Top 5 Free Web Hosting Control Panels To Manage VPS/Dedicated Servers

Top 5 Free Web Hosting Control Panel to Manage VPS/Dedicated Server

No matter how you slice it, there is basically nothing as sensational as a tool that does it work. And when such a tool is offered without a price tag, it goes from sensational to heavenly.

Let’s take a look at the web hosting control panels (or admin panels) which you can use to manage your VPS or dedicated server. And yes, they are completely free to set up and use.

These days, control panels are popular because they help webmasters interactively manage the environment of their web project. Couple that with how easy they make experts useless.

In fact, a complete novice can efficiently administer his server and manage more than one site…powered by a few clicks.

Features Comparison Table

Certain features are common among the following web control panels. These include DNS, email, database, and FTP management and administration.

However, some features are limited to certain panels, so some do not support features like IPv6 or multi-server management as others do. The following table clearly juxtaposes the features of each web control panel.

FeaturesISPConfigAjentiZPanelVirtualminWebmin
Supported OSUbuntu, CentOS,Fedora, Debian, OpenSuSEDebian,RHEL, Gentoo,Ubuntu, CentOS, other BDS & Linux distributionsWindows, Linux, macOS X, UNIXUNIX and Linux DistributionsUNIX & similar architecture
Front-end & FrameworkPHPJavaScript, AngularJS, CoffeeScript, ECMAScript 6PHPPHPPerl
Back-end & FrameworkPHP, MySQLPython, geventApache HTTP Server, MySQL, PHPPHPPerl
DNS ManagementBIND, MyDNS, PowerDNSYesYesBINDYes
Email ManagementIMAP, POP3, IMAPS, POP3S,SMTPYesPostfix (Linux),hMailServer (Windows)Sendmail, PostfixYes
FTP ManagementYesYesYesYesYes
Database ManagementYesYesYesYesYes
IPv6 SupportYesYesYesYesYes
Multiple Server ManagementYesNoNoYesYes
Download Download Download Download Download

Top Five Free Web Control Panels

The table says a lot but you need more to help you decide: this or those. Now, let’s carefully look at each panel and discuss its pros and cons. And do keep in mind that the list is not in any specific order.

1. ISPConfig – Top Multilingual Panel With Statistics

Developed by ISPConfig UG, this is a widely-used open source control panel under the BSD license. It implements a web-based interface to enable the typical panel tasks—mainly for Linux users.

For one, it is your best option if you’re looking for a multilingual panel. This could be handy in a couple of situations and the languages are a mouth-watering 22 in total. In addition, it delivers an easy, user-friendly interface to manage multiple servers based on login levels: reseller, administrator, client, or email user.

And for Apache or Nginx users, ISPConfig is specifically made to manage VPS servers. The developers combined PHP with MySQL to develop an impeccable panel…and they release updates frequently.

Features

Web and email domains management: YES
Web-based virtual servers management: YES
Database systems management: YES
Multiple servers from one control panel management: YES
Great flexibility; integration with another control panel: NO
Support for IPv6: YES
Management of DNS: YES
Management of emails: YES
FTP administration: YES
Availability of website statistics: YES
Multilingual (multiple languages): YES
Management of command line: NO
User-friendly web interface: YES
Logfile reporting and access: YES
Direct access to server logs: YES
Presence of built-in plugins: NO
High extensibility with Python: NO
Authentication of LDAP and 2-factor: NO
Availability of firewall for maximum security: NO
Availability of numerous modules for the utmost configuration: NO
Mirrors and Clusters configuration: YES

Visit ISPConfig » Get ISPConfig VPS »

2. Ajenti – Top Customizable Panel With Speed, Performance

Ajenti is another open source web control panel. While others host VPS servers almost impeccably, Ajenti does the job with more efficiency. Most admins prefer it because of its relatively faster remote access and higher performance.

It comes pre-installed with modern tools like text editor, code manager, terminal access, and file manager. All these improve the efficiency of web management. And you can easily manage and configure servers such as Samba, Squid, Munin, etc.

With its user base counting millions, users can also install packages and utilize its virtual emails—which comes with the auto-configuration of EXIM 4 and Courier IMAP, enabling easy usage of DKIM, DMarc and SPF.

In addition to supporting a wide variety of operating systems, you can similarly set up Python, Ruby, PHP, and Node.js applications. Accompany these with its lightweight and modular architecture.

