Linux VPS server: cPanel, Plesk or DirectAdmin?

January 30, 2020
Today three control panels dominate the market – these are Plesk, cPanel and DirectAdmin. For Linux VPS server, dedicated or shared hosting, all three of them makes the process of server management easier. Having them in a pocket, often difficult to understand and use command line are no longer in charge. However, the migration from one to another is difficult and expensive, so it’s important to choose the right one from the start. To do so, let‘s compare all panels in more detail.

Differences in functionality

The first area in which cPanel is different from DirectAdmin and Plesk is its combination with WHM. Compatible with Linux VPS server, cPanel together with WHM improves the efficiency and management of the server, allows sites management, monitoring and creating limitless user accounts, enabling various reports and database management.

To compare the functionality of all three control panels, they all have multiple language packs, phpMyAdmin integration, configurable spam filtering, configurable reseller hosting packages, availability to manage MySQL databases and more. However, only the Plesk control panel provides multiple IPs per domain, external file and MySQL servers.

DirectAdmin, supported by Linux systems, is the only panel that don’t have a secure remote assistance feature, external DNS synchronization, and PostgreSQL support.

OS compatibility

cPanel is compatible with CentOS, RedHat and CloudLinux – all are supported by Linux family, so for those who are more familiar with Windows server, cPanel will require to deepen the knowledge of Linux VPS server working environment. DirectAdmin also runs on Linux based systems (Debian, RedHat, CentOS, and FreeBSD). Therefore, the control panel provides better support for Linux environment products and advantages the ones who use Linux for server hosting.

Plesk from all the control panels can offer the biggest variety of OSes to choose from. It includes Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS, RedHat, CloudLinux and openSUSE. It’s important to note that Plesk is the only panel that supports Windows.

User interface

Even though cPanel can make an interface a bit more complicated to manage than Plesk and DirectAdmin, being a part of Linux VPS server hosting, it offers power, flexibility and a variety of options as well as front-end and back end. Similarly to the WordPress content management system, Plesk uses UX/UI technology. It is especially convenient for beginners because of its grouped features in a list down menu. It’s worth to mention that DirectAdmin has the simplest interface of all.

What about the price?

Plesk and cPanel feature regular fees while DirectAdmin offers a license with unlimited functionality and updates for an indefinite period. For instance, the price of the cPanel varies from 14.99 EUR per month (cPanel Admin) to 79.99 EUR (cPanel Ultimate). The cost of Plesk Web Pro is 9.99 EUR per month for Windows and Linux VPS servers. Lastly, DirectAdmin costs 39.99 EUR.

All in all, personal needs should be evaluated first before making the final decision. Consider different interfaces, functionality, usability, pricing, and security, and price – all control panels offer a variety of tools, functions, and services to make a VPS management as efficient and successful as possible.