CloudPanel – Free Hosting Panel to Create an Extremely Powerful Web Servers

Managing an unmanaged VPS is quite difficult, especially when you’re just starting.

Reading lots of tutorials, trying new codes, and googling errors every time when things break. Sounds quite fun.

But, when you’re going to host your business or important websites, you need a server that is proven to be reliable.

There are many readymade scripts on the internet that help you to achieve that, like Webinoly. But you have to manage everything in the command line. Don’t worry, there is a way to avoid that.

Check CloudPanel, with just One line of code in the console, you can create a powerful Nginx server hosting environment for your WordPress or any type of website with PageSpeed module, Redis, File and Backup manager, and Varnish cache included.

And, If you’re a previous CPanel or Direct Admin Hosting user, you find CloudPanel is a minimalistic web-based interface hosting panel for your website’s demands.

With CloudPanel you get,

  • Server to host and run static websites, PHP, WordPress, Node.js, and, Python applications.
  • Web-based interface panel to manage your server, you can use the command line if you wish.
  • Easy-to-use installation wizard that offers to set up multiple types of software applications.
  • Fully isolated environment for each website.
  • 11+ preconfigured components to maximize efficiency, like Nodejs, PHP, Python, Redis, Varnish, MySQL, MariaDB, Security Firewall, ProFTPD, etc.
  • 30+ preconfigured Vhost templates for maximum speed, like WordPress, WooCommerce, Joomla, Moodle, Mautic, WHMCS, Angular, etc.
  • Cloudflare integration, IP blocking, and Bot blocking.
  • PHP 8.2, 8.1, 8.0, 7.4, 7.3, 7.2, and 7.1 support.
  • Easy to use Cron Jobs manager.
  • Backup manager with multiple backup provider supports.
  • Letsencrypt SSL manager with automatic renewal.
  • Server resource monitoring on admin dashboard.
  • Real-time Access and Error logs are shown in the panel.
  • Helpful Discord Community.

Click here to know more about CloudPanel features.

In this article, I am going to show you how to install CloudPanel. It supports Debian 11 or Ubuntu 22.04 operating systems, Intel x86, or ARM processors.

I am using MaxKVM VPS for this tutorial. You can use DigitalOcean or any other VPS provider for your websites.

☑️ Check how to choose the best WordPress hosting to learn more about various hosting types and companies.

✍: Still preferred CLI, Check how to Install Webinoly and manage super optimized WordPress sites in minutes.

CloudPanel Installation:

Installation of CloudPanel is simple, just go to Getting Started page, select your preferred cloud hosting partners like Digital Ocean or Vultr or just continue with the Installation on Others.

⚠️: Before running the installer, update the system and install the required packages.

apt update && apt -y upgrade && apt -y install curl wget sudo

I am using MaxKVM VPS with Ubuntu 22.04 LTS and MariaDB 10.9, Check Other documentation for installation instructions,

curl -sS https://installer.cloudpanel.io/ce/v2/install.sh -o install.sh; \
echo "d67e37c0fb0f3dd7f642f2c21e621e1532cadefb428bb0e3af56467d9690b713  install.sh" | \
sha256sum -c && sudo DB_ENGINE=MARIADB_10.9 bash install.sh

When the installation completes, you will get your CloudPanel interface URL with the 8443 port attached.

CloudPanel Installation completion screen

By default its like https://yourip:8443, When you access it via the browser, it shows an SSL warning, ignore that. Click on Advanced and Proceed to continue to CloudPanel.

Welcome Screen:

Before accessing CP, you have to create an administrator user. Account creation looks like this,

CloudPanel Admin User Creation Process

Frontend Area

After user creation and first time login, you’ll see a screen like below,

CloudPanel frond end

Dashboard:

Clicking on the Dashboard tab gives you a clear picture of your machine like this,

Cloud Panel Dashboard

Dark Mode:

Do you prefer dark mode over normal mode, CloudPanel covered you. Click the moon button and enable dark mode.

