The CPanel vs DirectAdmin is a recent debate in the hosting comunity. If you have a hosting account, you likely know what a control panel is and probably have heard what cPanel and DirectAdmin are. However we´ll explain both licences in this article.

The most popular control panel has been cPanel for quite some time now. But recent increment in their fees as well as the competition making major upgrades, has opened the debate of which control panel is best for managing sites.

For that reason, in this article we´re going to analyse the key differences between cPanel and it´s closest competitor DirectAdmin to see which one is best.

What are cPanel and DirectAdmin?

Both cPanel and DirectAdmin are web control panels. Softwares that facilitates site management with a user friendly interface to monitor things like:

  • Email accounts
  • Manipulate site files
  • Manage databases
  • Install domains and programs to your site
  • See site statistics
  • Manage your site´s security

Both of these control panels do these basic control panel functions very well and can run on Linux or its variants without a problem.

cPanel vs DirectAdmin: key differences

Knowing about the similarities both control panels have, let´s see what their differences are and see which one suits you best


Both of the control panels have a very easy and interactive interface. With cpanel, you have control over all the WHM features and can easily automate tasks through the command line. The bad part about cpanel´s interface is that it can be a bit overwhelming for a new user, but it shows everything you would want to see whilst managing your site ordered categorically.

DirectAdmin on the other hand offers a less information heavy interface that looks less overwhelming than cPanel with only three sections: mail, account management and advanced features.

Although it may look easier at first, looking for specific things ends up taking more time than needed which makes the interface harder to use.

For this reason, the cPanel interface is more suited for the majority of users and is much more efficient than the one DirectAdmin has to offer.


cPanel is very plugin friendly, it´s very easy to add extensions with little to no cost whatsoever. It also allows you to directly modify the code options, expanding even further the functionality and use of the control panel.

DirectAdmin on the other hand unfortunately doesn´t have all the expandability options cPanel has because you have to pay extra for the additional functionalities of changing the code. But the control panel is still very expandible with multiple pluggin options.


Both control panels offer UI and server configuration. The difference between the two is that in DirectAdmin, you have to do a lot of work from the command line whilst on cPanel all the functionality and configuration can be done through the interface which is easier to use for most users.

However, heavy users might prefer the manual changes in the command line rather than navigate through the interface.

Another point to have in mind is that cPanel being the most popular control panel has loads of tutorials and online guides to help users get the most out of the panel, and that´s something that DirectAdmin simply doesn´t have.


Price is arguably the most important point to consider when choosing a control panel for your hosting.

Since cPanel considerably incremented its prices in 2019, it started to lose its popularity to other competitors which offered similar features for a much lower price.

A cPanel licence starts for about $16 a month for 5 accounts to $54 for 100 accounts. Meanwhile a DirectAdmin licence starts from $2 a month for one account up to $29 a month for unlimited accounts.

As you see, cPanel costs more than twice as a DirectAdmin licence. Is it twice as good? Not really.

Don´t get us wrong, overall cPanel is a better control panel system. It has more functions, easier to use and is much easier to expand than the competition. But still if you´re an independent user that has to buy the licence, it´ very costly.

Which one should I choose?

The better option in reality is cPanel, it has been the most popular for a reason. It´s easy to use interface joined with it´s great functionality, customizability and wide variety of plugins and expandability make it the best control panel available for 90% of users.

However the major downside is the licence price. As we´ve seen, DirectAdmin costs less than half of what a cPanel licence costs. Are you getting a control panel that’s twice as good? Not really.

If you´re independently buying the licence you should definitely consider if you want the better control panel for more price.

But if you´re hosting your account with a company, you should definitely make sure they offer cPanel.

Here at Obambu we have cPanel with every hosting plan that we offer to ensure our clients have the best possible control panel. If you´re interested in our hosting or shared hosting plans make sure to check our website.

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