Plesk vs. Ensim vs. cPanel

Web hosting control panels are provided by your web hosting company to help you control your website. This article gives information on three of the top control panels and compares the pros and cons of Plesk vs. Ensim vs. cPanel control panels.

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If you are looking to get into commercial Web hosting, or even if you are looking to control your hosted Web site or sites, you will need a control panel. A Web hosting control panel is provided by a host so that you can do the following with your hosted Web site:

  • Check visitor statistics.
  • Access Web analytic programs.
  • Manage your Web site database.
  • Configure your Web site's email.
  • Look at server logs.
  • Maintain accounts for FTP users.

In essence, the control panel ensures that you can do what is needed to run your Web site. The control panel allows you to administer the needs of your business Web site. Three of most used control panels are Plesk, Ensim and cPanel. Each has its own advantages. However, any of them is likely to do well enough for your business Web site.


Plesk is a put out by Parallels (which is a rebrand of Swsoft, which bought Plesk). Plesk offers Linux and Windows version and allows the management of MySQL and Postgre SQL. It is possible to fulfill almost all of the functions of a control panel using Plesk. Additionally, there are a number of add-ons available that can help you customize your Plesk experience and also that can help you develop multiple server support.

One of the biggest issues with Plesk is its security. While security is unobjectionable when it comes to single hosting, multihosting provides a problem. This is because virtual hosts all have the same configuration and even use the same Apache number. Plesk has been trying to remedy this with later versions, and virtual hosts can now have their own process groups with the Windows version. Another issue with Plesk is the backup function. Server disk space is used up prior to uploads to a separate FTP server. This means that you need a great deal of storage space available for backups (which will not be used regularly) – or risk not backing up some of your Web information.


This control panel is developed by Ensim Corporation, and jointly marketed with Microsoft. Indeed, Ensim works almost flawlessly with Microsoft, including Windows Hosting, Office Communicator and Microsoft Exchange automatically in it pre-built functions. Ensim provides a solution for those who may not be as technically savvy as they would like. The company boasts out of the box capability, and it is relatively easy to integrate Ensim into existing structures – as long as those structures are based on Microsoft. Ensim offers three different control panels: Unify, Enterprise and Managed.

Some of the issues involved have to deal with those that you might expect from Microsoft. Error messages upon installation and other issues can manifest.

cPanel Web Hosting

After Ensim, cPanel is the most widely used hosting control panel available. cPanel is Linux based and is known for its graphical interface that makes it a little easier to manage your Web sites. The structure is designed for resellers and end-users as well as for Web hosts. cPanel is especially designed for virtual private servers or dedicated services. cPanel's older versions are prone to bugs, but many of them have been "ironed out" in later versions. Add-ons are available with cPanel, for a fee.

cPanel does run into problems when it comes to the set-up. Some users find I difficult to customize at first. Additionally, problems have been reported for those who get their cPanel support from resellers. Most recommend that you get your license directly from cPanel so that you have the support you need.

In the end, it depends on what sort of platform you will be using. For windows, you should use Ensim, and for Linux, cPanel should be used. Plesk, though, is compatible with both, although it has its own problems. Depending on the package you get, prices will vary. You should consider your needs, and then decide on the Web hosting control panel that will best suit your business goals, budget and overall needs.

Related article: VPS/Multiple Domain Hosting