ISPConfig and EHCP Short comparison
Well I have ISPConfig running on my VPS.. Everything seems fine, finally. My advice, don’t go into the installation thinking it’s going to be easy – you’re better off going with a managed VPS and a pre-installed manager if you have that mindset.
ISPConfig requires loads of packages, so I think you better stick to something like Debian or Ubuntu so you have apt-get. Maybe not, I’m just most familiar with Debian and Ubuntu, besides Slackware.
I had a lot of issues with ProFTPD and Apache. ProFTPD I forgot to manually edit some configuration or something, not sure but I know it didn’t work correctly until I made some modifications. Apache didn’t want to work with ISPConfig for awhile, mainly because I forgot to load the PHP5 module. There were also a lot of other issues, I’m not going to get into it.. I should have followed the “Perfect Server” tutorial, I didn’t but I ended up doing most everything in that tutorial anyway
ISPConfig has to compile, and to compile it needs all its dependencies, and the configuration has to be somewhat perfect. It’s definitely not an “out of the box” solution. I think it would have been easier for me if I was just setting up this site, to do things manually to be honest. Since I do want to let other users on my server, I needed a manger. ISPConfig as far as security, I think it has it covered. Anti-Virus, Spam Assassin, and firewalls.
I’m not really impressed with the GUI too much. It works, but that’s about it. I chose ISPConfig mainly for security, I hope I was right.
EHCP – Easy Hosting Control Panel
This is relatively new. It only works on Debian/Ubuntu servers. It uses an install script – where everything is done automagically. You can have everything working in minutes, so long as your OS install is clean. Right out of the box magic. You really don’t need to have any form of Linux knowledge to get this up and running. I have to say, it lives up to its name.
The GUI works, it’s nothing spectacular, but it works. It doesn’t have quite as many options as ISPConfig, such as setting up shells for users. I wish it had this feature. It has domain tools, FTP, e-mail, etc. Everything works.
The creator of this hosting control panel must not be a native English speaker – so it needs some fine tuning from someone who speaks native English. That is a major drawback if you’re trying to sell hosting. Will your users think you’re professional if your control panel has incorrect grammar throughout the entire panel? I think not. Also, I really can’t tell if this panel would be easy to exploit, but it sort of looks that way. I could be mistaken.
EHCP includes “Easy Install Scripts” which install some things like phpBB automatically. Sort of like “fantastico”, but not fully automated. I still had to manually input the MySQL database information when I installed phpBB.
Overall, I was pretty satisfied with EHCP. There’s nothing really wrong with it, I think it just needs some fine tuning and it could be a great open source control panel. Some more features could be added to make it better, and maybe a better GUI is in order.
Don’t have any knowledge of Linux, have Ubuntu or Debian installed and want to get your site up and running quick? Choose EHCP.
Want some extra features and possibly something more rock solid? Choose ISPConfig.
I’m not mentioning VHCS here because people have reported exploit issues with it, and I didn’t try it because of that.