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  1. #1

    Webmin vs. Plesk vs. CPanel vs. DirectAdmin?

    Guys,

    I plan to sign up with PowerVPS today or tomorrow. I'm new to the hosting world, particularly the concept of an admin portal. I've been running servers for years, but have handled all administration myself via the commandline.

    I have rudimentary experience with Webmin...seems powerful enough. Can anyone help me decide between my four options mentioned in the subject? I'm not familiar with the other three, and have no way to assess benefits/drawbacks.

    Thank you for your help!

    Jbwiv

  2. #2
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    A search will give you a ton of information, much more than I can give on this subject, but here's the basics.

    Webmin is a great tool, but it's user interface is far from pretty and you will probably have some troubles in getting clients using webmin. If you are just concerned about hosting for yourself it is an amazing tool and a great way to save the money.

    Cpanel can be argued as the top panel on the market from a user's standpoint. This is not to say it is the best (DirectAdmin is the best ::wink: but it is the most well known among users. It comes at a bit higher pricetag, is a bit more resource intensive, and to me it is just too bloated. It is a very good option though.

    DirectAdmin is an amazing control panel, very clean and crisp without any of the bloat. It is usually cheaper than any of the other panels out there and is very feature rich. From an admin's standpoint it is a dream to work with. From a user's standpoint it doesn't have as many shiney things as CPanel does, but it can be made to do most everything CPanel does IMHO.

    I have never used plesk so I can't comment on it.

    If it was my VPS, DirectAdmin all the way.
    Mike from Zoodia.com
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    In need of a fresh hosting design? See what premade designs we have in stock!
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  3. #3
    I use plesk. No complaints, does the job well. I do not host any websites except my own, so i would live with command line too.

  4. #4
    Plesk is one of the most stable web hosting OS i have ever used .

  5. #5
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    Plesk is not an OS.

  6. #6
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    jbwiv,

    Personally - depending on whether you plan to have client's on it is going to be the real answer.

    Having something like plesk/cpanel on it is going to have a bit of additional overhead, so your performance could be lessened but at the same time: if you're going to have client's on it you'll need one of the two.

    I personally prefer cPanel, haven't delved into any of the other panels "too much".

    DirectAdmin is another I haven't "delved into" but judging from what Steven(rack911)/Paul(hostdime) say it sounds like a great panel.

    Choose your weapon:

    1. If clients - cpanel/plesk
    2. If just you: up for something new or go continue on your merry way with webmin.
    Last edited by David; 06-21-2005 at 02:57 AM.
    David
    Web hosting by Fused For businesses with more important things to do than worry about their hosting.

  7. #7
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    David pretty much said it all.

    If you are gonna sell hosting you most definitely need plesk or cpanel. Cpanel being the better of the 2 IMO.

    If it's just yourself, DirectAdmin. it's a beautiful control panel

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by n3tpreneur
    Plesk is one of the most stable web hosting OS i have ever used .


    Sorry, but I think your a bit confused.

    I use Plesk, and it is very easy to understand and use. However, it is not as feature intensive as cpanel (the mysql database manager is not very good, neither is the ftp account management system).
    However, clients love the user interface.

    It all comes down to your needs. Pick the one you like most, then go with it.

    Edit: Forgot all about interworx!
    Interworx is a control panel that is shaping up very nicely. The entire panel has a clean finished look to it, and its got a very easy side navigation system. Its also cheaper than cpanel or Plesk!

  9. #9
    I'm deciding between Plesk and DirectAdmin for a VPS account. To those that use DirectAdmin, what is it that you like about it?

    The Plesk account I would get comes with SpamAssassin. Is there any specific spam filtering software people use with DirectAdmin?


    thanks

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by JeffM
    I'm deciding between Plesk and DirectAdmin for a VPS account. To those that use DirectAdmin, what is it that you like about it?

    The Plesk account I would get comes with SpamAssassin. Is there any specific spam filtering software people use with DirectAdmin?


    thanks
    The admin interface and user interface of directadmin (on the enhanced skin, not the default skin) are simple, clean, and beautiful. It really has all the features you could want, a nice API, and a large userbase that is growing
    Mike from Zoodia.com
    Professional web design and development services.
    In need of a fresh hosting design? See what premade designs we have in stock!
    Web design tips, tricks, and more at MichaelPruitt.com

  11. #11
    to be frank, plesk and virtuozzo is sw-soft product. hence getting support from the company and their resellers are much in control.

    for me i have plans to set up a regional centre for sw-soft products.

