cPanel and DirectAdmin both pioneer in integrating third-party apps to allow for more combined usage out of their panels. They do this by partnering with those developers to provide a robust platform that your average user could utilize for whatever project need that they have, we go over some of them below as well as providing a list of log locations for various applications at the end of this article.
Innovation and 3rd-party Apps
Nginx and Free Litespeed Technologies
DirectAdmin has been quick to implement some features that many have considered absolute hosting necessities. One such feature is Nginx. DirectAdmin has had support to Nginx for a very long time, whereas cPanel just began to support it in 2019. Despite this, cPanel was able to implement support for LSAPI whereas DirectAdmin has not. LSAPI is the free version of LSAPI PRO from Litespeed and CloudLinux. It lacks CRIU and connection pooling but is still much faster and for more efficient than DSO. DirectAdmin instead supports OpenLitespeed, which is still very new and has been reported to cause high CPU and/or RAM usage, though both the CloudLinux and DirectAdmin teams are typically quick to resolve such issues.
Passenger, Ruby, NodeJS, and Python
cPanel also implemented Apache’s ModPassenger, which has allowed them to offer support for Ruby on Rails, NodeJS, and Python applications. Using ModPassenger for RoR, WSGI, and NodeJS applications looks like a promising and more stable method of hosting these applications, which is how cPanel now handles these. DirectAdmin has no official support for this, however, considering that one can install custom Apache modules via CustomBuild, it may not be too difficult to implement.
cPanel also currently has official support for Tomcat, but like its Ruby on Rails and Python app support, the implementation has been completely overhauled.
FastCGI and PHP-FPM
DirectAdmin has been offering FastCGI and PHP-FPM for some time, where cPanel implemented these in the past few years. If the latest and greatest is your preference, DirectAdmin offers this. Both cPanel and DirectAdmin are good choices if you desire a stable, production environment.
MySQL 8 is currently available for DirectAdmin servers, where version 5.7 is the highest available version for cPanel as of August 2019.
Useful Reseller Features
One feature that DirectAdmin includes that cPanel does not is an internal ticketing system. This ticketing system is intended for hosting resellers so that an account owner can be easily contacted by that account user.
Another feature that is useful especially for resellers is the ability to mass email all accounts they own. Both panels offer this capability.
DirectAdmin is highly, highly customizable. Ability to add your own package items in DirectAdmin. One feature that cPanel lacks that would be useful to admins and resellers alike would be the ability to add custom package features. For example, if you wanted to offer a custom service to these customers outside of the panel, such as Uptime Monitoring or Dynamic DNS, for example, you could add a custom package item for this.
cPanel has a Terminal Feature that is quite handy for those that are inexperienced with connecting to a server via SSH. It is essentially an SSL terminal inside your browser delivered via your panel. It exists in both WHM and in cPanel. The terminal inside WHM gives access to directories and files that are otherwise inaccessible via the panel and thus can be very useful.
One thing that most absolutely loved about cPanel was the level of support you could expect from cPanel via both the ticket system and the cPanel forums. You could find the answer to any issue you had in the forums. Both cPanel Staff and the cPanel user community contribute to the forums heavily and the forums have a tutorials section as well. If you couldn’t find the answer on the forums, then a quick ticket submission to cPanel support would surely have the issue resolved in no time.
DirectAdmin hasn’t always had this level of support with regards to the forums, however, they haven’t always had the demand they’ve seen recently, either. Time will tell, but thus far, their support for cPanel to DirectAdmin migrations has been exceptional. They’ve gone above and beyond to accommodate feature requests and to help those transitioning to DirectAdmin.
Equivalent Files, Log Locations, and Services in DirectAdmin and cPanel
We hope that this course of articles on cPanel and DirectAdmin comparison of development & log locations has helped provide you with the helpful information in regards to the differences between the two panels as well as the similarities that they both share in which would make any sort of panel transition easier.
Should you have any questions that weren’t covered in this course or have questions about specific features from this overview — feel free to contact our Sales department or if you’re a current customer — our Support department.
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