VestaCP Review, Installation & How To’s

VestaCP is a one of the most popular and open source web hosting control panel with thousands of downloads per month and all the basic features and functionality that you may need to manage all of your websites and web server configuration. If you are looking for a free but powerful and easy to use control panel with modern graphical user interface (GUI) for your VPS or dedicated web server, It’s maybe VestaCP.

When I planned to migrate all of my websites to VPS from simple shared hosting, I found it’s a lot of work to done and need some additional work and most importantly some valuable time on regular basis to manage my VPS server. While I was on Shared hosting, It was lot easier because of cPanel1 (Probably the most powerful and popular web hosting control panel on the web). Since cPanel is a commercial software and I wanted to keep my hosting budget low as much as possible, I look for close alternative of cPanel and get introduced with VestaCP.

Since then, I’m using VestaCP and I really love it.

VestaCP Review

VestaCP comes with all the basic to advance functionalities like Web server, DNS server, Email server, FTP server, Database server, Firewall and many more while aiming to be simple, modern and lightweight web control panel. It supports Debian, Ubuntu and CentSO/RHEL operating system with the easiest installation. The installation is extremely easy and fully automated that a novice can do with a very little effort. In case of any error or support needs, You can check out their support forum or do a quick search in Google. You will find a huge library of documentation and supports.

It also offer great support for user management and of-course there can be client type users as well. You can control the services and set quote for all users or individual user account or even the type of user account using the packages tool where you can set the limit of domain, email, FTP account or maximum web space etc.

The best thing of VestaCP is, It provide modern but very simple and lightweight web user interface that is novice friendly. I’ve added a screenshot below:

VestaCP Web Interface

The web interface of VestaCP is is extremely fast and clutter free while comparing with other open source hosting panel. You can find all the info of your web-server and websites from a single place and these are well organized. It also supports keyboard shortcut that is really helpful. Below is the screenshot of support keyboard shortcuts:

VestaCP keyboard shortcut

It also comes with out of the box support for Nginx reverse proxy server that enhance web server performance and security. It use Apache for web application back-end and Nginx for front-end web panel. And of-course you can opt out from the default server settings and configurations, You can even completely opt out from Nginx reverse proxy. As an admin you will also have some visualization of statistic graph of your web server.

The latest version of VestaCP comes with some useful features like easy SSL and free SSL support of Let’s Encrypt that you can enable from domain edit page and all you need to do is check Let’s Encrypt support box.

Some part of server management in VestaCP like domain management, email account and web server configuration is easier than cPanel or other control panel on the web. Below I’ve shared a full list of features of VestaCP:

VestaCP Features

  • Out of the box support for Nginx reverse proxy
  • Beautiful, clean and modern web panel UI
  • Support for Named DNS server
  • IMAP, SMTP email support
  • Fully featured FTP server
  • Easier Database management
  • Google’s near-line backup support
  • Let’s Encrypt GUI and CLI
  • Statistics and graphs
  • Built-in Firewall, SpamAssasin & ClamAV antivirus support
  • CLI interface to manage all the features of VestaCP from terminal

There’s more then the listed above.

Like most other free web hosting control panel, VestaCP also has some drawbacks. VestaCP is a free software and doesn’t comes with free web based file manager. In terms of using the file manager provide by VestaCP, You need to purchase file manager license first. Yeah, you heard it right, Their file manager plugin isn’t free, It’s a commercial plugin that costs $3 per month or $50 for lifetime. I’ve had a chances to try out VestaCP file manager and all I can say about it, It worth the pricing. Please find the below screenshot of VestaCP file manager:

VestaCP commercial file manager

Alternatively, You can use FTP to upload and manage files to your VestaCP server.

VestaCP also don’t support multi server installation while other control panel like CentOS Web Panel comes with out of the box support for multi-server setup. If you need multi-server setup then you should go with CentOS web panel or ISPConfig.

Each web hosting control panel has some pros and cons. So choose carefully and specially look for you needs while choosing a control panel for your VPS or dedicated web server. As i wrote earlier, I’ve been using VestaCP and since i’me using it, Managing web server configuration and all of my websites become easier. If you are looking for a simple and elegant control panel, You should give VestaCP a try. You can also try out their demo here.

Hope this quick review of VestaCP will help you decide, If you should try out this open source web panel or look for other alternative. Anyway, Do you use VestaCP? Let us know your experience in the comments below.

  1. cPanel is a most popular commercial web hosting control panel on the web. ↩︎
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