Once you have selected a web hosting provider you need to select the best website control panel that suits your specific requirements. Both Plesk and cPanel are market leaders in web hosting control panels offering the most customisability. Before selecting a control panel to use for your website server doing research will help you make an informed decision. This articles aims to do this.
Table of Contents
1. Control panel security features
A control panel offer a wide range of security features for you to take advantage of ensuring your data is kept safe. Having a secure server is top priority to ensure data is not stolen and used for malicious activates potentially damaging your site. Both Plesk and cPanel offer useful security tools for you to use. Read more on potential risks to small businesses.
SSL/TLS Certificates allow for your website server to accept encrypted traffic. When handling sensitive data using a secured HTTPS connection allows for data to be sent from user to a secure server safely. In the event of data being intercepted encryption makes data impossible to read keeping personal information secure. Using SSL/TLS certificates offer a secure ‘padlock’ which users recognise as safe. Both Plesk and cPanel offer SSL/TLS certificates. cPanel uses an SSL wizard to make installation process easier.
Malicious users may attempt a DDOS attack on your website server attempting to impact your performance. This could have a major negative affect on your site leading to webpages not loading- due to a flood of requests to the site. Having the ability to block IP connections is very useful for web hosting allowing you to block malicious connections. By blocking the IP (Internet protocol) or IP ranges of the attack you can prevent the DDOS attack by blocking the connection. cPanel offers a built in IP blocker for you to setup while Plesk offer extensions such as Fail2Ban that do similar tasks. Blocking IP’s and IP ranges that attempt to attack your server will increase server security by preventing future attacks.
View active FTP and control panel sessions
Having the ability to views active connections on FTP and your Control panel allows you to check if anyone is online with unauthorised access. This increases web hosting security by giving you the chance to detect unauthorised connections live. And by extension, allows you to react swiftly to prevent potential damage. Plesk allows you to view active connections to your control panel. Both cPanel and Plesk allow you to view active FTP sessions.
Built in app/extension library
Having access to thousands of communitiy made applications and extensions within your control panel increases the options for your web hosting. Take advantage of applications and extensions to provide more options to your users on your webpages. Apps can also increase efficiency by improving performance
One click script installer
Both Plesk and cPanel offer one click installs on selected application and extensions making installing easy and simple. In addition, Plesk offers Docker support giving you access to over 20,000 docker images.
Both cPanel and Plesk offer you the option to get assistance using support tickets on their websites. Support tickets allow you to contact support in regard to specific issues. Both services aim to respond within 24 Hours.
Learning to use your new control panel can be challenging. The best website control panels offer videos which are an excellent way to learn as they visually guide you through tutorials and training. Both Plesk and cPanel offer tutorials and training videos on their websites.
Blogs are a great resource for reading about recent updates, common errors and general guidance in using your control panel. Both cPanel and Plesk offer a wide range of blogs to expand your knowledge allowing you to achieve more.
Finding a solution to an issue can be challenging. Forums are extremely useful being community based. Other users with similar issues ask for help from the community. Community responses can be helpful to you. If needed you can create your own forum posts asking for support from other users. Both Plesk and cPanel have active forum communities.
Plesk offer in depth courses at Plesk university. Courses offered teach a wide range of topics from troubleshooting to security in both Linux and Windows. At the end of a course you will take an exam and be awarded a Plesk Onyx Badge which can be used like a qualification.
Losing data from human error or computing error can be frustrating depending on the amount of time spent. To ensure data is safe it is good practise to backup your website server. In the event data is lost having a backup allows you to restore from saving time and money. Both Plesk and cPanel offer backup services for you to take full advantage of.
Full data backup
By doing a full backup of your entire website server you guarantee a fully operation copy ready to restore from. The last thing you need after data loss is finding out you don’t have a full backup. Doing a full backup will take a significant amount of time depending on server size and speed.
Partial data backup
Partial backups works by only backing up data you have modified since your last backup. Depending on how often you backup your website server this can significantly reduce the amount of files being backed up saving you time. Both Plesk and cPanel offer this feature.
Having a full or partial backup can require a lot of storage on your website server. In order to save storage both Plesk and cPanel offer you the option to compress your backups for web hosting. Be aware compressing data can pose the risk of corruption. Corrupted backups will not be useful when you need to restore. Only suggested as temporary option. If you require storage we recommend using external or cloud storage for backups.
3. Operating system
It is worth noting that many webhosting providers offer cPanel with hosting solutions – meaning cpanel is already configured in the hosting account. Finally, selecting a web-based management panel depends highly on your operating system, your server requirements and your level of expertise. For more advanced users, cPaenl is typically optional. For example in VPS and Dedicated Hosting plans, users will have the option to select a control panel or to go without if they so choose.
- Plesk – Runs on Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CloudLinux
- cPanel – Runs on CentOS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CloudLinux, Amazon Linux
Selecting the best website control panel for your web hosting can be challenging. The key points covered should help you make an informed decision regarding your website server. It is important to fully explore your options before making a decision.