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Your favoured hosting panel for XF performance?

Discussion in 'Server Configuration and Hosting' started by Monsta_AU, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. Monsta_AU

    Monsta_AU Member

    Finally purchased a licence of XenForo and I want to migrate my VB forum as soon as I can. I am also have another forum I am starting which will be on XF from the start.

    I have purchased a new VPS, plenty of disk IO and RAM, so looking forward to how much better I can make my experience for my members. And while I work in the technical and administration side of IT, I don't want to be mucking around after hours in my own time administering a server more than I have to. So for me, a panel is almost a must.

    Unfortunately I didn't see much mention of a few good panels here in the XF forums - some that come natively with nginx and have the three major caching modules available standard. Most of you seem to be sticking with the following:
    • Pay for cPanel
    • Pay for cPanel, add a paid 3rd party webserver like Litespeed or cpnginx plugin
    • Pay for cPanel, add nginx manually or with nginxcp, or maybe lighttpd
    • Usermin/Webmin/Virtualmin
    • Pay for Plesk
    • Pay for DirectAdmin
    • ISPConfig3
    • Kloxo/Kloxo-MR
    • And then there a smattering of members mentioning Froxlor, EHCP, Ajenti & OpenPanel
    • And then you have the poor souls on ZPanel. I used to be one.
    I have no more faith in ZPanel with the developers heads in the sand, so I went looking for panels suitable for my favoured CentOS 6 x64 install and found:

    Webuzo (by Softaculous): VPS licence is $2.50/mo or $25/yr, so cheap compared to Cpanel or Plesk.
    • Apache / Nginx / Lighttpd
    • APC / Memcache / XCache
    • PHP 5.3, 5.4, 5.5 + Perl, Python2, Ruby, Rails, Java
    • My, SQLite, Cassandra, Mongo
    • CSF + Maldet
    • BIND, Exim/Dovecot
    • Plus all the Softaculous installers that you usually pay for with cPanel.
    • Free version uses a subset of the Softaculous installers, but everything else is the same.
    I also found VestaCP which is completely free but runs a paid support model. Can't get much of a software list so I throw it into a VM at home onb my Microserver and was surprised how snappy the interface feels. It has Apache + Nginx in reverse proxy mode, MySQL, PHP, Exim/Dovecot, BIND, vsftpd. It's very lightweight and the interface is very clean.

    Anyone here played around with either Webuzo or VestaCP? Experiences with them in a XF context very much appreciated, and some recommendations against paying for another panel or moving towards a free one would be fantastic.
  2. Floren

    Floren Well-Known Member

    None, as they all add bulk and use precious server resources. I use a plain terminal.
    Rudy, shawn, Luke F and 3 others like this.
  3. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Well-Known Member

    Since you said you use centOS, I'd just fork over the cPanel license if I was going to use one. It works well with centOS (doesn't play nice with Debian) and I (like @Floren) prefer to do everything via the command line (it's not that much more work and I enjoy it). I too did this type of stuff full time before I retired - but I'd rather have my system resources available for important stuff instead of fluff. ;)
  4. nemke

    nemke Member

    I also do not use any panel and I vote for that. It really gives you edge when something is not working or if you want to optimize something.

    Before I started to use command line I used few CP's (and today, when I have too much time on my hands I still like to play with them), so some of this info can be outdated:

    ZPanel - DO NOT USE!!!!!!! EVER!!!!! ( This will never be outdated!)
    VestaCP - Looks OK, but you can see some strange behaviour now and then.
    Kloxo/Kloxo-MR - I never liked it, but if you gonna use it, use MR version because it's maintained or not use it at all.
    Usermin/Virtualmin/Webmin - I saw a lot of people saying praise for it and that it gets job done. But I just don't see it, for me it's much easier to use cmd then this CP (I really don't like how it looks :))
    Plesk - It looks ok, but it is full of bugs.
    CPanel - speaks for it self :)
    Ajenti - it can be usable with a few add - on
    ISPConfig3 - I didn't use it, but I hear a lot of praise for it on WHT
    Rest of panels - didn't use them
    Monsta_AU likes this.
  5. Monsta_AU

    Monsta_AU Member

    Yes, I understand that Floren..... even before you posted it. Your reputation precedes you ;)

    Working in the industry with the skills to do it, honestly I can't be bothered. I would like to get away from the KB at times and actually have a life!

    I am getting towards that point. My VPS provider has them at $12.95/mo so it is becoming an option. I would of course add nginxcp to it.

    Very helpful response. Unfortunate you haven't used ISPConfig as I am going to have a look at it next.

    Also not a fan of Virtualmin/Webmin/Directmin. Functionality is very decent though.

    I was on ZpanelX + Ajenti for basic tasks. I did get my VB forum compromised, but it was through the forum and not the panel. There is just too many questions over ZPanel security so I am moving off it.


    I played with VestaCP last night. Not enough configurability of services through it, you would have to go commandline for most stuff, which begs the question why you would install it in the first place. Is very fast though, with a couple of years development it could be a real contender.

