Are you launching a new website and looking for an easy-to-use and reliable control panel to manage your website and VPS server? You’ve probably heard of cPanel, but does it really fit your needs?
cPanel is currently the industry standard control panel for managing hosted websites. It’s provided by most web hosting companies, thanks to its clear and robust structure that works well for beginners and developers.
Perhaps you’re already a cPanel user and looking for an equally powerful control panel that’s more budget-friendly, given the recent spike in cPanel license prices. Or, perhaps you want to host your website on a Windows server and are looking for a solid cPanel alternative that supports Windows.
In any case, it’s time to learn about SPanel, ScalaHosting’s own-developed “all-in-one” control panel that’s been designed to become a dependable alternative to cPanel for easy management of cloud VPS servers, and there’s a big hype around it.
In this detailed comparison, we’ve put SPanel and cPanel against each other to highlight the pros and cons of each control panel and help you find the right control panel that matches your requirements. Keep reading!
Features and Ease of Use
Both SPanel and cPanel aim at providing an intuitive, feature-rich control panel that appeals to both beginners and professional webmasters.
Starting with the interface, the two control panels have a similar clean layout that’s categorized to help you manage your website smoothly. You’ll find a navigation/search bar, side panel, general information section (to monitor your data and resource usage/statistics), tools, and features.
However, SPanel is more polished and even easier to navigate than the standard cPanel, which can be slightly overwhelming and more difficult to be familiarized with for some users, especially newbies. For instance, with cPanel, you’ll need to log in separately to the Web Host Manager (WHM) to manage your servers, whereas you can take care of everything related to your website and servers with SPanel.
In addition, cPanel requires some manual work from your end such as modifications for file configuration, use of command lines (e.g. to install Docker), and manual backing up of data. In contrast, SPanel settled this kind of hassle by significantly reducing manual tasks and implementing automatic features for easy VPS management – read on for more details.
Moving on to features, SPanel and cPanel include a variety of website-related tools to manage different aspects of your website like files, FTP accounts, databases, emails, domains, and DNS settings. They both also support different PHP versions including PHP 8.0 – the most recent version of PHP.
Nevertheless, SPanel gets an extra point for allowing you to host unlimited websites, emails, and databases for free as opposed to cPanel. SPanel additionally includes a website migration tool to transfer an unlimited number of websites for free with no downtime.
Moreover, SPanel offers more features in terms of security and WordPress management that we’ll further discuss in detail.
SPanel comes with an all-in-one security system called SSheild which doesn’t rely on a fixed database of security risks to protect your server. Instead, it relies on artificial intelligence and machine learning technology for predictive analysis and threat prevention. This makes it capable of blocking 99.98% of attacks and vulnerabilities.
In addition to SShield, SPanel also comes with SpamAssassin and Brute Force protection which, altogether make it very hard for any security risks to squeeze through.
On the other hand, cPanel also offers a wide range of security features. Starting with the Leech Protection option which prevents hackers from accessing secure areas of your website. Secure Shell, or SSH Access, is another feature that allows you to connect and transfer files securely. Other features include HotLink Protection, GNUPG Keys, IP Deny Manager, and Password Protect Directories.
Both cPanel and SPanel come with automatic backups. However, SPanel comes with automatic daily backups (SBackup) for no extra cost and is built-in the control panel while with cPanel you have the option of manual or automatic backup. In the case of automatic backup, you’ll need a plug-in.
SPanel comes with built-in integration with Let’s Encrypt. This provides your website with free SSL certificates which are automatically renewed and installed. With cPanel, you can also get free SSL certificates from Let’s Encrypt but, unlike SPanel, its integration is not built-in and requires a Let’s Encrypt plugin to have them installed on cPanel.
Even though cPanel may appear to have more security features, SPanel’s more advanced AI security technology makes it less vulnerable to a wider range of attacks.
Performance and Speed
In order for cPanel to perform at its highest potential it requires a powerful server with higher resources as it is known to eat into the server’s resources. This means that if the server specifications are low and you’re using cPanel, you’ll definitely experience slower performance.
On the other hand, SPanel is considered highly economical in its resource consumption and doesn’t use any of your personal server resources, which gives it the advantage of performing equally well on both a low specifications server configuration as well as servers with higher specifications.
When it comes to server types, cPanel only supports Apache and LiteSpeed Enterprise servers while SPanel supports them as well, in addition to OpenLiteSpeed and Nginx which is considered to be the fastest type of server in the market today.
Which One Is Better for WordPress?