Admin Area:

The Admin Area gives you, Users, Events, Instance, Backups, Security, Settings, and Support tabs.

Users:

You can add additional users here, define their role (Admin, User, Site Manager), status (Active. Not Active), and assign sites to them.

CloudPanel Admin Area Users Tab

Events:

You can see all the important activities and details about your panel here.

CloudPanel Admin Area Events Tab

Instance:

Services: You can see all running services here on your instance, you can restart them or reboot the server if you wish from here.

CloudPanel Admin Area Instance Service Tab

Settings: You can change the Timezone from here.

CloudPanel Admin Area Instance Settings Tab

Backups:

You can configure server level backup here, which means you don’t have to install backup plugins. CloudPanel offers many types of storage providers, click here to learn more about how to configure CP backups.

CloudPanel Admin Area Backups Tab

Security:

Firewall: This is a basic firewall, using UFW to secure your server port range. You use Add Rule button to add rules related to your applications.

CloudPanel Admin Area Security Firewall Tab

Basic Auth: Basic Auth adds extra layers of security in front of your CloudPanel login screen.

CloudPanel Admin Area Security Basic Auth Tab

⚠️: Don’t forget to hit the save button after every change.

Settings:

General: Add a custom domain to access CloudPanel, before adding your custom domain, make sure the DNS record points to the server IP to issue Let’s Encrypt SSL for the CP custom domain.

CloudPanel Admin Area Settings General Tab

Database Servers: You see all the available database instances here, you can add the new one or remote one here via Add Database Server button.

CloudPanel Admin Area Settings Database Servers Tab

Support:

The support tab redirects you to CloudPanel Contact Us page.

Account:

When you click on your avatar, it opens the account setting page.

Settings: You can edit your password, name, email, and timezone here.

CloudPanel Account Settings Tab

Security: Want to add Two-Factor Authentication for your profile, here you can.

CloudPanel Account Security Tab

Sites:

Clicking on the Sites Tab in the CloudPanel header the first time gives you a blank page with + Add Site button.

CloudPanel Sites Tab

How to Create Sites in CloudPanel:

Clicking on + Add Site button presents you with another screen with five different choices, which can cover almost every type of website’s needs.

CloudPanel Site Creation Wizard

For this tutorial, I am creating WordPress website. All settings are related to WordPress, you can tweak them if you’re another type of website.

New WordPress Site Installation:

After clicking on Create a WordPress Site button in the previous steps, a new window opens where you find and change details about your new WordPress website.

CloudPanel Site WordPress Installation Wizard

After pressing the Create button, it opens a new screen with all the details about your website like the site, database, and WordPress details.

CloudPanel Site WordPress Installation Details

Press the Back to Sites button, and now it shows your newly created website the Manage button.

CloudPanel Site WordPress Installation Management

✍: With CloudPanel, you can create speed optimized WordPress website in minutes.

Site Settings Management in CloudPanel:

CloudPanel is a great panel with finely tuned templates catering to general website demands. But, sometimes we need to fine-tune it to satisfy project demands.

You can do it in CP without executing any magic code in the console. All you have to do it to click on the Manage button of your newly created website.

On the next screen, you can see many tabs and settings. Don’t worry, below you can find a detailed explanation of every tab and settings.

Settings:

CloudPanel Sites Settings Tab

Domain Settings:

You can change the root directory if you want from here.

⚠️: Don’t forget to hit the save button after every change.

Site User Settings:

You can generate a new password or add SSH keys from here.

⚠️: Don’t forget to hit the save button after every change.

PHP Settings:

In PHP Settings, I only explain the most important settings.

