Web hosting has become more accessible than ever before with the introduction of control panels. Users can manage every aspect of their hosting account from one simple interface, and system administrators can also manage all users and services in an easy-to-use graphic control panel.
You may already be familiar with the industry standard control panels such as Plesk, cPanel, and DirectAdmin. These solutions have been around for a long time and are renowned for their ease of use, extensive feature set, and universal compatibility.
For some however, these control panels don’t quite meet their specific requirements. For others, the licensing costs might simply be too high to justify installing them. In scenarios such as these, there are many alternatives to choose from.
Today we’re taking a look at one of the popular free web hosting control panels – CyberPanel. We’ll be reviewing the main aspects of this control panel, as well as comparing it to the popular control panels cPanel and Plesk.
What is CyberPanel?
CyberPanel is a free, web based hosting control panel designed for users and system administrators alike. Powered by OpenLitespeed, the open source version of Litespeed web server, it provides an easy-to-use management interface along with everything you need to host almost any type of website.
Aimed at providing an affordable, comprehensive alternative to many of the most popular web hosting control panels, Cyberpanel is packed full of features and optimisations to provide a high level of performance on any server.
Cyberpanel is designed to allow for easy installation on all common web hosting servers, therefore it’s installation requirements are very minimal and most setups will have no problem handling this control panel.
Cyberpanel requires your server to be equipped with at least the following as a minimum:
- CentOS 7 as the operating system
- Python 2.7 installed
- 1 GB of RAM minimum (higher, at least 2 GB, is recommended)
- 10 GB of available drive space
If you’re planning to host many websites from your server then we would advise a significantly higher level of RAM and available hard drive space to accommodate many users.
So now that we’ve got an idea of what CyberPanel is, and what your server needs to be able to install it, let’s review several different aspects of CyberPanel to give you an idea of how it performs.
We will be reviewing the following areas:
So without further ado, let’s get into it!
Ease of use is one of the key focal points for Cyberpanel and this is generally reflected throughout the whole experience – from installation, to website management.
Installing CyberPanel is a breeze, and takes just a single command to run the installation wizard. For the regular version of CyberPanel (non-enterprise version), all you need to do is run the following command over command line:
sh <(curl https://cyberpanel.net/install.sh || wget -O - https://cyberpanel.net/install.sh)
This command will download the installation wizard and start installing CyberPanel on your server. You then just need to go through a few quick initialisation steps and you’ll then be able to access CyberPanel over your web browser, through the server’s IP address or hostname. The port number for accessing CyberPanel is 8090 by default.
Users of popular control panels such as DirectAdmin or cPanel will feel right at home with CyberPanel. The clean, minimalistic graphical user interface is easy to navigate, simple to use, and not overly cluttered. You can easily find what you’re looking for in just a few clicks.
Each area of the server and website management is neatly categorized and arranged so you’re never far away from getting to where you need to be. On the server administration side, the control panel functions are arranged into the following categories:
We won’t explain in detail each of these areas because for the most part, they are self explanatory! It’s safe to say however that many of the management tasks that you rely on control panels to do already, can be achieved just as easily with CyberPanel.
One area in particular that stands out is the backup facilities. Control panels often suffer from convoluted and confusing backup management, but CyberPanel makes it very easy to manage, create, and schedule backups on your server.
End users will also find CyberPanel very usable for the most part. The clean interface once again lends itself to easy management, in comparison to the cluttered look of cPanel and Plesk. This helps eliminate any confusion when customers are looking to make modifications.
Creating and modifying websites is a bit different with CyberPanel, so users may have some teething problems at first when moving from a different control panel. These aren’t complicated processes, but they could take some getting used to.
Features are where this control panel really stands out among its competitors, and there’s no shortage of them with CyberPanel!
The very first thing you’ll notice about CyberPanel is that it’s powered by the open source version of LiteSpeed. If you’re not already aware, LiteSpeed is a high-speed web server that provides a faster, more optimised alternative to Apache or Nginx.
LiteSpeed aims to accelerate your websites with features like built-in server level caching technology, automatic website optimisation, and effective security protection – to name just a few. Websites based on LiteSpeed can typically expect to see faster load times and fewer performance issues than those based on Apache or Nginx. Just take a look at the following graph for proof:
CyberPanel is one of the only control panels to include LiteSpeed as standard, and it really helps set it apart from other common control panels. While LiteSpeed can be configured on other control panels, it can be time consuming and daunting for new users.
