directadmin logo and cpanel logo with person using laptop in background

DirectAdmin vs cPanel – Which One is Better in 2021?

Hosting is an integral aspect of your prosperity, and concerning your hosting account, you need to find out which is better between DirectAdmin vs. cPanel. The two are control panels utilized for hosting and offer administrative alternatives for supervising all the sections of your hosting account. One of these tools is better than the other; however, it’s crucial to comprehend the features of each before deciding which one is better in 2021. 

Today, the internet control panel you employ may build or smash your server layout and hosting account experience. Consequently, it’s paramount that you select the correct one that meets your expectations. At the moment, there are two main alternatives in the market. However, when it comes to choosing between DirectAdmin vs cPanel, it can be challenging. 

As one would expect, several aspects will impact your choice. Comprehending certain unique characteristics and differences between DirectAdmin vs cPanel can assist you in making an informed choice. 

This article will review DirectAdmin vs cPanel, highlighting key characteristics, pros, and cons. Ultimately, we will offer our verdict concerning which one is a better option in 2021. Let’s get the ball rolling!

Overview of cPanel

WHM/cPanel is a control panel built and promoted by UNIX and formally supports Linux OS. It is also utilized by some of the world’s well-established hosting firms. This control panel enables clients to run the webpage’s administrative functions from the administrator, end-user, and retailer levels. Additionally, this control panel offers simple navigation, benefiting all end-users regardless of their capability. 

Regarding web servers, at the moment, cPanel can support LiteSpeed and Apache, but when using a paid license. However, UNIX is working to enable cPanel to support Nginx any time soon. Notable features of this control panel include secure remote support, free SSL certificates, and domain control and external DNS synchronization. Additional characteristics are server monitoring tools and a brute force security device to enable you to blacklist or whitelist accounts, nations, or IP addresses. 

Overview of DirectAdmin

DirectAdmin is a graphical internet-based control panel for web hosting aimed at making the webpage administration process simpler. Often, it is categorized as a lightweight control panel that can support Linux OS. Additionally, this particular control panel is extremely effective as it employs a minimal amount of system resources. In turn, this makes it suitable for various systems, including low-end VPS components and heavily-loaded dedicated servers. 

A few of the features this control panel offers include free SSL certificates (through Let’s Encrypt), a multi-language UI, automated recovery from crashes, and an IP manager. Furthermore, it offers accommodative licensing alternatives, customization alternatives, reseller packages, and DNS administration. 

Besides the web servers supported by cPanel, DirectAdmin can support Nginx Reverse Proxy, Open LiteSpeed, and Apache. 

DirectAdmin vs cPanel: The Main Differences

The two control panels have several similarities, including their ability to support Linux and the provision of free SSL certificates. Besides, both can provide a server presentation framework and a graphical user interface. Equally, DirectAdmin and cPanel control panels have key differences, as discussed in the following section. 

1. Functionality

Although the two control panels have some similarities, they differ from one another. For instance, both of them can offer server configuration framework and UI. However, with DirectAdmin, somewhat some changes are required to be made from the command line. On the contrary, cPanel offers just about all the functions and configurations within its UI. In turn, this renders it a better option with ease of use for various user categories. Nevertheless, the experienced end-users who intend to make changes using the command line may face challenges to make these manual alterations with cPanel. 

Apart from having unique characteristics, cPanel as well offers many online tutorials, how-to guides, and forum debates. Because this control panel is popular, it is easy to find useful resources on the web.

2. Pricing

Price is an integral aspect to take into consideration when selecting a better control panel that meets your hosting needs. Until 2019, cPanel was the favored option among many hosting retailers, which changed when they substantially increased the price. The increment of price-led people to find a relatively cheap alternative and work with it. Even though DirectAdmin offers somewhat fewer alternatives compared to cPanel, it costs relatively cheap. 

The pricing strategy for cPanel license is dependent on how many profiles you own in your WHM. The cheapest offer that accommodates a maximum of five accounts goes for $12 monthly, and that with a maximum of 30 accounts goes for $17. Further, those with a maximum of 50 accounts retails at $25, while those with a maximum of 100 accounts retails at $32 monthly. At HoboHost, we offer cheap packages that include cPanel. Besides, we provide discounted prices.

3. Expandability

With cPanel, you can easily integrate new plugins and modules without incurring much cost. In addition, experienced end-users can personally custom-make the code alternatives in the system. In turn, this enables the expandability and extension of the control panel’s functions. On the contrary, DirectAdmin can also be expanded using various plugins, but you’ll have to incur extra charges for expanding its functionality. 

Because you can incorporate third-party apps and plugins, this renders the management and maintenance of all elements of your hosting accounts simpler. Consequently, it is imperative to take into consideration the tools you’re presently using and the ones you intend to use in the future. For instance, if you’re employing automated billing tools, you may have to take into consideration the integration for the two control panels. 

4. User Interface (UI)

Regarding the user interface, DirectAdmin consists of numerous menu options and appears less complicated compared to cPanel when logging in initially. Nevertheless, cPanel allows you to locate what you’re searching for more quickly, and you’ll have more direct accesses when you are logged in. The user interface may appear immense for a beginner, but all contents are categorized as mail, domains, security, files, preferences, and logs. 

All these categories are extensible and retractable to allow quick customization of your first-page layout. Apart from the categorizations, it also consists of a search operation to assist you in performing a quick search within the cPanel user interface. On the other side, DirectAdmin consists of only three major categories: Advanced Features, Your Account, and Email Management. Also, it has three main access levels, namely, Reseller, User, and Admin. Nevertheless, these levels can be combined into one interface. 

Although it may appear simple at first, it gets complicated, especially when what you’re searching for in the admin section is unclear for you. Ultimately, cPanel accommodates nearly all end-users needs and is simple to comprehend. On the contrary, DirectAdmin accommodates only a specific category of end-users.

When logged in to the cPanel site, you’re able to have a virtual visit of both the WHM and cPanel user interface. DirectAdmin allows you to preview a live demo of its interface. 

Reasons switch from cPanel to DirectAdmin

When talking about web control panels, the first option that one thinks about is cPanel. For over 20 years has been the leading choice in the industry, offering a dynamic platform that suits the needs of various end-users. 

Nevertheless, because of the sudden sharp projection in their licensing pricing, you might not find cPanel a cost-saving alternative. As a result, DirectAdmin is well-positioned to offer a more cost-effective alternative. Besides, it practically offers all the features you would require or anticipate from a web control panel. 

The Final Verdict — DirectAdmin vs cPanel

The type of web control panel you select impacts the overall management of your hosting account. Consequently, you must understand all the available alternatives before choosing one over the other. This post highlighted the main differences between prominent web control panels, DirectAdmin and cPanel, to determine their comparisons in key aspects. 

Our verdict is that cPanel is a better control panel to choose, except for its high price. Therefore, if you can afford to pay this extra cash for this robust control panel, it is a better alternative. Its unique characteristics and usability render it appropriate for both novice and experienced users alike. 

However, if you’re operating under tight budgetary constraints and searching for a cost-effective choice, DirectAdmin is a suitable alternative for your web hosting services. Additionally, this control panel is suitable for experienced users. Consequently, if you have the expertise and require moderate server configuration, DirectAdmin will also be suitable for your needs. 

Finally, if you’re looking for an excellent web hosting service provider who offers hosting packages with cPanel, check out HoboHost. We offer cost-friendly and reliable web hosting services that meet your needs.