One of the most popular debates among web hosting customers and services providers is – cPanel Vs Plesk – which is a better option? While both the hosting control panels have their own pros and cons – the major difference between them lies in their user interface and compatibility. This blog attempts to answer this question through a point-to-point comparison of both cPanel and Plesk.
“A good system shortens the road to the goal.” – Orison Swett Marden, Founder of Success Magazine.
A hosting control panel is an interface designed to ease the management of hosting services by providing centralized access to everything that’s needed, in one place. This makes hosting simpler than you think!
A control panel is an important choice to be made while selecting web hosting.
Although it’s a matter of choice guided by needs, our Plesk Vs cPanel comparison article will definitely help you in making an apt choice. Out of the many options available, the two that are considered the top players are – cPanel and Plesk.
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Both are perfectly capable of getting the job done, and both cover the basics well. So, we will try to cover more cPanel Vs Plesk ground to let you know the differences.
cPanel and Plesk – Overview
cPanel – cPanel is a Linux-based control panel that provides automation tools and GUI for helping users easily manage their websites and hosting accounts.
Plesk panel – Plesk is an intuitive, multi-level web hosting control panel that offers role-based access to the users, allowing them full control of their websites.
It also provides a wide range of options to the server administrators to build and maintain their hosting business and provide valuable services both on Linux and Windows servers.
Its newest version – Plesk Obsidian promises a heightened user experience and exciting features.
cPanel vs Plesk – the comparison for the end users
Here are the differences between cPanel and Plesk if you are an end user.
|Who is it for?||Infrastructure providers, IT admins, Developers, Content Managers, Digital agencies||Developers & IT, Small to medium businesses, Business leaders, Business partnerships|
|Architecture||Plesk’s new Architecture (based on Extensions) allows very fast delivery of new features without having to replace the core.|
Examples are the new Advisor, Extension Catalog, WordPress Toolkit, REST API, Git, Docker and much more that are all Extensions themselves and can be updated within 24 hours.
|cPanel is designed to act either as a dedicated server or virtual private server.|
cPanel leverages a three-tier structure that includes capabilities for administrators, resellers, and end-user website owners to manage website and server administration via a standard web browser.
|Docker Support (DevOps)||Plesk has support for Docker on Linux.||NA|
|Web Servers||Apache + NGinx||Apache [+ NGinx Optional]|
|Operating system (OS)|
[ Linux ] Debian 10 & 11 64-bit, Ubuntu 18.04,20.04 & Ubuntu 22.04 64-bit, CentOS 7.x 64-bit, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.x & 8.x 64-bit, CloudLinux 7.1, 8.x and later 64-bit, AlmaLinux 8 64-bit, Rocky Linux 8.x 64-bit, Virtuozzo Linux 7 64-bit
Windows Server 2012, 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, 2019, 2022, 64-bit,
For more details visit: [https://docs.plesk.com/release-notes/obsidian/software-requirements/]
|CentOS 7, CloudLinux 6, 7, and 8, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, AlmaLinux 8, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (on cPanel/WHM version 102 and higher)|
|Admin Panel||Admin, [Power and Service Provider View], Reseller [Service Provider View with Limitation], User [Powerview]||root [Full Access], Reseller [Limited Access of WHM root Functionalities], End User [cPanel Account]|
It provides role based access across all devices.
|Graphical interface that allows to access and manage 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.
Creating sub-accounts without access to complete panel is a tricky task.
|WordPress||WPTool Kit available [as optional extension]||WPTool Kit available [as optional extension]|
|Extensions||Plesk comes pre-loaded with 100+ most useful apps and extensions, so user does not need to add them, like WordPress Toolkit, Joomla Toolkit etc.|
View more here.
|One can add extra apps to cPanel as needed via auto-installers like Softaculous. Not all add-ons are free.|
View more here.
|Security||Plesk has a variety of security features and extensions (both free and commercial), like Fail2ban intrusion prevention, inbound and outbound email antispam and active directory integration.|
They publish patches to PHP or apps like WordPress usually within 24 hours – much faster than cPanel.
|Automatic installation of SSL certificate, IP address denials and password protected directories.|
cPanel takes days to implement a security fix.
|Database access||MySQL or MSSQL Server databases can be managed via web browser.|
If one needs MSSQL access, Plesk is the way to go.
