CPanel is one of the most popular hosting management panels out there. It comes as no surprise that it is used by almost every shared hosting solution. However, the times are changing, the hosting providers now have the choice of cPanel alternative that provides a similar level of service and feature set.
Before diving deeper into this article on cPanel alternatives/, it’s important to understand how cPanel works and its benefits to know why should you consider its alternatives for your ecommerce stores.
cPanel is a Linux-based control panel that comes with a GUI and a set of tools that simplify hosting management processes. cPanel quickly cornered the hosting management panel niche mainly because it minimizes the role of technical server management knowledge in general server management. As such, it is an all-in-one solution through which you can manage almost everything about your server from development to directory management.
If you are a newbie and not well versed in server management, cPanel might appear to be a great starting point. However, as users acquire more expertise in server and website management, the flaws in cPanel operations start to hinder business growth.
Not only this, if you don’t have any idea on server management then, this can be really daunting for you. So, it’s better to search for the managed hosting solution that can reduce the server management related hassles. Moreover, there are a bunch of free cPanel alternatives available in the market that doesn’t offer complete features. In short, be wise and smart while choosing any cPanel alternatives.
Let’s have a closer look at these issues which force people to think about cPanel alternatives.
cPanel has released several updates over the years. However, users still complain about the usability of the product. In addition, there is always the chance of data loss and settings overwrite that can have serious consequences for the ecommerce businesses that demand consistency for delivering results.
Flexibility is not cPanel’s strongest suites and many users feel restricted when using cPanel for managing web hosting. In particular, there isn’t much room in terms of changing the default settings to optimize the hosting solutions.
To boost ecommerce store performance, it’s necessary to change several server settings to fit the store and platform requirements. This is where the flexibility (or rather the inflexibility) of the cPanel starts to create problems for store operations.
cPanel offers a non-standard software stack for server launch and management. For better performance, the stack needs to be optimized for a particular platform. For instance, a Magento store requires a standard Magento stack for application stability and better performance.
cPanel comes with a bunch of pre-installed components such as file management, security, database, and email management. However, navigating these components and the multiple screens can take up a lot of time for simple tasks. That’s one of the reasons website owners look for cPanel replacement to avoid all these hassles.
cPanel’s GUI is ideal for newbies for understanding and adapting to the platform quickly. However, this GUI fails experienced users who need real-time data and information which can help in making quick but important decisions. Similarly, for users who are looking for a quick fix, digging into the various screens can often be a huge time-waster.
Limited Access & Functionality
cPanel allows you to manage the basic hosting functionalities which aren’t quite enough for experienced users because of the requirements for multiple server operations. Another reason that people start looking for cPanel replacement is popular server optimization options such as cache management, server scaling aren’t available with cPanel.
Error Log & Problem Identification
Server and hosting issues can happen because of multiple reasons such as server scalability, database connectivity, and plugin/theme conflicts. cPanel makes it rather difficult to detect if things have gone wrong and how to get the information about the issue.
First of all, there is no popup notification/alert about an error. Next, accessing and reading the logs can prove to be a real challenge.
cPanel acts as a middle layer between hosting hardware and the user. While this middle layer makes hosting management simple, on the other hand, there are multiple security concerns that hackers can exploit to target your website and steal valuable data.
This is a serious issue for ecommerce stores that handle sensitive customer information. For such stores, cPanel hosting isn’t suitable for ecommerce businesses.
cPanel is Not the Only Issue
When we talk about cPanel, it’s mostly related to shared hosting which is another big reason that affects the performance of ecommerce stores. All the above highlighted issues does not only occur with cPanel but these issues are common with shared hosting. Hence, solving the cPanel issues won’t help you in the better hosting performance, you have to switch on better solution rather relying on shared hosting.
The Solution: Alternatives To cPanel
Now that you know the reason behind the success of cPanel and why users have started looking for a better alternative to cPanel. As it stands, cPanel is a good solution for managing small hosting servers, however, the compromises you have to make are not worth the hassle. Here I’ve tried my best to list-out the free & open-source cPanel.
