Best Control Panels for Server Management: Free & Paid Tools to Manage your Server in 2023

Best Control Panels for Server Management:
Free & Paid Tools to Manage your Server in 2023

Are you currently involved in the realm of Virtual Private Server (VPS) management? Given the numerous control panels available, selecting the ideal tool for streamlined server operations and achieving optimal performance can prove to be a daunting task. This article aims to assist you in this endeavor by presenting a comprehensive overview of the top ten control panels, encompassing both free and paid options, that facilitate efficient VPS management.

Key Takeaways:
  • When choosing between free and paid VPS control panels, it is important to consider the available features, support options, and budgetary requirements.
  • Open-source control panels such as CloudPanel offer VPS server management features with community-based support.
  • Paid control panels provide advanced functionalities and dedicated customer support in exchange for a recurring cost.
  • Essential features of efficient VPS control panels include user-friendly interfaces, customization options through open-source solutions, strong security measures, and seamless integration with different hosting services.
  • The article explores several popular free and paid VPS control panel solutions to facilitate comprehensive server management.

Free vs. Paid Control Panels for Server Management

When it comes to managing a private Linux server, selecting the appropriate control panel plays a vital role in ensuring an efficient and effective server management experience. A control panel serves as a user-friendly interface that enables you to perform various administrative tasks and streamline server operations. It provides a centralized platform for managing settings, applications, security, and other aspects of your Linux server.

The right control panel can greatly enhance your server management experience by simplifying complex tasks, offering intuitive navigation, and providing a range of features and functionalities tailored to your needs. Here are a few key considerations when choosing a control panel for your private Linux server:

  1. Ease of Use: Look for a control panel with a user-friendly interface that allows you to easily navigate and access the desired server settings and functions. Intuitive controls and clear documentation can significantly reduce the learning curve.
  2. Feature Set: Evaluate the control panel’s feature set and ensure it covers the essential aspects of server management, such as web server configuration, database management, email setup, file management, security settings, and resource monitoring. Consider whether it provides additional features specific to your requirements.
  3. Security: Security is of utmost importance for any server. Ensure the control panel offers robust security features such as firewall configuration, SSL certificate management, user access controls, and intrusion detection systems. Regular updates and security patches are also critical.
  4. Compatibility: Verify that the control panel is compatible with your Linux distribution and supports the necessary software and applications you intend to run on your server. It should also be compatible with popular web servers like Apache or Nginx, and have support for common programming languages and databases.
  5. Support: Consider the level of support provided by the control panel vendor. Look for documentation, tutorials, user forums, and customer support options that can assist you in case of any issues or queries that may arise during server management.

Some popular control panels for Linux server management include cPanel, Plesk, DirectAdmin, Webmin, and Virtualmin. Each has its own strengths and focuses, so it’s important to evaluate them based on your specific requirements.

Choosing the right control panel for your private Linux server is crucial for a smooth and efficient server management experience. Take the time to research and compare different options, considering the factors mentioned above, to ensure you find the control panel that best suits your needs.

Free Web Hosting Control Panels

Free VPS control panels, such as CloudPanel, Webmin, VestaCP, Ajenti, aaPanel, CyberPanel, and Froxlor, are open-source server management tools that provide users with the ability to manage their virtual private servers (VPS) at no cost. These control panels offer a range of features, including OS installation and configuration, web, email, and database server management, server performance and resource monitoring, and security settings and firewall configuration.

There are several benefits to using free web hosting control panels. Firstly, there is no financial investment required, making them ideal for users with limited budgets or those starting with VPS management. Additionally, open-source control panels offer customization options and flexibility, allowing users to tailor the control panel to their specific needs. These control panels also benefit from active community support, with forums and documentation available for assistance.

However, it’s important to consider the drawbacks of free web hosting control panels. They often have limited features compared to paid solutions, which may restrict certain functionalities or advanced configurations. Moreover, free control panels typically lack professional support or dedicated customer service, relying instead on community support, which may not always provide the same level of assistance as paid options.

When making a decision between free and paid VPS control panels, it is crucial to evaluate your specific requirements, budget, and the level of support you desire. Paid control panels offer enhanced functionalities and dedicated customer support, but come with recurring costs. Ultimately, the choice depends on your individual needs and priorities in VPS management.

Paid VPS control panels, such as cPanel, InterWorx, DirectAdmin, Webuzo, Vepp, Runcloud, and Laravel Forge, are proprietary server management tools that offer advanced features and support for a fee. These control panels provide a range of benefits, including a more user-friendly graphical user interface (GUI), advanced server and application management features, integration with third-party services and tools, and professional support and customer service.

