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plesk vs cpanel vs DirectAdmin

Plesk vs cPanel vs DirectAdmin: Comparison Guide 2024

Comparison January 21st 2024

When it comes to managing your hosting environment, three giants dominate the landscape; Plesk, cPanel and Direct Admin, these powerful control panels provide various robust features, but selecting the best one can be challenging.  

Table of Contents

Stay calm; this comprehensive comparison of cPanel vs Plesk Vs DirectAdmin will help you to make the best decision. We will explore the secrets behind software, features, pricing and other functionalities. This will help you navigate through the cost considerations. Whether you are a seasoned webmaster or a hosting novice, this article will be your best guide in making valuable decisions.

cPanel Site Management Tool

Perhaps the most popular of the three, cPanel web hosting, typically manages Linux-based servers. The interface & functionality of cPanel is so easy that even non-technical users can manage the entire server without any technical expertise. This is a major reason why cPanel web hosting is a top choice for many.  


cPanel allows you to perform higher-level tasks, wherein you can manage both your website and other aspects of your hosting. Alongside, it also enables you to perform some of the tasks that can be done in the admin area.

What Are The Features Of cPanel Web Hosting?

  • It is easy to use and install and comes with a straightforward GUI, which allows users to manage their daily tasks with minimal effort.
  • The features in cPanel are grouped into sections that can be accessed by a simple scroll down. It also comes with several customization options that help you make things easier to find.
  • cPanel is tightly integrated with Softaculous – a unique feature that allows 1-click app installation. With this, you can install any application like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento with just one click.
  • cPanel is an extremely portable solution allowing you to transfer your website from one hosting provider to another quickly and painlessly.
  • Supports stronger and secure site maintenance through extensions and numerous inbuilt security solutions (SSL Certificates).
  • With cPanel, you enjoy flexible database management as you can create your own MySQL database and use the system to do almost anything you want
  • cPanel recently added a cPanel SEO tool (beta) to its interface, which enables website owners to optimize their sites for improved search rankings.
  • The backup restoration interface of cPanel makes restoring cPanel accounts from local backups or backups on a remote FTP destination easier.

Read Here: About cPanel Web Hosting Beginner’s Guide 2024

cPanel Quick Facts

Look at some amazing facts about cPanel you probably didn’t know about:  

  • Released in 1996, cPanel is the oldest hosting solution.
  • At present, about 3,533,540 websites are using cPanel.
  • cPanel can be installed on RHEL, CloudLinux, and CentOS.
  • A domain is created using the cPanel server every 6 seconds.
  • A new cPanel hosting account is created every 14.5 seconds. 
Best & Affordable cPanel Hosting Providers On HostingSeekers

Check out our top-rated cPanel hosting providers companies that offer cPanel server support. You can make a choice based on their reviews & ratings, pricing, and features that best fit your business needs. 

Plesk Site Management Tool 

If you are among those who want an attractive hosting platform for Windows, Plesk is the ideal option. It has a lot to offer for developers & webmasters helping them to achieve a stable and efficient hosting solution. Plesk is best known for its user-friendly interface and myriads of features, which allow admins to manage their sites more efficiently.

The newest Plesk is available both for Windows and Linux. It is designed to manage performance and work unobtrusively. The Plesk panel is available in multiple editions, each customized for specific hosting use cases.

What Are The Features Of Plesk Web Hosting?

  • The fact that Plesk is host agnostic and can be installed on any platform, whether it is Linux or Windows makes it a popular server management tool today. The best part: you can also run Plesk inside a Docker container available on Docker Hub.
  • Plesk also supports Docker integration featuring over 200,000 different Docker images. This enables website owners/developers to launch Docker images directly from Plesk without using the command line.
  • Plesk is great support for those who demand integration with Git – a popular version control system. Plesk version 12.5 and up support Gitman extension with full Git integration to its core functionality.   
  • With Plesk, users can schedule incremental and complete backups enabling easy roll-back of amendments made to their site or database.
  • It allows you to set usage limits for different system resources, including RAM, disk I/O, CPU, and even system resource usage on the server. The usage is tracked by the server health monitor automatically.
  • Plesk control panel has separate licenses for 10-30 websites. It is a cheaper option if you have fewer sites.
  • Plesk has its own marketplace where you can develop your extension using its SDK and Open API and sell it to potential customers.

