cPanel is most certainly the most popular control panel available for managing servers. Almost everyone involved in the web hosting world has heard of cPanel.
In addition, there are plenty of cPanel alternatives out there that boast better features and offer more tools that may be suitable for you too.
We’ve collected data and tested the best cPanel alternatives to allow you to make an informed decision about which control panel you want to use for your hosting services.
Smaller companies and developers, unlike shared hosting, often choose to use hosting services that don’t come with a control panel, so they have to choose the best option available.
RunCloud is a PHP cloud server management panel that is ideal for running applications like WordPress. Setting up RunCloud is super-easy, taking you through the process to connect with your server and being able to access your dashboard.
This control panel has actually been around for some time, however, RunCloud makes a huge effort to stay on top of their game by improving their solution with updates and offering the best features for people to manage their cloud servers.
If you sign up annually to RunCloud, you’ll get the first 2 months of your term for free, as well as a 14-day money-back guarantee with no questions asked.
RunCloud’s Basic plan is very basic, allowing you to connect to just 1 server. However, their Pro plan is great value for money, offering unlimited server connects, 10 WordPress staging sites, SSLs, cron job management, and custom NGINX configuration.
• Free trial
• Affordable pricing
• Great customer support
• Easy setup
• Server must have SSD nodes with Ubuntu 20.04, 16.04, or 18.04 x86_64 installed
ApisCP is one of the easiest to use control panels I’ve come across. It’s a fully self-hosted server control panel that supports migrations from cPanel, so it’s really easy to switch over, even if your web host uses cPanel.
When you install ApisCP, you’ll notice a big difference in the way it looks compared to cPanel. It was built with speed, performance, and security in mind, with plenty of analytics tools for you to manage your websites.
Rack911 who is a penetration testing firm recently recommended ApisCP due to their enhanced security. Though they aren’t as cheap as some alternative control panels, ApisCP’s mini license starts from £22.87 per year and their Pro license is £15.25 per month. If you’re only hosting a few websites, the mini license will easily suffice.
However, if you want to host unlimited domains, accounts, and receive free panel updates, the Pro license is definitely worth considering. After all, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee if you don’t get on with it.
• Recommended by penetration testers for security
• High performance
• Great analytics to manage your websites
• Affordable starter pricing
• Control panel can take a while to get used to
Moss is a virtual sysadmin designed for web developers. Moss helps you deploy, manage, and monitor your servers and websites so you can spend the time doing what you need to do, without worrying about the admin side of things.
You’ll need a server with Ubuntu installed to run Moss, but it’s pretty easy to set up, similar to RunCloud. There’s a 14-day trial on all of their plans, all of which offer unlimited servers, sites, and teammates.
You can actually get started with Moss for free, with 1 integration, 25 Git deploys, and access to their help center. I’d highly recommend Moss if you’re a developer looking for an alternative to cPanel.
Their overall pricing is very affordable, and their features are generous. If you want to add server monitoring, this is just $5 extra per server per month, offering automatic alerts if something goes wrong.
• Free plan
• Very easy to install and use
• Ideal for developers and freelancers
• Plenty of integration options
• Virtual, agentless platform may not suit everyone
ServerPilot is similar to RunCloud in that it’s recommended for WordPress and PHP applications. It’s a cloud server management system that works well with multiple server providers including AmazonWS, DigitalOcean, GoogleCloud, and more.
ServerPilot’s control panel offer automated free SSL certificates by Let’s Encrypt and 1-click WordPress installs. You’ll need a server that runs 64-bit Ubuntu 18.04 or 20.04, but it’s incredibly easy to use.
Their pricing structure is a little different from other control panels as plans are priced per server plus additional fees per app. Their Economy plan is $5 per server + $0.50 per app, but they do offer a 14-day free trial.
• Ideal for WordPress and other PHP applications
• Free 14-day trial
• Easy to setup and install
• Free SSLs
• Requires a Ubuntu server
• Price per server and per app can become expensive
Interworx is a great cPanel alternative for those who have previously used cPanel and are familiar with some of its features like AWStats and Webalizer. Interworx gained quite a lot of traction after cPanel reviewed its pricing which caused people to seek alternatives.
Interworx is powered by LiquidWeb, a popular hosting company, with plenty of features enabling you to manage your server’s control panel.