One of the key advantages of paid web hosting control panels is their enhanced features and capabilities, which contribute to smoother server management. They often offer comprehensive tools for managing various aspects of your server, allowing you to easily configure settings, install applications, set up email accounts, and perform other administrative tasks. The availability of professional support and customer service can be invaluable when encountering issues or requiring assistance.

Paid control panels typically provide user-friendly interfaces that make server management more accessible, even for beginners. Their intuitive designs and guided workflows simplify complex tasks, reducing the learning curve. Furthermore, these control panels typically receive regular updates to stay current with industry trends and security requirements, ensuring the latest features and protections.

However, it’s important to consider the drawbacks of paid web hosting control panels. They involve recurring costs in the form of license fees or subscriptions, which may impact your budget. Additionally, some paid control panels may require more powerful VPS hardware due to their resource-intensive nature. Compared to open-source alternatives, paid control panels may have limited customization options since their code is not accessible for modification.

When deciding between free and paid VPS control panels, it’s crucial to assess your specific needs, budget, and the level of support and features required. Paid control panels can offer a more comprehensive and polished server management experience, backed by professional assistance, but they come with ongoing costs. Evaluating the trade-offs will help you make an informed decision that aligns with your priorities.

Useful Components of VPS Control Panels

A well-designed VPS control panel incorporates several components that contribute to a seamless server management experience. Here are some essential components to consider:

  1. User-Friendly Interface: A user-friendly control panel is vital for web developers managing a VPS. It should offer an intuitive interface that is easy to navigate, providing clear and concise information. This enables users to efficiently manage their virtual servers, troubleshoot issues, and perform essential tasks such as SSL certificate installation, database management, and configuration of web-based applications.
  2. Open Source Options: The availability of open-source control panel options is another valuable component. Open-source control panels like CloudPanel, Webmin, ISPConfig, and VestaCP offer flexibility and customization capabilities. They allow users to tailor their hosting services to specific requirements and preferences, making them ideal for those with budget constraints or a preference for hands-on server management.
  3. Security Features: Security is a critical aspect of managing virtual servers. VPS control panels should provide easy access to security features, such as SSL certificate installation and management. These features ensure that web developers can effectively protect sensitive information and secure their websites.
  4. Integration with Hosting Services: Efficient VPS control panels seamlessly integrate with various hosting services, enabling users to manage their virtual servers and web-based applications with ease. Integration with hosting services saves time and effort by streamlining the management process, offering a unified platform for users to oversee their VPS and hosting services.

By incorporating these components, VPS control panels empower web developers to effectively manage their virtual servers, enhance security, and streamline their hosting operations. Carefully evaluating these components when selecting a control panel ensures an optimal server management experience.

Popular Free and Paid Server Control Panels

1. Webmin


Webmin is an open-source control panel solution that provides users with a cost-free option for managing their VPS. It offers a user-friendly interface that simplifies server management tasks. With Webmin, users can easily manage multiple servers, configure DNS settings, and create virtual servers.

Key Features of Webmin:

  1. Open-Source and Free: Webmin is an open-source control panel, which means users have access to its source code and can modify it as needed. It is also available for use without any licensing costs.
  2. User-Friendly Interface: Webmin’s interface is designed to be user-friendly and intuitive, making server management tasks easier to perform. The interface provides a clear and organized layout, allowing users to navigate and access different settings and features conveniently.
  3. Virtual Server Creation: With Webmin, users can create virtual servers, enabling them to host multiple websites or applications on a single physical server. This feature is particularly useful for web developers or agencies managing multiple projects.
  4. DNS Settings Configuration: Webmin offers a convenient way to configure DNS (Domain Name System) settings. Users can easily manage DNS records, set up domain names, and control the DNS-related aspects of their server.
  5. Online Community Support: Webmin has an active online community that provides support and assistance to users. The community forums and resources are valuable for finding answers to questions, troubleshooting issues, and getting guidance from experienced users.

Webmin’s open-source nature, user-friendly interface, virtual server creation capabilities, easy DNS settings configuration, and online community support make it a popular choice for managing VPS without incurring additional costs.


2. CloudPanel


CloudPanel is an open-source server control panel specifically designed for cloud-based environments. It caters to developers and agencies who require a lightweight solution for managing their VPS without compromising speed or security. The interface of CloudPanel is intuitively designed with usability in mind.

