When you’re a blogger, you have to deal with lots of web hosting services. The same goes for any website owner. One has to have extensive technical knowledge regarding web hosting and its functions as the hosting market is exploding with competition in this day and age.
Amidst all this rivalry between fellow web hosting providers, it’s become increasingly difficult to differentiate between the features and characteristics. After all, most of them provide pretty much the same functionality and performance to stay at the top.
The majority of customers are more prone to fall for basic features. I wholeheartedly agree that the uptime or speed is hard to ignore. The lesser-acknowledged feature, however, is the control panel and it obviously needs more recognition than what it gets.
Only those users who know enough about hosting services are aware that control panels affect the performance of your website big time.
I have used several different Open Source control panels over the past years and in this article, I’ve decided that I’ll be narrowing down the top 10 free control panels amongst the ones I’ve optimized.
ISPConfig is one of the most popular control panels. It’s written in PHP 7 and combined with MySQL, performs a tad bit better than Angular-JS cPanels. It has a single web integration and can manage multiple servers at once with the utmost ease. ISPConfig doesn’t have wide support in OS and it is mainly for Linux distribution. Almost two dozen languages are supported by ISPCongif, which is remarkable.
Also, there are added benefits such as anti-virus, DNS recordings, spam-filtering in emails, and much more. In terms of management, ISPConfig sure works like a charm; it’s sophisticated as well as simplistic at the same time.
If you wish to ensure effective management and monitoring, a control panel is the single most reliable approach to attain that. Ajenti is an open-source cPanel that is especially focused on the management and administration of your servers. It also monitors more than one server without any hassle and optimizes on just one interface to do so.
It is rather lightweight and can be installed using 75MB storage and takes about 30-35MB RAM overall.
The third contender in our list of free open source control panels is CentOS Web Panel. Just like ISPConfig, it’s also popular among the users. The panel is really classy; hence it attracts the customers like a charm.
When it comes to the management, it provides maximum control to the user. The security is top-notch with an advanced Linux Firewall, IP protection, along with other brilliant features such as free automated backups and file locking system.
Virtualmin is another open-source platform which is widely recognized all over the world. Developed in PHP, this control panel is available free or you can pay for it to unlock advanced features and it supports UNIX, Linux and BSD extensions.
Webmin is the miniature version of Virtualmin, which is basically optimized for web-based servers. Same as Virtualmin, Webmin also consists of brilliant support for UNIX OS and Linux extensions. It is developed under Pearl programming which is faster and more sophisticated than JS script.
Similarly, it offers support for IPv6 and DNS management. However, Webmin is not bilingual and doesn’t have any built-in plugins.
Sentora is also a strong contender in our list of free open source control panels. Even though it’s not fit for large websites or servers, Sentora sure performs like magic on small to medium-sized servers. The integration is effective and so easy to get familiar with, also Sentora works well with Linux distributions as well.
security, Sentora is robust; it has a great support of DNS management and there’s also an add-store which enables the user to advertise the products more efficiently and quickly.
Vesta is yet another brilliant control panel which can install almost 500 apps with the utmost ease and precision. Vesta is the only one I’ve encountered that installs this many apps and in such a short time.
Speaking of installation, VestaCP can be installed with just a single click, as it has a one-click installation that can be found under the title ‘Softaculous’.
In order to get rid of PHP and MySQL, people generally opt for Kloxo-MR. Its especially beneficial for those users who unfortunately do not possess much technical knowledge of PHP, MySQL, JS, or even basic web-servers.
Although Kloxo-MR is developed in PHP and supports MariaDB, it is lightweight and pretty straight-forward; therefore it could be managed even by a rookie.
If you have servers which are optimized on Windows, Linux, UNIX, Microsoft, or MacOSX, then ZPanel would be a smart choice for you. Like most open-source web control panels, ZPanel is also written in PHP and has a wide variety of software and apps which you can install for enhanced hosting performance.
Froxlor, for some reason, is my least favorite. Froxlor sure has its benefits; the DNS, email, IP, SSL, and support ticketing management is remarkable and worthy of praise. It also has support for IPv4 and IPv6.
However, there were some catches too. I found the dashboard a tad complicated since it took a while to get accustomed to. I believe Froxlor doesn’t offer as an extensive set of features as it ought to have.
Control Panel Features Matrix
Well, there you have it- our list of the Top 10 open source Control Panels. All of these control panels have one thing in common; they all are widely renowned for their conduct and management.
We have shortlisted the best panels that the Internet offers. Hence, it should be a much easier task to pick the one most appealing and suitable for your hosting requirements.
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Mitesh is CTO at HostNamaste.com. He shares his web hosting insights at HostNamaste blog. He mostly writes on the latest Web Hosting Business, News, Trends, WordPress, Storage Technologies, Windows, Linux Hosting Platforms and Control Panels.