If you’re familiar with web hosting, then the chances are that you’ve heard of cPanel. It’s the most popular hosting control panel on the market and it’s offered with hosting packages from countless different providers.
However, cPanel certainly isn’t a perfect option. It’s actually very expensive, which is a major downside for those with VPS or dedicated server hosting, who have to pay for their own control panel subscription. On top of this, some users find the cPanel interface a little confusing, although it’s far from the worst on the market.
With this in mind, we’ve taken a closer look at the best cPanel alternatives available today. We’ve scoured the web and analyzed countless options to bring you the following list, which includes a selection of free and paid control panels for both Linux hosting and Windows hosting.
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If you’re looking for a powerful alternative to cPanel that boasts advanced hosting management features and very competitive prices, DirectAdmin is a great choice. It offers an excellent 60-day free trial, and prices start from just $2 per month for support for up to 10 domains.
The user interface is among the best we’ve seen. It’s much more intuitive than cPanel’s and is streamlined and easy to navigate.
On the main dashboard homepage, you will find information about your hosting resource usage, your databases, and your domain status. On the left of the screen, there are numerous links to additional features, including advanced configuration tools.
Here, you’ll find everything from basic domain and SSL management tools to an email manager and a link to the RoundCube webmail interface. There are also various advanced tools to help you configure custom error pages, cron jobs, SSH keys, and other technical options.
If you’re looking for an attractive Windows hosting alternative to cPanel, Plesk is a great option. It’s available across Windows and nearly all common Linux distributions, although it is a little expensive.
Fortunately, the features on offer here are excellent. The user interface is a little cluttered at times, but it comes with a great range of management tools. Access different tools via the menu on the left of the screen, add any of a range of extensions for extra functionality, and view the status of your websites via the Domains panel.
Another standout feature of Plesk is its excellent customer service. 24/7/365 support is available via phone, online ticket submission, and live chat.
SPanel by Scala Hosting is one of the best control panels we’ve used. Along with standard control panel services, it includes a leading selection of security tools, great automatic backups, and free website migration tools, among other things.
On top of this, SPanel is available for free with any Scala Hosting VPS plan. The user interface is attractive and easy to navigate, and website configuration is very straightforward. Having said that, it’s certainly not the fanciest dashboard we’ve used. But everything you need is available and easily accessible.
If you’re on a tight budget and looking to save money by using a free cPanel alternative, Webmin could be your best option. It’s an open-source web platform that’s available for Unix, and it comes with a great selection of hosting management tools.
All tools are available via an attractive management interface. It is a little simple, but everything is intuitive and easy to find. Configure your site via the built-in tools, or hire a developer to code custom tools where required.
There are a few downsides to using Webmin. As an open-source community project, security fixes can take some time to be developed. Customer service is limited to forums and other online chat sites, and it can be difficult to make advanced changes without a high level of technical knowledge.
On the downside, we did find the management panel to be a little cluttered at times, although it’s certainly not terrible. Access common menu options via the menu on the left of the screen and configure your hosting account exactly the way you need to.
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