Features

Web and email domains management: YES
Web-based virtual servers management: YES
Database systems management: YES
Multiple servers from one control panel management: YES
Great flexibility; integration with another control panel: NO
Support for IPv6: No
Management of DNS: YES
Management of emails: YES
FTP administration: YES
Availability of website statistics: NO
Multilingual (multiple languages): NO
Management of command line: NO
User-friendly web interface: YES
Logfile reporting and access: YES
Direct access to server logs: YES
Presence of built-in plugins: YES
High extensibility with Python: NO
Authentication of LDAP and 2-factor: NO
Availability of firewall for maximum security: NO
Availability of numerous modules for the utmost configuration: NO
Mirrors and Clusters configuration: YES

Visit Ajenti »Buy a VPS with Ajenti »

3. ZPanel – Top Multi-Platform Enterprise Panel With Multiple Software Packages

ZPanel is one of the easiest panels to use. It is compatible with, virtually, all operating systems and this makes it the choice for Windows and macOS X users. In addition, the panel runs on Apache, MySQL and PHP. (This, we must admit, is impressive.)

So, admins can conveniently and effectively use software packages like Apache Web Server, RoundCube, Webalizer, phpMyAdmin, FTP Jailing, PHPSysInfo, hMailServer, Postfix, DoveCot, and IMAP.

When you assess these features, regarding ZPanel as the best enterprise control panel is not an overstatement.

Features

Web and email domains management: YES
Web-based virtual servers management: YES
Database systems management: YES
Multiple servers from one control panel management: YES
Great flexibility; integration with another control panel: NO
Support for IPv6: YES
Management of DNS: YES
Management of emails: YES
FTP administration: YES
Availability of website statistics: NO
Multilingual (multiple languages): NO
Management of command line: NO
User-friendly web interface: YES
Logfile reporting and access: YES
Direct access to server logs: YES
Presence of built-in plugins: NO
High extensibility with Python: NO
Authentication of LDAP and 2-factor: NO
Availability of firewall for maximum security: NO
Availability of numerous modules for the utmost configuration: NO
Mirrors and Clusters configuration: YES

Visit Zpanel »Buy a VPS with Zpanel CP »

4. Virtualmin – Top Virtual Panel With Authentications, Mobile UI

The truth is, Virtualmin is a supercharged version of Webmin—which is also on this list. Its source is open and widely used all over the world, with thousands of downloads and active users. Written in PHP, it perfectly supports UNIX operating systems, Linux distributions, and BSD extensions.

Moreover, Virtualmin is available in three product versions: Virtualmin GPL, Virtualmin Professional, and Cloudmin Professional. As expected, the first is free and open source while the last two are commercial. Regardless of which you use, Virtualmin is perfect for domain hosting and virtual servers like OpenVZ and KEN.

To reiterate, this is closest you can get in comparison with cPanel and Plesk.

Features

Web and email domains management: YES
Web-based virtual servers management: YES
Database systems management: YES
Multiple servers from one control panel management: YES
Great flexibility; integration with another control panel: YES
Support for IPv6: YES
Management of DNS: YES
Management of emails: YES
FTP administration: YES
Availability of website statistics: NO
Multilingual (multiple languages): NO
Management of command line: YES
User-friendly web interface: YES
Logfile reporting and access: YES
Direct access to server logs: YES
Presence of built-in plugins: NO
High extensibility with Python: NO
Authentication of LDAP and 2-factor: YES
Availability of firewall for maximum security: NO
Availability of numerous modules for the utmost configuration: NO
Mirrors and Clusters configuration: YES

Visit Virtualmin »Buy a VPS with Virtualmin »

5. Webmin – Top Web Panel With Modules, Maximum Security

Webmin is a web-based version of the Virtualmin panel best known for its flexibility. It originally supports UNIX and similar systems while recent versions support Windows.

In comparison to others, Webmin is written in the high-level, dynamic Perl programming language. Similar to Virtualmin, Webmin is both open source and commercial. And like others, Webmin is used for the basics but its extensibility is an addition which helps admins manage multiple tasks.

Also, Webmin is known for its wealth of modules and excellent interface geared towards efficient file, domain, email, and server configuration.

