cPanel vs Plesk – Which One is Better for Shared Hosting?

cPanel vs Plesk – Which One is Better for Shared Hosting?

cPanel and Plesk are extremely popular hosting control panels in the market, but which is more user-friendly? In fact, the two control panels are very similar with rich features and same functionalities, thus many people may feel hard to choose between them.

Therefore, we have compared the two control panels side by side, so you can decide which one might be the right choice for you. Note that this cPanel vs Plesk comparison indicates their pros and cons, along with their similarities and differences.

About cPanel Control Panel

The cPanel control panel is the most popular software for controlling and managing the website or the hosting account. With it, you can interact with your servers, hosting accounts or the sites to perform some specific actions.

Actually, its popularity owns to two main benefits. Firstly, it is built with the concept of simplicity. In this case, even if you do not have the enough skills and experiences to deal with a control panel, the intuitive cPanel won’t let you down. Secondly, this control panel is designed for the Linux based system, so it can power the majority of websites online.

cPanel Control Panel

Key Features

  • Speedy performance and highly responsive.
  • Support for auto SSL and SNI.
  • Reduction of memory usage with the latest version.
  • Advanced command line utilities.
  • Security DNS zones with the PowerDNS and DNS SEC.
  • Broad range of features.

About Plesk Control Panel

Plesk is another widely used control panel. What differs it from the cPanel option is that while cPanel is for the Linux system only, this one is available for both Windows and Linux. In this case, if you use the Windows hosting, the Plesk one is your choice.

In addition, the interface of Plesk is modern and clean. You can access every part via the sidebar or the main screen based on your real needs.

Plesk Control Panel

Key Features

  • Support for both the Linux and the Windows system.
  • Combine the management features of both servers and end-users into one.
  • 1-click SSL security and WordPress hardening.
  • Docker integration for more than 200,000 Docker images.

Operating System – Plesk Wins

The first thing we have considered in this cPanel vs Plesk comparison is the operating system. cPanel functions with a wide range of Linux operating systems, such as CentOS, BSD distros, FreeBSD, CloudLinux , and Red Hat Linux, but only Linux!

Plesk, however, is more flexible, for it not only runs on many of the popular Unix operating systems, but also Windows. At present, it supports Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows Server 2008 SP2, Windows Server 2012, plus CentOS, Debian, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Ubuntu, etc. In fact, this won’t matter to the vast majority of customers who use the shared Linux hosting, but is very attractive for customers who prefer a Windows-based hosting solution.

Added Functionality – cPanel Wins

Both cPanel and Plesk are able to give you the complete control over a vast amount of functions, such as viewing website statistics, configuring e-mail accounts, managing files and databases, controlling spams, and much more.

The only difference is that a hosting package integrated with cPanel usually offers more add-on applications than the one with Plesk like Fantastico 1-click installer, RV Skins and CSF firewall. As compared with cPanel, Plesk does not support many third-party applications other than the Microsoft products for added functionality.

Admin Panel – cPanel Wins

If you are a cPanel user, you must notice that there is another control panel always mentioned – WHM or Web Host Manager. Unlike the cPanel that is used by the webmasters for the management of the website, the WHM is used for the server-side administration. In this case, cPanel is the control panel option for web hosting users while the WHM is for VPS hosting or reseller hosting users.

Although these two options are always linked together, they actually have separate interface and logins, so you won’t feel confused.

Plesk, however, combines the admin panels for users and server administrators into a single login. Even, the two panels look really similar, although the options are totally different. This may mislead some new users.

User Interface – cPanel Wins

Although cPanel and Plesk have some aspects in common, they are organized differently. The developers of the 2 control panels have taken different approaches to organize the user interface. All the applications of cPanel are located on the home page with the understandable icon, so users can find what they want easily. In terms of Plesk, it is organized into sections with different applications on different pages.

In this respect, cPanel offers a more simple and intuitive UI than Plesk, for its users can find all features directly from the front page.

cPanel Interface

cPanel Interface

Plesk Interface

Plesk Interface

Another inconvenience of Plesk is that many terminologies you are familiar with cannot be found in Plesk UI, for instance, Plesk call Cron job as Scheduled Task, Parked Domains as Domain Alias, Redirect as Forwarding, and autoresponder as Auto-reply.

Set Up – Plesk Wins

Without doubt, both of the 2 control panels are very easy to set up, but Plesk is more convenient, for it allows end-users and server administrators to log into the accounts through a single process. Besides, to set up the Plesk, you only need to repetitively click on a series of “Next” buttons.

cPanel, however, includes different logging processes for end-users and server administrators respectively, so it might confuse users who enter this control panel for the first time.

Cost – Plesk Wins

Actually, if you choose the quality hosting solutions, you can get these two control panel options for free. However, not all the web hosts offer this kind of free extra. If so, you should pay the additional fees.

  • cPanel & WHM – The monthly charge starts at $20/mo, but the yearly billing allows you to get $40 savings.
  • Plesk – The monthly charge starts at $5/mo. The yearly billing allows you to save some budgets. But as compared with cPanel, the maximum saving is less than $10.

In fact, you can find a lot of discounts online for the license fees of these two control panel options. However, we still recommend you to choose a hosting solution that provides the control panel for free.


To be frank, choosing between cPanel and Plesk is a matter of personal choice. After all, both of the 2 control panels are easy-to-use. Generally, we recommend cPanel as a large number of our readers are shared Linux hosting customers. And cPanel works better than Plesk in the Linux environment. But if you operate a Windows environment, then you can consider Plesk.

The web hosts listed below are leading web hosting providers with cPanel.