cPanel or Plesk?

David Beroff

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I would start a new VPS next week and wanted to try Plesk hosting panel but I am not sure Plesk is better than cPanel if compared on performance and features aspects? Please share your honest thoughts. Thanks
 

RDO Servers

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No doubt about it, cPanel is the most popular Linux control panel.

However, Plesk Onyx is a great product and personally, I like it better then cPanel. (We currently only use Plesk on Windows, and cPanel on Linux).

Unless cPanel makes some major improvements in the near future, I think Plesk may just suprass cPanel as the best control panel.
 

yankie23

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in my experience so far with plesk since early 2016, they have taken the game of control panels to another level. Hosting is no more old legacy shared hosting, the end users/agencies/developers all have evolved and Plesk has taken the lead to address the pain for core constituency. For hosters and VPS owners it now offers whole gamut of services and solution, check their website and also the extensions ext.plesk.com
 

pikachu01

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I don't agree with this. I could agree with this, if we compared Plesk and cPanel 10 years ago. But if you look at the last 3-5 years, how these both products are developed, improved, you will notice that Plesk became much better than in the past, delivers more useful features, functions etc. Now it looks like cPanel follows Plesk and tries to release the same functions, which are already available in Plesk :)

Plesk and cPanel are originally control panels but now Plesk is not just a control Panel anymore. Plesk has all needed functionalities for traditional web hosting and has all required tools, solutions for web developers/professionals (but also persons without special knowledge can also install, configure, manage and use Wordpress, Node.js applications, Docker containers, etc). More and more useful extensions are available in Plesk.
Interface is easy, logical and modern.

Also if you compare price. The Plesk is cheaper than cPanel: plesk.com/pricing

I like Plesk and recommend it to everybody.

Take care!
 

Hannan

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cPanel is the most popular and easiest to work with. It depends on the price as well because Cpanel is a bit expensive. If you are hosting on Linux I would stick with Cpanel.
 

BuzzNoc

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I've never used Plesk before? always wanted to but never had a customer that needed it. I recommend cPanel from my experience with it. sorry I don't have much to say about Plesk. but if u do get it set up can I get a demo account that I can play around with? try out the features etc.?
 

ohostme

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Like everybody my vote also for cpanel with linux server.

But plesk is not very bad it's second place in my list.
 

David Beroff

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David Beroff
Did you use Plesk?

If so, what features Plesk has that cPanel did not?
 

JaHo

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I would like to recommend Plesk's Git integration (we pull updates directly from our repo), the WordPress Toolkit (we use the staging and auto-update functionaliy), and the Docker interface (you can select a docker container to run and Plesk download and allows you to set memory resources, environmental variables, map disk space, port mapping and also proxy rules. This allows us to speed up our depoyments on AWS. Running cPanel & WHM inside a Docker container isn't recommended at this time + cPanel hasn't the webmaster capability alongside server administration (we don't want to switch between two interfaces - cPanel and WHM) + installing cPanel & WHM on AWS EC2 is some kind of a nightmare.
 

RevMagi

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RevMagi
By Linux I assume you mean RH or CentOS?? Because that is all cPanel covers.

Plesk Supports 11 distro's of Linux of which Debian and Ubuntu 16 are included.

Plesk also supports Windows so if you want one Solution to learn to cover Window and Linux with identical UI, CLI and API functions .....
 

GPDHost

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You should take into account that, cPanel comes with WHM as standard, Plesk has a single login for administrators and users.
 

yankie23

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thats outdated issue , plesk has its own whmcs module now and does support whmcs in same way as cpanel in terms of logins/users. please do check with plesk support team.
 

RevMagi

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I am confused... you are the first person I have ever heard saying cPanel with WHM an cPanel being two separate pieces of software is good. You won't hear that at the cPanel conference, EVER, and cPanel is trying to change that to have 1 login like Plesk. That has been a topic at more than one cPanel conference.
 

