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12 Most Popular Web Hosting Control Panels in 2024 (Free, Open Source, Linux, Windows)

WRITTEN BY
Daren Low
UPDATED
June 19, 2024

 

The best web hosting control panel offers easy navigation, functionality and customization flexibility. This article lists the top web hosting control panels and explains their unique features and benefits. All of them simplify web hosting management for users regardless of their level of technical expertise.

 

A web hosting control panel is a crucial tool for managing various aspects of your hosting account. It offers a straightforward interface for tasks like domain management, email setup, and server configuration. Our favorite control panel for web hosting is cPanel.

 

most popular web hosting control panel

 

 

1. cPanel

https://cpanel.net/

 

cpanel control panel

 

cPanel is a proprietary web hosting control panel known for its user-friendly interface and features. It facilitates efficient management of domains, emails with spam filters and autoresponders, and databases. Its security tools include IP blocking and leech protection. It also offers visitor logs for website analysis. cPanel also supports server performance monitoring and backup automation. It supports a variety of third-party apps like Softaculous for enhanced functionality. Popular web hosts like Bluehost, HostGator, and SiteGround offer cPanel.

 

What are the pros and cons of cPanel control panel?

 

There are 4 pros of cPanel control panel:

 

Pros

  1. Beginner-friendly
  2. Widely available at most web hosting companies
  3. Stable performance
  4. Broad range of tools

 

There are 2 cons of cPanel control panel:

 

Cons

  1. Not available for Windows
  2. Frequent price increases

 

 

2. Plesk

https://www.plesk.com/

 

plesk control panel

 

Plesk is a proprietary VPS hosting control panel designed to simplify the management of website files, domains, emails, and databases. It offers practical features like task automation and restricted access for stronger security. It provides advanced monitoring for performance optimization. Plesk’s repair kit and SSL It! tool further bolster its functionality. HostGator, A2 Hosting, and Liquid Web offer Plesk.

 

What are the pros and cons of Plesk control panel?

 

There are 6 pros of Plesk control panel:

 

Pros

  1. Easy to use
  2. Supports Linux and Windows servers
  3. Strong virtualization tools
  4. Inexpensive licensing (as low as $12.38/month for yearly plans)
  5. Good range of development tools
  6. Modern interface design

 

There are 2 cons of Plesk control panel:

 

Cons

  1. Several editions (can cause confusion for users)
  2. Less widely available

 

3. hPanel

https://hpanel.hostinger.com/

 

hostinger hosting homepage

 

hPanel is a custom control panel designed by Hostinger for exclusive use with their hosting plans. It resembles cPanel but has a simpler design and multi-language support. This panel comes pre-installed with all Hostinger services and allows users to easily manage their hosting plans, email accounts, and websites. The dashboard offers a quick glance at website performance, malware alerts, and file management without needing FTP or SSH. hPanel also simplifies tasks like database and email account management and backup creation. It includes a built-in CDN (available in Business and above plans) for faster website performance.

 

What are the pros and cons of hPanel control panel?

 

There are 5 pros of hPanel control panel:

 

Pros

  1. Simple design
  2. Covers all the essential features
  3. Good information screens
  4. Low learning curve (beginner-friendly)
  5. Can submit requests for features

 

There are 2 cons of hPanel control panel:

 

Cons

  1. Exclusive to Hostinger plans only
  2. Only a few development-specific tools

 

 

4. MyKinsta

https://my.kinsta.com/

 

mykinsta control panel

 

MyKinsta is a specialized control panel designed exclusively for Kinsta customers. It focuses on high-end WordPress-specific web hosting. The panel streamlines WordPress site management with features like site cloning and comprehensive performance metrics. Kinsta itself is built on Google Cloud infrastructure to facilitate swift transfer of sites across Google’s platforms. Users get an automatic SSL, a built-in CDN, and visitor information logging for enhanced site functionality. The platform also offers multi-level security and reliable support. MyKinsta’s offers tools for simple SSL management and easy site migrations. Its features supporting collaborative work also make it great for WordPress developers.