Key Features of CloudPanel:

  1. Free and Open-source: CloudPanel provides users with complete access to the source code, allowing for personalized alterations and customization based on specific requirements.
  2. High Performance: With a lightweight and scalable design, CloudPanel ensures optimal server performance. It doesn’t hamper the speed or efficiency of the server, enabling smooth operation.
  3. Cloud-Optimized: CloudPanel is specifically optimized for managing cloud-based environments. It offers features and functionalities tailored to the unique demands and infrastructure of cloud hosting.
  4. Multiple PHP Version Support: CloudPanel offers flexibility by supporting various PHP versions. This allows developers to work with the specific PHP version required by their applications or projects.
  5. One-Click SSL Certificates: CloudPanel simplifies the process of securing websites by providing one-click installation and management of Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificates. This ensures the secure transmission of data over the web.
  6. Enhanced Security Measures: CloudPanel prioritizes security by implementing encrypted traffic, limited root access, and protection against brute force attacks. These measures help safeguard the server and the websites hosted on it.

CloudPanel combines advanced features, open-source flexibility, high performance, and enhanced security measures, making it an attractive option for developers and agencies managing their VPS in cloud environments.

3. ISPConfig 


Another open-source control panel, ISPConfig, is designed for managing multiple servers in a single interface. ISPConfig offers a comprehensive range of features, including website, email, and database management, making it suitable for those with limited command-line experience.

Key features

  • Open-source control panel that allows managing multiple servers.
  • Covers many features, including website, email, and database management.
  • Suitable for users with limited command-line experience.

4. VestaCP


VestaCP is a lightweight, open-source control panel that provides a simple and efficient way to manage your VPS hosting. With support for dedicated servers and VPS management, VestaCP allows you to manage domains, databases, email accounts, and more.


Key features

  • Can manage domains, databases, email accounts, and more.
  • Built-in firewall manager for increased security and control over the server.
  • Allows setting up sending limits for emails to prevent spamming

5. aaPanel


aaPanel is a free and open-source control panel solution that prioritizes simplicity and ease of use. It offers support for managing multiple servers, making it suitable for both VPS and dedicated server environments.

Key Features of aaPanel:

  1. Multiple Server Management: aaPanel allows users to efficiently manage multiple servers from a single interface. This feature simplifies server administration and streamlines the management of multiple hosting environments.
  2. VPS and Dedicated Server Support: Whether you are using a VPS or a dedicated server, aaPanel caters to both environments. It provides the necessary tools and functionalities to effectively manage your hosting infrastructure, regardless of the server type.
  3. Auto-Installer for Popular Software: aaPanel includes an auto-installer feature, which simplifies the installation process of popular software applications such as WordPress and Joomla. This functionality saves time and effort by automating the installation and setup process.

aaPanel’s focus on simplicity, support for multiple servers, and compatibility with both VPS and dedicated server environments make it an attractive option for users seeking an easy-to-use control panel solution. Its auto-installer feature further enhances the user experience by simplifying the deployment of popular software applications.

6. Froxlor

Really Simple SSL

Froxlor is a free server management tool designed to streamline VPS management. It offers several key features that facilitate efficient server administration, including domain management, email account creation, SSL certificate management, and more.

Key Features of Froxlor:

  1. Domain Management and Email Account Creation: Froxlor provides a user-friendly interface for managing domains and creating email accounts. Users can easily configure DNS settings, add or remove domains, and create email accounts associated with their domains.
  2. SSL Certificate Management: Froxlor includes features for managing SSL certificates, allowing users to secure their websites with ease. It supports the installation, renewal, and configuration of SSL certificates, ensuring secure data transmission over encrypted connections.
  3. PHP Settings Customization: With Froxlor, users have the ability to change PHP settings directly within the control panel. This allows for fine-tuning PHP configurations to meet specific application requirements or optimize performance.
  4. Reseller Account Management: Froxlor supports the creation and management of reseller accounts. Resellers can set up their own accounts, manage their clients’ hosting environments, and allocate resources as needed.
  5. Command-Line Scripts: Froxlor offers command-line scripts that enable users to automate tasks and perform administrative actions efficiently. This feature simplifies repetitive or time-consuming processes, enhancing overall server management efficiency.

Froxlor’s combination of domain management, email account creation, SSL certificate management, PHP settings customization, reseller account support, and command-line scripts makes it a comprehensive solution for VPS management. Its free and open-source nature further adds to its appeal for users seeking an efficient server management tool.

