As a website owner, dealing with scores of web services is cumbersome and requires in-depth knowledge of the level of a system administrator. Many technically apt ones prefer to control server through CLI but for others, a web hosting control panel with a GUI is the best way to manage sever and different web hosting services.
Hence, having a good hosting control panel is one of the most crucial factors, if not the most important one while choosing a web hosting plan. Therefore, this blog is to help those who are looking to buy a web hosting plan for their online presence and need to understand web hosting control panel in detail.
The comparison of top 11 open source hosting panels in 2018 will help you be aware of different web hosting control panels that you can try out.
What is a web hosting control panel?
A web hosting control panel helps in effective monitoring and management of your hosting infrastructure through a single interface. With it, you can virtually manage your server and web hosting services offered by the hosting provider from anywhere. It simply takes care of the administration aspect of your hosting account.
Common features of control panels
A control panel has the capability to manage each service provided by your hosting provider from mails to security to file management and backups. Here is the list of some of the common features of all hosting control panels:
- Complete DNS (Domain Name System) management including web domains, mail domains etc.
- Control over database management systems like MySQL and PostgreSQL.
- Managing email system – email addresses, quotas, preventing spam etc.
- Complete server account management.
- SSH and user key management.
- Backup management.
- Log files’ management and reporting.
- Plugins and ability to install other services and apps.
While these features are common in most of the hosting control panels, there are many other things that make a web hosting control panel perfect. Some hosting panels are open source and thus available without any charges while some are paid like cPanel, Plesk and DirectAdmin.
Here, in this write-up, we will discuss about the top 8 open source hosting control panels, their features and a quick comparison between all of them. Let’s begin:
Top Open Source web hosting control panels in 2018
An open source web based hosting control panel – Ajenti, is a perfect server administration tool that can manage multiple servers with ease. It can be used for managing a large variety of server related tasks like installing packages and running commands.
The users can view the basic server information like the RAM usage, available disk space etc. Its add on package – Ajenti V allows users to manage multiple servers from the same interface/panel.
It is known for delivering high performance and faster remote access. The anytime and anywhere accessibility is one of its primary features.
OS support: Debian, RHEL, Ubuntu, Gentoo with easy portability to Linux and BSD.
Backend: Language – Python 2.7/3.4, Framework – GEvent, Extensibility – Pluggable, modular architecture.
Frontend: Language – JS, ES6 or CoffeeScript, Framework – AngularJS.
VestaCP web hosting control panel is known for its simple yet effective interface. This makes it an ideal platform for resellers who want easy and uncluttered interface. The secure and fast interface with keyboard shortcuts helps managing servers really fast.
The platform has built in firewall that makes it more secure. Smart filters further help to ban any IP address that seems to be making too many login attempts. The web interface supports 26 languages and regions around the world. It completely monitors the server including server stats, logs and analytics etc.
Source: Open Source and free hosting control panel
Vesta Core/API: Bash
Database: MySQL + phpMyAdmin and PostgreSQL + phpPgAdmin
FTP: VsFTPD, ProFTPD
It comes with Softaculous auto installer that helps in one click installation of 439 apps across the server.
The Sentora open source web hosting control panel is based on the strong foundations of ZPanel that acts as an effective control panel for small to medium ISPs. It has been built to work on various Linux distributions.
The major features include support, scalability, robustness and extendibility.
Released under GPLv3, this open source web hosting control panel makes managing your servers easier, secure and faster. The add-on store allows the clients to install, rate, publish and sell themes, modules and localizations quickly.
The CentOS Web-based control panel is an open source and freely available hosting control panel. With many advanced features and modern panel with full control, it simplifies web hosting management.
It supports CentOS/ RHEL 6 Linux Distribution. It has the ability to automatically install LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) on client’s server. On security front, the panel has the best Linux Firewall (CSF firewall) along with features like live monitoring, IP access control, automated backups, and complete database management.
To further its security, it also has File System Lock Feature that makes your site even more secure against hackers. Other features include MySQL with phpMyAdmin Panel, postfix, dovecot mailboxes and Roundcube web interface for emails.
In case of dedicated servers and VPS, it provides the ability to directly access the server without going through the SSH every time, making operations faster.
Kloxo-MR is the fork of Kloxo control panel with much advanced features and capabilities. It is an ideal choice for those who do not wish to manually install web servers, PHP or MySQL. It is written in PHP and supports CentOS, Red Hat and their variants. It uses MariaDB or MySQL as database.
The Kloxo-MR control panel also comes with support for multiple billing software like WHMCS, AWBS, AccountLab Plus, TheHostingTool, BoxBilling and Blesta.
The Webmin control panel is ideal for Linux system administration. It is mainly used for the management of user accounts, FTP and DNS configuration, Apache administration and more. It lets one manage a system remotely or from the console. Its extensibility further makes it an ideal web hosting control panel.
Webmin comprises a simple web server and a number of CGI programs that are written in Perl version 5 and uses all standard Perl modules.
Froxlor is a very light weighted hosting control panel that comes with integrated support for ticketing system, users, SSL management, IP etc. The smart and comprehensive dashboard provides complete overview to the admins. The panel is available for Gentoo and Debian.
The web hosting panel can easily manage databases, domains, DNS, emails and much more. One of the attractive features is its flexibility – provides a number of customization capabilities to the admin.
It also has community built support and manageable panels for the resellers and customers.
The ISPConfig is dedicated to the Linux and its distributions. It is an open source platform written in PHP. Users can easily manage emails, websites and DNS records as administrator. It allows management of multiple servers from one control panel.
Other features include complete mail server management with antivirus and spam filters, multi-lingual functionality, DNS server management, community support, and much more.
The ZPanel web hosting control panel is a free and open source panel for servers based on Windows, Microsoft and POSIX (Linux, Unix and MacOSX). The control panel is written in PHP and also utilizes a variety of freely available software packages to manage a secure web hosting service. The control panel with enterprise class features has support for unlimited resellers.
AlternC is a set of web hosting server management software that is open source and is majorly used for Linux/ UNIX systems. It provides users with a simple interface with which they can manage their web and mail server and other internet based services.
The web interface is very simple and non-technical such that anyone can use it without necessarily having technical knowledge. Initially released in November 2000, it is an ideal web hosting control panel due to its simple yet advanced web hosting features.
The Domain Technologie Control or DTC is an efficient web hosting control panel that aims to provide a graphic oriented interface for managing the commercial web servers for shared, VPS and dedicated hosting servers. It is developed by GPLHost and its contributors and is available in multiple languages.
DTC is completely open source and has also been recognized as the first web hosting control panel that has reached inclusion in leading distributions like Ubuntu (since 2008) and Debian (since Lenny in 2009) and FreeBSD, per Wikipedia.
Top open source hosting control panels comparison chart
|Control Panel||Free||Frontend||Backend||Databases and DNS||FTP||Multi-Server|
|CentOS Web Panel||Yes||PHP||PHP/
|AlternC||Yes||PHP||PHP / Perl / Shell script||Yes||Yes||Yes||Not supported by default, need customizations.|
|Domain Technologie Control||Yes||PHP||MySQL||Yes||Yes||Yes||No, but can run in clustered environment|
The ideal hosting control panel will certainly depend upon your needs. If you do not want to go for the open source, free web hosting control panel where you may have some limitations in terms of functionalities, you can also opt for paid control panels like cPanel or Plesk that come with ZNetLive’s services like cloud VPS and dedicated server.
Our technical experts who are available round the clock can help answer any query that you may have regarding web hosting or your web hosting control panel.
Let us know your feedback in the comments section.