  12. #12
    Plesk, and directadmin

  13. #13
    The Plesk account I would get comes with SpamAssassin. Is there any specific spam filtering software people use with DirectAdmin?
    DirectAdmin can use SpamAssassin too. IIRC you just have to run a script and it installs it.

    Personally, I switched to DA after I got tired of CPanel's habit of breaking things when it updates itself. DA's more hierarcial menus took more getting used to than I'd expected, I was too used to CPanel/WHM's 'everything in one huge list' approach. Really, CPanel has a few more features, but I don't really miss them.
    Last edited by Toe; 06-22-2005 at 03:36 AM.

  14. #14
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    Cpanel ... is a bit more resource intensive, and to me it is just too bloated. It is a very good option though.
    This is what I heard. This is an interesting discussion, because if I understood correct, running the panel software will use part of the VPS's allocated resources, right?

    So if I am all by myself and not offering hosting to other clients, Cpanel would not only be an overkill, but it would unnecessarily eat up some of my available resources (CPU/RAM), yes?

    I am a purist and personally dislike all the automated scripting and config changes offered by Cpanel. For this reason and the reasons above, I was considering going with a plan that doesn't offer something as extensive as Cpanel.

    On the other hand, a friend of mine told me I'd be nuts if I went without any control panel software, because, he said, I would spent way too much time with constantly updating and compiling my needed tools (php, apache, etc).

    I'd be interested to hear your opinion. Is there one of these control panels that would still suit my needs? I am only hosting a handful of my own sites on the VPS I am planning to purchase.

  15. #15
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    If you are running a VPS, and want a control panel that won't consume resources, look for a host using HSPComplete. HSPc includes a VPS control panel for e-mail, ftp, and website management. The control panel doesn't run on the VPS, it's handled externally, thus no unneeded load.

  16. #16
    Originally posted by Alexander_T
    I am a purist and personally dislike all the automated scripting and config changes offered by Cpanel. For this reason and the reasons above, I was considering going with a plan that doesn't offer something as extensive as Cpanel.
    Same here, which is why after 3 days with CPanel I pulled the plug and switched to the Webmin plan. I'm much happier now...couldn't stand the way CPanel locks you into certain software decisions (UW-IMAP, for example) and doesn't really let you get to where the rubber meets the road easily.

    So, now I do much of my admin from the command line and some through Webmin's interface, which is nice from a "show me what options this particular tool has" standpoint but not really something designed for non-admin types. I'm a software developer and have been admin'ing Linux boxes for six years off and on as well, so, let's say I'm more comfortable here.

    If you don't want to put up with all the automated crap Plesk, CPanel and the ilk have, go with no panel or an admin's panel like Webmin. When I do start to think about resellers, I plan on installing one of the open source reseller/virtual host management tools (vhcs.net, web-cp.net). Any comments on these tools is appreciated.

    Only thing I don't have a good handle on handling now is bandwidth analysis between domains, services, etc. Any tips here are very welcome as well.

    Thanks for all the discussion guys!

    jbwiv

  17. #17
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    Re: Webmin vs. Plesk vs. CPanel vs. DirectAdmin?

    Originally posted by jbwiv
    Guys,

    I plan to sign up with PowerVPS today or tomorrow. I'm new to the hosting world, particularly the concept of an admin portal. I've been running servers for years, but have handled all administration myself via the commandline.

    I have rudimentary experience with Webmin...seems powerful enough. Can anyone help me decide between my four options mentioned in the subject? I'm not familiar with the other three, and have no way to assess benefits/drawbacks.

    Thank you for your help!

    Jbwiv
    jbwiv -

    I have been with PowerVPS since June and use Plesk but I am really having a difficult time with it. Under a separate host, I used cPanel but it was confusing for my clients. All in all, I'm considering a change to DirectAdmin with PowerVPS and was wondering which cp you decided to use and how you're doing with it so far.

    arleen.

  18. #18
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    UK
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    Expierence from using these in anger

    Webmin: Its for System admin and not really suitable for webhosting clients. Its good at what it does but not for what I think you are looking for

    Plesk: Its ok but its a real pain to upgrade. However it intergrates nicely with Virtuozzo

    C-Panel: Most powerful, customers like it however recently its been very buggy. Probably my commerical choice

    DirectAdmin: Very stable, good community but not as feature rich. This would be my personal choice.

