Note: The rising cost of cPanel license fees and changes to its pricing model has left many web hosting providers no choice but to pass on the increased costs to their customer (see price hike announcements in 2019, 2021, 2022, and 2023). This has made a significant impact on the hosting, especially VPS and reseller, users. And many have had to look for alternative options to save costs and remain competitive in the market. Seeing such – we are doing a series on cPanel alternatives and taking a closer look into other less popular (but with good functionality) web hosting control panels.
The Who / What / When of ISPConfig
Till Brehm first created ISPConfig in 2004 as a way to manage his own web hosting business. The web hosting control panel (WHCP) was later officially released by the company ISPConfig UG – a IT company based in Nuremberg, Germany; in form of open source in 2005. Its ease of use and its ability to handle multiple servers and websites quickly made it a favorite among many, resulting in several updates and improvements, with the latest version (3.2.9p1) released in February 2023.
ISPConfig supports various operating systems: Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS, and Fedora – making it a popular choice for web hosting companies worldwide. As more and more businesses look for alternative control panel options to save costs and remain competitive in the market – ISPConfig's cost-effectiveness and robust features have made it the go-to solution for many system administrators worldwide.
ISPConfig System Requirements
- Operating System: ISPConfig can be installed on various Linux distributions, including Debian 5 and above, Ubuntu 8.10 and above, CentOS 5.2 and above, Fedora 10 and above, OpenSuSE 11.1 and above.
- Web Server: Apache or Nginx.
- PHP: version 7.0 or later. PHP 7.2 or later is recommended.
- Database Server: MySQL or MariaDB.
- Mail Server: Postfix or Exim.
- DNS Server: BIND or PowerDNS.
ISPConfig Features Highlights
A Complete Hosting Control Panel Solution
Like many other WHCPs, ISPConfig allows you to attend to your servers, sites, emails, and DNS. ISP Config is also feature-rich and supports SMTP. POP3/IMAP, FTP, HTTP, and upcoming powerful features such as DNSSEC. It also allows virtualization by supporting OpenVZ.
A unique feature of ISPConfig is its availability in 20 languages, hence making it easily adaptable across the globe.
Languages supported by ISPConfig:
- Brazilian Portuguese
ISPConfig has an active community of users and developers who work together to improve the software and provide support to users. This community is made up of thousands of individuals from around the world who share their expertise and knowledge with others. The community provides resources such as user forums, documentation, and tutorials, making it easier for users to get help and support when needed.
Integration with Other Tools
ISPConfig is designed to work seamlessly with other tools and applications, making it easier for users to manage their web hosting infrastructure. For example – ISPConfig integrates with Let's Encrypt, a free and open-source SSL certificate authority, making it easy to secure your website with HTTPS.
The control panel also integrates with popular email clients such as Roundcube, making it easy to manage email accounts. Additionally, ISPConfig integrates with phpMyAdmin, a popular web-based database management tool, allowing users to manage their databases easily.
How Much Does It Cost to Implement ISPConfig?
The basic ISPConfig is a free and open-source web hosting control panel, which means that it is available for anyone to download and use without charge. Therefore, you can install and use ISPConfig in your VPS or reseller hosting account without incurring any costs for the software itself. However, ISPConfig add-on features, including account billing, migration, malware scanner, and monitoring application, you’ll have to pay a one-time licensing fee (at €59.00 plus tax) to enjoy such extras.
Also, while ISPConfig is user-friendly, it may require some technical expertise to set up and configure correctly. You may need to invest time or hire a professional to help with the installation and management of the software on your hosting account.
Best ISPConfig Hosting Services
While ISPConfig can be installed on any hosting provider that allows you to install your own control panel, we recommend three companies: RoseHosting, LiquidWeb, and Digital Ocean.
LiquidWeb is a US-based hosting provider that offers managed VPS hosting, dedicated hosting, and cloud hosting. The company is known for its high-performance infrastructure and excellent customer support – making it an ideal choice for high-end users.
RoseHosting is a reliable and experienced hosting company that offers mid-range managed VPS hosting services. With over 20 years of experience, RoseHosting has a proven track record of providing stable and secure hosting environments to businesses of all sizes. Their expertise in Linux server management makes them a top choice for companies seeking reliable and affordable ISPConfig hosting.
As one of our Best Cloud Hosting picks, Digital Ocean is a popular choice for developers and tech people. However, it's important to note that Digital Ocean is not a managed service provider – meaning users will need to handle most of their server technical issues. Despite this, Digital Ocean remains a top choice for those seeking a scalable and cost-effective ISPConfig hosting solution.
Check Pricing at Digital Ocean
Quick Wrap & Learn More
In short – if you were looking for a cPanel alternative, ISPConfig is versatile, cost-effective, and highly recommended by many web techies – including us. Hosting resellers, in particular, use it a lot when handling their multiple accounts.