Creating and maintaining websites requires a comprehensive approach and the use of many tools. One of them is vps control panel (CP).
For shared hosting, the control panel is set by the hosting provider. For vps and dedicated servers, the choice of control panel lies with the administrator.
Control panel of vps server - what is it for?
It is an essential tool that makes working with a website more fun and enjoyable. The user-friendly interface allows even beginners to easily understand all the settings.
Necessary functionality of the vps server control panel
- Creation and configuration of hosting
- Creating DNS records and domain parking
- Working with web-servers Apache and Nginx
- Managing versions of PHP
- Ability to work with CMS
- Creating of MySQL/MariaDB databases
- File manager
- Mail system management
- Installation of operating systems
- Creating backups
- Mail accounts management
- Working with SSL certificates
These are the basic features that a VDS/VPS administrator most often needs.
Well-known free VPS control panels
The variety of vds control panels can be confusing for anyone. Despite the availability of paid control panels, free options are popular. Although the functionality is slightly inferior, they are preferred by users who are just starting to learn administration or are looking for tools for specific tasks.
Let's take a look at the most common free hosting control panels.
Free CP, can be supplemented with paid functionality. Includes iptables or fail2ban firewalls for security.
Supports Ubuntu, Debian, RHEL and Centos/RedHat operating systems.
Built-in fast installer for 400+ applications - Softaculous.
The kernel is based on the BASH shell, which is designed for Linux server administration. The panel includes a pre-installed LNAMP stack module (Nginx + Apache), which allows fast content processing. It supports 26 languages, provides full control over virtual servers, including analyzing statistics, logs and analytics. Command line interface (CLI) is also supported.
The panel has integrated mail server solutions including spam protection (SpamAssasin), antivirus core (ClamAV) and IMAP/POP3 services (Dovecot) and Exim + RoundCube.
Allows you to work with MySQL+ phpMyAdmin and PostgreSQL+ phpPgAdmin. There is a file manager, as well as FTP, VsFTPD and ProFTPD. Lets Encrypt's free SSL certificate is installed and updated automatically. Among web servers NGINX, Apache and PHP-FPM are supported.
A modern multi-language panel that is not inferior to paid analogs, but in some cases surpasses them. The main advantage of using BrainyCP is the automation of all server processes.
Provides advanced PHP support with multiple connection options. Multiple host accounts can be easily managed. Operating system compatibility: CentOS 7/8 64bit.
- Application manager simplifies the installation process.
- Flexible backup management with the ability to set a schedule.
- ElFinder file manager.
- Convenient graphical menu for iptables management.
- IPv6 support.
- BIND DNS server with support for remote DNS servers and clustering.
- Choice between PureFTPD and ProFTPD as FTP.
- Automatic installation of popular CMS.
- Built-in mail server with support for Exim, Dovecot, Clamav, DKIM, SpamAssasin and Roundcube.
- Powerful CSF firewall for security.
Features a clear interface with built-in security support. Compatible with many distributions.
- Al-Bolit is a malware scanner.
- Two-factor authentication.
- Support for SSL certificates.
- Easy file backup.
- Built-in file manager.
- Choice of PHP, CGI/FPM/FastCGI versions.
- Manual configuration of web servers apache, nginx, php-fpm.
- Support for various virtualization technologies: OpenVZ, KVM, Hyper-V.
- Built-in web analytics.
One of the best known free and open source control panels. Developed in PHP and characterized by extensive capabilities for managing virtual and physical servers.
Supports various operating systems, including Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, Fedora, OpenSuSE. Supports IPv4 and IPv6, built-in billing module ISPConfig 3, 4 levels of access for administrators and guest users via email.
Has a built-in ISPProtect malware scanner and migration tools. Allows custom PHP settings for each site and supports more than 20 different languages. Ruby and Python are available for Apache users, as well as WebDAV support. MySQL databases and various e-mail protocols - SMTP, POP3, IMAP, POP3S, IMAPS and DKIM Mail - are also supported in ISPConfig.
Instead of Apache, it uses the fast and efficient NGINX server. The code is written in Python using Gevent framework, which allowed to create a modular architecture. It has a simple interface, fast access to VPS, comes with pre-installed tools: text editor, code manager, terminal, file manager.
It supports a variety of operating systems including Debian, RHEL, Ubuntu, CentOS and Gentoo, and can also be ported to other Linux and BSD-based operating systems.
- Modular interface allows you to customize the panel to your needs.
- Support for projects in different programming languages such as Python, Ruby on Rails and Node.js.
- SSL support.
- Database, email and DNS management.
- Built-in firewall.
- Mirrors and clusters for distributed operation.
- Multiple server support for scaling projects.
CentOS Web Panel
Designed to manage a large number of sites. Server monitoring is built into the panel. Automatically finds and blocks spam. Allows you to work with the mail server, protects against simple DDOS attacks. There is a function that automatically installs popular CMS.
