“A good system shortens the road to the goal.” Orison Swett Marden.
A hosting control panel is a system designed for easing the management of your hosting services through a user interface that simplifies a number of tasks by providing centralized access to everything that’s needed, at one place. This makes hosting simpler than you think!
The choice of control panel is an important factor to be considered while selecting web hosting. Although control panel is a matter of choice guided by needs, yet comparison between popular options, will definitely help in making an apt choice for any business. Out of the many control panel options available in the hosting industry, the two that are considered the best are – cPanel and Plesk Onyx panel.
Both are perfectly capable of getting the job done, and both cover the basics well.
cPanel and Plesk Onyx panel – an overview
cPanel – cPanel is a Linux based control panel that provides automation tools and GUI for simplifying the web hosting process. Applications which it supports include Apache, PHP, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Perl, and BIND (DNS) and POP3, IMAP, and SMTP services, the email based applications.
Plesk panel – Plesk is an intuitive web hosting control panel which offers role based access to its users, allowing them to set up websites, design cloud based applications, manage database, mails, reseller accounts, and other valuable services both on Linux and Windows servers.
Plesk is constantly evolving in terms of functionalities, thus the new upgrade – Plesk Onyx is here.
How is Plesk Onyx different from Plesk 12.5?
Plesk Onyx is loaded with some new and advanced features and especially focuses on the needs of web professionals and developers (discussed in detail in the later half of this post), which makes it different from Plesk 12.5- the last version. Some of the features that Plesk 12.5 had, but have been dropped from Onyx, are:
- Support for Windows 2008(not for R2)
- Miva support and NET 1.1 support.
- Support for SmarterMail 6.x-9.x.and Perl-apache-asp (Linux).
- IE 9 and 10 support.
- Support for Cent0S 5/ RHEL5/ Cloud Linux 5.
- Shared SSL support on Windows.
- CBM from Plesk distribution and SSH term from Plesk.
cPanel vs Plesk Onyx – the comparison
Both the control panels deliver most of the features, but here are the differences:
1. Operating system support
cPanel is a Linux only control panel that functions either as a VPS or a dedicated server. It is compatible with CentOS, Cloud Linux and Red Hat operating systems but it does not support Windows platform.
Plesk Onyx is more flexible, as it supports not only Windows OS (Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2) but also adds various Linux distributions to its list of operating systems’ support- Debian, Ubuntu, Virtuozzo, CloudLinux 6 and 7 and Red Hat Enterprise 6 and 7.
2. User web interface
cPanel has a simple and graphical interface that allows you to access and manage most of the features (PGP keys, FTP accounts, mailing lists and more) from the front end. It has a command line and offers API based access that automates administration tasks.
It is organized in different sections that facilitates faster working and saves your valuable time. It provides role based access, across all the devices.
3. Reseller support
cPanel supports resellers and a section is dedicated to them, helping them to setup name servers, manage IP pools and assign accounts with a single interface.
The Plesk Onyx panel does not come with a reseller section by default, but it allows you to build a reseller profile by using the “Service Plans” feature.
4. New technology adoption
Plesk Onyx supports some enhanced features that cPanel does not provide as of now.
- Docker support
The Docker solution enables web developers and IT admins to compose, design and deploy their applications, globally. With Plesk Onyx, you can use this container technology which cPanel, at present does not support.
- Git Support
This Plesk Onyx feature allows you to deploy apps and websites in Plesk from Git repositories whether local or remote, supports both automatic and manual deployment and integrates well with software engineering services- GitHub, Bitbucket etc.
- WordPress Toolkit with self -repair functionality
With Plesk Onyx, you can harden WordPress in just one click and mass manage multiple WordPress themes and plug-ins.
- System Update tools
In Plesk Onyx, you get all the updates and settings at a single place – system packages, panel and third party with system update tools.
- SSL Improvements
Plesk Onyx offers “Let’s encrypt” security for every SSL cert (for Plesk) or domain created. You also get SSL certificate management for Mail services (POP3s, SMTPs, IMAPs), a valid SSL cert with webmail on https and more.
- DNSSEC Support
This tool helps you to protect your DNS data with Domain Name System Security Extensions.
Besides above mentioned features, Plesk Onyx benefits include- support for Ruby on Rails and Sinatra frameworks, Node.js apps and Python too and many more other features.
Take a demo to have a clear impression of Plesk Onyx.
Which is the best web hosting management tool?
To stay ahead of the competition, it is important to keep up with the latest technology. Both cPanel and Plesk panels are feature rich web hosting management tools that simplify you workloads and help you succeed.
But choices are always determined based on the needs of a business- operating system, security needs, configuration of server and many more.
So, choose one from the above panels that accommodate with your business environment the best.
Let us know your thoughts about this write-up in the comments section.