 

What are the pros and cons of MyKinsta control panel?

 

There are 5 pros of MyKinsta control panel:

 

Pros

  1. Good range of development tools
  2. Reliable support team
  3. Simple SSL management
  4. Easy site migrations
  5. Supports collaborative work

 

There are 2 cons of MyKinsta control panel:

 

Cons

  1. Exclusive to Kinsta
  2. Kinsta plans are on the pricier side

 

 

5. WHMCS

https://www.whmcs.com/

 

whmcs control panel

 

WHMCS, or Web Hosting Manager Complete Solution caters to web hosts and resellers of web hosting. This proprietary panel excels in host-related account management tools with features like billing automation, comprehensive account management, and an add-on system. Its modern interface features informative graphs and customizable screens.

 

Key features include automated hosting account provisioning, a built-in ticketing system, and API extensibility. WHMCS can function as a standalone solution, but it’s mainly geared towards managing the business aspects of web hosting. HostGator, AccuWeb and A2 Hosting are some web hosts that offer WHMCS.

 

What are the pros and cons of WHMCS control panel?

 

There are 5 pros of WHMCS control panel:

 

Pros

  1. Great interface design
  2. Great for developers
  3. Highly scalable
  4. Broad billing and invoicing features
  5. Lots of automation to save time

 

There are 2 cons of WHMCS control panel:

 

Cons

  1. Less capable as a customer-facing web hosting control panel
  2. Mainly for reseller hosting

 

 

6. RunCloud

https://runcloud.io/

 

runcloud control panel

 

RunCloud is a proprietary control panel solution designed for managing virtual servers. It stands out for its flexibility and it allows installation across various cloud providers. The platform excels in automating server, PHP, and SSL configurations to make server management effortless.

 

Its user-friendly dashboard presents operational data in clear, readable graphs. This enhances overall user experience. Key features include 1-click SSL deployment, a web application manager, database and service management. It also provides comprehensive server health monitoring. RunCloud works best with custom VPS like DigitalOcean, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud Platform.

 

What are the pros and cons of RunCloud control panel?

 

There are 6 pros of RunCloud control panel:

 

Pros

  1. User-friendly
  2. Highly secure
  3. Inexpensive pricing (as low as $6.67/mo)
  4. Fast and stable
  5. Powerful tools for developers
  6. Great balance of features and simplicity

 

There are 2 cons of RunCloud control panel:

 

Cons

  1. Supports limited platforms (Ubuntu only)
  2. Some reports of poor customer support

 

 

7. Control Web Panel

https://control-webpanel.com/

 

control web panel control panel

 

Control Web Panel (CWP) was developed by the CentOS team. It’s a cost-effective, open source web hosting management solution with both free and PRO ($1.49/month) versions. Its standout feature is the CWP secure kernel which is highly regarded for its security. This makes it one of the safest options in web hosting servers. CWP offers a comprehensive set of features including advanced email handling, domain management tools, and a customizable interface. It offers simple file management and resource viewing capabilities. Its free version is an especially strong contender in the control panel market.

 

What are the pros and cons of Control Web Panel (CWP) control panel?

 

There are 4 pros of Control Web Panel (CWP) control panel:

 

Pros

  1. Well-rounded free version
  2. Excellent security
  3. Good scalability
  4. Sleek design

 

There are 2 cons of Control Web Panel (CWP) control panel:

 

Cons

  1. Not for ultra-light solutions (requires at least 1 GB memory on 64-bit system)
  2. Some reports of poor customer support

 

 

8. Webmin

https://webmin.com/

 

webmin control panel

 

Webmin is an open-source, adaptable web panel available for various Unix systems (BSD, Linux, and Solaris). It’s also available to a limited extent on Windows OS. It stands out for its high customizability. This is particularly notable in its Apache web server module for configuring directives. Webmin offers broad operating system compatibility. It includes specialized interfaces like Usermin for email management, Cloudmin for virtual server administration, and Virtualmin for managing multiple virtual hosts (similar to Plesk). Webmin is a practical choice for those seeking a free and customizable web hosting control panel solution.