    Webuzo is just a way for Softaculous to sell their scripts to people without CPanel and Plesk (and DirectAdmin I think supports Softaculous too). So script installs are strong but it is only very basic panel functionality. Diasppointing for a paid (although cheap) product.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  6. Floren

    Floren Well-Known Member

    Dream on, heh (same here). I wish we all had that great time on hand to do fancy things. But we are here on those forums because we try somehow to make the pessos, so we can have that beautiful life. :)
    Monsta_AU likes this.
  7. Monsta_AU

    Monsta_AU Member

    My forums are not about making money - it's more about the community that revolves around it. I would like the forums to pay for themselves though! My VPS only costs $48 per year, so not real concerned about that. Adding $15/mo in Cpanel licensing..... it would be nice if I could generate that much each month to cover the cost. Might need a couple more forums to do that!

    I don't look down on anyone who wants to run forums for an income. I respect anyone who does, just wouldn't like to do it myself.
    Tracy Perry likes this.
  8. Floren

    Floren Well-Known Member

    Neither is mines, but it got me a really good job which pays the bills. :)
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014
  9. Slavik

    Slavik XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Just grab a server, and whack LiteSpeed on it, do a manual install of phpmyadmin and your good to go.

    LiteSpeed handles your vhosts (mostly), phpmyadmin gives you access to your databases. No need for the other junk.
    Lone Wolf likes this.
  10. Slavik

    Slavik XenForo Moderator Staff Member

  11. WSWD

    WSWD Well-Known Member

    Depending on your provider, they may be able to get it cheaper for you.

    Did you actually install it???? It's much more than that. Takes care of Apache, PHP, BIND/DNS, Email, etc. Sure, the Softaculous products are thrown in, but if you're looking for a very easy-to-use no-nonsense free control panel, it's pretty darn hard to beat Webuzo.
  12. Monsta_AU

    Monsta_AU Member

    Yes, they do it slightly cheaper.....

    I sure did install it. Found it very difficult to find any of the services you mentioned, let alone what I can do to configure them via the panel. Mind you it was a very quick look last night before I had to run out to an appointment.

    Will have more of a look tonight when I get home, but it was a very bare-bones experience.
  13. WSWD

    WSWD Well-Known Member

    It's right in the installation documents. They even have a video showing you exactly how to do it. You either login to the Admin Panel and click on Enduser Panel, or you go straight to the Enduser Panel (https://your-ip:2003/).

    It's all right there and incredibly easy to find and configure...

    Monsta_AU likes this.
  14. motowebmaster

    motowebmaster Active Member

    I use a panel for my xf site and other forums, but my blogs are migrating over to purpose-built cloud instances that I manage only from the command line.

    These days, a panel that is configured properly won't create overhead significant enough to matter. I've seen both plesk and cpanel users struggle with overutilized/compromised servers; but either can be securely configured for your purposes. I find that my preference saves me time.

    The tradeoff is that while you may be able to setup a new server quickly, you'll need to learn how to manage the panel that you choose. Many panel users struggle with the fact that these premium options don't really "hold your hand"; a broken/compromised panel may create a barrier to resolving issues.

    Hope this helps.
  15. Monsta_AU

    Monsta_AU Member

    Yes, that is where I was.

    Being able to set 'back end' configuration changes for the server is most difficult, in fact I couldn't find it at all. Say I want to allow AXFR's to another nameserver? You have to jump into named.conf and make the changes manually.

    It's things like that which make you wonder why you installed a panel in the first place. For basic creation of a site & set up an email address it is fine, but anything beyond that and you might struggle. Webuzo doesn't look too bad, but as I said before it is clearly a way for Softaculous to get revenue from people who don't want Cpanel/Plesk/DirectAdmin, but do want easy install scripts. I mean it's basically a free panel when you buy Softaculous!

    Either way my decision is made - I went Cpanel. I am still getting all my settings correct, and installing plugins (nginxcp, BuddyNS which I use as a public DNS running my VPS as a hidden master).

    Thanks to all that contributed, and I hope some of you look at VestaCP a bit more and see if it is workable for you.
    WSWD likes this.
  16. WSWD

    WSWD Well-Known Member

    It certainly isn't one of those panels. It's just a basic panel for getting the basics installed. I think you made the right decision. cPanel is certainly a good panel.
  17. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Well-Known Member

    Except it no worky on Debian. :rolleyes:
  18. Monsta_AU

    Monsta_AU Member

    That's okay, because people that like Debian are weird.

  19. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Well-Known Member

    Started on the RH based systems many moons ago... then I got smart. (y)
    I've been running Debian for several years now (finally reformatted the Mandriva box) but still have a centOS install on a server (haven't even turned it on in the last month - thing is to noisy).
    I keep threatening to get more into it - but other Debian installs for other wise folk are keeping me busy. :D

    I just wish that they supported it. No reason for them not to really.
  20. WSWD

    WSWD Well-Known Member

    They are working on it, as far as I know.

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