Boris Mann

Open Source. Community. Decentralized Web. Building dev tools at Fission. Cooks & eats.


Web Hosting Server Control Panels

I was recently looking at a bunch of different control panel options for reseller accounts, particularly those for dedicated servers. I was looking specifically for unlimited domain options that run on some version of Linux.

Here are some links and basic info that may prove useful:

  • Plesk: $799US for unlimited domains, includes 1 year of upgrades
  • cPanel: $1500US one time license, includes 1 year of support and 2 years of upgrades
  • Ensim Pro Unlimited: $800US
  • CP+: $120US annually

Of these, I've only ever used Ensim. From the contortions and problems that my shared web hosting provider went through, I think I can safely say that it isn't pretty. The UI for my account sucked, but it was usable enough.

I briefly had a reseller account that was HSphere powered. Theoretically this Java-based control panel can be run clustered and is very powerful. Sadly, my experience with it was that it sucked a lot -- it was so slow as to be unusable (this might have been the host, but still…) and the interface and functions were basically incomprehensible. While everything seemed to be pushbutton, there was little guidance on what pushing different buttons did, and often hidden dependencies that wouldn't be revealed until you had tried to submit a long form -- only to be told to go back and set something else up first. Which you first had to find out where that something else was.

Anyone have nice things to say about some of the other control panels?

I'm starting to think that these current control panels, like many blogging systems, are just too hard and too complicated for most people to deal with. And for people that need extra power/flexibility, the command line ultimately offers better choices.