Features

Web and email domains management: YES
Web-based virtual servers management: YES
Database systems management: YES
Multiple servers from one control panel management: YES
Great flexibility; integration with another control panel: YES
Support for IPv6: YES
Management of DNS: YES
Management of emails: YES
FTP administration: YES
Availability of website statistics: NO
Multilingual (multiple languages): NO
Management of command line: NO
User-friendly web interface: YES
Logfile reporting and access: YES
Direct access to server logs: YES
Presence of built-in plugins: NO
High extensibility with Python: NO
Authentication of LDAP and 2-factor: NO
Availability of firewall for maximum security: YES
Availability of numerous modules for the utmost configuration: YES
Mirrors and Clusters configuration: YES

Visit Webmin »Buy a VPS with Webmin »

FAQs About Free Web Hosting Control Panels

1. What is a web hosting control panel?

Perhaps, you are a newbie who finds the term “web hosting control panel” Greek. In basic terms, a web control panel can be simply described as a software or web interface developed to be used by web administrators for the management of domains, emails, databases, systems, file transfer protocols, and many other functions. It is sometimes referred to as a web control panel, web admin panel, control panel, admin panel, or simply ‘panel’.

2. Which web control panel should I adopt?

Your choice of a suitable web control panel would be governed by a number of factors such as;

a) Your budget: Some web hosting control panels are free while some are not. The list above gives you the picture of great panels you can use without spending a dime. So, depending on your budget, you can either go for one of those listed above or select a paid one if you need more functionalities. However, it is important to note that these free ones are likely powerful and efficient enough for you.

b) Preferred Operating System: What OS do you have in mind? If you plan to go with Linux packages, you can choose any of the aforementioned. Some other panels do not support Linux packages, therefore you would not need them.

c) Features: Certain attributes are common amongst web hosting control panels. Still, each has the peculiarities that make it distinct from others…say for example, ZPanel

3. What is the best free web hosting control panel for Windows?

The developers of each panel decide which operating system (or systems) their product would support. As explained above, the best free control panel for Windows is ZPanel. It is a powerful control panel which you can use effortlessly to configure servers, systems and domains — like any of those listed control servers. Because of some anomalies notable to this particular panel (which were discussed earlier), it is regarded as an enterprise control panel.

And although recent versions of Webmin support Windows, they are not up to par with ZPanel yet. For instance, ZPanel supports IPv6—a perk many do not—and allows multiple users to run on a server. In conclusion, the feature comparison table above is more of a guide to this question.

4. What is an open source web hosting control panel?

Basically, an open source web hosting control panel has its source code open or made available to the public for free use and modification. Software applications are usually under a license enforced by the government. And that concept forms the basis of the terms and conditions of use.

On the other hand, open source control panels are not bound by the law — so there are no restrictions. Anyone—from anywhere and with any purpose—can the panel in total freedom. Can you see have an opportunity here?

5. Are admin panels suitable for complex web applications like e-commerce stores?

Well, yes! In fact, e-commerce projects require the use of an admin panel than any other web project. (And in the web application and e-commerce world, they are greatly called administration panels or templates.)

And to top it up, there are many options available today, most have responsive layouts, and the majority are compatible with Bootstrap. Names like Metronic, Melon, ToDo, FlatKit, and First trump as widely-used templates specially designed for web applications.

Conclusion

From the foregoing, we have seen the common features of control panels and the unique features of each. We can also infer, from the foregoing, the importance of web hosting control panels in the overall management of your website or web app.

Therefore, we can confidently choose the one that best appeals to you. To emphasize the uniqueness of each, let’s quickly check again.

ISPConfig is available in multiple languages and provides website statistics via Webalizer and AWStats. Extensibility with Python makes Ajenti unique alongside its lightweight, modular architecture, and an abundance of built-in plugins.

On the contrary, ZPanel features a faster remote access. higher performance, and virtually supports all OS…unlike others. Virtualmin claims its uniqueness with its high flexibility in virtual server management and integration with LDAP and 2-factor. Webmin, ultimately, is similar to Virtualmin but used for web servers.

We think you have the luxury of choice here, so do pick whichever you think is the best for you. And if you are having a time deciding, we would love to help you out. Just drop a comment below and we will respond as swift as a snail.

Moreover, you can also drop a comment if you find this interesting and informative enough, or would like to throw in an addition. Would you like to read it again? Bookmark and share.

Jason-Pat
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Jason-Pat

Jason is CTO at AccuWebHosting.com. He shares his web hosting insights at AccuWebHosting blog. He mostly writes on the latest web hosting trends, WordPress, storage technologies, Windows and Linux hosting platforms.
Jason-Pat
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  1. ThisHosting.Rocks April 2, 2018
    • Jason-Pat April 6, 2018

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