Confused about the top open source control panels for 2018?

Control panels like Plesk and cPanel have become essential management tools for multiple domains hosted on dedicated/virtual private servers. Because they avoid a tsunami of headaches for the average server management professional who usually deals with various tasks scattered in numerous locations.

However, while these two control panels are some of the most widely used on the market, they require paid subscriptions. That’s why some users turn to open source control panels instead. Because they claim to offer similar features, only without the outlay. But are they really as good as their counterparts? Let’s look at what’s on offer in the free-to-use category.

CentOS Web Panel

The well-designed, versatile panel gives users options like MySQL, phpMyAdmin, Config Server Firewall, PHP, PHP switcher and Apache Web Server. The interface makes it easier to look after both Dedicated and VPS servers. You’ll no longer need to pull up SSH for every task that requires it.

This open source hosting panel can compile PHP from source, claimed to improve performance by around 20%. Other highlights include Dovecot, Postfix, Varnish-cache server, Apache redirects manager and Roundcube webmail.

cPanel account migration, live monitoring and Free DNS Server add more value to this comprehensive offering. The user management interface is easy-to-use. And what’s more, its file system lock, designed to prevent any unauthorized file changes, gives you peace of mind. 

Like all open source control panels, it makes it easier for people who aren’t command-line experts to control their servers with minimal fuss.


Webmin facilitates user account creation and offers Apache, file sharing, DNS, and more. It is a non-native Unix system administration interface, running on the web rather than the user’s server. So it’s easily accessible via web browser. This hosting panel offers automatic control of Unix configuration files like /etc/passwd, and the convenience of remote system management.

Webmin lets users manage software packages in RPM format, configure Apache virtual servers, and add firewall security. In MySQL, they can manage databases, fields and tables, handle routing configuration, change DNS settings, and look after IP addresses.


This free open source control panel eases multiple server management from its multilingual interface. It’s a BSD-licensed offering that lets you manage FTP, SQL, BIND, DNS, Database and Virtual servers.

Admins, resellers, and clients can log in and easily handle many servers at once from one control panel. And it’s simple too – thanks to an online, user-friendly UI. Apache and Nginx management is also made easy by ISPConfig, and you can also use it to take care of email, FTP servers, configuration mirroring and clusters.

How Does Plesk Onyx Surpass Open Source Control Panels?

Plesk Onyx provides automated and simplified tools that agencies and independent hosters can make great use of.  There are several different editions for this hosting platform. And it supports Windows and different Linux versions including Cloud Linux, Red Hat Linux, Debian, Ubuntu, and CentOS.

The panel even has a whole ecosystem of 100+ extensions, is integrated with Docker, Github and allows multi-server management. There is a possibility to implement, update and use SSL certificates with the Let’s Encrypt feature.

Plesk comes with a ready framework which creates an environment suitable for:

If you rely on WordPress to manage content, then see how the WP Toolkit helps to automate staging, give you a wide range of features and provide you with good security.

Plesk is a hosting control panel certified for use with all big cloud platforms including Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. The sheer breadth and quality of Plesk’s features combined with the rolling approach to improvement and constant technical support make Plesk a very attractive investment. It tends to outshine the free open source alternatives for many serious users.


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