    I would go between DA/C-Panel in the end

    Rus
    Russ Foster - Industry Curmudgeon

  19. #19
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    David did sum it all up pretty well, I use cPanel, yes it is a little more expensive, and it has lots of better stuff, although plesk is quite like it in some ways, webmin and directadmin aren't popular with the rest of the world, meaning people who aren't server admins, as it isnt like cPanel - easy-to-use, can't describe it really without making a complete wobble of words that I can only understand

    I'd go with cPanel if you are planning to have clients, or better yet, buy 2 VPS, one for you, one for clients, or some-how get tricky and give yourself the one you want, and your clients a choice, would be really hard, if possible at all.

    I use cPanel and have no problems with it, it does use your memory though, so you'd want to have atleast 256mb

  20. #20
    My vote is for DirectAdmin.

    I'm currently using DirectAdmin, Plesk and Cpanel on 3 different providers and after using DirectAdmin I'm moving everything to it.

    For me I needed better FTP options than Plesk. Clients wanted multiple FTP login/passwords for 1 account and apparently that isn't possible under Plesk.

    Cpanel I find it hard to remove subdomains and the interface is confusing, and also had problems with it accurately removing subdomains - I would remove one only to find it still listed yet I can't see the directory via FTP.

    I love DirectAdmin - clean and easy to find all the necessary info.

  21. #21
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    Mar 2004
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    Another vote for Direct Admin.
    Don't make me go back to cPanel!
    It would make me sad!

  22. #22
    Join Date
    May 2004
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    Blue Springs, Missouri
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    366
    another vote for DirectAdmin

  23. #23
    U notice i didnt see any free cps in the list lol i like vhcs, easy as pie

  24. #24
    From a user standpoint cPanel is the best I've used. However, it's been years since I've used Plesk, so I have no idea how good it is now.

  25. #25
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    Houston, TX
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    i personally like cPanel. its quite flexible and it's pretty straight forward. you can also skin it to look however you want it. they are pretty decent on updates as well.
    Eleven2 Web Hosting is helping the Red Cross
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  26. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Well i was checking out the features with plesk over at servint. I have always used cpanel but I would like to move foward with some tomcat apps and cold fusion. Wouldn't plesk make it easy from that stand point?

  27. #27
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    Jan 2003
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    Im a newbie with vps but have been around cpanel for a very long time. Im moving up from my reseller account and servint looks like the winner. I want to go with plesk because of Tomcat, ColdFusion, and PostgreSQL Add-Ons. Will I have any problems with plesk and what will I be loseing by chooseing plesk over my all time fav cpanel?

  28. #28
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    I know it's pretty easy to install PostgreSQL with Cpanel (actually, extremely easy). I don't know about Tomcat though. I tried to install Tomcat on a Debian PC and I gave up.

    Anyway, I just discovered Directadmin, and the instant I saw the demo I loved it. I am thinking about getting a FreeBSD dedicated server from Servint and buying a Directadmin license for myself, as Servint offers control panels bundled with Red Hat only--and they're an extra $30/month anyway. A Directadmin one-time license is $299 or a montly license is $29/month. Plesk and Cpanel's one-time licenses are in the thousands of dollars, although Plesk has a one-time 30 domain license for $200.

    FreeBSD is supposed to be more stable and have better scalability than the Linux kernel, isn't it? Or is it splitting hairs? In either case, if I buy my own Plesk or DA license and have it for about a year, I'd be saving money over having the CP bundled by Servint.

    I've heard that Cpanel is a resource hog, and that Directadmin is much lighter. Does Plesk fall in between, or is it almost as much of a hog as Cpanel? I think I've eliminated Cpanel as it's expensive and I don't like what I've read when it comes to the FreeBSD port. Has anyone had experience with Plesk or Directadmin on FreeBSD? Do they work the way they're supposed to or do things get broken in the process? Thanks.

  29. #29
    Stay with some Redhat flavor if you want to use Cpanel - better is Centos I think FreeBSD is just a pain to use for Cpanel, I have tried both FreeBSD and Trustix, it's just problems.

    About controlpanel with VPS I think Both Plesk and Direct Admin shuld do good - also for clients - why not? Direct Admin is pretty simple and straightforward for clients, I think most normal people get's drowned in functions in Cpanel anyway.

    I say go DA

  30. #30
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    I've always used cPanel as an end-user and WHM for a reseller account as well as root access but now I am finding it a little bloated as previously stated.

    I am currently experimenting with directadmin which is working well so far excepts its inability to extract zip files through the control panel at the end user interface.

    If this feature is included in future releases then I would have to vote for DirectAdmin for VPS

  31. #31
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    Personally I prefer plesk. As for upgrading, it only breaks if you aren't paying attention to what you are doing from my personal experience.

    As for the features and comparison to cpanel? Better user interface, lacking in a few areas still, but very few. More stable by 100 fold.

