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cPanel compared to other panels

Any IT user who is looking forward to get hold of a hosting control panel is provided with a variety of options to consider about. However, it is important to have a clear understanding about all these options in order to go for the best one as per your specific needs and requirements. That’s where you need to take your time and compare the features delivered to you. In order to make the life easy for you, we have done the research and listed down a comparison of CPanel and other control panels.


User Interface

The user interface of cPanel consists of two major sections. In other words, there is a separate area for administrators and a front end for the other users. This provides convenient access for the users to get hold of the functionalities they need. The user interface offered to you by Plesk is pretty much the same and user friendly. However, the DirectAdmin user interface is complex and rich with features when compared to other two options.

WHM Administration Interface
WHM Administration Interface


cPanel Client-Side interface
cPanel Client-Side interface


Plesk Administration interface
Plesk Administration interface


DirectAdmin Client-side interface
DirectAdmin Client-side interface

Compatibility with operating systems

It is important for you to get hold of a hosting control panel that works perfectly well with the operating system that you prefer. Linux is supported by cPanel and DirectAdmin whereas Please offers compatibility to Linux and Windows Server 2012.

cPanel supports three different versions of Linux, including RedHat, CloudLinux and CentOS. Therefore, cPanel cannot be considered as a god option available for a person who is aligning more towards a Windows Server. For the people who are working on Windows Servers, Plesk would be a great option to consider about. It is not just compatible with Windows and support is extended to few other Linux operating systems such as open SUSE, Debian, Ubuntu, RedHat, Cloud Linux and CentOS. DirectAdmin is compatible with four major Linux operating systems, which include Debian, Free BSD, CentOS and RedHat.



You would not be planning to spend a fortune on the hosting control panel. That’s where you need to pay special attention towards pricing. There is a significant difference in between the costs associated with cPanel, Plesk and DirectAdmin. The pricing plans offered by DirectAdmin are pretty much flexible when compared to other options. For example, you will be able to get a monthly license of it for just $29.  The annual license of DirectAdmin is $200. However, you will have to spend $425 in order to obtain the annual license of cPanel. Plesk is the cheapest and you will be able to get hold of plans that range from just $4 per month.


Backend functionality

All three hosting control panels discussed in this review offer configurable reseller hosting packages and multiple language packs. However, cPanel is not compatible with CSS based theme systems or CSS branded reseller experiences. All of them offer ability to manage MySQL databases, phpMyAdmin integration, configurable mailboxes, configurable spam filtering and many other basic backend features.

CPanel comes along with a split personality feature. In other words, you are provided with the ability to use it from the perspective of a client as well as a person who runs his own server. Some of the impressive backend features that come along with cPanel include server level configuration, ability to create and assign packages, implementing comprehensive security rules and setting up DNS clusters. The overall options offered by cPanel is comprehensive and a person who doesn’t have previous experience would find it as a difficult task to figure out from where to start.

No split personalities are being offered by DirectAdmin and Plesk. The work that a user can do is determined by the permissions linked with the profile. On the other hand, the user interface would look pretty much the same, even if permissions for a specific functionality is enabled or disabled.



Last but not least, you need to take a look at the security linked with the hosting control panel that you purchase. CPanel takes about 9 days to acknowledge an exploit whereas the Plesk and DirectAdmin does it in 1 and 0 days respectively. However, the number of days taken by DirectAdmin to resolve an exploit is significantly high when compared to other two. Only Plesk offers permission settings for all the sub users and ability to create server admin and reseller level sub users.

Now you have a clear understanding about three of the most popular hosting control panels available out there in the market. It is up to you to go through these features and get hold of the best one out of them.



Last but not least, it is important for you to take a look at the usability associated with the hosting control panel you purchase. However, usability would be a subjective evaluation as it differs from one person to another. CPanel has the ability to deliver enhanced flexibility and power to the users along with a sheer number of options. This is the main reason why cPanel has got a complex user interface when compared to other two options. In general, most of the complexity offered by cPanel is being absorbed by the users.

People who look for a clean and an aesthetically appealing layout prefer to move ahead with Plesk. In addition, it is important to keep in mind that Plesk does not offer any division in between the backend and the front end. Therefore, the users would be provided with a system that is extremely easy to master.

The simplest interface out of all is being offered by DirectAdmin. They use it as a unique marketing point when trying to sell the hosting control panel as well. Simplicity is not just offered to the users via the interface, but also from the structure.

Final Words

As you can see, three different hosting control panels, including cPanel, Plesk and DirectAdmin were compared in this review. Every single control panel has got its unique set of features. Therefore, it is up to you to go for the best option based on your specific needs and requirements.

Updated on December 12, 2017

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