Plesk vs. cPanel: Which Control Panel is best for you in 2021?

Last updated on September 3rd, 2022

People will often wonder about which web host to pick. They will consider various factors such as budget, server parameters, location, etc. But if you are willing to acquire full control over your server, the first factor you must consider is the control panel option. You will get the two most popular web hosting control panel options to choose from – Plesk and cPanel. 

They will let you access the menus, organized interfaces, and functionalities. By controlling such things, you will be able to comprehend more about web hosting. Moreover, you will also grasp the authority and knowledge about modifying email addresses, cleaning your database, and various other server-related operations. 

To make the better decision of choosing one to Plesk or cPanel, you must know their differences, features, and privileges. That is why we have come up with various tangents to help you understand both the hosting management interfaces and opt for any of them wisely for your usage. Let us begin bouncing to those tangents one by one in the following segments.

About Plesk and CPanel

Plesk is a control panel used under commercial web hosting and server automation software. It was specifically developed for Linux and Windows-based web hosting. The user management model of Plesk enables server administrators to develop new websites and set up reseller accounts and email accounts. Its web-based interface also permits them to modify and create DNS entries. Plesk International GmbH developed Plesk, establishing its headquarters and offices in various countries. 

Whereas cPanel is the web hosting control panel developed by cPanel, L.L.C., an American corporation. It makes it easier to host the website by allowing a graphical user interface and automation tools for the website owner. 

Among the control panels, cPanel has more demand in the market than Plesk for many areas. The reason behind the cPanel popularity is that more enterprises utilize cPanel for the file management interface. Most of the time, this aspect overshadows other criteria for choosing the Plesk over cPanel. However, you can have your criteria and requirements to choose any one of them to handle your self-managed servers, or you can opt for a host that already employs one of them.

Related: Serverwala is Now a Certified cPanel Partner

Let us move further to know about each of them in-depth to decide to make the right choice according to our needs.

Plesk vs cPanel: Dashboard

The first component that can be considered under the confusing choice between Plesk and cpanel is the dashboard. You will have to discover which one is more user-friendly to you. Many of you must be familiar with the cPanel dashboard. But, it does not indicate it might be better for you.  Let us first examine the differences in the dashboard to simplify our choice. 

The dashboard provided by the cPanel can be customized for hosting companies and resellers. They can highlight some main features for their customers. For over many years, it has got renewed interface incorporating innovations and enhancements every time. Every developed interface has come out more distinct and readable. 

The cPanel dashboard has distributed options into various sections, for example, files, databases, domains, etc. One may think this design a bit of chaos, but it becomes way easier to find the buttons required by the user in reality.

Thus, cPanel waives a traditional menu and displays all the menu items on the dashboard. Indeed, the items will occupy more space, but the user will have to click only once to get the required item working. The user does not have to hop from one option to another through multiple clicks. Moreover, you will have the option to hide buttons or categories that you do not want to be shown on the dashboard or find of no use. 

Plesk has an entirely different design for the dashboard as compared to cPanel. You can resemble its dashboard with WordPress or maybe with other content management platforms. You will have to dig deeper to find more options in the Plesk control dashboard with multiple clicks. It will have long menus with more options hidden behind a single button. There can be a chance that you may forget to make use of few options because of the long menus. However, one can find it as a more modern design. 

Although, no matter how the design has been envisioned, it will still depend on which layout will work the best for the user. 

Plesk vs Cpanel: Main Features 

To decide which control panel’s dashboard works in favor of your requirement is a must. However, what is even more significant is considering the features provided by your chosen control panel. You will require various options during web hosting that may not be provided by the control panel whose dashboard design you will like. At that time, you may get deadlocked if you choose the dashboard design of the control panel that does not have the feature you need. 

To save yourself from such a deadlock, let’s peep into the features provided by the control panels. 

Features cPanel Control PanelPlesk Control Panel
Email accountsIncluded Included 
Quick install options (like for WordPress)Included Included 
Domains and subdomainsIncluded Included 
Secure Sockets LayerIncluded Included 
Database managementIncluded Included 
Backups optionIncluded but complicatedIncluded with simplicity
Website builderIncluded Included 
MigrationsIncluded Included 
Development toolsStrongStrong
Pricing for individuals and regular businessesThey are finely available. They are available at its best.
Pricing for developers or resellersThey are available at its best.They are finely available. 

If you observe both the control panels’ features closely, you will notice that the typical characteristics are almost similar. Moreover, cPanel consists of better features than the Plesk when it comes to the reseller’s requirements. However, if we consider the regular businesses that are looking towards expanding the functions in the future course, then Plesk is an ideal option as it renders an extensive database. 

On the other side, both the cPanel and Plesk control panels incorporate the most desired features, such as email address management, one-click WordPress installs, and database access.

Related: How to Find the Best Web Hosting Provider for your Website?

Plesk vs Cpanel: Types of Web Servers Available

The great thing to mention is both the cPanel and Plesk control panels provide their assistance for virtual private servers (VPS) and dedicated servers.

The famous and demandable operating systems that are Linux and Windows are also available for both the control panels. However, it is a must for you to know that the servers do not affect or impact the type of control panel you are thinking of opting for in any case. 

You can get the support of both of the control panels in either of the operating systems. Hence, you can drill into documentation for items like Apache, IIS, and Nginx.

Suppose you are willing to make use of a unique server, or you are looking to build a revised version of the control panel for your clients. In that case, you have the possibility to have it done. You will have to connect to your customer support representative for this, but before you have to make sure that both the enterprises are relatively flexible. 

Plesk vs Cpanel: Scripting Languages

Most of the average users, just as under the web server situation, will go fine with opting for any of the Plesk and cPanel control panels, considering the number and type of scripting languages supported by them.

Here we have mentioned following the currently listed scripting languages sustained by the control panels.

cPanel Control panel incorporates – 

  • Perl
  • PHP
  • Ruby on Rails
  • CGI
  • JSP with help from Tomcat
  • Python (at your own risk)

Plesk Control Panel incorporates –

  • ASP
  • Microsoft ASP.NET
  • Server Side Includes
  • PHP
  • CGI
  • FastCGI
  • Perl
  • Python

To conclude, the type of scripting language you are comfortable using will be going to impact your decision in choosing the control panel. Therefore, consider and go through the above-provided list to make an easy choice. 

Plesk vs cPanel: Databases

cPanel provides an option to customize the database creation with the help of MySQL Wizard and phpMyAdmin. Some other tools will also be there for you to manage your database. 

In the case of Plesk as well, you will have access to phpMyAdmin to manage MySQL databases. But, it is not certain that you will have the option of other tools of database management in the Plesk control panel. Nevertheless, it supports phpPgAdmin for PostgreSQL databases and is more transparent. 


To conclude, it will be useful to go through your requirements first, then the design of the control panel in the priority list while choosing between the Plesk and cPanel control panels. It will be even better if you can take the time to consider the online demos for each of them. That will help you to have the right approach and decision towards your selection.

Get in Touch

Arpit Saini

He is the Director of Cloud Operations at Serverwala Cloud Data Centers Pvt Ltd and also follows a passion to break complex tech topics into practical and easy-to-understand articles. He loves to write about Web Hosting, Software, Virtualization, Cloud Computing, and much more.

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