If you have a self-managed dedicated server or a VPS then you probably already know what a control panel is. However, you may have some doubts regarding the control panel that you would like to use. The most common question that we receive from our customers is as follows:
Which control panel is better for managing my dedicated server or VPS?
This question is hard to answer because the choice of a control panel is really a matter of taste, you could actually compare it with your specific preference for a car.
Some people can experience DirectAdmin as a Fiat Panda while others will experience it as a BMW. We know it sounds crazy but will try to give our preference and opinion by comparing a few control panels with cars.
There are three leading control panels: DirectAdmin, Plesk Panel and cPanel.
The hosting industry has three leading control panels, hence we will only highlight the most popular control panels below.
DirectAdmin was founded in 2003 by JMBC Software. This control panel is very popular among Linux users and it is fairly light. DirectAdmin provides a fast graphical interface but it may take some time to get used to it. You can actually compare the interface to the engine of a Fiat panda, it is a little humming but when you start driving, the car picks up the speed quickly.
This control panel is suitable for both heavy servers and less demanding servers. The comparison above may seem a little silly since Fiat Panda is not known for its strong car performance but it is easy to drive and this is exactly what DirectAdmin is all about.
Plesk Panel is similar to an easy and fast car such as a VW Golf. All functionalities can be easily found, the user interface is clean and simple which makes driving pleasant and easy. So it is no surprise that Plesk Panel is really popular among users. Everyone can use it without any hassle. Plesk Panel is the only control panel with native support for Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2016 which is definitely a unique selling point. If you want value for your money then Plesk Panel is a good option to consider.
cPanel is a Unix-based system, the original version of cPanel was created in 1996, this control panel is still very popular among many users. cPanel was also the very first on the market, it was launched years before any competition.
The user interface has a perfect design, and it is classified logically. Moreover, the control panel has more useful features than DirectAdmin and Plesk Panel.
In our opinion, cPanel is comparable to a BMW: it has a perfect design and it is powerful, but it also offers a lot of functionalities that you are probably never going to use, just like the control buttons of a BMW. Too many features can make a control panel overwhelming and difficult to use.
Now that we have explained the differences between these control panels, it is time for you to make a decision. What will you choose? A Fiat Panda, BMW or VW Golf?