BuzzNoc

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go with cPanel Budd Plesk sound to complicated xD
 

rankmyhub

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Rigsby

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Well, here's my story

I used Plesk from 2003 until 2015, and having my head stuck very deep in the sand, I thought Plesk was all there was... until someone suggested cPanel. I was having just general provider issues and they seemed to be lacking as my experience grew: so I took a deep breath and jumped ship.

Eighteen months on and I haven't looked back. It's like night and day..!
 

Dopani

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Well said, but it is a bit weird because you used Plesk for 12 years but when someone suggested cPanel to you and you decided to move to it.

What exactly do you have experience with Plesk and cPanel? what issues that providers are having with cPanel? I would like to hear more from you.
 

optimalgeek

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cPanel is more user friendly. but the professional server admin. They configure a server manually. If you are good to go with Plesk . All you need check is that your application should work smoothly. I have never experienced much the plesk. But I have see issues with cPanel. If you are looking from a security point of view. There must a be issues with plesk as well. You need to be ready for that.
 

jlsoft

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Plesk has definitely the better UX from my point of view and is faster with security patches (php patches within hours, not days like cPanel). Also Plesk is far more innovative with their extensions and developer features like Docker, Node.js, git, etc. natively build in. And their new WordPress Toolkit is really great. cPanel is ok, but if you have the choice try Plesk Onyx and see the difference yourself.
 

jlsoft

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... compared on performance and features aspects? Thanks
since you also asked for performance: Plesk is also faster than cPanel and required much less resources (which usually also depends on which extensions and features you use). But Plesk runs fine even on Amazon t2.nano instances with only 512 MB ram.
 

rankmyhub

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This is 100% true. Plesk runs even on 512 MB RAM VPS. I have done testing. This is correct claim.
 

RevMagi

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Hello,

I think I would be asking people here talking about cPanel how they choosing cPanel over Plesk. Some are saying a flat statement that cPanel is the most popular, or cPanel is the best. cPanel is popular in the US and Canada, but Plesk is the most popular everywhere else in the world. I have both cPanel and Plesk servers, and even with cPanels latest updated they are no where near the functionality of Plesk in relivace these days. Their days of dominance in the industry is limited, and I have been in hosting since 1995. I started with cPanel and Plesk around 2000 but have been following both of them since they hit the scene around 1999.

Everyone has a choice, but if you are asking about Plesk.... I hope it is clear that is my choice of which one is the most relevance to what customers needs today... I will explain why I say it is the best choice.

For Price and Usablity: Plesk has 3 licenses which provide one install to cover 10, 30 and unlimited domains... Priced to meet your needs, not one size
fits all.. who really likes that model.

As far as useablity, Plesk is one software, not two, At Intergrated a Business and Non Business UI. If you are a hosting provider or need to provide customers with controlled access and resource control, You can have Admin, Reseller, Customer, and User Rolls, and Multi FTP, which cPanel doesn't do well at all. If you are fully manage shop, turn off busienss logic and your life is easy, with Admin, and as many Staff members as you need.

PHP Intergration Plesk covers PHP 5.2 - 7.1.x with full Admin control of PHP, and customer controlled selection down to the domain web space with easy edit of PHP.ini values... using cgi, fastcgi, or FPM on Apache, Apache+ Nginx, or fpm with just Nginx all by itself, again selectable at the individual domain.

Ruby and Node.js multi language versions and full control at each domain just like PHP

The biggest item in hosting Wordpress Toolkit Alone kills it - do you host WordPress websites??? if you say yes then Plesk is the only answer for you, unless you have so much time on your hands and you like working on site updates, and not winning new clients. The WordPress toolkit does both Custom and one Click installs, manual and Automated Upgrades of the Core, Mass management of ALL WP instances from the Admin or Reseller Panel. Mass and Indivual management of Plugins and Themes, Real working Cloning(Staging) and Flexible Syncing, Security Scans, and if you check out Plesk's website they have caching, and a ton more features comeing every month.