Plesk Quick Facts

  • Released in 2001, Plesk is the newest hosting tool in the market. 
  • Users can install it on a variety of Linux and Windows distros.
  • 300,000 servers are installed with Plesk globally.  
  • 12 million websites run on Plesk. 
  • Best control panel in the US, and also captures approximately 75 to 80 percent of the European market.
Best & Affordable Plesk Hosting Providers On HostingSeekers

Explore the top Plesk web hosting providers listed on our web hosting directory offering affordable and reliable Plesk server support.

DirectAdmin Site Management Tool

A lightweight and easy-to-use control panel for Linux, DirectAdmin is the least expensive of all three server management tools. The most unique aspect of the DirectAdmin web hosting tool is its simple interface making it usable for even the newbies. 

Although DirectAdmin is not so popular as its other two counterparts, it is still an ideal option for those trying to set up and has a tight budget. Moreover, it comes with all the core features a control panel must have, including multi-customer setups support, DNS management, and reseller account creation. 

What Are The Features Of DirectAdmin Web Hosting?

  • Among the easiest and fastest Linux hosting control panels.
  • Provides you with several admin access views. 
  • Comprises in-built spam management tools.
  • User-friendly interface & very competitive pricing model. 
  • Offers some advanced tools to configure SSH keys, cron jobs, custom error pages, etc.

DirectAdmin Quick Facts

  • Released in 2003. 
  • Runs on any system with a 500 MHz processor and 1 GB of memory and at least 2 GB of swap memory.
  • Offers a 60-day free trial
  • Prices start from just $2 per month for support for about 10 domains. 

Best & Affordable DirectAdmin Hosting Providers On HostingSeekers

Browse through our top-listed hosting providers that offer reliable & cost-effective DirectAdmin web hosting for your newly established business.  

Feature Comparison:  Plesk vs cPanel vs DirectAdmin

1. OS Compatibility

The foremost criterion to choose a hosting control panel is the type of operating system you want for your server.

Of the available top hosting control panels, cPanel & DirectAdmin support Linux-based systems, and Plesk supports both Linux & Windows. So, for anyone who is familiar with a Windows server, using cPanel or DirectAdmin will require them to enhance their knowledge of the Linux environment. 

While cPanel is supported by Cloud Linux, CentOS, and RedHat, DirectAdmin is compatible with Red Hat, Debian, FreeBSD, and CentOs. On the other hand, Plesk is supported by 14 different Linux solutions in addition to Windows servers.

2. Performance

Once you have decided on which OS to run on your server, next you should evaluate the performance of each of the options you have. 

In the performance comparison, Plesk vs Cpanel vs DirectAdmin, cPanel wins. cPanel is faster as it utilizes a minimal amount of memory for its execution. Hence, developers can speed up load times & experience faster loading of their servers & applications.

3. User Interface

Both Plesk and DirectAdmin are currently considered to have a cleaner and easier-to-use GUI as compared to cPanel. That is why Plesk and DirectAdmin are ideal for beginners and non-tech savvy. 

Plesk groups its features in a list which further expands with more options when clicked. This makes its interface quite similar to the WordPress CMS. However, this is not the same with cPanel. On the contrary, the cPanel interface seems cluttered to many users. Moreover, cPanel along with WHM offers a wide range of options along with front-end & back-end making the interface complicated & harder to manage than DirectAdmin and Plesk.  

Recommendation Read: Recently Launched cPanel SEO Tool Gains Traction | An Exclusive Guide

4. Functionality

Because of its integration with WHM, cPanel differs from Plesk & DirectAdmin. cPanel with WHM is a great combination to increase server management and efficiency. Plus, two of them combined also improve site administration and management.  