    As for DA? personally I played with it and didn't like it. Was lacking in to many areas for me, not as well known, and the interface options didn't appeal to me.

  32. #32
    You cannot add additional access hosts to your MySql databases with Plesk, you will only be able to do it from the command line.

    It seems you cannot use PHP5 with Plesk either.

    Ive personally spent days trying to figure out how to do things in Plesk that were pretty straight forward in CPanel and even easier to figure out in DirectAdmin.

  33. #33
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    Uh, you do realize 7.5.4 Interface runs on PHP5 right? And Atomic Rocket Turtle has RPM's in testing for PHP5, just most hosts do not want to upgrade to them.

    As for "extrenal mysql access" you are correct, but you can always look to www.4psa.com products for that just as you have to look to Fantastico to get the good Application installation addons in cpanel.

  34. #34
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    How can anybody in good conscience recommend cPanel to a beginner? Whenever we get someone calling and asking about cPanel or Plesk, we always ask, "Do you already have customers on cPanel?" / When they answer yes, it's like as if we're sharing a sad moment with them, as it's very difficult to switch once you've started with cPanel (subdomains, www.df.df.com etc don't transfer)

    My opinion as a provider, and as someone that works in this business day in day out, choose Plesk. It is not only a superior product in every way, but it's also backed by a serious company with the finances to support not only it's RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT but SUPPORT as well.

    If we ever have a problem with Plesk they are a phone call away. When we experienced massive problems with our cPanel shared servers, we had nobody to call.

    Yes we do sell cPanel VPS's, on a daily basis - we hope that you will only choose a cPanel server if you have no other choice. If you don't have a server, or are just starting out, and not carrying the 'cpanel' over your head, we highly recommend either DirectAdmin or Plesk, both are great panels.

    I realize that cPanel has many additional features, but are they really needed when you're selling hosting? Your goal is to be ONLINE, not OFFLINE.
    EuroVPS - Europe's Fully Managed Hosting
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  35. #35
    Originally posted by l.stevens
    Uh, you do realize 7.5.4 Interface runs on PHP5 right? And Atomic Rocket Turtle has RPM's in testing for PHP5, just most hosts do not want to upgrade to them.
    .

    I did not realize that. I guess Carpathia is one of those hosts that does not want to upgrade because they told me Plesk wasnt compatible with PHP5.

  36. #36
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    7.5.4 is compatible with PHP5. It isn't Plesk that is incompatible it's over 80% of the scripts currently available for plesk that cause an incompatability.

    Most likely Carpathia is playing smart due to the lack of support for the popular open source scripts to use PHP5.

  37. #37
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    Absolutely, let's just blame SW-Soft for PHP5's problems parsing PHP4 code, sounds like a plan to me!! ROFL
    EuroVPS - Europe's Fully Managed Hosting
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  38. #38
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    I should have edited that as it come out way wrong. LMAO.

    Most open-source scripts currently are incompatible with PHP5. As EuroVPS so kindly pointed out PHP5 has problems parsing PHP4 code.

    Plesk 7.5.4 was rewritten and uses PHP5 so customers can use PHP5 on there servers.

    The reason hosts are not upgrading is because some of the most popular software on the market doesn't support it.

    EDIT: Plesk 7.5.4 does not require PHP5 to run. It installs an internal version of PHP5 for it's use only.

  39. #39
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    I guess since Plesk 7.5.4 doesn't run PHP 5, we should just keep runnin' cPanel then, so every time an auto-update runs it breaks DNS or email, and you come into your office to see 5500 emails about 17 servers being down

    One of my fondest cPanel moments was when we got an alert that our biggest and heaviest cPanel server had a load average of 500.00 and climbing. There were something like 3500 processes running, all "dnsadmin". After reboot all was well, we contacted cPanel who responded stating that it was a bug in dnsadmin.

    To me that is unacceptable. If I had a Plesk server that auto-updated and spawned close to 4000 dns processes I would quit running Plesk period.

    Others in my company believe that I am overreacting about cPanel etc, however since I personally have in most cases been the one with the 64 SSH sessions open, straining to read 3 TFT's all at 1600x1200, I don't like it, I much prefer Plesk, as Plesk allows me to sleep peacefully at night.
    EuroVPS - Europe's Fully Managed Hosting
    Established 2004 - The European Hosting Authority

  40. #40
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    Actually I was wrong it was 7000 processes dnsadmin spawned

    This happened after an autoupdate. cPanel support stated it was a bug in dns.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails dell6450-dnsadmin.jpg  

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