Virtualmin versus Other Control Panels
This article was taken from the Virtualmin website and slightly modified to give Vander Host’s opinion on Virtualmin versus other control panels. The original article can be found here.
It’s no secret that Vander Host loves the Virtualmin Control Panel. Our opinion is swayed based on over 20 years of hosting experience and working with numerous control panels, including Plesk, ISPConfig, DirectAdmin, and cPanel. As with anything, all these control panels have their pros and cons. But there are specific things that stand out about Virtualmin.
Why Vander Host Loves Virtualmin
Convention by Default
Virtualmin does things the “stock” way. There are many different ways to configure Apache, NGINX, log files, MySQL optimization, etc. The beauty of Virtualmin is everything is done pretty close to the standard way. That means none of that “proprietary” nonsense and heavy customisation that can be found with other panels. It also means that if you Google solutions you can typically use standard results to fix issues you might encounter.
GPL and Pro Versions
Virtualmin is still the only industrial strength control panel that has a GPL version. That means it’s easy to get started, without spending a huge amount of money. And once you advance to the 100 possible supported scripts, or the multi server options, there is a extremely competitively priced Pro version to make your life so much easier.
NGINX that just work
Unlike some other panels that are struggling to implement production NGINX configurations, Virtualmin has an easy to use method to swap out Apache. It literally takes 3 minutes and you’re up and running. The dirty little secret many hosts refuse to accept is that Apache is slow and memory hungry and for any kind of performance you need NGINX. With Virtualmin, NGINX support is dead easy.
The Virtualmin community is friendly towards each other. None of this opinionated nonsense. There are people there that reach out and just help.
Virtualmin has amazing import scripts! It takes seconds to migrate sites from cPanel, Ensim, Plesk, LXadmin, and DirectAdmin.
Handling of Subdomains and Permissions
Another standout advantage of Virtualmin is the elegant way that it handles subdomains. Wants a domain with parent domain permissions? No problem, just create a sub-server. Want a subdomain that is totally independent from a parent? No problem, just create a new domain. Virtualmin makes this so easy it puts other panels to shame.
Virtualmin has competition. A lot of it. We even compete with ourselves when it comes to choosing to purchase your tools or select an Open Source option. We think we’ve built the most powerful and flexible web hosting control panel in the world in nearly every area. Feel free to let Virtualmin know if you think they’re wrong about that. We’d like for this page and the product comparison table to be accurate in every regard, and corrections are welcome.
Flexibility Where You Need It
Virtualmin is unlike anything else, when it comes to flexibility and power. Designed by system administrators for system administrators, it works with you to configure services and accounts in the way you choose.
Ease of Use Where You Want It
Virtualmin isn’t just for hard core system administrators. It scales back the complexity of the UI based on the privileges of the logged in user, and allows delegation of tasks, based on skill and level of trust.
Extensible, Scriptable, Customizable
Virtualmin was made to be extended, scripted, and customized. With a modular architecture, you can write new modules and themes, drive it from scripts or other programs, and create Server Templates to suit your needs.
Command Line Friendly
With Virtualmin, working from the UI is not the only way to do it. With complete command line access to nearly all UI functions, and the ability to configure most services using standard text editors and tools, Virtualmin works your way.
Virtualmin has always been focused on automating away repetitive tasks without impeding your ability to customize. Simplifying complex tasks is a Virtualmin specialty.
Virtualmin support is provided by the people who build and maintain the software. When you file a support ticket with us, you’ll receive prompt, expert, advice. Tickets are usually answered within 24 hours, and every member of our staff has years of experience.