Perhaps the most important feature that LiteSpeed introduces for end users is the LSCache module. This allows users to enable the LSCache plugins on a number of content management systems such as WordPress, Joomla, and Magento. This plugin automatically optimises the website with built-in page caching and acceleration technologies to provide the best speeds possible.
Cloudlinux is fully supported with LiteSpeed and converting your OS to Cloudlinux is fairly straightforward. Once installed, Cloudlinux includes the LVE manager from the CyberPanel interface, allowing you to easily manage your users. CageFS, which is a virtualized per-user file system aimed at preventing attacks by encapsulating each user, can also be installed and managed through CyberPanel. The final Cloudlinux product, the Imunify360 security suite, can also be installed easily with CyberPanel.
GIT deployments are another stand out feature for CyberPanel. The control panel allows you to attach GIT repos from GitHub and GitLab to your websites, and deploy code directly from your repos via GIT webhooks.
In this day and age where malicious cyber-attacks are more prevalent than ever, it’s crucial that security is priority when it comes to control panels. This is another area where CyberPanel certainly doesn’t fall behind.
To start with, CyberPanel is based on LiteSpeed which has a number of security features over and above what’s typically included with Apache or Nginx. LiteSpeed is immune to many PHP and HTTP vulnerabilities that hackers exploit to access websites, so your website will be properly locked down.
LiteSpeed’s Web Application Firewall (WAF) is also considered to be superior to that of other web servers. Website requests are monitored and filtered, with malicious requests being blocked from the start – which helps prevent XSS attacks and SQL injections.
Connection limiting can be achieved easily with LiteSpeed through CyberPanel. You can configure both IP level throttling and concurrent connection limiting, to help mitigate DDoS attacks.
Firewall management is made simple with the built in firewall interface, that lets you configure incoming and outgoing rules for the included firewalld and iptables firewall systems. Modsecurity rules can also be added in just a few clicks, which can help to further protect your server.
SSL Certificates are fully included with CyberPanel in the form of Let’s Encrypt certificates. One click SSL allows you to enable free SSL certificates on any of your websites, child domains and hostnames.
Cost is often the deciding factor for many businesses when making any investments, and this certainly applies to choosing a control panel. After all, you don’t want to be going over budget!
CyberPanel comes in two different editions – CyberPanel, and CyberPanel Enterprise.
The good news is that the standard edition of CyberPanel is completely free and open-source. CyberPanel runs on OpenLiteSpeed, the free open-source version of Litespeed web server, and is free for an unlimited amount of domains and worker processes. This will be the ideal choice for many server administrators looking to maximise performance, while minimising costs.
CyberPanel Enterprise is a separate product based on slightly different technology, with a different pricing structure. The Enterprise version of CyberPanel is based on the licensed version of LiteSpeed – LiteSpeed Web Server Enterprise. While CyberPanel does have a very limited free version of the enterprise plan, you’ll be paying a monthly fee to use it going forward. See below for CyberPanel Enterprise pricing plans.
With this said, the two versions look identical on the visual side – the only differences are the pricing, and the backend technology. So unless you need the enterprise version for a very specific reason, you’ll be just fine with the standard version of CyberPanel.
Given that CyberPanel is very similar to the industry standard control panels like cPanel and Plesk, it can be hard to draw direct comparisons. These control panels have also been around for so long that people have become very familiar with them, so personal preference becomes a big factor.
We’ve made several comparisons to these control panels throughout this article so in the table below we will give a simple idea of how CyberPanel stacks up against some of the most popular hosting control panels on the market right now.
|Pricing||Free||Per-Account starts at $15/mo||Starts at £7.33/mo||Starts at $24/year|
|HTTP3 Support||Yes||No||No||Yes (Beta)|
|Database Server||MariaDB||MySQL and PostgreSQL||MySQL, PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL||MySQL/MariaDB|
|Plesk Firewall||Firewalld, iptables|
So we’ve covered what CyberPanel is, how it works, it’s main features and how it compares to the other popular control panels on the market.
We’ve started using CyberPanel on some of our servers and we’ve found it to be an excellent alternative to cPanel and Plesk. With the built-in optimisations and easy-to-use management interface, CyberPanel presents a fantastic free hosting control panel.
For more information on CyberPanel, visit the official website.
If you’d like to use CyberPanel for yourself, we can configure it for you on any of our VPS plans!