However, you will have to figure out the functionality on your own, as CP is not widely popular, and there are very few available manuals on how to work with it on the Internet.
A trusted open source VPS control panel presented as a Perl-based Webmin server control panel module. It allows you to manage multiple webhosting through one interface. Webmin must be pre-installed to work.
Available in two versions: free and commercial. The main advantages are its simple interface and two-step authentication system.
Supported operating systems: Ubuntu, Debian and Centos/RedHat.
Flexible accounts, mail domain management, database management. Built-in RoundCube and Squirrelmail clients. Helps to flexibly set up backups. Database support: PHPMyAdmin and PHPPgAdmin, MySQL, PostgreSQL. Modular installation of more than 100 applications is available (only 7 in the free version). Usermin e-mail client can be configured separately.
Free software, has no restrictions in use. Allows you to manage an unlimited number of domains without additional costs. The interface is intuitive. You can easily manage mailboxes, domain names and users. It is possible to work with SSL certificates and DNS settings.
A free open source control panel that can be used to host web resources, create email accounts, subdomains and FTP accounts. Written in PHP and has built-in support for Nginx and PHP-FPM. Supports MySQL, mail, SSL, creates backups. There is no limit to the number of user accounts, mailboxes and FTP accounts.
A kind of offshoot of Zpanel panel, not very popular in runet.
It has all the advantages of the parent software - no security problems. Allows you to administer the server, as well as provide hosting services, works with databases, FTP, backups. Realizes a seamless billing-panel system, where no unnecessary transitions and logins are required. Responsive interface allows you to administer the server remotely from your phone.
Provides basic functions for users. Advanced version requires the purchase of a commercial license. Built-in Softaculous installer that allows you to deploy applications in one click. Compatible with Ubuntu, Debian, RHEL and Centos/RedHat operating systems.
Supports 26 languages, including Russian; full management of virtual servers: view statistics, logging, analytics, etc. Works with DBMS and their graphical interfaces - MySQL+ phpMyAdmin and PostgreSQL+ phpPgAdmin. Convenient file manager. You can choose from FTP managers: VsFTPD or ProFTPD. You can order a free SSL certificate.
Powered by Vesta CP and distributed under the GPL v3 license. The developers took the basic functionality of its predecessor and added new options. Supported operating systems: Ubuntu 18.04/20.04, Debian 9/10.
Works with Apache or Nginx (PHP-FPM); supports PHP (5.6 - 8.0); protected from external attacks (iptables, fail2ban and ipset). Bind DNS server, auto-installation of well-known CMS (WordPress, OpenCart, Prestashop, Laravel Symfony); file manager. Supports MariaDB and PostgreSQL databases; SSL certificates; protects mail services (ClamAV, SpamAssassin, Roundcube, Rainloop) from viruses and spam.
A Debian-based distribution that includes many tools. The developers have paid attention to security and reliability, while maintaining simplicity. With a user-friendly web interface, you can easily manage the server and web components through a browser.
It supports Debian 10 operating system, has an interface for server and user management (LDAP), a single portal for access to all applications (Nginx, SSOwat). A full set of tools for working with e-mail (Postfix, Dovecot, Rspamd, DKIM) is offered. Backup system, instant messaging server (XMPP). Protected from external attacks, gives the ability to manage SSL certificates.
Free PHP-based control panel compatible with various Unix/Linux, Windows and MacOSX distributions. Supports operating systems: Windows, Ubuntu, CentOS, Free-BSD. Apache + PHP web server; integration with MySQL, hMailServer (Windows), Posfix (Linux), Filezilla (Windows), ProFTPd (Linux). Monitors server load. Provides easy management of databases, FTP, DNS, backups. Billing system is integrated.
Criteria for selecting a control panel
The first is a clear user interface - an important criterion for both beginners and experienced webmasters. Then it is important to check how easy and convenient it is to manage databases and set up backup storage. Some control panels allow you to back up all files. This is especially useful if there is a global outage.
One of the key features of the control panel is security. Check the ability to configure SSL certificates, password access to folders, blocking login by IP and work with GnuPG.
If you have a large site with multiple users, pay attention to the permission differentiation feature.
Choose a panel that provides a detailed log of statistics for websites. Nowadays, this feature is less popular due to the emergence of more informative and user-friendly tools such as Yandex Metric and Google Analytics. However, not all website owners think about the need to install these counters.
Modern free control panels are not inferior in functionality to commercial software. BrainyCP is suitable for corporate portals, standard sites with a high level of security can use Fastpanel. VestaCP is suitable for resources that are in the development stage and plan to become large portals.
And in case you need a quick solution to your control panel issues, you will need a paid control panel. In our opinion, the most competently developed and well thought-out panel today is Plesk. It is a professional solution.