I have been asked several times now why we use Virtualmin instead of cPanel® and to be honest, there are many reasons and none of them have to do with an initial purchase price.

cPanel can’t do a fraction of what Virtualmin can do and it is severely limiting to the end user and developers of a website by locking you behind a very restrictive user interface while Virtualmin allows you to go as far as to edit the actual Apache directives (if you know what you’re doing).

cPanel was built for server administrators and users that have absolutely no idea what they are doing and that’s my professional opinion.  If you do know what you’re doing, then you don’t want a UI that gives you access to only small bits of the interworkings of a website – you need full access.

But for most users, the UI does nicely too – and it’s the user’s choice – advanced directive editing or this:

And cPanel sure doesn’t allow you to mount your server’s file system through WebDAV either and refuses to fully support SVN or GIT.

But ultimately, we deal mostly in PHP and WordPress and you just don’t get this deep of control over PHP with cPanel.

Essentially, you can see how Virtualmin is built for both beginners and experts alike.  If you’re a beginner, Virtualmin is easy to learn but doesn’t keep you locked in a 1990’s, child-like interface that allows you control over only a few things.  Instead, Virtualmin gives you total access to your slice of the server, including file management.

Everything Virtualmin does is far superior to cPanel in every single way possible.  But let me just give a good comparison between the two here:

Virtualmin cPanel
Price Free (Pro $499/yr) $399/yr
Open Source Yes No
GPLv3 Compliant Prolific Violator
OS Support Linux, FreeBSD Linux, FreeBSD, Windows, Mac
Ruby/Gems Yes Yes
GIT & SVN Full Support Partial Support
Custom Applications Full Support No/None
Database Management Built-In None
Database Support MariaDB, MySQL, PostGreSQL, SQLite, OricaleDB MariaDB, MySQL, PostGreSQL
User/Email Management Yes Yes
Email Client Built-In No
Apache2 Management UI & Fine Editing of Directives UI only
Resellers Pro Only Yes
Logs & Statistics Yes Yes
Domain Support Opts Cloudflare, Varnish, Sub-Domains, Alias Domains, Add-on Domains, etc Cloudflare, Sub-Domains, Add-On Domains
UI Very clean and intuitive 1990’s clunky and disorganized

This is what cPanel looks like:

This is what Virtualmin looks like:

You be the judge.