We understand you're busy, so we've distilled everything down to a few key points for you.
- Offers a single license type that supports all features.
- Full clustering (multi-server) support.
- Robust language and branding support for both the administrative, reseller and end user control panel interfaces.
- There can be multiple server administration accounts with all or limited features.
- End users can create multiple control panel access accounts with all or limited features.
- End users can schedule account backups.
- No ads or feature upsell pestering users.
- Does not work with Cloud Linux, Ubuntu, Debian or Windows Server.
- No UI for adding/removing Apache/PHP modules.
- Does not support NodeJS, Ruby on Rails, server-side Java, Docker or DNSSEC.
- Doesn't support quite as many third-party add-on products as the other control panels right now.
Overall Cost: InterWorx will be the least expensive to license and it doesn't have lots of complicated licensing options like the other control panels.
Ideal For: Most users looking for a Linux server unless you need one of the services that InterWorx doesn't yet support.
- Currently the most popular Linux server control panel.
- Supports a wide variety of third party add-on products.
- Can handle nearly all server administration tasks via GUI.
- Robust branding support for the end user control panel.
- Support for NodeJS, Ruby on Rails, server-side Java, git version control, and DNSSEC.
- Very expensive license cost for most people due to per account licensing.
- Some license types do not permit access to all features or may place a hard limit on the number of accounts.
No official unlimited account license available from cPanel, Inc.HostDime offers an EXCLUSIVE flat-rate cPanel account license when purchased with a server.
- No Windows Server, Ubuntu or Debian support. Official Ubuntu support will come in cPanel 100.
- No Docker support.
- The server administration and reseller interface is only available in English.
- Limited branding support for the administrative and reseller interfaces.
- Limited clustering (multi-server) support.
- cPanel and WHM often contain advertisements for other products and services related to cPanel
- cPanel and Plesk are owned by the same parent company.
Overall Cost: cPanel can be very expensive due to the complicated per-account licensing scheme, unless you purchase a license from HostDime with your server.
Ideal For: Users who prefer never to use the command line to administer their Linux server or who have a lot of clients used to how cPanel works.
- Supports a wide variety of server operating systems.
- Standard server license is less expensive than cPanel.
- Second most popular control panel behind cPanel.
- Robust service support for developers (NodeJS, Ruby on Rails, Python, git version control, Docker, ASP .NET*, MSSQL*, Nginx)
* On Windows Server only.
- End users can schedule regular backups.
- Full server license more expensive than InterWorx and some features require additional purchases.
- Some license types may not have access to all features or may limit the number of accounts.
- If you need support for more than one UI language, there is an additional cost.
- Many features require additional purchase. See the charts below for some examples. This can make a Plesk license much more expensive than other control panels if you need all of those features.
- Advertisements appear everywhere for features Plesk tries to upsell to administrators and end users.
- Plesk and cPanel are owned by the same parent company.
Overall Cost: Plesk basic licensing isn't quite as complicated as cPanel, but there are a bunch of "feature packs" that are sold separately and that can make Plesk very expensive.
Ideal For: Users who need a control panel for an Ubuntu, Debian or Windows Server. Also, developers who need access to some of the specialized tools and services (like Docker) that Plesk supports.
All three control panels are excellent choices, so long as you understand their strengths and weaknesses.
Control Panel Comparison Charts
This section will show you what features the various control panels support.
Legend for Charts
✔ = Feature Included
✘ = Feature not Available
⚫︎ = Feature Available for Extra Charge, via External Add-On, or Third-Party Product
n/a = Not Applicable
These are the platforms that each of the control panels support.
|Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7||✔||✔||✔|
|Cloud Linux 7/8||Coming||✔||✔|
|Alma Linux 8||Coming||✔||✔|
|Windows Server 2016+||✘||✘||✔|
Bottom Line: Plesk is the best choice if you have servers running various operating systems. Although the exact feature set varies depending on the OS, they will all look and largely work the same for your clients.
Here are the major services offered by each control panel.
|Apache or IIS||✔||✔||✔|
|ASP .NET (Windows only)||✘||✘||✔|
|with DNSSEC Support||✘||✔||⚫︎|
|Git Version Control||✘||✔||✔|
|MSSQL (Windows only)||✘||✘||⚫︎|
|MySQL or MariaDB||✔||✔||✔|
|PHP (Multiple Versions)||✔||✔||✔|
|Ruby on Rails||✘||✔||✔|
|WebDAV (Web Disk)||✘||✔||✔|
* Proxy mode only. Stand alone Nginx support not available yet. Coming in a later update.
Bottom Line: cPanel wins in this area. Plesk can provide a lot of features, but some of those require paying for an additional add-on feature pack.
Server Administration Features
Here's how InterWorx, cPanel and Plesk compare concerning server administration features.
