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3 Best Free Plesk Alternatives With Similar Features! [TESTED in 2022]

Shauli Zacks
Last Updated by Shauli Zacks on August 01, 2022

Quick Summary: While I stand behind the alternatives below, Ajenti outperformed them all. However, I must be honest and admit it wasn’t as good as Plesk. That being said, the open-source control panel of Ajenti has some integrated features that make it easy to manage your website.

My only issue with Plesk is that the free plan is limited and many of the top features are not available.

Of all the free control panel software I downloaded and tested, only three had similar features to Plesk. The other ones I tested didn’t work properly, slowed down my computer’s processing speed, or were too difficult to use. My top choice is Ajenti, an open-source platform that is compatible with multiple server types and management tasks.

Quick Guide: 3 Free Plesk Alternatives in 2022

  1. Ajenti: Has integrated functions for installing packages, run commands, and a graphical user interface (GUI) that is based on Google’s AngularJS, but it only works with Linux.
  2. ApisCP: Works with Ruby, PHP, Python, and Go, has single click SSL installation but doesn’t work well with multiple domains and accounts.
  3. DirectAdmin: Multiple built-in tools for managing your servers, domains, and email, and it has an easy-to-use file manager, but it doesn’t work with third-party extensions or plugins.

What I Look for in a Free Plesk Alternative

Plesk is the best web hosting platform and control panel software I’ve used. It makes it easy to set up and manage my website, office email accounts, and databases, all through my browser. I had to be careful when choosing an alternative since it needed to have the tools and features I needed to manage my websites, accounts, DNS servers, and more. Here are some of the criteria I needed to add a control panel and web host to my recommended list.

  • Ease of Use: I wanted a program that could be installed and managed by someone without a technical background. There needs to be a simple tutorial that explains the main features and how to set everything up.
  • CMS Integration: I’m not looking for a custom platform. It needs to easily integrate with major CMS programs like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and others.
  • Domain Name Management: This allows me to quickly connect all the domains to the apps that are installed on the same hosting server. It needs to have a DNS management tool to connect the hosting and domain names.
  • Email System Management: The software must have the tools to create domain specific email accounts that can be accessed through webmail or other similar email programs.
  • Free: The only reason to switch from a software as robust as Plesk is to save a few dollars. I understand that a free program won’t have as many advanced features as Plesk, but I wanted to see if I could find something with enough features to get the job done.

3 Best Free Plesk Alternatives with Similar Features

1. Ajenti: Modular Python API and Compatible with Third Party Integrations

  • Clean, modern, and responsive user interface
  • Supports SSL certificates and other security upgrades
  • Graphical User Interface is based on Google’s AngularJS

Ajenti is an open-source graphical user interface that is compatible with several Linux distros. The intuitive software makes managing your web hosting from a remote server easy.

The tool was built using a highly modular framework that allows you to install packages and third-party extensions.

I managed the DNS servers and email accounts, monitored my network, and more. The software is divided into two platforms:

  • Ajenti Core: A python library that contains the HTTP server, a plugin container, and the rocket engine.
  • Ajenti Panel: Hosts the startup script and built-in plugins, such as file and service manager, network configuration, and more.

Unlike Plesk which is available on PC and Linux, Ajenti can only be installed on a Linux server. However, once installed, you can access the control panel on any browser.

2. ApisCP: Compatible with Multiple Languages and Strong Security Features

  • Self hosted control panel
  • Designed for improved productivity and speed
  • Single click installs for most applications

ApisCP is a self-hosted server control panel that is pretty easy to install. It supports migrations from other control panels, like Plesk and cPanel, which makes it easier to switch your content and data.

While Plesk is a user-friendly software, I can not say the same about Apiscp. It was designed to be fast, secure, and high performing. The benefits of this design are fewer brunt CPU cycles and a faster Time to First Byte (TTFB), a popular metric for measuring the connection and setup speed.

ApisCP is built with a bootstrapper, so it can manage both application and extension installations and security checks.

The software underwent penetration testing by Rack911, an independent security firm, and received a certification as a secure web host.

3. DirectAdmin: Robust GUI Control Panel for Managing Web Hosting Tasks

  • Three access levels; Admin, Reseller, and User
  • Fast, stable, and secure
  • Has support for Apache, Nginx, LiteSpeed, and OpenLiteSpeed

The Linux-based web host and control panel tool works with several leading distros, such as Ubuntu, RedHat, CentOS, and CloudLinux. DirectAdmin is a solid control panel with tools for adjusting the web hosting elements and managing the email network and the DNS.

It comes with a helpful backup feature that copies all the data from your server to a secure location. You can access all system logs from the user-friendly interface and supervise the system processes.

While DirectAdmin is secure, its security features aren’t on the same level as Plesk, which has an integrated firewall, ModSecurity, and Fail2Ban. DirectAdmin.

FAQ

Is Ajenti free?

Yes, Ajenti is a free open source program. However, in many ways, you get what you pay for. While it works as a basic control panel tool, you lose out on many of the advanced features and capabilities that you have with Plesk.

Is Ajenti secure?

Yes, I tested Ajenti and didn’t find any malicious or unknown software hidden in the installation software or the code. There was a security vulnerability that was discovered in the code for a previous version, but the developers released a patch to fix the issue.

If securing your website or application is a top priority, I recommend going with Plesk, which has an integrated firewall that prevents unauthorized users from accessing your server network.

Whis is better, Plesk or Ajenti?

Plesk is a far better control panel and web hosting option. While Ajenti primarily focuses on the control panel features, Plesk is an all-in-one solution. It has automation tools for your website and allows you to manage and purchase domains, track your applications, and add extensions, all from one easy-to-use dashboard. Some of the other core Plesk functions are developing a local environment with Docker, setting up and managing the nameserver and DNS, and performing routine site management tasks.

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