Signing up for a VPS to manage multiple WordPress websites or to have more control over the resources you need for your WP website is an excellent choice, but it also means more maintenance if you go for the unmanaged option. SPanel has an edge over cPanel in this area.
cPanel offers a free WordPress management feature called WP Toolkit Lite (WPT) to facilitate WP site management for resellers and owners. The WP Toolkit Lite includes a single dashboard to manage your WP websites, one-click logins for admin dashboards, automatic updates for single websites, and debug management (to enable WP debugging modes).
cPanel also offers automatic security hardening that’s employed automatically during the installation process and allows you to limit access for important files, configure security keys, and turn off pingbacks.
Features such as site staging, cloning, enhanced WP hardening, smart updates (to test updates on a staging site) are only available with cPanel’s WP Toolkit Deluxe, which comes at an additional cost.
Alternatively, SPanel is more focused on WordPress and the team behind it clearly understands the needs of WP users and the security dangers they face. That’s where SWordPress Manager comes in.
The SWordPress Manager platform provides the basic features that come with cPanel’s WP Toolkit Lite as well as few more extras at no extra cost. With SWordPress Manager, you can:
- Directly reset your WordPress admin password from SPanel, eliminating the need for password reset email. Hence, less risk of phishing email exposure.
- Installing and deleting WordPress websites.
- Activating and deactivating WordPress automatic updates.
- Security Lock feature: Enables you to lock all directories and files to prevent making modifications or uploading new files, which is very efficient in the event of any hacking attempt on your WP site as your website will operate just as normal.
SWordPress Manager will also include site staging and cloning, premium Softaculous license, and backup/restore function at no additional charge as opposed to cPanel.
cPanel is supported on Linux OS only and not even with all its distributions (e.g., CentOS, CloudLinux, Amazon Linux, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux). On the other hand, SPanel is supported with most Linux distributions including CentOS (7 and 8), Ubuntu, Debian, Rocky Linux, AlmaLinux, OpenSUSE as well as Windows 2019.
SPanel is also fully compatible with cPanel which means that you can easily migrate all your data from cPanel to SPanel and you even get free unlimited website migrations. The migration includes all the behind-the-scenes data including addon and parked domains, cron jobs, databases, MySQL users, emails, passwords, and mail forwarders. All this will be transferred seamlessly with no downtime.
Thanks to SPanel’s strong API, it’s fully compatible with almost all other platforms other than cPanel. This makes it much more convenient in the migration process and the wider range of options available for operating systems.
Spanel’s support is backed by highly knowledgeable experts who are available 24/7 through live chat, email/ticket, and phone. Through live chat, the response is almost instant and the resolution of most cases is quite fast. The average live chat response time for the live chat is 30 seconds while with tickets, it can take up to 15 minutes.
Like SPanel, cPanel also offers 24/7 support via the same channels. The support team consists of hosting professionals and is quite responsive. However, cPanel charges a fee for every incidence which is not the case with SPanel. Many users find it inconvenient to charge them, even if it's a small fee, every time something happens.
Both SPanel and cPanel have reliable support to help you out in any issue you face, making things a whole lot easier. However, offering this support for free puts SPanel in the lead over its competitor.
cPanel is expensive and its prices are going higher. Perhaps the cheapest way to get a cPanel license is by registering for a shared hosting plan.
Even so, many web hosting companies renew their shared hosting packages with inclusive cPanel licenses at a more expensive rate than the introductory subscription, simply because cPanel isn’t free.
In most cases, you’ll have to purchase a separate cPanel license for VPS and dedicated server hosting, which adds up even more to the overall cost of your subscription.
On the other hand, SPanel offers better value for money than cPanel as you can get it 100% free of charge with all its features and tools when purchasing any of ScalaHosting’s fully managed cloud VPS plans.
There’s no doubt that cPanel is a powerful control panel with a solid infrastructure and user-friendly interface, or else why would it be adopted by so many hosting providers, right?
However, cPanel isn’t perfect and may not be suitable for everyone. It isn’t compatible with all platforms. It’s also very expensive and consumes so many resources and more RAMs than other control panels in the market.
Contrarily, SPanel is a very promising control panel and has proven to be a worthy alternative to cPanel by making up for what lacks in cPanel. To recap, SPanel is more cost-efficient and offers a faster, more flexible, and more user-friendly control panel that offers more features, unlimited resources and is more WordPress-oriented.
Still undecided between SPanel and cPanel? Check out this comparison table.