If you’re thinking about running your own hosting business, Interworx is a solid cPanel alternative, allowing you to create accounts, configure plans and resources, change themes and branding, and lots more.
When you install Interworx, you’ll have access to Nodeworx (the system administration interface) and Siteworx (website owner interface for your customers), so you’re able to clearly define what you want to look at and manage.
• Ideal for running a hosting business
• Familiar cPanel features
• Free trial
• Unlimited domains
• Could be difficult to set up if you’re not familiar with SSH and command line
Virtualmin is a web hosting control panel for Linux and BSD systems. It offers a free open-source version that is supported by the community, as well as paid versions with more features and premium support.
Virtualmin’s GPL plan is free to use across unlimited domains but is geared more towards personal use. However, if you’re not familiar with open-source control panels or are a beginner in this area, I wouldn’t recommend this control panel, simply because it can be difficult and overwhelming to newbies.
At just £4.57 per month, Virtualmin’s 10 domain plan is ideal for small businesses, offering 100+ applications such as WordPress, premium support, system analytics, and reseller accounts.
You can try all of Virtualmin’s plans free for 30 days, enjoying their extensive customisation options, and plenty of security features to protect your server.
• Free open-source version
• Over 100,000 installations worldwide
• Cheap pricing
• Daunting for beginners
• Expensive if you want to host unlimited domains
Froxlor is a lightweight open-source server management panel that boats similar features and administration tools like cPanel, for free.
The project has been supported by hundreds of donators and businesses for providing a free control panel for everyone to use. Because there aren’t any pricing plans, Froxlor includes PHP-configurations, advanced SSL, reseller resources, Let’s Encrypt SSLs, and MySQL management as standard.
Froxlor was developed by expert server administrators who wanted to streamline the process and make it simple for people to manage their hosting accounts. Only Debian and Gentoo are currently supported, however, it seems like many people have been able to install it on Ubuntu too, without too much effort.
• Free open-source control panel
• Familiar cPanel features
• Easy to use and lightweight
• Doesn’t boast as many features as other control panels
• Gentoo and Debian only officially supported
Plesk is basically the king of Windows hosting control panels, something which cPanel doesn’t support. Funnily enough, Plesk is actually owned by the same company as cPanel, so many users have their concerns over whether Plesk will follow suit in the way in which cPanel has with their pricing.
However, Plesk does provide seamless user experience, with server-side configurations which are more suited to advanced users. Plesk is available on most operating systems, which makes it a wise choice if you are, or aren’t using Linux.
Plesk’s 24/7 support is a blessing, offering customer service via phone and email. It’s helpful to have someone on hand if you run into any issues. Plesk’s pricing plans start from £9.17 per month for 10 domains, but the Web Admin Edition plan doesn’t include subscription management or account management like the Web Pro Edition.
If you’re after unlimited domains, WordPress Toolkit, subscription management, accounts management, and reseller management, you’ll need to consider the Web Host Edition plan which comes in at £18.75 per month.
• Windows and Linux server support
• Fantastic user interface
• Suitable for server-side management
• Not suitable for beginners
• Owned by the same company as cPanel
Most shared hosting plans won’t allow you to change the control panel, even if they use cPanel. However, if you can, or if you choose web hosting that offers more control like VPS hosting or dedicated hosting, it’s usually pretty simple to install a cPanel alternative.
In most cases, control panels will give you a list of instructions to follow so that you can install them with one or two commands. If you don’t feel confident in installing your own control panel, good hosting companies will do this for you.
cPanel only runs on Linux, essentially being the middle man between you and the command line. Many cPanel alternatives can run on the same Linux machines as cPanel does, but in some cases they do support Windows and other distributions.
If you’re unsure whether your hosting is running on a Linux or Windows machine, check with your hosting provider.
Many people enjoy cPanel, but in 2019 they changed their pricing model from per-server pricing to a per-account pricing model which many people were unhappy with. The price rise is around 1000% which is understandably a huge increase.
To host a single cPanel account now costs $15 per month, increasing to $45 per month for up to 100 accounts. Each account over 100 is priced at $0.20 each.
cPanel partners may qualify for bulk account pricing at $0.10 per bulk account per month.
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