Plesk by their definition has left being a control panel and are now a platform. They have an eco system of over 70+ extensions which allow my customers to pick and choose how they want their Plesk server setup, choosing services they like over those they do not like. Some like a lot of security and IT stuff, others like the extension like Patchman which keeps CMS's 0day updated, Others like the cloudflare, modsecurity and fail2ban. Some like some of the Social applications. Me, I like that there are a ton of free ones and then there are some I can sell and I make more money off them, so to me Plesk is not only a platform now, it is a revenue generating platform.

I do not come out much to play in the forum, I am a busy guy and I do not advertise my business here, but on these questions of Plesk and cPanel... I think things should be put out there fair. Again I have used both for my customers over the past 17 years. Some people like one over the other. For years Plesk was absent because they competed with other software Sw-Soft/Parallels was also selling. Haveing watched Plesk since Jan 2016 when they became an independant company and 100% dedicated to Plesk... those days are clearly gone. If the Plesk today is the result of 1 year, and how they taking over from cPanel... what do you think they have up their sleeves for the next year or two. I am excited to see personally. Just my two cents, and an explination of why I feel that way.
 

UFHH01

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From my point of view, Plesk is the far better choice ( especially for newbies and unexperienced server administrators ) and I agree completely with @RevMagi here.

I use Plesk for over 9 years now on several servers ( Ubuntu/Debian/CentOS ), while I experiment as well from time to time with other hosting panels to see, if my actual choice is still the one that suits me most.


The navigation concept and structure, the layout itself and last but not least the overall features and options, combined with the huge amount of possible components and extensions ( especially the FREE ones ), confirm my choice to prefer Plesk over another hosting control panel.

I don't care much about popularity ( as I don't care for it as well, when I buy clothes ) and rather compare features and options, where Plesk is just way ahead from other software and when ever I read posts and threads, where other users mention possible security issues, it really puts a big smile on my face, because such statements are just completely false and I wonder where people got the information from, that there would be security issues with Plesk. :rolleyes2:


As an overall conclusion, you just get more for your money, when you use Plesk, the features and options are easy to understand and with each update/upgrade, Plesk usage gets easier and faster and they care very much about functionality and security ... they really follow the market and the needs/desires of their users. Docker/GitHub/NodeJS/Ruby integration, Wordpress Toolkit multiple Plesk-PHP - versions ( from 5.2 to 7.1 ) and the modern design are just a few reasons, why I stick to Plesk for such a long time now! :icon_rock:
 

RevMagi

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Thanks for an interesting day everyone, I will get off my soapbox and crawl back into my awesome tech cave. :) Cheers
 

David Beroff

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go with cPanel Budd Plesk sound to complicated xD
I understand what you say, I have ever seen plesk onynx and if that was the first time you have ever seen plesk you will feel it is complicated by their UI is more different from cPanel.

You should take into account that, cPanel comes with WHM as standard, Plesk has a single login for administrators and users.
Maybe you saw Plesk web admin edition like me, I also didn't have a chance to use Plesk web host editor. In this version, it has reseller management and account management which can be similar to WHM

since you also asked for performance: Plesk is also faster than cPanel and required much less resources (which usually also depends on which extensions and features you use). But Plesk runs fine even on Amazon t2.nano instances with only 512 MB ram.
Can you share proof or benchmark between cpanel and plesk? I'd like to see an image for this. :)
 

jlsoft

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jlsoft
I did some tests last year, but did not record any benchmark screenshots. Might have been a great idea. But feel free to test both e.g. on AWS (take ready-to-use AMI in the AWS Marketplace) to run the benchmark within minutes. Happy to see your results! You can measure installation time, installation time of a WordPress instance, page load time of the UI, RAM and CPU usage under load (e.g. many domains and users), etc.
 

