Most website owners use a web hosting control panel to manage their hosting. The point is that the control panel eases server administration and allows users to manage multiple websites without hiring an expert. Today, with so many options available, you don’t have to be a command line guru in order to administer a simple website. All you need is a server and a web hosting control panel. There are paid control panels such as WHM / CPanel, ISPManager or DirectAdmin which are very powerful, but if you don’t like paying for control panels you can simply choose one of the open source alternatives. In this guide, we’ll introduce you to some of the most popular open source hosting control panels.
What is Web Hosting Control Panel?
If you are asking what exactly is a hosting control panel, there is a very simple answer to this question. Hosting Control Panel is a web interface that allows users to manage their hosting services in one place. There are attributes that most control panels have in common, and they are:
- web server administration;
- database administration;
- DNS management;
- e-mail management;
- FTP management;
- access to server logs;
- web space and bandwidth usage.
However, there are control panel-specific features and you may end up making the wrong choice of control panel if you are not familiar with it. Read below and you can find the information you need to choose the right control panel for your requirements.
First of all, when choosing a control panel for a web hosting, you may be interested in the programming language that is used for the web interface of the control panel and its backend, what services are supported, etc. For this reason, we have created the table below. Hosting control panels are listed in a chaotic order. They are not sorted alphabetically, nor by quality. Purely random. They all fit perfectly with their own set of quality features.
|Yes||PHP||PHP / MySQL||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Yes||PHP||PHP / C / Bash||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||partial|
|Yes||PHP||PHP / MySQL||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Yes||PHP||PHP / MySQL||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Yes||PHP||PHP / MySQL||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Yes||PHP||PHP / MySQL||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||partial|
As you can see in the table, we have compared several web hosting control panels, which we assume are some of the best open source hosting panels at the moment. They are all free and support the basic services you might need to get your website up and running. So if you have a website that doesn’t have specific requirements, all of these control panels should do the job.
However, if you are looking for a specific feature, you can read carefully. We’ve covered each of these hosting control panels, and you might find something of your own.
Ajenti is a hosting control panel that makes it very easy to create a website. It comes with a clean and modern interface, so setting up application servers, databases, and routing shouldn’t be difficult. Moreover, it comes with great language support. Using Ajenti, you can set up applications written in PHP (PHP-FPM), Python (WSGI), Ruby (Puma and Unicorn) and Node.js in no time. Exim 4 and Courier IMAP are configured automatically so you can use virtual emails, DKIM, DMARC, and SPF. This control panel is written in Python and runs on multiple distributions.
Webmin is a web-based control panel for Linux system administration. It is one of the most popular open source hosting control panels, used mainly for user account management, Apache administration, DNS and FTP configuration, and more. Many administrators use this control panel not only to manage their LAMP stacks, but for many other tasks due to its extensibility. Webmin comes with a lot of modules that come as standard. A complete list of modules and capabilities is available here…
Sentora is an open source hosting control panel developed by the web by the original ZPanel team. It comes with support for software such as Apache HTTPD, PHP, MySQL, ProFTPd / MariaDB, Postfix, Dovecots and more, making the web hosting management process very easy. In addition, it provides a simple modular system so that you can extend its functionality by installing modules developed by the Sentora community.
VestaCP is a web hosting control panel that is designed with simplicity in mind. It is very easy to use thanks to its simple and intuitive interface. When it comes to functionality, VestaCP supports running a web server, DNS server, FTP server, database server, email server, and more. It also supports Nginx out of the box and allows for quick backups of your data. VestaCP comes with advanced installation options, so you can choose which software you want to install on your server.
CentOS Web Panel, as its name suggests, its basic requirement is a clean install of CentOS. It comes with a lot of features. We cannot name all of them, but we can make a short list of the most important ones. The list includes, Apache web server with Mod Security and automatic policy updates, Nginx as reverse proxy, Varnish cache, MySQL / MariaDB + PhpMyAdmin, PHP 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6 and 7.x , Postfix + Dovecot + Roundcube WebMail + Antivirus + Spamassassin, CSF Firewall, File Backup, One Click Softaculous Script Installer, and much, much more.
Kloxo-MR is a fork of Kloxo and includes many features not included in the official Kloxo release. It is popular as it maintains a huge list of websites and web cache servers such as Apache, Nginx, Nginx-Proxy and Lighttpd Proxy, Hiawatha, Hiawatha-proxy, Squid, Varnish and ATS. It also comes with support for billing software such as AWBS, WHMCS, HostBill, TheHostingTool, AccountLab Plus, Blesta, and BoxBilling. With Kloxo-MR, you can easily manage your MySQL / MariaDB server, mail server, DNS server, FTP server and more.
Another web hosting control panel that supports many Linux distributions is ISPConfig. This allows you to manage one or more servers from one control panel, whether it is a physical server or a virtual machine. It comes with software support such as Apache / Nginx, Postfix + Dovecot / Courier, MySQL, PureFTPd, Bind / PowerDNS / MyDNS and more. There are four access levels so you can differentiate between users as administrators, resellers, customers, or email users.
Froxlor is a lightweight hosting control panel that makes server management very easy. Comes with integrated support for ticketing, user, reseller and customer tiers, as well as advanced SSL, IP management per domain, and more. All these features make Froxlor a very suitable hosting platform management solution.
Of course, if you haven’t found the right open source hosting control panel for your needs, you can opt for one of the paid options such as WHM / CPanel, ISPManager, or DirectAdmin. They are both large control panels and come with a lot of features.
Which open source control panel are you using? Are there any recommendations that we didn’t include on our list? Leave a comment below.