cPanel vs. Plesk: What Is the Difference?

Last Updated on 30/09/2022

cPanel - Screenshot

An essential step when deciding on a website host is choosing a control panel that suits your needs. The two most popular options are cPanel and Plesk, the two most utilized hosting control panels that also offer the best solutions.

A web hosting control panel can optimize your website if you know how to use it correctly. It allows you to manage domains, organize your files, manage databases and email accounts, monitor server statistics and security, and install the necessary software.

The control panel is a straightforward interface that enables you to easily navigate your website’s back-end and use tools efficiently.

cPanel has been around since 1996, which explains its high number of legacy users (almost all our recommend web hosting in Australia and hosts in Canada use it). The most current version evolved into a combination of the cPanel and the Web Host Manager interfaces. The new version merged as an interface that covers all bases of account management and server administration.

Plesk is a unique model that was introduced in 2001. The control panel has launched a couple of versions, including the Plesk Onyx and the Plesk Obsidian, which come with various upgrades.

We have unpacked everything you need to know about cPanel vs. Plesk below so that you can see which product will best suit your website.

cPanel vs. Plesk: User Interfaces

Both the cPanel and Plesk user interfaces look similar. The difference lies in the minutiae, and the procedures you use to access and maximize its features.

If you’re a beginner in handling a web-hosting panel, the cPanel interface appears easier to navigate. This is one of the reasons why beginner-friendly hosts like Hostinger, SiteGround, and HostPapa, among many, use it or a version of it. You will find each section visibly labeled and organized, for example. It also allows you to customize the home screen to quickly find the features you use regularly.

Plesk is slightly different. It offers a dashboard that revolves around the individual web pages hosted in your setup, for example. You would first have to select the domain you need to manage before the settings applicable to that location will reflect on your screen.

Plesk has a far more streamlined list of features from the dropdown menu when you click on the left panel, however.

cPanel vs. Plesk: Features, Costs, and Tools

cPanel and Plesk have the same set of essential features for effective server and account management. Both platforms offer:

  • domain management,
  • file management,
  • email management,
  • database management,
  • statistics monitoring,
  • security features, and
  • software installers.

Web hosting providers commonly use cPanel, as it costs less. It also allows users to add more apps and obtain SSL certificates at no additional cost. You can also benefit from its automatic back-up and restoration features.

However, cPanel works on fewer operating systems than Plesk. Its advantage is that it is compatible with Amazon Linux; Plesk is not.

Plesk runs on more operating systems, such as Windows, and a wide range of Linux platforms. The Plesk system incorporates support for Git, Node.js, and Docker. If you’re a WordPress user, you can maximize the built-in WordPress Toolkit and Plesk’s extra security measures, and these options come with easy access to SSL certification, too. However, most top-of-the-line, value WordPress hosts in Australia and Canada use cPanel.

cPanel vs. Plesk Choosing Between the Two

Deciding on cPanel vs. Plesk depends on which web hosting control panel will work with your operating system. It will also matter which platform you are more comfortable using and which one will serve your purpose.

Both platforms offer similar features, so it will boil down to which interface you find easier to manage.

cPanel and Plesk both make it possible to maximize your web server’s capabilities and enable you to navigate your website’s back-end effectively. It also provides active userbases who regularly take to forums on how to take full advantage of these web hosting tools.

Scott Poole

Scott Poole

With over a decade of experience in building websites, Scott has seen it all... bodged website migrations, nightmare web hosts, ridiculous customer support, etc. He decided to centralise all his knowledge on 28msec to guide and help people find the best host possible.