Web hosting control panels make Virtual Private Server (VPS) plans a lot easier to manage. They offer quick tools that bring us away from command-line instructions. More importantly, they often unified controls for various essential elements in web hosting plans.
As many businesses work on a tight budget, it’s understandable how people are even looking for free VPS solutions. But is there such a thing? And how “free” can a Free VPS package actually be?
Let’s take a deeper dive into the world of free and premium VPS hosting plans.
cPanel VPS Hosting Characteristics
Despite its steep licensing fees, cPanel is one of the world’s most popular web hosting control panels. It holds a whopping 18.5% of the market – an impressive number since its next closest competitor has less than 1%.
Even though cPanel helps simplify VPS management, it has some defining characteristics you should understand. Chief among them is that cPanel is only available for Linux-based servers. This little detail makes it unsuited for a WordPress-based online project.
cPanel VPS hosting often comes at premium prices because of the hardware costs and licensing fees. To better illustrate this, let’s consider a cPanel VPS that costs $20 per month. Of that amount, 75% is due to licensing alone.
cPanel VPS Hosting Benefits
The choice of web hosting control panel doesn’t take away many of the key benefits of VPS hosting. Like other plans in this category, cPanel VPS hosting offers:
- High Performance – Thanks to its dedicated resources, cPanel VPS plans are designed for reliability and fast performance. Each time visitors come to your site, CPU time, memory, and bandwidth are needed. Having them available at all times means your site can load more consistently and at optimized speeds.
- Extreme Customizability – Although the VPS gives you an easy management interface, that doesn’t take away from your freedom of choice. Everything in a cPanel VPS environment is up to you – from the selection of Linux distribution to run, database engine, and even in-depth server configurations.
- Better Security – cPanel VPS accounts exist in “bubbles” thanks to the virtualization technology used to create them. This isolation leads to much better security for your website. Anything that happens to other VPS accounts on the same server won’t affect your site.
- Good Scalability & Pricing – When you sign up for a cPanel VPS account, you get to choose the amount of resources you need. At any point, you can increase or decrease your resource allocation. This scalability allows you to pay for what you use only.
- Better Control – Integrated control is the highlight of using cPanel on your VPS. It offers a single point of contact that you can use to manage website files, deploy applications, handle email, DNS, security, and much more.
Is there Free cPanel VPS Hosting?
Surprisingly or not, there is such a thing as Free cPanel VPS hosting, even though it shouldn’t logically exist.
There are several reasons for that, many of which aren’t very favorable to the end user. It’s crucial to realize that hosts offering free cPanel VPS still need to earn enough money to cover their licensing costs.
Because of this, providers that advertize free cPanel hosting often follow two operational models.
The first is a freemium system, where you get zero-cost cPanel VPS hosting. Freemium VPS hosts often put severe limitations on their plans, resulting in poor performance and security. This forces users to upgrade to a paid service to actually enjoy a fully-featured hosting account.
This does serve a purpose for users. If you haven’t operated a cPanel VPS before and want to get a feel of the environment – freemium is an ideal choice. Think of it as a sandbox experience.
The second operational model is even more nefarious to both webmasters and their site visitors. These free cPanel VPS accounts are often designed to collect data, which is then sold to third parties for profit. At the very least, you will have to allow pesky and unwanted ads from the provider.
Free vs Premium cPanel VPS Hosting
Pricing is the main distinguishing factor between free and premium cPanel VPS hosting plans. However, as discussed above, it is essential to note that “free” doesn’t ultimately exist – there will be a price, be it financial or not.
Other distinctions between free and premium cPanel VPS hosting include:
- Availability – It’s much easier to find premium cPanel VPS hosting since free VPS hosting is relatively rare. This scarcity also gives you fewer options to choose from, even if you manage to find them.
- Features and Resources – Free cPanel VPS hosting often comes with limited features and typically, only enough resources to be barely usable. This omission takes away a significant advantage that VPS inherently offers – scalability and customizability for growing websites.
- Support – You cannot expect much technical support from any free hosting provider. Employing and training a growing team of experts just doesn’t make sense for the host if they aren’t getting any finances in return. Instead, you are often limited to an online contact form or email address. Response times can take days, even weeks.
cPanel Control Panel Costs
Retail licensing for cPanel falls into four tiers – Solo, Admin, Pro, and Premier. Prices range from $15 per month at the lower end to $48 per month at the highest. This price discrepancy is primarily due to the number of user accounts coming with each package.
Web hosting service providers and large businesses pay different rates depending on the volume of licenses needed. For individual site owners, bulk licensing like this is unrealistic since you need to order more than 1,045 accounts to qualify.
ScalaHosting SPanel Platform
Luckily, there are alternative options to the growing licensing fees.
While cPanel is extremely popular, it isn’t that unique, and many alternative platforms offer similar functionalities.
Chief among them ScalaHosting’s very own management platform – SPanel. This highly functional hosting control panel comes with most of cPanel’s features but offers them completely free.
Aside from the typical controls, SPanel integrates other innovative technologies as well.
The Scala platform includes SShield, a real-time cybersecurity defense utility that protects your websites 24/7. SShield blocks over 99.998% of web attacks and other suspicious activities. In an era of rising cybersecurity concerns, this one is a real life-saver.
You also get access to SWordPress Manager, which is fantastic for centralized WordPress control. Since this CMS is the most popular on the market, many loyal fans can benefit from this SPanel tool.
One significant benefit of SPanel is that it is entirely cPanel-compatible. This means that cPanel users can easily migrate to SPanel to move away from the rising licensing costs. Imagine saving at least $15 each month – it might not seem like a lot, but this can stack into a huge number over time.
Free cPanel VPS hosting does exist, but we don’t really recommend it. Instead of spending time and effort on this risky endeavor – consider an alternative to cPanel VPS hosting. As you can see, there is no lack of suitable options.
SPanel brings forth a vital part of what ScalaHosting aims for – accessible VPS hosting for everyone. Instead of spending heaps of money on licensing, divert those funds towards more important things that benefit your business and site visitors.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a free version of cPanel?
No, cPanel is a fully commercial web hosting control panel. Retail prices start from $15 per month, although bulk licensing is also available. There are, however, many free alternatives to cPanel, such as SPanel, Plesk, or DirectAdmin.
How can I get free cPanel VPS hosting?
Some hosting providers offer free cPanel VPS hosting. Keep in mind, though – these plans are often highly limited and dangerous to use. You will have to settle for a small account in the best-case scenario, with possible ads and links applied by the host.
How much does cPanel VPS hosting cost?
Expect to pay anything from $10 per month and up. Prices for cPanel VPS hosting can vary significantly since web hosts also have to charge for resources, infrastructure, and expertise. The combined amount can raise VPS rates to some premium levels, like $70-$90/mo and more.