David Beroff

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David Beroff
How to test?
I have WHM/cPanel on a VPS but don't have Plesk at this time so I can not test.
The problem is i don't really need to know which control panel is faster but I need to know in the same condition: for example, a same website but putting on Plesk and on cPanel, putting on a same VPS then how does it load? Hosting website on Plesk will load faster or cPanel will win :)
 

jlsoft

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jlsoft
That really depends on the configuration and has less to do with Plesk or cPanel. If your website is fast (which you can easily test with blitz.io, stormforger or webpagetest.org) highly depends on your site itself and the configuration:

- Use NGINX + php7-fpm instead of Apache + php5.6 fcgi
- increase OPCache size if you use WordPress
- use a caching server (e.g. spin up Varnish Cache via Docker Container with Plesk to boost your site performance significantly -> they have a step-by-step guide on their blog)

What kind of website do you have? How did you build it? Maybe I can help tuning it.
 

RevMagi

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Hello David,

This can be a little hard to test apples to apples. Lets look at it in one perspective. Plesk and cPanel are control panels and aside form the virtual host file, they really do not do much to the webserver. So in most cases Apache is Apache regardless. With that said, each does add some apache modules to their config. If you go into Plesk and you are familar with Apache you could make changes to Plesk Apache config with a few clicks of check boxes and a save. But out of the box Apache is great. The other things is how do you want to run your site. With Plesk, on a per domain selection, the domain owner can choose to run the website on Apache, Apache with Nginx as Proxy, or pure Nginx with fpm-php. So depending on what your configuration is and what you choice is there are many options. There is even an extension, which I have not tested, to install Lightspeed.

Something else cPanel does not have is Docker. Plesk has Docker and you can download and run docker images on Plesk for items like redis, memcache, varnish, with port mapping and everything from the UI. I follow the Plesk Blog and this Plesk guy Victor did a blog on setting up a domain with Wordpress, and Varnish Docker image. So with Plesk, you have a ton of simple delivery options to make comparisons. I would be interested in your results.... oh, and to help with those options, there is an extension for a few site monitoring and page load tools specifially for this.
 

David Beroff

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That really depends on the configuration and has less to do with Plesk or cPanel. If your website is fast (which you can easily test with blitz.io, stormforger or webpagetest.org) highly depends on your site itself and the configuration:

- Use NGINX + php7-fpm instead of Apache + php5.6 fcgi
- increase OPCache size if you use WordPress
- use a caching server (e.g. spin up Varnish Cache via Docker Container with Plesk to boost your site performance significantly -> they have a step-by-step guide on their blog)

What kind of website do you have? How did you build it? Maybe I can help tuning it.
Hello David,

This can be a little hard to test apples to apples. Lets look at it in one perspective. Plesk and cPanel are control panels and aside form the virtual host file, they really do not do much to the webserver. So in most cases Apache is Apache regardless. With that said, each does add some apache modules to their config. If you go into Plesk and you are familar with Apache you could make changes to Plesk Apache config with a few clicks of check boxes and a save. But out of the box Apache is great. The other things is how do you want to run your site. With Plesk, on a per domain selection, the domain owner can choose to run the website on Apache, Apache with Nginx as Proxy, or pure Nginx with fpm-php. So depending on what your configuration is and what you choice is there are many options. There is even an extension, which I have not tested, to install Lightspeed.

Something else cPanel does not have is Docker. Plesk has Docker and you can download and run docker images on Plesk for items like redis, memcache, varnish, with port mapping and everything from the UI. I follow the Plesk Blog and this Plesk guy Victor did a blog on setting up a domain with Wordpress, and Varnish Docker image. So with Plesk, you have a ton of simple delivery options to make comparisons. I would be interested in your results.... oh, and to help with those options, there is an extension for a few site monitoring and page load tools specifially for this.
It is not hard to test like a normal user and mostly providers don't understand how an user uses their hosting will test their website.