1. cPanel/WHM


cPanel/WHM is indeed one of the leading paid control panel solutions, widely recognized for its advanced features and comprehensive support. With its user-friendly interface and extensive functionality, cPanel/WHM is well-suited for managing both virtual and dedicated servers.

Key Features of cPanel/WHM:

  1. User-Friendly Interface: cPanel/WHM provides a user-friendly interface that is designed to be intuitive and easy to navigate. It offers support for multiple languages, ensuring accessibility for users across different regions and language preferences.
  2. DNS, Email, and Database Management: cPanel/WHM offers robust tools for efficiently managing DNS settings, email accounts, and databases. Users can easily configure domain settings, set up email accounts, and perform database management tasks, providing comprehensive control over their hosting environment.
  3. Advanced Software and Script Installation: cPanel/WHM simplifies the installation and management of advanced software applications and scripts. It provides a wide range of options for installing popular software, including content management systems (CMS) like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal, enabling users to effortlessly deploy and manage their websites.
  4. Reliable Security Features: Security is prioritized in cPanel/WHM, offering features such as the IP deny manager to block specific IP addresses or ranges from accessing websites. Additionally, Hotlink protection prevents unauthorized linking of media files from external websites, ensuring content integrity.

cPanel/WHM’s combination of a user-friendly interface, comprehensive management capabilities for DNS, email, and databases, advanced software installation options, and reliable security features has established its position as a leading control panel solution. It caters to users who seek a powerful and feature-rich control panel for efficient server management in virtual and dedicated server environments.

2. Plesk 


Plesk is indeed a highly recognized and widely used paid control panel solution that provides an extensive range of features for effective server management. With its compatibility with multiple servers, Plesk is particularly suitable for managing virtual private and dedicated servers.

Key Features of Plesk:

  1. Multi-Server Management: Plesk allows users to efficiently manage multiple servers from a single control panel. This feature streamlines server administration by providing a centralized platform for overseeing and controlling multiple hosting environments.
  2. Docker and Git Support: Plesk offers support for popular development tools like Docker and Git, enabling users to easily deploy and manage containerized applications and collaborate on software development projects.
  3. Automated SSL Certificates and Security Updates: Plesk simplifies the process of securing websites by providing automated SSL certificate installation and renewal. It also offers automatic security updates to ensure that server environments are protected against potential vulnerabilities.
  4. Compatibility with Multiple Operating Systems: Plesk is compatible with various operating systems, including Windows and multiple Linux distributions. This flexibility allows users to choose their preferred operating system while still benefiting from Plesk’s comprehensive control panel functionalities.

Plesk’s multi-server management capabilities, support for Docker and Git, automated SSL certificate management, security updates, and compatibility with multiple operating systems contribute to its reputation as a robust control panel solution. It caters to users seeking a comprehensive and user-friendly platform for managing their hosting environments, especially in virtual private and dedicated server setups.

3. InterWorx


InterWorx is a paid control panel solution that offers advanced features and comprehensive support for managing VPS hosting. With its intuitive interface and a wide range of functionalities, InterWorx is well-suited for managing both virtual and dedicated servers.

Key Features of InterWorx:

  1. Clustering Capability: InterWorx provides a clustering feature that allows for scaling and redundancy. This feature enables users to distribute their hosting resources across multiple servers, ensuring high availability and improved performance.
  2. Comprehensive Email Management: InterWorx offers robust tools for managing email accounts and configurations. Users can easily create and manage email accounts, set up email forwarding, configure spam filters, and perform other essential email management tasks.
  3. Simple DNS and Database Management: InterWorx simplifies DNS and database management. Users can easily configure DNS settings, manage domain zones, and administer MySQL or MariaDB databases, ensuring smooth operation of websites and applications.
  4. Support for IPv4 and IPv6: InterWorx supports both IPv4 and IPv6 protocols, ensuring compatibility with the latest networking technologies. This allows users to leverage the advantages of IPv6 and meet the requirements of modern internet connectivity.

InterWorx’s clustering capability, comprehensive email management, simple DNS and database management, and support for both IPv4 and IPv6 make it a powerful control panel solution for VPS hosting. Its user-friendly interface and rich feature set contribute to efficient server management and improved hosting performance.

4. DirectAdmin


DirectAdmin is a reputable paid control panel solution that provides a straightforward and effective method for managing your VPS. It is designed to cater to both VPS and dedicated server environments, offering support for multiple servers and featuring an easy-to-use interface.