  • PHP Version: You can PHP version from here, from the latest 8.2 to 7.1.
  • memory_limit: You can change the memory allocated to your site from here, like instead of 512 MB to 256 MB.
  • max_execution_time: If you’re using a normal theme like GeneratePress then 1 minute is fine but if you’re using page builders like Bricks Builder or WooCommerce then you have to increase it up to 3 minutes.
  • upload_max_filesize: Sometimes you need to upload files larger than 64 MB, You can change to your desired value from here.
  • post_max_size: Whatever you change in upload_max_filesize, change the same value here.
  • Additional Configuration Directives: Sometimes you need to change things in php.ini file, add those values here for the same results.

⚠️: Don’t forget to hit the save button after every change.

PageSpeed:

CloudPanel comes with an Nginx PageSpeed Module, which helps you to get the most out of your websites and makes your website core web vitals green.

To use it, you must turn on the Toggle Button, and hit the Save button.

⚠️: Don’t forget to hit the save button after every change.

✍: Want to change the settings of PageSpeed? Check the Official PageSpeed Configuration Guide.

With the PageSpeed module enabled for your website, you don’t have to worry about paid or free plugins to your WP faster.

Delete Site:

Delete your sites permanently with all settings and file, which is non-recoverable.

Vhost

A Virtual Host(Vhost) or Server Block is an Nginx configuration file. For eg: it helps you to display more than one website or redirect traffic from one site/ page to another. Learn more about Vhost / Server Block.

CloudPanel provides you 30+ Vhost templates out of the box, below you can see an example of WordPress Vhost template.

CloudPanel Sites Vhost Tab

⚠️: Don’t forget to hit the save button after every change.

Databases:

You can add a new database here from Add Database button. Or you can delete any database from here with the Delete button.

You can manage your database using PHPMyAdmin with one click of a button with auto login.

CloudPanel Sites Databases Tab

Varnish Cache:

Varnish Cache is one of the most powerful cache systems, paired it with Nginx and you’ll get a killer combination of caching. Learn more about Varnish Cache and settings from CloudPanel.

Benefits of Varnish Cache:

  • Blazing Fast Page Loads – Up to 250x faster
  • Up to 80% savings in Infrastructure
  • Improved User Experience
  • Better Search Ranking

⚠️ After enabling Varnish Cache from CloudPanel, in WordPress, you must have to install and enable CLP Varnish Cache Plugin to clear the cache. You can also purge the cache from the panel itself.

CloudPanel Sites Varnish Cache Tab

⚠️: Don’t forget to hit the save button after every change.

CloudPanel comes with an inbuilt Redis server, for a normal website it’s not necessary but if you have a highly dynamic website like WooCommerce or News website, you have to enable it. Just install and enable the Redis Object Cache plugin.

After enabling Varnish cache and PageSpeed together, you don’t have to worry about plugins like WP Rocket or Cache Enabler to make your sites faster.

SSL/TLS

You can generate Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates or import certificates from another provider.

When you first create a website, CloudPanel issues a self-signed certificate for the website, you have to open this tab and generate Encrypt SSL certificate for your new website.

CloudPanel Sites SSL/TLS Tab

Security:

  • IP Blocking: You can block individual IPs (ipv4, ipv6) from here. Click on Add IP button to block IP. Eg:
    • 8.8.8.8 (ipv4)
    • 192.168.0.1/32 (ipv4 CIDR Format)
    • 2400:6180:100:d0::99b:5001 (ipv6)
  • Bots Blocking: Ban any bot to access your website from here. Click on Add Bot button and add the bot name.
  • Basic Authentication: You can add basic authentication in front of your entire website from here. Add the username and password, and hit the Save button. After that toggle On the Basic Authentication switch.
  • Cloudflare: You can force your server to allow visitors on the website through Cloudflare only, it helps you to save bandwidth and reduce attacks and spam. Toggle ON the Allow traffic from Cloudflare only.
    • The name servers must point to Cloudflare, and the proxy needs to be enabled for your DNS records.

⚠️: Don’t forget to hit the save button after every change.