|Admin/Reseller Can Log in as End User without Password||✔||✔||✔|
|Admin/Reseller UI Multiple Language Support||✔||✘||✔|
|Assign/Remove Command Shell Access||✔||✔||✔|
|Backup and Restoration||✔||✔||✔|
|Brute Force Protection||⚫︎||✔||⚫︎|
|Cluster Management||✔||DNS Only||✘|
|Command Line Control/API||✔||✔||✔|
|Control Panel Setting Management||✔||✔||✔|
|Control Panel Upgrades from UI||✔||✔||✔|
|Create Additional Control Panel Administrative User Accounts||✔||✘||✔|
|Create and Manage Reseller and End User Accounts||✔||✔||✔|
|Create Reseller and End User Resource Usage Packages||✔||✔||✔|
|Modify End-User UI Themes||✔||✔||✔|
|Create, Edit or Remove Language Files||✔||✔||✔|
|Database Management and Basic Repair||✔||✔||✔|
|Free Service/Hostname SSLs||✔||✔||✔|
|Import Accounts from Other Servers and Control Panels||✔||✔||✔|
|Issue/Error/Notice Automatic Reporting||✔||✔||✔|
|Log File Management||✔||✔||✔|
|Move Secondary (Add-On) Domain to a Separate User Account||✘||✔||✘|
|Operating System/Service Updates via UI||✔||✔||✔|
|PHP Module Management||✘||✔||✔|
|Security Audit Feature in UI||⚫︎||✔||⚫︎|
|Server Cron Job/Scheduled Tasks Management||✔||✔||✔|
|Service Monitoring and Restarting via UI||✔||✔||✔|
|Ships with Multiple Language Support for Admin/Reseller Area||✔||✘||⚫︎|
|Two-factor Authentication for Admin/Reseller Accounts||✔||✔||✔|
|Swap Primary and Secondary (Add-on) or Pointer (Aliased/Parked) Domain Assigned to Account||✔||✘||✘|
|Web Server Configuration Management||✔||✔||✔|
|Web Server Module Installation and Management||✘||✔||✔|
|Web-Based Terminal Application||✘||✔||✔|
Bottom Line: If you want to distribute work across lots of servers all managed by a single control panel, then InterWorx is the best choice as the developers have put a lot of work into cluster support and they continue to work on improving that. InterWorx also has the edge in multiple language support. cPanel has a few more system administration tasks like working with Apache and PHP modules available in the UI than InterWorx does, but only supports American English in WHM. cPanel only fully supports DNS clustering. Plesk supports multiple languages for the administrative/reseller back end, but you have to pay for each additional language you want to add, so that can get expensive if you need to support clients that speak a variety of languages. Plesk does not support service clustering at all, but will allow you to manage multiple Plesk servers from a central location.
End User Features
These are the features that domain owners have access to.
|Account API Token Management||✘||✔||✘|
|Application Management for NodeJS or Ruby on Rails if Supported||n/a||✔||✔|
|Backup to Remote Locations||✔||✔||✔|
|Schedule Automatic Backups||✔||✘||✘|
|Catch-all (Default) Email Address||✔||✔||✔|
|Change Current Theme||✘||✘||✘|
|Change Look of Current Theme by End-User||✔||✔||✘|
|Contact Settings Management||✔||✔||✔|
|Create and Manage PGP-Style Public/Private Keys||✘||✔||✘|
|Create and Manage Two-Way Mailing Lists||✔||✔||⚫︎|
|Create Multiple End-User Login Accounts for One Account||✔||✘||Limited|
|Cron Job/Scheduled Tasks Management||✔||✔||✔|
|Directory Access Control||✔||✔||✔|
|Email DKIM Record Management||✔||✔||✔|
|Email SPF Record Management||✔||✔||✔|
|Enable/Disable Local Account Mail Delivery||✔||✔||✔|
|Enable/Disable Only Local Account Mail Sending||✘||✔||✘|
|Extensive Web and Account Metrics||✔||✔||✔|
|File Compression Management for Web Server||✔||✔||✔|
|Forward Email to Multiple Addresses||✔||✔||✔|
|Free SSL for Domains||✔||✔||✔|
|Git Feature Management||✘||✔||⚫︎|
|Information/Statistics About Account||✔||✔||✔|
|IP Blocking Tools||✔||✔||✔|
|Manage Aliased/Parked Domains||✔||✔||✔|
|Manage Contacts and Calendars||✔||✔||✔|
|Manage DNS Zone Entries||✔||✔||✔|
|Manage Email Accounts||✔||✔||✔|
|Manage Email Anti-Spam Settings||✔||✔||✔|
|Manage Email Forwarders||✔||✔||✔|
|Manage FTP Accounts||✔||✔||✔|
|Manage Global (per Control Panel Account) Server-Side Mail Filters||✔||✔||✘|
|Manage Multiple Domains||✔||✔||✔|
|Manage Per-Email Address Server-Side Mail Filters||✘||✔||✘|
|Manage SSH Keys||✘||✔||⚫︎|
|MIME/File Type Handing||✔||✔||✔|
|Multiple Language Support||✔||✔||⚫︎|
|News or Notifications from Server Administrator or Reseller||✘||✔||✘|
|Perl Module Interface||✘||✔||✘|
|PHP Pear/PECL Interface||✘||✔||✘|
|PHP Settings Management||✔||✔||✔|
|PHP Version Selection||✔||✔||✔|
|Picture Management Tools||✘||✔||✘|
|Scan Account for Malware||✔||✔||⚫︎|
|Schedule Future Backups||✔||✘||✔|
|Script Autoinstaller and Manager||⚫︎||⚫︎||⚫︎|
|Search for Feature or Setting in Control Panel||✔||✔||✔|
|Security Advisor for End Users||✘||✘||✔|
|See FTP Session Information||✔||✔||✘|
|Track Incoming/Outgoing Mail Delivery||✘||✔||✘|
|Web Application Firewall||✘||✔||⚫︎|
|Web Disk Management||✘||✔||✘|
|Web Server Specific Feature Management (Like Handlers)||✔||✔||✔|
|Web-based Command Line Terminal||✘||✔||✘|
|WordPress Installation, Updates and Removal||⚫︎||✔||⚫︎|
Bottom Line: InterWorx ability to allow end users to easily create additional SiteWorx logins with all or a limited subset of features is a big plus here. If your clients have web developers or people who need to manage email only, it is a simple matter for them to create additional accounts with only the appropriate levels of access. cPanel doesn't permit multiple user logins for a single account. Plesk does, but the end user can only select from user roles that the server admin has defined.
We hope you've found our comparison of InterWorx vs. cPanel vs. Plesk useful. These are the top web hosting control panels available today. Feel free to contact us if you have any other questions.