And the good thing about open-source cPanel is that they are also capable of managing FTP, SQL, BIND DNS, Database and Virtual servers depending on which brand you choose. Besides, there are always some pros and cons when it comes to technology so we will also talk about the alternative to cPanel.
cPanel Alternative List
There are multiple cPanel alternatives that provide more or less similar functionality and GUI. Let’s explore some cPanel alternatives for a better understanding of these choices.
- CentOS Web Panel
- Vesta Control Panel
- ManagedHosting – Optimal cPanel Alternative
Plesk vs. cPanel has always been a popular debate topic on tech forums and fanboys have compared the features and GUI of both options. The real benefit you get while using Plesk is the support for both Docker and Git on Linux. In addition, Plesk supports both Linux and Windows environments.
Another cPanel alternative that offers a host of rich features and a simple GUI. The best thing about Webmin is the price – it’s FREE. However, the interface leaves a lot to be desired and is not considered very user-friendly.
This is an open-source cPanel alternative which is ideal for developers and agencies who need a simple interface for managing their hosting solutions. In addition to the standard management features, visitors can create tickets that site owners can respond to from the same platform.
CentOS Web Panel offers an auto-configure/auto-fix feature that detects system configuration files and tries to fix any issues. This alternative to cPanel is a free solution but not completely open-source cPanel.
Zpanel is another cPanel alternative solution that offers cPanel style features on Linux, Windows and OSX servers. Beware that Zpanel has some reported security issues as it does not encrypt information. As a result, this is not a suitable option for ecommerce stores.
This cPanel alternative is the best solution for sites that are already hosted on a server and require a hosting management solution that retains the current configurations. This solution works with the current configurations and makes the necessary adjustments without any issues in server management.
Vesta Control Panel offers an attractive and user-friendly interface that simplifies server monitoring and provide information through easy-to-read graphs. While the standard features are similar to cPanel, you have to pay for the support.
I believe 40,000 downloads a month is clear proof that ISPConfig is a great cPanel alternative. The feature set is similar to other cPanel alternatives. However, the distinguishing feature is the ability to manage multiple servers from a single location.
List of Free cPanel Alternatives
YunoHost bills itself as a “server operating system aiming to make self-hosting accessible to everyone.”
With this free cPanel you will find only a number of officially-supported “apps” for installing various programs, such as Baikal, Nextcloud, WordPress, Zerobin, and more.
YunoHost is a great free cPanel alternative for beginners to self-hosting who just want to get started with some basic applications quickly. It officially supports Debian 8 and is coded primarily in Python under an open source GPL license. The code is available on GitHub.
BlueOnyx is a free cPanel and an integrated internet hosting solution that includes e-mail, DNS, file transfer, and web service. It offers a user-friendly web-based interface that is installed on or virtual private server or commodity hardware.
It provides pre configured Apache, Sendmail (email routing facility), MariaDB or MySQL, Mailman software, and much more. By using this free cPanel you can run Perl and SSI (Server-Side Include). Besides, it allows resellers to create virtual sites and this application supports HTTP/2.
AaPanel is a web hosting control panel that works on CentOS, Debian, and Ubuntu. You can have this cPanel for free and it enables you to manage the web server through the web-based GUI.
By using this cPanel for free you can effortlessly create and manage the website. It provides FTP (File Transfer Protocol) for website access and quickly manages the Python projects using an online aaPanel editor.
All these cPanel alternatives are more or less similar to cPanel with a similar feature set. The downside is that they share all the issues that exist in cPanel. Since cPanel is a paid service, the options and features of some free cPanel alternative can be a hit or miss for the users.
Migrating to a cPanel alternative that offers similar features and comes with the same flaws does not make much business sense. A better decision would be a solution that offers similar features and none of the issues that force people to look for cPanel alternatives.
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