The 7 Best Free cPanel Alternatives
cPanel is undeniably one of the most popular management panels out there. However, it comes with some drawbacks as well, the price being one of the major ones. Individual developers and start-ups are usually the ones that are the most affected by this. cPanel’s single-license plans begin from $15/month which is firmly on the higher side. Due to this, it does not come as a surprise that many out there are looking for cPanel alternatives. The good news we have for you is that there are some spectacular alternatives out there that do not scrimp on the features. Let’s take a look at the best free cPanel alternatives out there.
Most of the cPanel alternatives that we are going to check out in this post are either completely free or have a free version that boasts of a ton of features. Since not every user out there is a huge company or can afford exorbitant fees, these options should give you an excellent insight into the other alternatives out there. Most cPanel alternatives are open-source, allowing you to check out the code and even make changes if you want.
Ajenti is one of the more comprehensive control panels that describes itself as “an admin’s tool for a more civilized age, providing you with a fast and secure way to manage a remote Linux box at any time using everyday tools like a web terminal, text editor, file manager, and others.” The platform comes with the ability to manage users, monitor resource usage, establish firewalls, and install packages. You can do even more by using Python. It is an excellent free control panel option for those who already have services running on the server. While others tend to clear existing configurations, Ajenti lets you decide what you want to do. It is open-source and you can find it on GitHub.
- Vesta CP
VestCP is a brilliantly designed control panel written in Bash. If you are a Linux enthusiast, you may fall in love with it. Certain features that come built-in here includes Nginx and/or Apache for a web server, monitoring solutions, backups, iptables/fail2ban for security, and so much more. If you would rather use a command line than a web interface, go for it! VestaCP can be comfortably used with Debian, CentOS, and Ubuntu. It is licensed with GNU and you will be able to find the source code on GitHub.
On a more recent note, towards the beginning of 2019, there had been an increase in automated attacks on VestaCP servers. Solutions to this include disabling the root user entirely, securing your SSH connections through the user, and enforcement of keys. While it does work spectacularly, this is a thing you need to be aware of before making the decision to go ahead with this option.
If you are looking for feature-rich cPanel alternatives out there, you cannot go wrong with Webmin. You can do pretty much everything with this free cPanel. Built-in modules include setting up and configuring Apache webservers, monitoring bandwidth, backing up configuration files, configuring fail2ban, establishing your iptables firewall, administering users, setting up cron jobs, securing your SSH connections, and lots more.
Aesthetically speaking, the cPanel is not that great. However, the dozens of features it offers is more than likely to make up for it. If you are certain that you want a better-looking cPanel, you can always combine Webmin with the Authentic Theme and there you go! The updated themes make it not only more beautiful but also easier to work. Webmin works on Debian, Ubuntu, and CentOS with the code available on GitHub.
Froxlor is considered to be a lightweight alternative to cPanel and Webmin. Their website mentioned – “Developed by experienced server administrators, this open-source (GPL) panel simplifies the effort of managing your hosting platform”. The platform offers PHP configuration, Let’s Encrypt installation, MySQL management, and more. Froxlor has Debian packages available with a .tar.gz for production installations. While only Debian is supported officially, you can easily install in on Ubuntu as well. Since it is open-source, you will be able to find it on GitHub. It is licensed under GPL 2.0.
- CentOS Web Panel
If you want to run CentOS on your VPS, CentOS Web Panel is your best bet. It is also free, making it an ideal choice in this case. You can use it to deploy and administer Apache webservers, MySQL databases, SSL certificates, an Nginx reverse proxy, firewalls, self-hosted email, and more. The panel also makes it easier for the user to manage users, and monitor the system’s health with the services monitor, and deploy backups. Do note that CentOS Web Panel only supports CentOS officially.
Auto-Fixer is a useful feature of CentOS Web Panel where important configuration files are scanned. It then tries to auto-correct them if you or the panel had made an error. Installation requires a functioning LAMP stack, an updated CentOS installation, and at least 1GB of RAM. One drawback here is the fact that it is not fully open source. However, it is completely free to use and a good enough cPanel alternative.
YunoHost does not offer nearly as many features as others on this list, but it does its job quite well. It aims to install various self-hosted applications for you. Officially supported apps, such as Nextcloud, WordPress, Baikal, and Zerobin will be installed for you. However, there are no features, such as firewall management or reverse proxies here. If you are a newbie, then this should suit you perfectly well.
ISPConfig is one of the most popular cPanel alternatives out there with about 40,000 downloads a month. It has been around for a long time and receives hefty support from open-source developers. You can use it to configure Apache2/nginx web servers, DNS, mirroring, mail servers, and so on. ISPConfig works Debian, Ubuntu, and CentOS, giving it a flexibility a few in this list lack. As usual with open source options, it is available on GitHub should you wish to take a look.