CloudPanel is the sexiest cleanest free control panel right now!
- Let’s go over what I liked, didn’t like, and who I think should use it.
Things I liked about CloudPanel
Super clean interface
Beautiful. Sleek, minimal. Useful and friendly for ADMINS and END USERS. So clean and simple. Lots of white space and very intuitive where to look for things.
The way the settings are layered and tucked away are perfect! Everything you need to see is readily available. Things you rarely need access to are just a click away. It really is beautiful. Bravo and well-done!
- Server resource charts on admin dashboard.
- phpMyAdmin logged in automatically
- Access and error logs shown in panel
- Redis enabled by default
I think any server admin would love this panel. The clean organized UI helps you manage the most common server tasks. Easy to see server loads right away when you log in. Can get into phpMyAdmin without having to dig for your mysql root pass. Can see access and error logs right from your panel (in case of application issues or during attacks). Redis is installed by default instead of requiring extra confirmation during panel install.
I think too many panels out there are confused about which users they serve best. Some are designed only for admins, others for resellers/business-people, and some only for end users. CloudPanel is definitely an admin-centric panel but still very easy for end users.
Also to clarify, I think CloudPanel is a single-user control panel. It’s intended for one admin (and looks super simple because of that). You don’t have to deal with different settings areas for end users and such.
High performance – Debian, NGINX & Percona stack
The stack felt very fast and responsive. Not only in the panel but the sites running on it. For sure anything running on NGINX will be fast. I’m still a diehard LiteSpeed guy so I hope they’ll have OpenLiteSpeed support one day. This would be such a dream!
Really interesting that they used Debian and Percona as those are less common. Most NGINX panels I see out there are using Ubuntu and MariaDB. Anyway, I do like choices. 🙂
Ways to improve CloudPanel
It seems many control panels take this shortcut not to include a File Manager. This feature alone (and probably with phpMyAdmin auto-login) is what makes server panels truly end user-friendly for me or not. Without it, you’re forced to go through FTP to upload files or SSH to unpack and install simple apps. Ughhh, that’s so many more clicks and that much more of a hassle when managing multiple servers.
A developer managing their own sites might not care, but a busy admin like me managing multiple servers and sites on each server, it’s a big deal.
1-click app installation (for WordPress)
They were sooooooo close. The NGINX vhost configs were already there…and yet you still have to manually download and unpack things on the command line to install WordPress. ARGHHHHh…if you’re not gonna give me this, at least give me a working File Manager to ease the pain!
Keep left panel text labels showing
I do appreciate the panel’s minimal interface but hiding the text labels on the left panel makes my brain work harder to “read” the icons. Or let’s be frank…the icons are too ambiguous. Please keep the text labels showing. Otherwise I’m constantly hovering my mouse over them to make sure I’m clicking the right one. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE! This isn’t a mobile app.
Would have been great to see a list of running processes somewhere. Without this, I probably wouldn’t use it for a server with so many sites.
GUI-based terminal would have been nice. But so far I (and most admins) don’t really need it.
The name “CloudPanel” could have been better
I thought the name was terrible branding. They have such an awesome panel and instead called it something so generic. “Cloud” and “Panel” are among the most ubiquitous keywords you’ll find in the cloud hosting industry today. And to put them in that order, you get a common acronym “CP” which is already used for CyberPanel or even cPanel. Not to mention other panels like VestaCP or HestiaCP.
I wish they called theirs something quirky like WhitePanel, SpacePanel, SmokePanel or anything distinctly different. But instead they took a unique product and named it like a cheap generic product. *The traditional marketer in me cringes.*
- Leave PHP time limit settings in seconds (instead of minutes)
- PHP timezone didn’t automatically match server timezone
- Not mobile-responsible.
None of these are important or even a deal-breaker. I’m only making notes of little things I saw. Will add more to this as I get more familiar with CloudPanel.
Who should use CloudPanel
CloudPanel is best for admins wanting a clean solo-user control panel, and don’t need email or file manager.
It’s beautiful, fast, it’s free! What else do you want?! You can’t have end users on here so kiss your low-cost reseller dreams goodbye but it’s fantastic for running a lean clean BS-free NGINX server.
- Extremely admin-centric.
- Auto-login for phpMyAdmin (root pass not required).
- No file manager, email or end-user login.
Try CloudPanel (it’s free and installs in only 5 minutes)