Prefered Server Control Panels

Greg K's picture

He has: 2,145 posts

Joined: Nov 2003

Just curious what people use/prefer as far as a control panel.

I come from doing everything by hand, and prefer that. I can keep everything nice and clean.

I just got a dedicated server last week from 1&1 (couldn't pass up the deal they had with first 4 months free). Since I will be offering hosting service for sites that I don't directly maintain (what I am used to), I decided to utilize a control panel.

I have used on one or two sites before the customer side of cPanel, and for one client the full admin of cPanel. Was pretty straight forward and nice.

1&1 offered their custom control panel (nah!) and Plesk for free. cPanel, well, I'd have to pay for it. So I gave Plesk a run for a week.

Well after a week of plesk, I gave up. Didn't care for how it lays out file structure, support from 1&1 for it was reference back to plesk's support, whose site that day the search wasnt working. Heck even to add a second IP to my server, Plesk errored, 1&1 couldn't get it, they had to forward it on Plesk support for them to do it. Interesting part, plesk support added it to my sever... I didn't give them my login... Hmmm....

So last night I re-imaged the server to a minimal install, and after realizing that there are places that do sell the cPanel license month-to-month instead of yearly (just spent a bunch of money on getting business started, so a ~$450 payment right now was pushing it. )

So after waiting a LONG time for cPanel to install onto the server (hint, start it, go grab a bite to each or something LOL), I have my server up and running cPanel nice and well, and have all my hosting/e-mail moved over from shared hosting. All seems good so far.

For me, cPanel, just seems laid out better, and thing are easier to navigate (again, I'm used to managing servers manually, not using control panels at all).

So for those of you who have tried more than one way to manage your servers, which have you found you like? Anyone write their own custom (I thought of this, need server up ASAP to accept customers)


They have: 2 posts

Joined: May 2011

Cpanel is by far the most used control panel these days and is what most of your clients will expect so it's a smart move to go with it.
There are a few more out there, like plesk, DirectAdmin, webmin & usermin, etc. but non can compare with cpanel.
With plesk you get slow and virtually non-existent support besides the fact that it's damn ugly ( both interface and functionality ).
Personally I love DirectAdmin because it's small, fast and reliable but it lacks a lot of functionalities that cpanel provides and are a must for some.
Cpanel will make life easier on you, less time spent working on the server and more time getting clients.

I could write for hours regarding plesk vs cpanel but in the end, plesk is a pain in the ass to work with and cpanel makes your life easier for a few bucks a month.

Server Management services and server solutions.

Greg K's picture

He has: 2,145 posts

Joined: Nov 2003

I agree on the "Damn ugly" statement, but didn't want people thinking that was part of my decision Wink for choosing.

The directory structure, IMO, for when a user FTP's in was messy as crap when I set it up for SFTP (listed lib and lib64 directories.... I like keeping it simple).

I did use Webmin/VirualMin before when I first set up a web server. Almost went that route before I found where to pay for cpanel by the month.

Oh, another thing that bothered me was that at least for 1&1's dedicated servers, the Plesk install gives you PHP 5.1. their instructions for upgrading PHP (using Atomic repo) takes you straight to 5.3, which they flat out tell you "has been reported to break parts of plesk". Nice huh!

(cPanel installed with 5.2, which is good for me).

pr0gr4mm3r's picture

He has: 1,502 posts

Joined: Sep 2006

I have cPanel installed on my production. It makes it easy for me to maintain as well as for my customers. It costs money...but you get what you pay for.

For my home and testing servers, I use webmin. It's free and handles the tedious tasks like iptables.

exabee's picture

They have: 115 posts

Joined: May 2011

I have been using cPanel since 3 years ago and till today, still with it. The UI is more user-friendly and easier for non-IT background people to maintain the website.

cPanel with Softaculous is even more convenient. I could install whatever application needed from it. Moreover, majority of the famous applications are available in Softaculous.

JeevesBond's picture

He has: 3,955 posts

Joined: Jun 2002

Sorry for being late to the party! I'm with you, Greg, on DIY being more easier/more fun.

We ran this site on Plesk a while ago and I don't think you could pay me to use that thing again, it's just my opinion, but I didn't like it at all (for pretty-much the reasons you mention).

For your clients, CPanel is probably the way to go, it seems nigh-ubiquitous on clients' servers. I haven't seen a server running Plesk for some time.

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