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Plesk vs cPanel: 4 Things You Need to Know

Plesk vs cPanel: 4 Things You Need to Know


By DomainTree –

From today customers thinking about purchasing web hosting through DomainTree have a choice. In addition to our popular Linux cPanel offerings, we have now also introduced a range of new Parallels Plesk for Windows Hosting plans for you to choose from. The most commonly asked question by consumers new to the website hosting game is which platform should I choose?

For many IT users, platform is a matter of preference. The same is true of hosting control panels. There are fans of different packages, and some people always argue about the pros and cons of each. Often the final choice will come down to your own personal preference.

The simple truth is this: the two applications are very similar. They have most of the same features. Both are perfectly capable of getting the job done, and both will cover the basics well.

The 5 key differences are outlined in more detail below.

1. User Interface

Initially, the user interface might not seem to be important, but is the first difference most people notice between the two control panels.

Plesk is generally regarded as having the cleaner and more attractive interface, but cPanel is more popular, and since more users are familiar and comfortable with it, they’ll argue that its interface is friendlier.

2. Windows Support

cPanel only runs on CentOS, RedHat and CloudLinux. It doesn’t run on Windows.

Plesk, on the other hand, adds a host of other Linux distributions to the list, in addition to Windows support.

Clearly Plesk is more flexible, but that won’t matter to the vast majority of customers who use shared Linux hosting. It’s only going to be a concern if you’re fussy about OS, or you’re a Windows hosting user.

3. Admin Panels

cPanel comes with Web Host Manager (WHM) as standard, although shared hosting users will never see WHM unless they upgrade to reseller or VPS hosting. The cPanel side is for the website owner, whereas WHM is for the server administrator. Although linked, the two systems have separate logins and interfaces.

Plesk, on the other hand, has a single login for administrators and users. They look similar – the options are quite different.

Switching from one system to the other can cause some confusion at first. It’s not a deal breaker, but it’s something you’ll want to be aware of.

4. Ease of Migration

Perhaps the biggest and least desirable difference between the two is migration of a website from server to server.

Both Plesk and cPanel make it easy to migrate from one server to the other, assuming you move to and from the same control panel.

Moving from one to the other is near impossible.

When considering free migration services offered by a new web host, remember that they will normally only apply to like-for-like moves: Plesk to Plesk or cPanel to cPanel. Transferring between the two usually requires either the purchase of an advance migration or doing it by hand. Though there are migration tools, including Plesk’s own migration system, the process is still nowhere near as neat and problems are common.

In short, once you pick a control panel, it’s best to stick with it.

Deciding Between cPanel and Plesk

Plesk and cPanel are both fast, stable and secure. In the past, when one has advanced, the other has often caught up fairly quickly. If you’re new to hosting, find a web host that offers demos of both control panels and try them out for yourself.

For existing users, the biggest issue is migration. If you’re on a cPanel or Plesk system now, avoid changing unless it is absolutely necessary. Not only will you be forced to learn a new control panel, but migration issues can be a nightmare.


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