CloudPanel Sites Security Tab

SSH/FTP:

You can add new SSH Users and FTP Users from here.

CloudPanel Sites SSH/FTP Tab

File Manager:

CloudPanel provides you simple file manager for your website, you can upload, download, cut, copy, paste, delete, rename and compress any file from here.

CloudPanel Sites File Manager Tab

Cron Jobs:

Add server-level cron jobs from here, click Add Cron Job button.

CloudPanel Sites Cron Jobs Tab

✍: Always use server-level or external Cron Job instead of WordPress default cron.

Logs:

You can see the latest Nginx and PHP-FPM access.log and error.log here.

CloudPanel Sites Logs Tab

CloudPanel Optimized WordPress GTMetrix results

Here is a quick comparison to show you the power of CoudPanel server-level caching without using any caching plugin.

For this comparison, I am using the GeneratePress Construction demo.

I am using MaxKVM 1GB VPS for this test website, and the GTMetrix Vancouver location for benchmarking the website.

Default CloudPanel WordPress GTMetrix results:

Default CloudPanel WordPress GTMetrix Grade Results
Performance100%
Structure93%
LCP516ms
First Contentful Paint375ms
Time to Interactive383ms
Speed Index491ms
Backend Duration151ms
TTFB241ms
First Paint376ms
Onload Time679ms
Fully Loaded Time718ms
Requests27
Page Size(Compressed)2.97MB
Page Size(Uncompressed)3.24MB

Varnish Cache Enabled CloudPanel WordPress GTMetrix results:

Varnish cache Enabled CloudPanel WordPress GTMetrix Grade Results
Performance100%
Structure90%
LCP463ms
First Contentful Paint264ms
Time to Interactive395ms
Speed Index414ms
Backend Duration71ms
TTFB154ms
First Paint264ms
Onload Time673ms
Fully Loaded Time711ms
Requests26
Page Size(Compressed)2.97MB
Page Size(Uncompressed)3.24MB

Varnish Cache and PageSpeed Enabled CloudPanel WordPress GTMetrix results:

Varnish Cache and PageSpeed enabled CloudPanel WordPress GTMetrix Grade Results
Performance100%
Structure97%
LCP485ms
First Contentful Paint285ms
Time to Interactive470ms
Speed Index441ms
Backend Duration71ms
TTFB169ms
First Paint285ms
Onload Time559ms
Fully Loaded Time601ms
Requests26
Page Size(Compressed)1.72MB
Page Size(Uncompressed)2.02MB

Conclusion

CloudPanel provides a powerful web-based interface control panel for managing your servers. It also provides you a speed-focused WordPress website out of the box, paired with Varnish Cache and PageSpeed, you don’t need any premium WP caching plugin.

The below table shows, that you don’t need any type of premium or free caching/optimization plugin to speed up your WP with CloudPanel.

Caching NameDefault WordPressVarnish CacheVarnish+ PageSpeed
Performance100%100%100%
Structure93%90%97%
LCP516ms463ms485ms
First Contentful Paint375ms264ms285ms
Time to Interactive383ms395ms470ms
Speed Index491ms414ms441ms
Backend Duration151ms71ms71ms
TTFB241ms154ms169ms
First Paint376ms264ms285ms
Onload Time679ms673ms559ms
Fully Loaded Time718ms711ms601ms
Requests272726
Page Size(Compressed)2.97MB2.97MB1.72MB
Page Size(Uncompressed)3.24MB3.24MB2.02MB

With the help of CloudPanel, we can remove these types of plugins from our WordPress sites,

You can still benefit from plugins like Pugin Load Filter or Perfmatters to remove extra bloat from your WP setup.

CloudPanel is the easiest free server control panel for everyone. doesn’t matter if you’re a newbie or a pro in the server and hosting world, you can find CP makes everyone’s job easier.

So, try it and tell me about how it went by leaving a comment down below!

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