Which VPS Control Panel Is Better: CPanel Vs. Plesk

2011-09-29by Tim Attwood

Once you've identified a VPS provider that can meet your needs as a small business, you'll be faced with the next big decision in getting the most for your IT dollar – choosing your VPS control panel. Some VPS providers, especially if they are reseller hosts, will come with a VPS control panel like cPanel or Plesk already installed, but you may also have the choice in which control panel you want if your hosting provider does not prefer one to the other. The real question for your business is cPanel vs. Plesk – which one is better?

Operating Systems and UI

VPS management is an essential part of getting the most from your hosted environment, and both the cPanel and Plesk VPS control panel options are meant to give you control over the apps you install, the permissions you set, as well as take menial, time-consuming tasks and automate them.

The first thing you'll need to consider in the cPanel vs. Plesk debate is your operating system preference. Plesk will work under either Windows or Linux OS, while cPanel functions only with Linux – CentOS, Red Had Enterprise, FreeBSD or CloudLinux – but only Linux, nonetheless.

When it comes to UI, however, cPanel is often credited with providing a more user-friendly and graphical VPS control panel interface, one that makes selecting tasks and seeing data a glance easy. Plesk has a wide variety of features available from its UI, but some users find this VPS management too technical.

Minimum Requirements and Features

The system requirements for both cPanel and Plesk are the same when it comes to a Linux environment – a 266 MHz processor, 512 MB of RAM and 10 GB of storage space. A Plesk Windows VPS installation will require a 1 GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage space. In both cases, it is recommended that you have well above the minimum requirements if you want to host a large number of domains and accounts, or use a large number of apps or development tools.

The current version of Plesk, Plesk Panel 10, has a number of new features including a separate admin user interface, a power-user mode and a server health monitoring feature so that you'll be able to know, at a glance, the stability and status of your VPS server. In addition, Plesk is also offering upgradable Apache configurations, PCI compliance for billing if you choose to act as a reseller host, and direct API access to tie Plesk to other, outside applications.

cPanel 11.30 is no slouch in the features department either, and includes features like MyDNS, a database-backed name service for improved performance, reduced memory overhead for things like cphulk and cpdavd while idle, and email delivery reports that give administrators a visual report on every email message that is sent within the system.

Both VPS management options are under constant development, and are always bringing new features to bear for users to get the most out of their VPS server.

When the virtual chips fall and the VPS dust settles, there is no clear-cut winner in the cPanel vs. Plesk battle. Both perform roughly the same function, and simply offer a different feature set in order to accomplish it. For your business, personal preference and the options you need can dictate your choice, and choosing one or the other will not limit your ability to maximize your VPS environment.

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Tim Attwood


Tim Attwood is a Product Manager and Marketing specialist at myhosting.com. myhosting.com offers 13+ years of hosted service experience, and provides reliable and cost effective Web Hosting, Hosted Exchange Email and VPS Hosting Services, aimed to help enhance productivity & maximize resources.

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