 

What are the pros and cons of Webmin control panel?

 

There are 5 pros of Webmin control panel:

 

Pros

  1. Free
  2. Highly customizable
  3. Broad Unix system compatibility
  4. Specialized interfaces (Usermin, Cloudmin, Virtualmin)
  5. Comprehensive server and application control

 

There are 2 cons of Webmin control panel:

 

Cons

  1. Not beginner friendly
  2. Limited functionality on Windows OS

 

 

9 ISPManager

https://www.ispmanager.com/

 

ispmanager control panel

 

ISPManager is a proprietary Linux-based control panel widely used by European hosting companies such as FASTVPS, Inferno Solutions and ISPserver. It features a simple and straightforward design. The panel offers four versions: Lite, Pro, Host, and Business. The Lite version supports web server management. It creates users with different access levels and imports data from remote servers. It is ideal for dedicated servers and VPS solutions. The Business version fits shared or reseller hosting better. It manages multiple servers and creates and manages user accounts easily.

 

What are the pros and cons of ISPManager control panel?

 

There are 2 pros of ISPManager control panel:

 

Pros

  1. User-friendly design
  2. Four distinct versions for varied needs

 

There are 2 cons of ISPManager control panel:
 

Cons

  1. Limited to Linux-based systems
  2. Less advanced features compared to larger panels

 

 

10. DirectAdmin

https://www.directadmin.com/

 

directadmin control panel

 

DirectAdmin is a proprietary control panel for Linux and BSD systems. It’s one of the most affordable options in the market with prices starting at $5 per month.The panel supports different access levels like Administrator, User, and Reseller. It includes anti-spam tools and allows complete usage statistics viewing. Other key features include DNS management and database setup. It also offers reseller account management, backup creation, and file management. DirectAdmin is a popular inclusion for many web host plans. It’s available with all of Hostinger’s VPS plans and a free license is included with every installation.

 

What are the pros and cons of DirectAdmin control panel?

 

There are 3 pros of DirectAdmin control panel:

 

Pros

  1. Budget-friendly
  2. Neat interface
  3. Lesser system requirements

 

There are 3 cons of DirectAdmin control panel:

 

Cons

  1. Not compatible with Windows OS
  2. Lack of third party add-ons
  3. Lacks advanced features such as staging support

 

 

11. Vesta Control Panel

https://vestacp.com/

 

vesta control panel

 

Vesta Control Panel is an open-source web hosting control panel. It enables the management of DNS records and multiple websites simultaneously. Users are also able to easily create email and FTP accounts. The administration panel in Vesta offers comprehensive control over server settings, firewall configurations, mail systems, and IP administration. Vesta is free and user-friendly and its core functionalities available at no cost. Commercial plugins are also available for additional features. The source code of Vesta is open for download and modification.

 

What are the pros and cons of Vesta control panel?

 

There are 2 pros of Vesta control panel:

 

Pros

  1. Free
  2. Beginner-friendly

 

There is 1 con of Vesta control panel:

 

Con

  1. Need to pay for additional features and support

 

 

12. Interworx

https://www.interworx.com//

 

interworx control panel

 

Interworx is a secure and user-friendly web hosting control panel suitable for hosting providers, resellers, and website owners. It is mobile-responsive for better accessibility and convenience. The control panel is divided into two main modules, Nodeworx and Siteworx. Nodeworx specializes in server management with features like system health monitoring, server backup configuration, and network settings management. Siteworx focuses on website and domain management. Siteworx includes email account setup, file management, and database administration capabilities.

 

What are the pros and cons of Interworx control panel?