On the contrary, when used alone  Plesk vs cPanel vs DirectAdmin requires permissions to perform complex tasks. On comparing the functionality of all three control panels, they all have multiple language packs, configurable reseller hosting packages, phpMyAdmin integration, availability to manage MySQL databases, configurable spam filtering, and more. 

Of all the three, Plesk is the only server tool offering multiple IPs per domain, external file servers, and external MySQL servers.

5. Security

Plesk provides security features including fail2ban that prevent active directory integration, intrusions, and spam defense for email. On the contrary, cPanel offers security features such as automatic installation of SSL certificates, IP address denials, and directories with password protection.

Direct Admin combines with cPGuard –  a security suite that protects web apps using its Commercial WAF and website malware scanner.

6. Price

Both cPanel and Plesk are available as licensed and on cloud and dedicated servers. Hence, the price of both these control panels depends on the access type. For example, the cost for cPanel and Plesk on the cloud generally starts at around £10 per month. Moreover, cPanel and Plesk charge regular fees for the entire product usage period. 

On the other hand, DirectAdmin is the only control panel that allows webmasters to purchase licenses and enjoy unlimited updates and functionality. 

DirectAdmin vs Plesk vs cPanel: Quick Recap

cpanel vs plesk vs directadmin

Here’s Our Final Verdict 

Both cPanel and Plesk offer more features than DirectAdmin in terms of functionality, user interface, and security. So, when it comes to choosing between cPanel and DirectAdmin for your Linux-based system, cPanel wins the game. But, if you are a beginner and budget is a constraint, you could think about DirectAdmin.

In the battle, Plesk vs cPanel for Linux systems, you get a more intuitive interface and more than 100 extensions in Plesk. Also, Plesk seems a better option if you own multiple servers and looking to stay with a similar control panel. However, if you have a large number of sites, choosing cPanel could be more affordable. 

Again, cPanel has a wider community in the market currently so finding support staff and developers may be much easier than with Plesk. 

In a nutshell, choosing the right control panel depends on several factors. 

Still, confused about choosing a server management tool for your website? Contact experts at HostingSeekers. We will not only help you with choosing the right web hosting service providers for you but will also find you the best web hosting provider at the best price.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q. Is cPanel Hosting Free? 

Ans. Many good hosting providers offer cPanel hosting at very affordable monthly and yearly plans. Some of these also offer a one-month free trial and special silver plans on a yearly basis. Plus, you can also avail money-saving coupons and save big. Visit HostingSeekers for more to find free web hosting with cPanel. 

Q. Which is better: cPanel vs Plesk? 

Ans. In the comparison of Plesk vs cPanel, cPanel is simple to use and supports Linux-based servers. Comparatively, Plesk is a better option if you are a beginner or want to stay with a similar control panel when using numerous servers. Further, the control panel of Plesk comes with separate licenses for about 10-30 sites. Also, it is a cheaper option when you have fewer sites to work with. However, cPanel is affordable if you have a large number of websites.

Q. Which is better: cPanel vs DirectAdmin?

Ans. Both cPanel and DirectAdmin have a clear & contemporary interface. However, cPanel makes it a lot easier to find things than DirectAdmin. DirectAdmin offers fewer plugins and add-ons, which are usually pricier. Comparatively, cPanel offers many cost-effective add-ons and plugins to choose from. While cPanel is a better option than DirectAdmin in terms of UI, functionality, features, and expandability, it is not an ideal budget-friendly solution.

Q. Compare: Plesk vs DirectAdmin

Ans. Between Plesk & DirectAdmin, the latter is an impressive option for beginners and those who are tight on budget. Also, it is more efficient than Plesk. Contrary to this, Plesk is an excellent option in terms of automation, support, and accessibility. DirectAdmin works with Linux-based systems & has fewer plugins to offer as compared to Plesk. Hence it is not as easy to customize as Plesk (Windows-based) & this is where it lacks the most.

Q. What Is cPanel Reseller Hosting? 

Ans. cPanel reseller hosting enables a reseller to rent server space from a reliable top reseller hosting provider and resell it to clients. Each client has a customizable cPanel account which can be easily customized as and when needed.