Welcome back for the second part of this exciting and, at times, educational series. To review from the first installment, one of the first things to consider when administrating a server or creating a website is which control panel to choose. The most common control panels out there are cPanel and Plesk. Another option you may find is Bobby Lou’s Internet Control Panel Extraordinaire, hugely successful among cockfighting enthusiasts.
We’re looking at various articles on the subject to get a fuller picture of the similarities and differences between the two major control panels: one from Worth Of Web, another by Tim Attwood for HostReview, and a third by Claire Broadley for WhoIsHostingThis?. I also was able to land an exclusive interview with Bobby Lou for an inside peek at his control panel geared toward rooster brawl henchmen and their compatriots.
This article is the second in a three-part series. In the first part, we discussed operating system compatibility, UI UX (user interface user experience), and pricing. As a reminder, Bobby Lou accepts pumpkins, though no other forms of squash, in his bartering payment plan.
Comparison: cPanel & Plesk – Continued
Okay, so we already went over a few of the variables that show how generally similar cPanel and Plesk are, while also highlighting some of their differences. Today we will look specifically at initial setup and general use, along with the issue of migration.
Initial setup/General use
As Worth of Web notes, cPanel is not actually just one platform. Instead, it offers two different programs, each of which makes sense depending on your particular situation. cPanel itself is designed for anyone operating a website. WHM, which is tied to cPanel and automatically accessible, is geared toward anyone administering a server. Meanwhile, Extraordinaire was created to be “accessible only to humans and completely secure from intruding rooster eyes,” says Bobby Lou.
A major cPanel/Plesk difference is generated by these two options created for the two major types of users. When you enter cPanel, you log in to either one or the other platform. In other words, you do not have access to both at once. Plesk, on the other hand, gives website owners and server administrators the ability to log in to the same exact system. Administrative rights just populate broader options, allowing the ability to manage the server.
Worth of Web notes that because of this unified point of entry, Plesk “seems less complicated” when a person is initially entering the system. The article also points to the more intuitive setup screens within Plesk: choosing options and pressing a “Next” button in a similar manner to what we expect when installing a program on a Windows computer. Per Worth of Web, setting up cPanel is not as user-friendly, at least for those who are just getting started.
In contrast to the single-entry or dual-entry models of cPanel and Plesk, Extraordinaire allows users over 3500 different ways to log in. Bobby Lou explains, “If you don’t see something that describes you, just keep scrolling and scrolling. You will find it. That’s one of the ways we enhance security, is by making everybody scroll a lot. Roosters aren’t good at scrolling. They get bored, they get tired, and they get hungry. Plus, their claws keep slipping off the mouse, and they ruffle their feathers and take a nap.”
Claire notes that migration is a problem for users of both control panels, unless they are switching to and from the same CP. In both control panels, it’s simple to migrate between two different servers when you aren’t trying to change the control panel.
“Moving from one to the other,” Claire says, “is near [sic] impossible.” She also advises to keep in mind that when you’re looking at a hosting solution with free migration, the service will typically only be available when retaining the control panel you are currently using.
If you do want to transfer from one control panel to the other, you can either do it manually (through this forum on moving between cPanel & Plesk) or pay for a service. Plesk has a cPanel to Plesk migration system, but Claire notes that it is as glitchy as the other platform-migration software out there.
Worth of Web agrees essentially with Claire’s sentiments. The gist, then, is that you will want to choose wisely because migration is neither fun nor, generally speaking, free.
Bobby Lou of Extraordinaire refused to talk about migration, saying it has “nothing to do with me or my birds.” He was adamant that I inform readers of this piece, though it is clearly irrelevant, that roosters do not migrate because “they’re too busy overseeing the hen house, which is a full-time job.”
Conclusion & Continuation
cPanel and Plesk have the major difference in their access points to one or two systems. Those who have grown accustomed to the former control panel may like the way it cleanly splits different types of users, while new initiates may find the two sister platforms (cPanel/WHM) a little confusing. cPanel also may feel more obtuse during setup. With either option you choose, though, migration is a pain.
That’s it for this post. In our final installment of this series, we will assess administrative panels, requirements, and features.
Either of the two control panels is available for all our customers, whether they are subscribed to our shared, dedicated, or VPS packages. Bobby Lou’s Extraordinaire is unfortunately not available for Superb users at this time, partially because we need to collect more bartering pumpkins.
By Kent Roberts