I would like to test my website in two environments

- The default settings when I have just installed Plesk or cPanel on a same VPS.
- The maximum settings (enable all caches, configurations, addons..etc) to make cPanel or Plesk run with the best configurations so how website will load on Website speed test tools like pingdom or gtmatrix.

I will want to see the results in the conditions like that. :)
 

rankmyhub

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David, you are missing a single and simple point. Control panel is a software to access your underlying webserver stack. Control panel have little or often no affect on website load time. And testing page load time on pingdom or gtmetrics is not the valid way to understand or figure out whether plesk is best or cpanel/whm is the best. I hope you got my point. I explained so many times here on the forum, hosting control panels have nothing to do with your site load time.

For your information, if you put the same wp instance on apache (LAMP) stack running with CPanel and same wp instance with Plesk running (LEMP) stack then there is difference. And what you need to observe here is LAMP is default on CPanel, whereas plesk supports LAMP / LEMP or even phython, Nodejs, Ruby and if you are on windows even asp.net out of box.

I would say plesk is a clear winner, if you see the support of stacks it offers when compared to cpanel. Its better you do the test yourself and see. Thanks
 

David Beroff

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This is not really true we are considering LAMP as a hosting control panel, right?
If that, why people said running websites on LAMP or LEMP will be faster when running on a hosting control like cPanel or Plesk because they will consume less resources than cPanel/Plesk.
 

rankmyhub

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David, you have to understand basics first let me put together everything in simple manner.

Stack: A combination of softwares. Example stacks used in website hosting are:

1) LAMP
2) LEMP

Each stack have following softwares in it.

a) Operating System b) Web Server c) Database support d) Programming language support . Now let me decode what does LAMP and LEMP stand for.

LAMP -> Linux (OS) Apache (Web Server) M(MySQL or MariDB used as Database server) P(PHP Programming Language).
LEMP -> Linux (OS) Nginx (Web Server) M(MySQL or MariDB used as Database server) P(PHP Programming Language).

LEMP is also called or referred as LNMP , where N for Nginx.

Now you can see that there is no control panel in the stacks above.

Then you might ask what is control panel. Simple, control panel is a graphic user interface that is developed to work with LAMP or LEMP or other underlying software stack in easy manner. Without dealing with command line.

Plesk and CPanel have no relation with website loading time, that you are seeing when you test an URL with GTMetrics of Pingdom or Google Page Speed Insights, you may ask why?

Yes, here is the answer.

When you test URL, the website is loaded not the control panel, so what I am saying control panel have no affect on load time when you test using these tools. Hope you understand my point now.

You can ask anyone over here, and confirm. No one will say that control panel will also load when you access a website, if they say so, then their are not knowledgeable persons.

Next things, Plesk will run on 512 MB RAM VPS where as CPanel will not run or struggle to run on same configuration VPS. Because both the softwares have different minimum system requirements.

What you need to know now to get more clarity. CPanel or Plesk will not affect website load time DIRECTLY - point number 1.

Underlying stack will effect website overall performance , but this have no relation to control panel software. point 2

Cpanel natively works only with LAMP stack or Ligthspeed web server stack.

Plesk runs on LAMP or LEMP stack. So you can see that in case of plesk underlying stack may be LAMP or LEMP.

Now what else you need to be clear is that LAMP uses apache as web server and LEMP uses Nginx as web server. Due to this difference LEMP is obvisuly faster than LAMP due to web server difference. Also, you need to undertand that LEMP may be still using Apache as web server and Nginx as just reverse proxy or front end cache in some cases.

Now do not drag control panel software into website load time or speed debates. They are just made to make easy for non technical users to operate their stacks..

Hope you got all clear atleast now. If this does not help you, please google as this is by far most simple way I explained here. Thanks.
 

jlsoft

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sounds interesting :) I would be surprised if there were big differences with little load, but it might be exciting to see both solutions under heavy load in standard config + tuned config. Still, the tests need to be comparable.
 
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