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Choosing a Control Panel for your server

Choosing a Control Panel for your server

Managing a Linux Server entirely from the command line is not something everyone wants to deal with. Sometimes you just want to host a website or two and not worry about manually installing, managing, and updating a LAMP/LEMP stack. It’s not a difficult process, but it can sometimes be rather cumbersome. This is why a lot of users opt to use a control panel.

There is a myriad of VPS Control Panels out there, some are free, some are not, and the questions users ask all the time is: Which control panel should I choose?

With control panels, especially those who are “hosting-focused”, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. People have different needs and budgets. Sometimes a user needs to host 1 or 2 websites and paying $15.00/mo for cPanel is not what they need. Sometimes they want to use Debian or Ubuntu, which makes them wonder what to use. cPanel, Plesk, DirectAdmin, Interworx, VestaCP? It’s hard to choose.

In the Hosting Market, cPanel and Plesk are the two most popular control panels, each offers a unique set of features and tools the other may not have, and we offer both here at DigitalFyre. So, when deploying a VPS or a Dedicated Server, which Control Panel is best for you?

Operating System Support
  • cPanel runs on CentOS/CloudLinux/RedHat 6 and 7 (with 6 reaching it’s end of life soon, we can stick to CentOS/CloudLinux/RedHat 7 for now).
  • Plesk runs on CentOS/CloudLinux/RedHat/Debian/Ubuntu and Windows.

Both cPanel and Plesk support multiple PHP versions without CloudLinux


Both cPanel and Plesk support Git. However, Plesk offers an In-UI Git Repository Support


Only Plesk has built-in support for Docker Containers. Basically, you can run Docker within Plesk.


Only Plesk has built-in support for NodeJS Applications. Basically, you can run NodeJS Applications within Plesk.


While there is a myriad of Nginx plugins for cPanel, there is no native support for it. cPanel supports Litespeed Web Server instance. Meanwhile, Plesk has Nginx already built-in with full support for additional Apache and Nginx Directives. It will also support Litespeed Web Server.

Third Party Addons

Plesk has a built-in Extension Store where you can search and install Plesk-created or third-party extensions to enhance your experience.

External Backups

Both Plesk and cPanel Support FTP incremental backups. However, Plesk has native support for Dropbox through an extension, which can be a huge time and money saver.

Pricing tiers

cPanel has a single pricing tier for Unlimited Domains, which can be anywhere from $10.00 to $16.00 for a VPS License. Meanwhile, Plesk pricing starts at $5.00 a month for a 10-Domain license, which is best fit hobby sites.

System Requirements

For cPanel, you need at least 2 GB RAM, 2 CPU Cores, and 40 GB of Storage to run cPanel comfortably. Plesk is tested on 512 MB RAM, 1 CPU core, and 10 GB Storage and runs without issues.

If you’re into the Shared Hosting business, cPanel is probably a good choice for you. It is after all the most popular control panel in the market and nearly everyone is familiar with how to use it. However, if you’re offering hosting for developers, not a fan of CentOS, or want something simple and inexpensive for your 1 to 5 websites, then Plesk is the right choice for you.

Which control panel do you like to use? cPanel or Plesk? Let us know by Tweeting @DigitalFyre 😉



Maria is one of DigitalFyre's Editors and is in charge of the majority of the support articles on the DigitalFyre Support Site.