Control panels with a multitude of features- this definition fits both cPanel and Plesk. However, there are differences that set users and fans poles apart, arguing which is better. It is difficult to pronounce one is better than the other because the features and support offered by cPanel and Plesk are very different. But we can conclusively compare them in the following five subtle points of difference.
Operating system support
If you are a Windows user through and through, you will most likely not look beyond Plesk. In the cPanel versus Plesk debate, this works very well in favor of the latter. However, cPanel is often a favorite of developers because it supports two major Linux OS, CentOS, BSD distros, FreeBSD and RedHat operating systems. But Plesk is not that far behind either, with Debian, Ubuntu and OpenSUSE OS support along with Windows.
Not only novices, but even season control panel users look for an easy to use user interface. If you have used both cPanel and Plesk, you will notice that the latter offers a more intuitive and uncomplicated UI. But cPanel, out of sheer popularity, has a more familiar user interface. As effectiveness of UI is all about what you are comfortable with, a lot of users will vote for cPanel’s UI over Plesk’s.
Depending on how long you intend to use the control panel, either of cPanel and Plesk may be more economically convenient to you. cPanel offers only one plan, the unlimited package, at $425 a year- which implies $35 monthly expense. Plesk has a number of plans for short term use. Users can hold 100 domains at Plesk with the $40 a month subscription. There is a ‘Small Business Panel’ option in Plesk that allows VPS users to hold unlimited accounts for $70 per month, but there are plans for one and five user packs, available at $40 and $55.
Setup and use
cPanel encompasses two independent applications: cPanel for domain owners and WHM for the server administrators. Logging in for the two applications involves two different processes. Plesk allows both administrators and domain owners to log into the accounts from a single point. Logging in as administrator will simply give you access to more advance tools and features. Naturally, Plesk seems less complicated of the two for some users. The same simplicity is observed in setup; while Plesk’s setup involves repetitive clicking on the ‘next’ button, cPanel’s setup is less cohesive.
Migration is switching from one server to another using a control panel. cPanel and Plesk both allow free migration when you switch using the same control panel; but to move from one control panel to another requires a purchase of advance migration. Plesk has its own migration system, cPanel has some tools too. But migration remains to be one of the major concerns in control panel use and features prominently in all cPanel versus Plesk arguments.
Of all the five issues that cPanel and Plesk handle differently, migration is probably most important in determining which control panel a user will opt for. But apart from that, the differences contribute little to bias users’ opinion in the cPanel versus Plesk argument.