The Difference Between cPanel and Plesk

Choosing Between the Two
Most popular Hosting GUI Panels

Which One is best for You?

Updated: January 18, 2022
By: RSH Web Editorial Staff

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cpanel vs plesk

What Is A Website Control Panel

This gives you a Browser based interface to manage your hosting account. The panel is a graphical user interface, no coding is needed. It allows you to do most of the complex administrator processes in just a few clicks from the GUI interface.

Easy to use Interface

A control panel should provide a user interface that is easy to learn so that users can manage all aspects of their hosting accounts.

The most common features with a control panel are

  • • Manage domain names
  • • Manage files for your website
  • • Create and manage email accounts
  • • Manage SQL databases
  • • Website stats such as visitors, error logs
  • • FTP Manager
  • • File management tools
  • • Custom Error Pages
  • • Install apps or software like WordPress

Most Popular Control Panels

When it comes to which control panel you should use for controlling your website, the debate usually comes down to the 2 most popular.

Plesk    cPanel

These 2 GUI control panels have been the industry standards for administrative websites. They give you some of the best options when it comes to managing your websites.

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How do they stack up against each other

Both of these Panels have been around for many years and dominate the website hosting interfaces.


cPanel, has been around longer. Introduced to the Internet market in 1996. Since it was introduced first, those who started with it have continued to use it simply out of tradition and comfort
cPanel - FAQ's.


Plesk is the newer of the two platforms, introduced in 2001. The panel has gone through different upgrades and has continued to evolve over the years. The Plesk GUI.


When comparing these two control panels, you should look at the different features to see which one meets your own needs. Next we list the breakdown of features, interfaces, operating systems, and performance.

Main Features

When it comes to the most used features, both cPanel and Plesk has the support you need

  • • Domain management - Add configure and manage domain and subdomain names
  • • File management - Upload, edit, delete files with backups and restores
  • • Email management - Set up new and manage email accounts
  • • Webmail. Configure spam filters. Mailing lists. Forwarders
  • • Database management - Set up databases with phpMyAdmin or with cPanels Data Base Wizard
  • • Website Stats - See the volume of traffic the website is receiving
  • • Security SSL Certificates, SSH access, IP Blocker, etc.
  • • Software installers - Easy installations of popular web scripts such as WordPress, Joomla, and others

Both Panels have the same basic features. Tools to manage your Email Accounts, run File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and manage your databases. But remember you can add extra apps to both and here is where they begin to differ

Plesk’s add-on apps tend to be better than cPanels. For example, Plesk supports Docker and Git with little to no difficulty

cPanel, can use these apps, but you have to do some configuring to make them work together. In this instance, the advantage goes to Plesk.


This one is no doubt an opinion. Some users believe that cPanel’s interface is too cluttered and difficult to navigate. Others believe that Plesk is considered to be the “cleaner” look of the two when it comes to the appearance.

Although, cPanel can be customized so that you can clean up the interface yourself and group features as you need them. As a matter of opinion, we will call this one a tie.

Operating System

Both being similar, this category will come down to you and your knowledge of different operating systems.

cPanel is available for the Linux operating system. There is a workaround that can let you load it on a Windows server, but officially, cPanel is Linux only.

Plesk is available for Linux or Windows operating systems.

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Again a matter of opinion on which you prefer.


With performance, we look for reliability as well as speed.

cPanel has cut down on the memory is used, this lets the pages load faster. Account creation and management tasks are also noticeably faster.

Plesk overall can be slower to load, especially in the account creation and management areas.

In this category, we will say that cPanel wins on performance and speed.


Both solutions boast a variety of features designed to make servers bulletproof. Or, at least, safe from incursions by nefarious bots and their human handlers.


AutoSSL – automatically installs and renews Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates
cPHulk brute force protection
Support for CSF (ConfigServer Security & Firewall)
Each user also gets to use: SSH Access, IP blocker, Hotlink Protection, Leech Protection, Modsecurity, two-factor authentication
Email spam filters.


Plesk Firewall – Plesk’s custom firewall that you can configure
AutoSSL – automatically installs and renews Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates
ImunifyAV – intelligent antivirus and monitoring tool; one-click malware cleanup, domain reputation monitoring, blacklist status checking
fail2ban Wwhich prevents intrusions, active directory integration, and spam defense for email.

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Plesk vs cPanel: Distros

Plesk runs on both Linux and Windows Server. cPanel is Linux only. You can achieve Windows Server compatibility, but only via certain tweaking and addons.

Solutions Plesk Onyx cPanel/WHM
OS compatibility Both Windows Server and Linux Debian, CentOS, Ubuntu, Cloud Linux, Virtuozzo, Red Hat Enterprise Linux cPanel is a Linux control panel. Supported distributives: CentOS, Cloud Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux
Web servers Apache with Nginx caching Apache with Nginx caching
Administration Unified authorization procedure for users and administrators. cPanel consists of WHM are accessible only for Server-related administrator tasks. cPanel's access gives User control over website functions
Interface Modern UX/UI based on React.Js. Built-in ready to code environment with support of Javascript, PHP, Perl, Ruby on Rails, Python, Java and .NET. User-friendly interface with full control over majority of cPanel/WHM features. Availability of command line and API-based access as the way to automate administrator tasks.
Security Plesk Firewall, Revisium Antivirus, Fail2ban AutoSSL, cPHulk, ConfigServer Security & Firewall and other useful features
WordPress Support WordPress Toolkit provides full list of automation, management features vital for the scalable WordPress infrastructure support. cPanel’s WordPress Toolkit is a feature-rich management interface that allows anyone to install, configure, and manage WordPress websites
Extensions/Add-ons Plesk comes with ecosystem of various extensions, Security Advisor, WordPress Toolkit, Joomla! Toolkit, Let’s Encrypt SSL support, SEO Toolkit etc. Over 80 different website administrator features
Softaculous Apps Installer More than 350 scripts such as WordPress, AbanteCart, PrestaShop, Joomla more
DBMS MySQL / MariaDB / MSSQL Server databases can be managed via web browser MySQL/MariaDB databases management via web interface
SSL Let’s Encrypt and Symantec AutoSSL with Let’s Encrypt and support for almost every other kind
Mobile Accessibility Yes Yes
Backups Ready to use solutions based on Dropbox, Acronis, Google Drive cPanel Backup utilities to both backup and restore files. Backup with PHPMyAdmin. Or use the cPanel Backup Wizard
Technologies Docker, Git, Node.Js, WordPress Toolkit Docker, Node.Js Git WordPress Toolkit

cPanel vs. Plesk – Who Really Wins?

When it comes to cPanel versus Plesk, both systems have Pro's and Con's. Some features, such as interface, are purely objective, such as the OS's availability.

We hope that this article has put this into perspective so that you can make the best decision about your hosting needs with a Website Control Panel.

RSH Web Services uses cPanel to power all our Websites
Looking for power speed and reliability for your website?
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We welcome your comments, questions, corrections and additional information relating to this article. Please be aware that off-topic comments will be deleted.
If you need specific help with your account, feel free to contact us anytime
Thank you


Jeroen Bourke
Would you guys help install WordPress if I ordered a plan?

RSH Web - Yes we would be glad to. Contact us anytime

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