|cPanel allows access to PhpMyAdmin for managing MySQL databases.|
|SSL Support||Let’s Encrypt + SSL It||Let’s Encrypt plugin and cPanel & WHM uses the default SSL (powered by Sectigo)|
|New technology adoption||Plesk supports some enhanced features that cPanel does not provide integrated, as of now.|
|There are workarounds in cPanel for Docker, Git and Node.js, but they are more complex to implement, than Plesk.|
|Resource usage||Lightweight||cPanel app is more resource hungry.|
|Backup support||Easy website backups with tools like DropBox, AWS S3, Google Drive and Acronis.||Can generate full website backup, but there are compatibility issues in restoration process with different cPanel versions.|
|Price||Economical as compared to cPanel.|
|On the higher side as compared to Plesk.|
|Support||Plesk team offers 24X7 support.||6AM – 6PM / Monday – Friday|
6AM – 4PM / Saturday – Sunday
8AM – 4PM / Holiday Hours
|New Update||Plesk Obsidian uses artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation and orchestration technologies|
|Email Deliverability and MultiPHP Manager Interface Improvements|
cPanel vs Plesk – the comparison of the service providers
Here are the differences between Plesk and cPanel from service provider’s and resellers’ points of view:
|Operating System||Plesk Obsidian 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, CentOS and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.||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.|
|Docker Support (DevOps)||Plesk has support for Docker on Linux||NA|
|Reseller support||Plesk allows resellers to set up hosting offers, manage customer accounts, and do other tasks to run and grow their business with the help of Reseller panel.||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.|
|Cluster (joining several instances in one cluster) Support||Traditional clustering is not supported by Plesk. However, it has multi-server functionality. One can manage multiple Plesk installations from a single control panel.||There’s no default cPanel feature that allows provision for complete management of multiple servers with a single WHM interface.|
|Limitations on users||Users can easily switch to managed hosting (WordPress/Joomla)||User has to be on shared hosting.|
|Setup procedure||Plesk setup follows a stepwise approach and one needs to just keep on clicking ‘Next’.|
Moreover, it is easier to setup as it provides same login for end users and server administrators.
|cPanel provides different logins for end users and server administrators so it might get confusing for first-time users.|
|Setup time||7:12 minutes||20:14 minutes|
|Time to setup WordPress||8:54 minutes||28:51 minutes|
|Migration||Plesk provides its own migration system for migrating a website from one server to another. It’s easier to move when one moves from Plesk on old server to Plesk on new one.||cPanel offers migration tools and technical help to transfer websites from third-party control panels to cPanel & WHM. However, some issues and concerns exist in the data migration process.|
|Growth and adoption||Plesk has partnered with AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google, Red Hat, Docker, Automattic, Alibaba Cloud, Vultr, and DigitalOcean.||cPanel has partnered with AWS, Azure, Alibaba Cloud, Vultr and Linode.|
|Revenue opportunities||More revenue opportunities with extensions, overall better performance.||Plain billing.|
|Support||Partners get free premium support, training and free certification.||Partners get enterprise priority support and assurance to receive responses in less than 2 hours.|
|Discounts||There are three tiers of becoming Plesk resellers. Elite partners can get discounts of 45% on genuine Plesk licenses and extensions, opening a window of business opportunities.||Partners get up to 30% discount on cPanel and WHM licenses for dedicated servers.|
|Marketing and growth support||Plesk provides partner collaterals, go-to-market consultancy, help with content creation and marketing development fund of up to $1000 as well.||cPanel provides its partners a place in its partner directory which as claimed by cPanel provides access to over 14K potential customers.|
|Price||Economical as compared to cPanel.||On the higher side as compared to Plesk.|
cPanel Vs Plesk – Which is better?
To decide which hosting control is right for you, there are a few factors you must consider:
1. User Interface
Plesk User Interface
The Plesk Obsidian’s User Interface is mainly divided into three interfaces: Server Administration Panel, Reseller Panel, and Customer Panel.
This helps define user roles.
Other capabilities include:
- Tools to manage websites & domains
- Tools to enable customers to install and manage a wide range of applications
- Tools to help customers create and manage new databases
- Statistics feature to monitor usage data related to traffic, disk consumption, etc.
cPanel User Interface
cPanel User Interface consists of different sections to help and manage documents and files. It also consists of customization features to help users customize various sections and create the desired interface.
Other capabilities include:
- A file manager interface to manage FTP accounts, Anonymous FTP, Images, etc.
