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Plesk vs cPanel; A Quick Comparison that’s Easy to Grasp

Web hosting would be a lot more complicated and very difficult to manage if not for Web Hosting Panels. Many people do not have any idea of what Web hosting panels mean but I can bet you know what cPanel is.

Now that you’re starting to understand me, I have to say that while it is possible to host a website without the need for a web hosting control panel, they actually do make the job less time consuming and easier to manage website installations.

What is a Web Hosting Control Panel?

A web hosting control panel is a web-based interface provided by a web hosting service that allows users to manage their servers and hosted services. You can actually refer to them as the OS that run web hosting.

Some of the most popular ones include cPanel, Plesk and Webmin.

What is cPanel?

Screenshot

cPanel is a WHCP that provides a GUI and automation tools that makes it easier for the web administrator to manage hosting services and website instances.

cPanel is owned by cPanel LLC and is the most popular control panel that is in use as of today.

What is Plesk?

What is Plesk

Plesk is a WHCP that works great in both the windows and Linux server environments. Plesk is best known for being very easy to use and manage.

With the control panel, it is easy to set up new websites, reseller accounts, email accounts, edit and create DNS entries, among other functions, through a web-based interface.

Plesk has their own certification module that can be gotten from Plesk University.

Plesk vs cPanel

Before we go ahead, below is a simple table that shows the basic difference between Plesk and cPanel.

Property cPanel Plesk
License Proprietary Proprietary
BSD Support Retired No
Linux Support Yes Yes
Windows Support Yes Yes
Frontend Code Perl PHP
Backend Code Perl PHP/MySQL
Plugin Support Yes Yes
HTTP/2 Support Yes Yes
IPV6 Support Yes Yes
Multiserver Support Yes Yes
File Manager Yes Yes
FTP Yes Yes
Email Security Yes Yes
Email Forwarding Yes Yes
Mailbox Quota Yes Yes
CMS Quick Install Yes Yes
Domains and Subdomain Yes Yes
SSL Yes Yes
Backup Management Yes (Complex to use) Yes (Easy to use)
Migration Yes Yes

Now that we have given a good overview of the differences of both platforms, let’s dig a bit deeper at some of the more important specifics that will be more useful for the end user.

Ease of Use

As someone who have used both platforms, to be honest, I’ve used cPanel much longer, I believe that Plesk is way easier to use than cPanel simply because it has an interface that feels more familiar to most CMS users.

Thing is if you find your way around WordPress, you can definitely figure out Plesk on your own and actually find your way around and also appear like a pro in less than four hours.

I sampled my assumptions with a few people and most of them, who have some basic cPanel and WordPress knowledge, actually got used to using Plesk really fast.

Security

Installing and managing free SSL certificates appear to be much easier in Plesk than in cPanel. An easy way to go around this complexity for cPanel though, is to have your web host support install and activate your SSL on cPanel.

Plesk also comes with a lot of other security features that are not present in cPanel out of the box but that doesn’t mean cPanel is not secure, it only means Plesk has a more robust security out of the box.

WordPress and Joomla Support

OOTB, Plesk has an easy to install WordPress and Joomla Toolkit, for cPanel though, you will need to have an app installer to get that functionality with most web hosting companies. Chances are your web hosting companies already has softaculous bundled with their instance of cPanel.

Support

Plesk does provide a 24/7 Support system via call and chat and it doesn’t matter if you’re a paying customer or not. Everyone gets good support.

cPanel on the other hand has a ticketing system for free support and a $65 fee if you want priority phone support. The fee is not per month or per year. It’s per incident.

Pricing

Plesk’s pricing starts at $10 a month while cPanel starts at just $5 higher. All through the pricing tiers cPanel is always a bit more expensive than Plesk.

HTTP/2 Support

Plesk supports HTTP/2 completely while cPanel on the other hand offer it as a not supported customization. While you can activate HTTP/2 on your cPanel instance, you will not be able to get support for it from cPanel at the moment.

cPanel does in fact plan to provide full support for HTTP/2 but the timeline for that is not know as of now.

Our Verdict

At Spectrohost, we have used both control panels and we strongly recommend Plesk over cPanel at this time especially because it offers a better site performance than cPanel and offers a higher security level.

We do run Plesk on our servers and can deploy Plesk on your cloud or dedicated servers when you choose to host with us.

Post has 4 comments
  • Andre Posted August 21, 2020 in 2:11 pm Reply

    An important performance point for Plesk is that it also uses Nginx and Apache2. 😉

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