Hosting Tutorial & Guide

Plesk VS cPanel – Which Control Panel Is More Powerful?

updated on Jul 14, 2017
Plesk VS cPanel – Which Control Panel Is More Powerful? Plesk and cPanel are 2 of the most popular control panels in the web hosting industry. This comparison between them, however, is made to take a deep look at them and figure out the differences to help beginners make a choice.

According to our experience and review, both of the 2 control panels are powerful, coming with tons of useful features, but they do differ from each other in many aspects. Therefore, this comparison mainly discusses their facts in cost, usability, functionality and migration.


To better present the details that we are going to discuss, let’s have an overview of the 2 popular control panels first.
  • Plesk, or Parallels Plesk Panel, started to operate in the year of 2000. Since then, it has been developed into one of the most popular control panels for webmasters to do their utmost to handle the websites. It supports both Windows and Linux operating systems but does a better job on Windows platform.
  • cPanel is a powerful control panel that allows users to manage their websites and hosting accounts effortlessly. Actually, it is now adopted by most of the famous web hosting providers. cPanel provides powerful and easy to use interface and automation tools for web hosts and the website owners, making cPanel the most popular graphical web-based control panel. cPanel supports Linux operating system.


The price for Plesk license is $39.99 per server per month, and there are a large number of license add-ons for advanced features which cost additional fees. For example, the Parallels Plesk Panel Power Pack is available at up to $14.99/mo; Kaspersky Anti-Virus is priced at a rate that is up to $29.99/mo; and Parallels Premium Antivirus costs $29.99/mo.

Cost For the cPanel license, its price differs depending on the billing cycles. When purchased directly, the license requires up to $425 per year. For those paying monthly, the fee is usually $15-$20 per month. Besides, cPanel, Inc. claims to offer discounts when 2 or more licenses are purchased at the same time.

In most cases, web hosts always offer free access to cPanel in the shared hosting packages and managed VPS or dedicated hosting services. From the perspective of cost, this control panel should be a cheaper choice.


Plesk can be used on multiple operating systems. For instance, Plesk for Linux/Unix supports CentOS, Debian, OpenSUSE, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and Ubuntu, and that for Windows supports Windows 2003, 2008 and 2008 R2.

By contrast, cPanel is usually installed and configured on CentOS, RHEL and CloudLinux, without much support for Windows hosting. Even though, this control panel has gained preference from most webmasters that use services based on Linux platform.

In our investigation into more than 300 website owners using Linux shared hosting, more than 90% of them said that they would not consider Plesk unless when they need to switch to a Windows server.

Add-on Applications

Plesk and cPanel both offer a number of useful add-on applications for you to extend the functionalities. For example, by utilizing these functions, you have the opportunity to gain a control over spams and get to know the website statistics.

Compared with Plesk, cPanel is integrated with more extensions, such as RV Skins, CSF firewall and Fantastico 1-click installer, and all these powerful applications are inaccessible in a Plesk environment.


Functionality Plesk and cPanel come with the similar functionality as both of them allow managing websites and servers. However, some important features still set them apart from each other. For instance, the former one is designed for both admin and client side uses as long as webmasters act different logins. Being different, cPanel itself is only for client side use but it comes with WHM which allows administrators to get control over the server-side features like resource allocation.

In addition, Plesk mainly features the following things.
  • Hybrid web server on which PHP scripts and static content are both sent to NGINX.
  • Ease of use with some unique features such as auto-component updater, key auto-update mechanism and migration manager.
  • The focus on website management.
  • A browser-based interface that supports to create and manage skins.

One the other hand, cPanel possesses the following highlights.
  • Easy integration with third party applications like custom-built auto script installers.
  • A simple icon-based interface which allows users to locate the information they want quickly.
  • Enhanced security with SSH, SSL Leech protection, GnuPG keys, IP Deny Manager, and so on.


Migration It is quite easy for users to transfer between servers installed with the same control panel as the previously used one. However, when it comes to the transfer from Plesk to cPanel, there come problems, vice versa.

Although both control panels claim to offer migration assistance, they may require webmasters to purchase additional services. If their help does not work, it is nearly impossible for beginners to complete the migration process by themselves. Therefore, our suggestion is – sticking with the control panel that has been chosen.

Which One to Choose?

You should make the decision based on your own demands and requirements as both are secure, easy-to-use and stable. For detailed information and using experience of Plesk and cPanel, trying their demos is quite a helpful way.

If your choice comes to cPanel, we have the following recommendations which offer services specially optimized for the control panel, just for reference.