- Domains interface to create simple websites
- Email accounts interface to manage email accounts for user domains
- Ability to change passwords and security interface
2. Operation System
Plesk OS Support
Plesk is compatible with both Linux and Windows server. Some of the Plesk operating systems include:
- Cloud Linux
- Amazon Linux
- Windows Server 2008 R2 SP
- Windows Server 2012 (64-bit)
Check all other OS, here.
cPanel OS Support
cPanel mainly supports Linux-based operating systems. It supports the following operating systems:
- CentOS 7
- CloudLinux 6,7, and 8
- AlmaLinux 8
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7
- Ubuntu 20.4 LTS (on cPanel/WHM version 102 and higher)
Check all other OS, here.
Plesk backup and restoration features allow you to back up the entire server and even individual user accounts with websites.
You can also schedule backups and restore data from backup archives. It supports both full and incremental backups. The backups can be stored either in the internal Plesk storage or external FTP storage – as per your convenience.
Plesk further allows your customers to create backups for their accounts (provided they have permission to use this feature).
Backup by cPanel
The backup feature available in cPanel allows you to download and store your sites in a safe backup file. You can later restore the site using the backup files you created.
Like Plesk, it also supports both Full and Incremental backups. Users can also perform partial backups.
As backups are usually stored in a folder, you might require SSH access when restoring the files.
4. Support for WordPress
Plesk WordPress Toolkit
The Plesk WordPress Toolkit is a complete WordPress Management tool with multiple features. The WP Toolkit is available with Plesk Web Pro Edition and Plesk Web Host Edition. A basic WP toolkit with limited features is also available with Plesk Web Admin Edition.
With Plesk WP Toolkit, you can perform functions like installing WP instances, migrating instances, cloning an instance, creating a staging environment, 1-click hardening, search engine indexing management and more.
cPanel’s WordPress Toolkit
cPanel too offers a WP toolkit to help users install, configure, and manage WordPress sites. The toolkit allows you to install themes directly from WordPress.org and automatically test updates for plugins, languages, etc.
The toolkit is included in the cPanel license – hosting providers can activate it for their customers.
Plesk offers 3 different plans for both Dedicated and VPS servers. They also have customized plans for Partners.
The Plesk Web Admin Edition includes 10 domains and WordPress Toolkit SE version.
The Plesk Web Host Edition for VPS offers unlimited domains, WordPress Toolkit, Developer Pack, Account Management, Subscription Management, and Reseller Management.
cPanel also offers separate plans for VPS, cloud, and dedicated servers.
The cPanel solo is suited for small businesses and offers only one hosting account. The Pro offers up to 30 accounts and is suitable for mid-level businesses to large agencies.
Is Plesk more secure than cPanel?
Both Plesk and cPanel offer different elements and third-party software tools to enable maximum security for the server environment.
Plesk supports many security extensions like Immunify 360, active directory, Fail2ban intrusion, ModSecurity, PCI Compliance Resolver, and prevention. It offers both Let’s Encrypt and Symantec SSL. Features like node.js, docker, git are exclusively available with Plesk.
Plesk further offers a firewall to protect a server from incoming network connections.
It also offers automated healing and recovery features to resolve technical issues without needing skilled support. Plesk’s authorization process is also unified.
cPanel also offers multiple security features – including extensions. It supports the automatic installation of SSL certificates, password-protected directories, and IP address denials. Other security features it offers include Hotlink protection, Leech protection, IP blocker, ModSecurity, Manage API Tokens in cPanel, SSL/TLS, SSH Access, etc.
It also has support for two-factor authentication.
Which one is better – cPanel or Plesk?
In the debate between Plesk Vs cPanel – the key differences lie in the features, ease of use, and pricing. You’ll find Plesk more supportive if you go by the pricing. The base plan allows up to 10 domains – while the base plan of cPanel only offers one hosting account. In terms of popularity, cPanel has been in the market for a bit longer than Plesk. So, obviously, it might lead in terms of product familiarity and trustworthiness.
However, Plesk has grown ceaselessly since its launch. Both are the leading web panels in the market – and collectively occupy around 98% of the market share. Plesk leads with 84.26% market share, as per Datanyze.
Both cPanel and Plesk panels feature-rich web hosting management tools that simplify your workloads and help you succeed.
The final decision between Plesk vs cPanel should depend upon your business requirements – operating system, security needs, the configuration of the server, usability preferences, and budget.
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Let us know your thoughts about this write-up in the comments section.
This blog was last updated on Dec 2022.
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Jyotsana Gupta – the content and communication head, is an engineer by education and a writer at heart. In technical writing for 11 years, she makes complex topics interesting to the general audience. She loves going on long drives in her spare time.