 

There are 3 pros of Interworx control panel:

 

Pros

  1. Affordable ($7.50/month)
  2. A single license type already supports all features
  3. Full clustering (multi-server) support

 

There are 4 cons of Interworx control panel

 

Cons

  1. Incompatible with Cloud Linux, Debian, Ubuntu and Windows OS
  2. No UI for adding or removing PHP modules
  3. Doesn’t support NodeJS, Ruby on Rails, server-side Java, Docker or DNSSEC
  4. Less third-party add-on products compared to cPanel or Plesk

 

 

What Is a Web Hosting Control Panel?

 

A web hosting control panel is a web management tool used in web hosting environments. It allows users to manage key elements of their web hosting service and server through an intuitive graphical interface. This software simplifies complex tasks such as setting up email accounts, managing databases, and controlling server functions. Control panels are specifically designed to make the process of hosting and managing websites more user-friendly and accessible, even for those with limited technical expertise.

 

What Can I Do with a Web Hosting Control Panel?

 

You can do complete web hosting administration with a web hosting control panel. A web hosting control panel lets you oversee domains, email accounts, files, databases, and software applications in one central place. They provide tools for monitoring site performance and visitor behavior to enhance website efficiency. Control panels also include features for website backups and security for an extra layer of data protection.

 

Can I manage my domain names and DNS settings through a web hosting control panel?

 

Yes, you can manage your domain names and DNS settings through a web hosting control panel. You can handle various domain-related tasks such as registering new domain names, configuring domain settings, and setting up subdomains. You can also modify DNS records, such as A, MX, and CNAME records, directly from the control panel.

 

Can I manage email services through a web hosting control panel?

 

Yes, you can manage email services through a web hosting control panel. This includes setting up and managing email accounts, configuring email forwarding, and creating auto-responders. The control panel also allows you to adjust spam filters and manage email lists efficiently.

 

Can I create and manage databases through a web hosting control panel?

 

Yes, you can create and manage databases through a web hosting control panel. This functionality includes creating new databases, modifying existing ones, and managing user permissions. Many control panels also integrate tools like phpMyAdmin. phpMyAdmin is a popular web-based application that provides a user-friendly interface for database management. This is ideal for those working with MySQL databases.

 

Can I manage my website files through a web hosting control panel?

 

Yes, you can manage your website files through a web hosting control panel using the built-in file manager. This tool allows you to upload, download, edit, and delete files directly on your server. The file manager provides a straightforward interface for managing the files and directories of your website, and negates the need for FTP (File Transfer Protocol) software for basic file operations. It’s particularly useful for making quick changes or updates to your website’s content.

 

Can I backup my website through a web hosting control panel?

 

Yes, you can backup your website through a web hosting control panel. This feature allows you to create backups of your website’s files and databases. You can schedule automatic backups (daily, weekly, biweekly) using your control panel to ensure your website data is regularly saved. This safeguards your site against data loss.

 

What Applications Can I Install with a Web Hosting Control Panel?

 

You can install a wide variety of applications like content management systems (CMS), eCommerce platforms, forums, and educational tools with a web hosting control panel using the Softaculous installer. Installation involves simply selecting the application from the Softaculous menu in your control panel and configuring a few basic settings. You then initiate the installation with a few clicks.

 

What CMS can I install through my control panel?

 

You can install various CMS platforms like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and Magento through your control panel. A Content Management System (CMS) is a software application that allows users to create, manage, and modify content on a website. Softaculous simplifies the installation process and allows you to easily select and set up the desired CMS.

 

What eCommerce applications can I install through my control panel?

 

You can install various eCommerce applications such as Magento, PrestaShop, OpenCart, and WooCommerce through your control panel using Softaculous. These platforms are designed for creating and managing online stores. They offer a range of features for product management, sales, and customer interaction.

 

What Is the Cost of Web Hosting Control Panels?

