In the year 2019, cPanel announced a new pricing structure, which was insane. If you don't know what cPanel is, it is a software for web hosting companies to use, to provide website hosting to their customers. We will be discussing alternatives to cPanel, their features, and primarily what to use instead. Still confused about what cPanel is? Read more @ www.cPanel.net.
Higher Prices, more limits, and it keeps getting worse. Their price is getting higher by the year & is now just about $50 per month to host 100 users/client accounts and $15 a month for one user. See more at cPanel's website.
There are many alternative control panels on the internet, such as the most popular alternative control panel (alternative control panel meaning an alternative web control panel to cPanel Inc), DirectAdmin & Plesk. Plesk is definitely not recommended for pricing, since both cPanel & Plesk owned by WebPros/Oakley Capital, so there is a risk (a risk greater than other control panels) of Plesk's pricing structure also being modified to have higher prices & more limits, something WHMCS Billing Software also did. We sent a letter to WebPros (WHMCS Parent Company) Via email stating how WHMCS's prices are crazy high & the limits with those high prices are just stupid, and a few days later they published a multi-paragraph blog post indicating they would be adding a new tier (pricing plan/package) to offer.
To summarize, in this blog post, they basically said, we aren't changing the pricing, maybe we will add another pricing tier to take more of your money, and we don't care if you can't afford WHMCS, and we are also discontinuing owned licenses because we really want your money, and think it's not ok that you paid for a license one-time, and that you should be giving us lots of your money once per month. This clearly indicates WHMCS couldn't care less about their customers & just wants money.
Moving back to alternative control panels to cPanel, there are many out there, such as DirectAdmin, Plesk, Interworx, ApisCP, and Control WebPanel (formerly CentOS WebPanel). There are other control panels too, but they are not being mentioned here due to a variety of reasons including never before seen horrible security, and more.
DirectAdmin is an amazing control panel, and we think it's the best control panel out of all the control panels mentioned in this blog post, which is why it's worth mentioning we offer hosting powered by DirectAdmin, if you are interested feel free to go to our home website @ swivro.com. DirectAdmin is feature-rich yet is user-friendly. It has a cPanel-ish look to it, which is why it is not that hard for users to migrate their website from cPanel to DirectAdmin. DirectAdmin is NOT free software and cost, you know, money. Their unlimited plan cost $30/mo which is not terrible considering the amount of work the developers put into DirectAdmin. DirectAdmin has great security, features a modern design, and runs on CloudLinux, AlmaLinux, RHEL, CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu, and FreeBSD. Lots of hosting companies, including us, are switching to DirectAdmin, because it is simply great & better than cPanel in most ways.
Plesk is also a great control panel, feature-wise. It has lots of features & is great for lots of people, but we don't think it's the best. Remember, this is our opinion, if you disagree with us that is fine, and normal. Plesk's UI to people not so tech-savvy looks like a mess, and we know this from running surveys during our temporary free Plesk web hosting service. Plesk as mentioned before is owned by the same company that cPanel owns, and because of this, it is not recommended, as it is at a higher risk than the other alternative control panels which is subject to price changes. It does have great security & is indeed cheaper than DirectAdmin (for now), but isn't as good in our opinion.
Interworx is also a pretty nice control panel. We didn't install it on one of our test servers, but we did check out the demo for it & had a peak of all of its features. According to Rack 911 Labs, Interworx does have great security. We can't say it has better security than cPanel or DirectAdmin, because it has just as much of a risk of having a critical security issue as (almost) any other control panel does. Interworx like DirectAdmin, features a modern design and is packed with features, and isn't bad. It can be a bit confusing to use for people that aren't too tech-savvy as Plesk would be too, but still is great. Interworx has 2 main parts, being Nodeworx and Siteworx. Siteworx is the end-user interface which is what all customers/clients/website owners would use to manage their site, while Nodeworx is for the server admin. We only tested Siteworx, and it isn't bad at all. It is also worth mentioning that Interworx is owned by a web hosting company, Liquid Web, so that comes with risk.
ApisCP features amazing security & a community discord server where you can actively interact with the ApisCP Community. ApisCP's unlimited "pro" license has a cost of $20/mo which is (relatively) cheaper than Plesk & DirectAdmin (and cPanel of course). ApisCP is feature-rich and eliminates the need of 3rd party software like Softaculous for auto-installing web apps like WordPress. ApisCP is also very user-friendly on the end-user side, but on the server administrator side, it's a different story. You need a bit of Linux Knowledge (specifically CentOS as ApisCP only runs on CentOS at the moment), because not everything to set up is available in the admin UI. To create your own web hosting plans, you need to do that through the terminal. The same goes for many other configurations. ApisCP is great for hosting & shared hosting, but if you aren't too good with Linux, then ApisCP might not be for you, at least for now. ApisCP also offers lifetime one-time-payment licenses unlike Interworx, Plesk, DirectAdmin, cPanel, and CWP. Rack 911 Labs indicates that ApisCP's developers were one of the best to interact with out of all of the control panels mentioned in this blog post.
CWPpro (Control WebPanel Pro).
Control WebPanel (CentOS WebPanel) is known for security holes. Rack 911 Labs reports that the developer is terrible at communicating, & after finding ANOTHER 22+ security flaws/holes/issues, they indicated little has been done to improve security & there is no ETA on security hole patches (2019). Control WebPanel Pro comes at a price of $12/yr which is not bad at all compared to DirectAdmin's $30/month price, and Control WebPanel Pro also includes all the standard features that every other panel has (mostly) and also comes with a resource limiting tool to ensure your clients don't abuse your server's resources. Great price & great features, right? Yes, that is true, but we do not recommend using them for production until they improve their security, as many individuals & companies report that their security is 'flawed' and awful, and they have a history of security holes/issues, and still have not been patched to this day, dating from years back.
For now, it is a good idea to stay with DirectAdmin and ApisCP because of the amazing security, features & uniqueness. Check out DirectAdmin at DirectAdmin.com and ApisCP at ApisCP.com
Have a great day.