The general characteristics of a control panel
- Management of the domain name system: domain renewal, DNS editing, subdomain management and registration of new domains.
- Mail system: setting up new mail accounts, mail redirects and junk mail.
- FTP: user account administration, password and file system quota management
- Access to the web file system
- SSH User / Key Manager
- Data base management
- Backup management
- Access to the logbook and reports
cPanel is not always compatible with Windows servers
Plesk is the best option if your website runs ASP or .NET code or directly accesses Microsoft Access or MSSQL databases. However, cPanel did offer a version for Windows servers called Enkompass. But since 2014, cPanel no longer deals with this version.
Comparison of cPanel and Plesk: security function
CPanel security features include:
Password protected directories
IP address forwarding
SSL / TLS for online stores
GnuPG key settings for encryption
It also offers site protection via HotLink (to prevent misuse of media files) and Leech (to prevent unauthorized visitors from using a published username and password).
Plesk security features include:
Active Directory Integration
Social media authentication
Incoming and outgoing anti-spam services
Fail2Ban intrusion prevention system
Sub-accounts and user roles
Control panels manage user access in different ways.
CPanel requires a unique password to access, created during account setup. The administrator can then assign certain functions to the users of the sub-account. Functions are limited to email, FTP, and web disk usage. Other aspects of the site, such as the file manager, database access and email lists, are not available.
Conversely, Plesk allows individual user accounts with their own login credentials and full access. The account administrator can open or hide resources and services from user accounts by defining subscriptions and roles. This role-based access provides flexibility that many cPanel users want.
CPanel offers a multitude of applications in order to provide a complete experience. For experienced users this can be an advantage. You can easily select the functions you want. Many less experienced users, however, will find the interface cluttered. Regarding appearance, cPanel categorizes all applications and tools into groups (files, databases, email, etc.). Each group can be moved up and down the visual hierarchy by dragging and dropping.
Plesk takes a more streamlined approach. The panel’s home page is clean and relies on app add-ons to plug the feature holes. The basic program may be less comprehensive, but it may be less confusing for beginners.
The general style of the Plesk interface can be described as a section-based organization. The main categories, such as system and domain information, for example, are shown on the left, and the options for the selected category appear in the larger window on the right.
Conclusion: cPanel or Plesk
We hope that the cPanel and Plesk comparison will help you choose the right control panel for your web administration needs. Both products offer free demonstrations on their websites.
The devil is in the details. Although the two panels have similar functions, the two offer very different user experiences. Certain criteria, such as using Windows servers for example, can make a difference.