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Plesk vs cPanel: Control Panel Comparison (2023)

Kyle Tapping
Kyle Tapping

Published: October 20, 2022

Last updated: December 13, 2022

Table of Contents

In this post, I will be going over the key differences between the two most popular control panels, Plesk vs cPanel. This is going to help you decide what control panel you should consider for your next project.

What is a Web Hosting control panel?

A web hosting control panel is a graphical interface that allows you to manage different elements of your hosting service. The brilliant thing with control panels is that they’re easy to manage and can be learned how to use very quickly.

This means that you will be able to carry out various processes, troubleshoot and manage your hosting with ease, in just a few clicks.

Here is a brief list of some tasks you can carry out via your web hosting control panel:

  • Manage webmail accounts
  • Manage databases
  • View server usage
  • Troubleshoot certain issues
  • File management
  • Install software such as WordPress, Drupal, and Magneto
  • Manage SSL Certificates
  • And more!

What is cPanel?

cPanel is a Linux-based control panel software that provides a graphical interface (GUI) that has been designed to automate and simplify processes within a web hosting platform. It is now the world’s most popular control panel. It is most commonly paired up with WHM (web host manager). cPanel and WHM work harmoniously together, playing separate roles to keep managing your server and hosting easy.

What is Plesk?

Plesk is a web hosting control panel that supports Windows and Linux. Like cPanel, it has been created to automate various processes that are required to maintain a hosting platform.

Plesk vs cPanel comparison

Now we know a little bit about cPanel and Plesk, let’s compare them both.

1. User interface differences

At this point, when it comes to the GUI, Plesk has had the upper hand with it being more beginner friendly. For ease of use, Plesk has always been easier for a beginner to understand and work with, which a lot of time can make this a more favorable control panel.

Plesk user interface
Above: Plesk user interface

Whilst the cPanel control panel used to look cluttered and outdated, this simply isn’t the case anymore. cPanel has released its new Jupiter theme, which completely changes the way you look at cPanel. It brings a great level of freshness and makes it a lot easier to understand and navigate.

Despite the new theme for cPanel, it’s still considered the harder control panel to use. Nevertheless, I believe that this shouldn’t be a deciding factor in what control panel you go for. The ease of use between the two, in my opinion, is marginal, it is nothing you can’t get used to after a day or two of use.

cPanel user interface
Above: cPanel user interface

2. Performance

cPanel undoubtedly has the edge over Plesk when it comes to performance, Its focus for the most part is speed. WHM is known to have a better backend task manager to save memory and faster account creation times. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use Plesk. It just means if speed is what you’re looking for in your website then cPanel will be a better option for your endeavor.

3. Operating systems

Out of Plesk and cPanel, Plesk is the more readily available control panel. It’s compatible with Linux and Windows.

You will be required to buy separate Plesk licenses depending on which operating system you are using. Plesk unlike cPanel is not a one size fits all software. It requires a different version depending on the OS.

Plesk supports:

  • Debian
  • CentOS
  • RHEL
  • Ubuntu
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP
  • Cloud Linux
  • Amazon Linux
  • Virtuozzo Linux

cPanel supports:

  • CentOS
  • Amazon Linux
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  • Cloud Linux

4. Support

The support you receive can be a massive factor when deciding on anything. Having peace of mind knowing that if you need help, it’s there, is reassuring for all users, especially those less experienced.

Plesk support options:

plesk forum
Above: Plesk forum

cPanel support options:

cPanel forum
Above: cPanel forum

Although cPanel doesn’t have 24/7 phone support, you can almost guarantee that any issue you might face will have been solved on their forum.

5. Plesk vs cPanel: Security

There is undoubtedly no shortage of security features on Plesk or cPanel. Both control panels strive for excellent security to keep your website secure. After all, control panel providers wouldn’t want to be known as being vulnerable to hackers and malware.

Plesk security/backup options:

  • Automatic recovery feature
  • Symantec SSL and Let’s Encrypt
  • Domain security DNS and DNSSEC
  • Third-party integration
  • Outbound and inbound email encryption
  • Security patches are available within 24 hours
  • One-click setup for SSL and HTTP/2
  • Incremental backups
  • Full backups

cPanel security/backup options:

  • Allowlist or Blocklist individual IP addresses, or regions.
  • Automatic SSL integration
  • Easily manage SSL certificates across a server
  • Outbound email encryption
  • Third-party security integration
  • Incremental backups
  • Full backups
  • Compressed backups
  • Imunify 360 integration

6. Key features of Plesk and cPanel

Plesk features:

  • Plesk works with Linux and Windows
  • One-click WordPress install that’s secure
  • Git Compatibility, for this you must use the Gitman extension
  • Docker support on Linux, with 200,000+ images.

cPanel features:

  • Up-to 5-minute install for cPanel and WHM
  • Easy HTTPS/HTTP website relocation/redirect
  • Build Node.js apps
  • Built-in SpamBox for cPanel accounts
  • Imunify 360 integration

Conclusion of Plesk vs cPanel

If you’re an inexperienced user and looking for something simpler, your choice should be Plesk. Alternatively, if you’re more experienced in control panels and servers or you’re a beginner willing to take a little bit of time learning how to use cPanel, cPanel should be your choice.

I will personally always opt for a cPanel, even when I knew nothing about the world of the web, I started with cPanel-based hosting and found it no issue at all.

The Elite Web Co like to be inclusive, and they offer both cPanel and Plesk options for all of their VPS hosting and Dedicated server plans. This leaves you with no restrictions on your hosting options when deciding what route to go down for your website.

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Kyle Tapping
Kyle Tapping
Kyle joined the Elite team in 2018. With a background in website development and search engine optimization, Kyle takes great satisfaction from spreading his knowledge to help others succeed in the world of the web. His interests include website development, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, coding, and graphic design.

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