Comparison With Other Control Panels
|Features||Virtualmin Professional||Virtualmin GPL||cPanel||Plesk|
|Price||Tiered pricing from $60-$200/server per year, based on number of domains||Free and Open Source under the GNU GPL||$200/year for a virtual machine or $425/year for dedicated server||$48/year to $180/year depending on number of domains and features|
|Install and Manage Applications||Over 100 easily installable applications included at no extra cost.||Install Script support, with 7 easily installable applications, including RoundCube, phpMyAdmin, phpPgAdmin, and developer tools.||19 applications included in core cPanel. Additional applications available with third-party Fantastico add-on product (add $29 per year) or Softaculous ($12-$24 per year).||Optional WordPress toolkit and a small number of administrative tools provided. Optional Softaculous add-on product (add $12-$24 per year).|
|Spam and Anti-Virus Filtering||Per-user and per-domain SpamAssassin and ClamAV included.||Per-user and per-domain SpamAssassin and ClamAV included.||Account-based SpamAssassin and ClamAV support included.||Optional add-ons available for additional cost.|
|PHP PEAR||Complete UI support for PHP PEAR module installation. List, install, update, and remove PHP modules easily and quickly.||Complete UI support for PHP PEAR module installation. List, install, update, and remove PHP modules easily and quickly.||List, install, update, and remove modules from the UI.||Command line only.|
|Ruby and Ruby on Rails||Comprehensive support for Ruby developers working with Ruby on Rails, Mongrel, etc. Many Ruby on Rails applications install quickly and easily from the Install Scripts interface.||Support for Ruby applications and Ruby Gems, but no direct RoR support.||Ruby on Rails support includes application creation, starting/stopping applications and web server rewrite rules||Ruby on Rails support includes application creation and starting/stopping applications|
|Ruby Gems||Complete UI support for Ruby Gems. List, install, update, and remove modules easily and quickly.||Complete UI support for Ruby Gems. List, install, update, and remove modules easily and quickly.||List, install, update, and remove modules from the UI||None|
|Python and Django||Installation and management of the Django web application development framework, and instantiation of new Django applications from the Install Scripts interface.||Installation and management of the Django web application development framework, and instantiation of new Django applications from the Install Scripts interface.||None||None|
|Website Creation||Built-in WYSIWYG website editor and template-based page creator, advanced file manager and editor with syntax highlighting and more.||File manager and editor with syntax highlighting and more.||Only with optional third-party SiteBuilder at additional cost.||Site.pro site builder free version, upgradeable for additional cost.|
|Mobile||Complete mobile access using our new responsive mobile-capable UI.||Complete mobile access using our new responsive mobile-capable UI.||Mobile style available.||Plesk Mobile Manager, limited mobile access.|
|Developer Access||Complete, simple to use, HTTP and command line API. Flexible and open API for creating third party modules.||Complete, simple to use, HTTP and command line API. Flexible and open API for creating third party modules.||Create/Read/Update/Delete remote HTTP-based API. Perl API for writing third party modules.||Create/Read/Update/Delete remote HTTP-based API. PHP API for third party modules.|
|Database Support||Virtualmin includes the uniquely powerful Webmin MySQL and PostgreSQL modules, and phpMyAdmin and phpPgAdmin.||Virtualmin includes the uniquely powerful Webmin MySQL and PostgreSQL modules, and phpMyAdmin and phpPgAdmin.||phpMyAdmin and phpPgAdmin.||phpMyAdmin and phpPgAdmin.|
|Support||Unlimited premium support via issue tracker for all Virtualmin Professional customers, with usual response time under 24 hours.||Unlimited free support in the Virtualmin.com forums, and free bug fixes via the bug tracker. Premium support and professional services available at additional cost.||Telephone support available for $65/incident. Variable support policy based on who you purchased cPanel from. Free email support.||$75 per incident via a ticket tracker, or $299/year for unlimited email support or $549/year for unlimited premium incidents.|
|Web Server Support||Comprehensive Apache and basic nginx support||Comprehensive Apache and basic nginx support||Apache only||Apache and nginx support|
|Security||Two-factor Authentication, Certificate Authentication, SSL/TLS Management, Fail2Ban Management, Firewall Management, SuExec application execution.||Two-factor Authentication, Certificate Authentication, SSL/TLS Management, Fail2Ban Management, Firewall Management, SuExec application execution.||SSL/TLS Management, SuExec application execution, some other features available via third party add-ons.||SSL/TLS Management, Fail2Ban, mod_security, SuExec application execution.|
|Let’s Encrypt!||Full Let’s Encrypt! support across all Virtualmin-managed services, including Virtualmin itself.||Full Let’s Encrypt! support across all Virtualmin-managed services, including Virtualmin itself.||Let’s Encrypt! support for Apache and Dovecot.||Let’s Encrypt! support for websites.|