Bye-Bye to cPanel. Hello to DirectAdmin

07 Nov, 2023

Three weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about cPanel’s new pricing update. In that thread, I explained the situation. I asked for feedback from you to know if you need to stay with cPanel and ready to pay more per month. Or you are interested in switching to an alternative web hosting control panel.

We have received mixed feedback. To be precise, 70% of people are interested in switching to an alternative control panel, and 30% of feedback favors cPanel and is ready to pay more.

Our Decision

Based on the survey result and considering various factors and the future, we have decided to move to DirectAdmin.

We have experience in WHM and cPanel for more than eight years, and DirectAdmin is pretty new.

What is cPanel Again?

Well, cPanel is the most popular and user-friendly shared hosting control panel. But when you look deeper, cPanel is outdated bloatware.

Technically, cPanel is a coordinator. It coordinates between web server software, DNS Manager, Email system, File Manager, Database Manager, etc.

  • However, do you know that Apache as a web server is free?
  • Mail system like Exim is free.
  • phpMyAdmin is free.
  • Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate is free.
  • Roundcube is an open webmail software.

cPanel as a control panel makes these free tools connected and sells them to us as a paid control panel suite.

But that’s okay. There are more things. cPanel is building their customized binaries and maintaining modified repositories taken from open-sourced binaries and repositories. This makes cPanel’s customers like us heavily depends on them.

This dependency makes the whole system bloatware.

cPanel is Pretty Outdated

If you follow cPanel, can you tell any feature that cPanel released in the last five years that made you amazed?

Half of the entire internet is switched to the Nginx server. But still, cPanel only ships Apache as the webserver software.

We depend on external plugins to get Nginx to work with the cPanel server.

There are feature requests to get Nginx from cPanel. Stand-alone Nginx supported as an alternative to Apache is 7 years old, and the latest status is still Open Discussion.

There is a 5 years old request to get Nginx proxied to Apache (not standalone Nginx). cPanel says it is Planned.

cPanel is Heavily Depended to Other Softwares

Apart from those core yet free software, a web hosting service provider still needs to pay and install other paid software to make the system healthier and secure.

We have to install CloudLinux to stabilize our servers and provide advanced features like Node JS hosting.

We have to install LiteSpeed Web Server as a plugin in cPanel to make the sites hosted on the server loads even faster.

To let you install popular scripts like WordPress, Magento again needs to rely on external tools like Softaculous.

And without all these missing features and lack of innovation, cPanel is increasing its pricing dynamically. That too per account-based.

This is absolutely greed. Who are in their working mind stand for this and help a greedy boss to loot money from the end-users? At least we don’t.

Dear customer, we value your money, and we don’t loot you like this.

But You Said cPanel is the Best Till Yesterday

Unfortunately, yes, we said that. The reason is that cPanel is still the best web hosting control panel for end-users. All other paid control panels missed producing great UX in terms of easiness. That’s including DirectAdmin.

Thus being a service provider, we are forced to stick with cPanel as it is the industry standard. We were afraid that if we offer anything other than cPanel or Plesk, we will look alien in the crowd and lose a potential business opportunity.

But now, cPanel lost credibility and trust. Thus we are moving to DirectAdmin confidently.

????Hello to DirectAdmin

DirectAdmin is second to none. DirectAdmin is stable and has been for 16 years now.

DirectAdmin was mostly targeted to Server Admins and was not for shared hosting holders. However, ever since the new cPanel pricing was announced, the DirectAdmin team started working on rapidly and recently released many features. That’s included a cPanel to DirectAdmin migration script, which got published in a few hours.

Every essential feature is already available in DirectAdmin, though you may miss a few fancy features that cPanel offers. DirectAdmin team’s highest priority is now to get all those missing features added to the system.

Why DirectAdmin?

DirectAdmin is Not Interwoven Into the OS

We are not getting something with premade binaries with non-standard items. Thus we will get more control and customization power to make an even better infrastructure.

DirectAdmin is Easy to Use

DirectAdmin provides a clean, efficient User Interface that accommodates beginner to advanced users. A robust 3-level design (Administrator, Reseller, & User) allows easy switching between access types, all under the same login. Design layouts (skins) can be changed at the click of a button, allowing quick & easy changes to the interface.

DirectAdmin Screenshot

DirectAdmin is Faster

DirectAdmin is an extremely efficient control panel that uses the bare minimum of system resources. This makes DirectAdmin ideal for systems ranging from low-end VPS units to heavily-loaded dedicated servers.

DirectAdmin is Stable

DirectAdmin avoids downtime by automatically recovering from crashes and sending notifications to the system administrator for further action. Also, DirectAdmin is an entirely stand-alone control panel. Administrators are free to upgrade/downgrade services, libraries, etc., without fear of breaking the control panel.

Cutting-Edge Technologies

Web hosting environments are continually evolving. DirectAdmin stays in-step with today’s most sophisticated solutions.

Unlike cPanel, DirectAdmin natively supports Nginx as a standalone or reverse proxy of Apache. It ships with built-in support to LiteSpeed Web Server and OpenLiteSpeed.

See the full list of technologies.

When Will We Move to DirectAdmin?

Well, we are planned to move to DirectAdmin in later August or early September. We will notify you via email about the migration before enough time to prepare.

You don’t need to change any DNS settings, or you won’t be missing anything like your emails, databases, files, etc.

DirectAdmin Support

We know that DirectAdmin is your new home, and you may need support to get to know DirectAdmin and settle things. We will produce tutorials and regularly publish them so that you won’t feel left behind.

For a quick resolution, we will extend our hands to meet your requirements.

Additional Infrastructure Update

Along with switching to DirectAdmin, we will upgrade our Hardware from traditional SSD to NVMe SSDs. We will also change to LiteSpeed Web Server to give you even more speed and performance.

If you have any concerns or feedback about these changes, we would love to hear them. Please post your comments here or contact us via our Support Tickets system.

Jafar Muhammed

Jafar Muhammed has 10+ years of experience in WordPress, web hosting, domain names, DNS, CDN, server administration, etc. He is an open web advocate. He is the CEO of Rovity, the fastest-growing premium shared hosting startup in India.

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