 

The cost of web hosting control panels varies depending on the provider and type of hosting plan. Proprietary control panels like cPanel have a monthly license fee (starts at $17.49). However, the actual cost for customers varies depending on the web host’s specific pricing strategy. Open-source options like Webmin are free but require more technical expertise. It’s important to consider the licensing fees, the type of hosting plan, and any additional costs for advanced features when evaluating the cost of control panels.

 

Do web hosting plans include a control panel for free?

 

Yes, many web hosting plans include a control panel for free. This is most common in shared hosting plans with many hosts offering control panels like cPanel as part of the plan features. However, in VPS or dedicated hosting, a control panel is usually available as an optional add-on cost.

 

What Is an Open Source Web Hosting Control Panel?

 

An open source web hosting control panel is a type of web hosting control panel that makes its source code openly available for modification and distribution. These panels offer functionalities similar to proprietary control panels, such as domain, email, and file management. They also have the added benefit of customization and community-driven enhancements. Open source control panels are more adaptable to specific needs and are a cost-effective solution for web hosting management.

 

What Some Examples of Proprietary Control Panel Panels?

 

Some examples of proprietary control panels include hPanel (used by Hostinger), MyKinsta (developed by Kinsta for managing WordPress hosting), and DreamHost’s custom panel. Proprietary control panels are web hosting management tools developed and owned by specific companies. Their source code is not openly accessible for modification unlike open-source panels. These panels offer user-friendly interfaces and features tailored to the hosting services of the respective companies.

 

What Are the Popular Web Hosting Control Panels for Linux?

 

Some of the most popular web hosting control panels for Linux include cPanel, Plesk, and DirectAdmin. cPanel is widely recognized for its user-friendly interface and extensive feature set. Plesk offers a similar range of functions and supports both Linux and Windows servers. DirectAdmin is another popular choice appreciated for its simplicity and efficiency. These control panels provide comprehensive tools for managing web servers, websites, and related services on Linux platforms.

 

What Are the Popular Web Hosting Control Panels for Windows?

 

Popular web hosting control panels for Windows include Plesk, WebsitePanel, and SolidCP. Plesk is a widely-used proprietary control panel for both Windows and Linux servers. WebsitePanel and SolidCP are open-source control panels specifically designed for Windows-based hosting environments. These control panels provide a straightforward interface for various administrative tasks, which makes it easier to manage websites, domains, email accounts on Windows servers. See our best Plesk hosting for more information.

 

Do I Need a Web Hosting Control Panel for VPS Hosting?

 

No, you do not need a web hosting control panel for VPS hosting but having one does simplify server management tasks significantly. VPS hosting gives users the option of root access and command-line tools instead of a control panel to manage your websites, databases and email accounts. However, installing a control panel greatly streamlines these processes and does not require high-level technical expertise. Check our managed VPS with cPanel shortlist for our recommendations on VPS hosts that include cPanel in their plans.

 

What Is a Reseller Hosting Control Panel?

 

A reseller hosting control panel is a specialized type of control panel designed for web hosting resellers. This control panel’s focus is to help resellers manage their clients and services nire efficiently. It includes features for client management, billing, and inventory software. It also enables resellers to oversee multiple client accounts, handle invoicing, and track resource usage. This type of control panel simplifies the process of reselling hosting space. This makes it easier to allocate resources, set up new client accounts, and even customize hosting packages for clients. Check our best reseller hosting shortlist for our brand recommendations.

 

Is cPanel Included Free in Web Hosting Plans?

 

Yes, cPanel is included for free in many web hosting plans. This is especially common in shared hosting packages. It’s important to check the web host’s plan details to see which control panels are included so you can confirm whether cPanel is included at no additional cost. It’s also important to note that users of shared hosting with free cPanel don’t own the cPanel license directly. The full cPanel license is held by the hosting provider in most cases. Check our best cPanel hosting shortlist for our brand recommendations.

 

What Are The Most Popular Web Hosting Control Panels?

 

The most popular web hosting control panels are user friendly and offer broad functionality and flexibility. This allows them to accommodate different hosting requirements.

 

 

 

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