Key Features of DirectAdmin:

  1. Multiple PHP Versions: DirectAdmin supports multiple PHP versions, allowing users to choose the most suitable PHP version for their applications. This flexibility ensures compatibility and enables developers to work with their preferred PHP environment.
  2. Efficient Backup and Transfer Features: DirectAdmin offers efficient backup and transfer functionalities. Users can easily create backups of their server data, ensuring data protection and facilitating seamless server migrations or transfers when needed.
  3. Integrated Ticket System: DirectAdmin includes an integrated ticket system for communication between users and support teams. This feature streamlines the process of seeking assistance or reporting issues, ensuring prompt and effective communication.
  4. Proactive Security Updates and Secure SSL Keys: DirectAdmin prioritizes security by providing proactive security updates to address vulnerabilities and ensure the server remains secure. It also supports the generation and management of secure SSL keys for encrypted connections.

DirectAdmin’s support for multiple PHP versions, efficient backup and transfer features, integrated ticket system for communication, and proactive security updates demonstrate its commitment to providing a comprehensive and secure control panel solution. Its user-friendly interface further enhances the management experience for VPS and dedicated server environments.

How to Choose the Right Server Control Panel?

When choosing the right VPS control panel, it’s important to consider factors such as compatibility with your operating system and web server, the feature set and ease of use, and the level of support and documentation available. Here’s a breakdown of these criteria:

  1. Compatibility with Your Operating System and Web Server: Ensure that the control panel you choose is compatible with your preferred operating system (such as Linux, Windows) and web server (such as Apache, Nginx). Compatibility ensures smooth integration and optimal performance.
  2. Feature Set and Ease of Use: Review the feature set of the control panel to ensure it meets your server management needs. Look for features like user management, domain management, database management, file management, and security features. Additionally, consider the control panel’s ease of use, as a user-friendly interface can make server management tasks more efficient and intuitive.
  3. Support and Documentation: Consider the level of support and documentation provided by the control panel. Look for control panels with an active community or dedicated support team that can assist you with troubleshooting and provide guidance when needed. Extensive documentation and resources are valuable for self-help and learning.

Free control panels like CloudPanel, Webmin, and VestaCP often have active communities and comprehensive documentation available. Paid control panels like cPanel, Plesk, and InterWorx usually offer dedicated support teams that can assist you through various channels such as live chat, phone, or email.

By considering these criteria, you can choose a VPS control panel that aligns with your specific requirements, provides the necessary features for efficient server management, and offers the support and documentation needed for a smooth experience.


  1. What are VPS Management tools?

VPS Management tools, also known as VPS control panels, are software solutions that provide a user-friendly interface for managing and configuring virtual private servers. They simplify tasks such as server setup, software installation, resource allocation, security management, and more.

  1. How can I efficiently manage my Virtual Private Server (VPS)?

Efficient management of a VPS can be achieved by using a VPS control panel. These panels offer a centralized platform for managing various aspects of your server, including website hosting, database management, email configuration, security settings, and server monitoring. They provide a user-friendly interface and automate many administrative tasks, making server management more streamlined and efficient.

  1. Which VPS control panel is best for managing virtual servers?

The best VPS control panel for managing virtual servers depends on your specific needs and preferences. Some popular options include cPanel, Plesk, DirectAdmin, InterWorx, and Virtualmin. It is important to consider factors such as feature set, ease of use, compatibility with your server environment, support options, and pricing when choosing the right control panel for your needs.

  1. What does managed VPS imply?

A managed VPS refers to a hosting service in which the hosting provider takes care of server management tasks on behalf of the user. This typically includes server setup, software installation and updates, security monitoring, backups, and technical support. Managed VPS services are ideal for users who want to offload the technical aspects of server management and focus on their core business or website content.

  1. How can I manage multiple servers seamlessly?

Managing multiple servers seamlessly can be accomplished through the use of VPS control panels that offer multi-server management capabilities. These control panels allow you to centralize the management of multiple VPS instances or even a combination of virtual and dedicated servers. They provide tools for efficient resource allocation, monitoring, and configuration across all your servers, simplifying the overall management process.

Summary regarding those Server Management Tools

Ready to embark on your VPS management journey? With the diverse range of control panels available, you can choose the one that best suits your requirements and preferences. Consider factors such as compatibility with your operating system and web server, feature set, ease of use, support options, and documentation. Whether you opt for a free, open-source control panel or a paid solution, a well-chosen control panel will provide you with the tools and interface necessary to efficiently manage your VPS. Start exploring the options and find the perfect control panel to streamline your server management tasks.

Ready to embark on your VPS management journey? Simply order your VMware Cloud Server below

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