the proverbial cake, there’s a great help section now.
Plesk is available for both Windows and Linux whereas cPanel is restricted to Linux only. And on the face of this, this seems to be the only difference. However, that’s not the case. There are quite a few differences, albeit they’re quite subtle.
Difference between cPanel and Plesk
Given below is a table that summarises the differences between cPanel and Plesk. A few factors meriting a more detailed look are discussed after the table.
|cPanel vs Plesk|
|Security||You can deploy SSL certificates, encrypt all messages, blacklist IP addresses, and also create a multi-factor authentication for all your customers.||Can install security patches, fix bugs, and monitor all your plugin updates from one, central dashboard. Additionally, there’s also one-click SSL security.|
|Supported Database/s||MSSQL Server or MySQL||PhpMyAdmin for MySQL|
|Mobile app||Not supported natively, but there are third-party apps available (known to be generally clunky).||Mobile app for Android and iOS|
|Server/s||Apache||Apache and NGINX|
|Migration support||This is done through WHM as cPanel alone isn’t enough.||Native Plesk Migrator is available as standard.|
|OS||Amazon Linux, CentOS, CloudLinux, RedHat Enterprise Linux and a few other Linux distros.||Windows Server 08, Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS, and a few other Linux distros.|
Now that we saw the quick difference between the two control panels, let us understand them in application terms:
1. Which control panel has a better user interface?
cPanel: This is one of the greatest strengths of cPanel. It’s very easy to use. Everything is laid out on the main dashboard. Its GUI is intuitive, in that everything is exactly where you’d expect it to be. The way cPanel has achieved it is by grouping all similar features together. Additionally, if you aren’t happy with the nitty-gritty stuff, cPanel allows you to completely customise your dashboard to your liking.
Plesk: This is where Plesk had the most problems. Plesk used to be this complicated software that wasn’t intuitive in any way. In fact, most complaints about Plesk originated from its UI problems. However, that has changed, and Plesk is quite sleek now.
Plesk is now beginner-friendly, as they put it. The interface is clean, everything is easy to locate, but most importantly, Plesk hasn’t lost any of the functionality that the previous interface offered.
2. Which control panel offers better backup facilities?
cPanel: cPanel basically has three types of backups – compressed, uncompressed, and incremental backups. As the name suggests, compressed backups take up less space, but the drawback is that they’re relatively slow. Uncompressed backups take up more space, but are significantly faster. Incremental backups are created by taking a complete uncompressed backup once in the beginning, and then adding changes to the same copy whenever you create a new backup. You can schedule daily, weekly, and monthly backups.
Plesk: Plesk has only two backup types — complete and incremental. A complete backup creates a copy of absolutely everything. Incremental backup, as mentioned earlier, takes a complete backup when it’s used for the first time. In each subsequent backup, it just modifies the original backup. Like with cPanel, you can schedule backups.
cPanel vs Plesk — which one should you choose?
The fact is that this isn’t a good or bad race at all. Both Plesk and cPanel have their advantages and disadvantages. However, there’s one important point to note, and it’s that cPanel is designed for Linux and the majority of web hosting platforms run on Linux.
That’s the true distinction here. If you’re going for Windows Hosting, Plesk is an obvious choice. However, with Linux, it’s better to stick to cPanel which has been designed for Linux. The data backs this too. cPanel is more popular than Plesk. It’s easy to use if you’re a beginner and has a huge community that’s more than willing to help.
Irrespective of what control panel you’re choosing for your VPS Hosting, it’s important to ensure that you get your VPS Hosting plan from a reputed web hosting company that has a proven history of providing reliable, fast, and secure hosting.
HostGator offers SSD-based VPS Hosting plans that come pre-installed with a cPanel control panel. We also offer 24×7 support with our VPS Hosting plans that can provide great support in case you get stuck. Also, avail expandable storage, quick provisioning, complete root access, KVM hypervisor-based virtualisation, account isolation and dedicated resource allocation. Ultimately, these basic tech factors are crucial in ensuring that your website grows steadily.
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