LunarPages vs HostGator – A Look at CPanel vs LPCP

After hosting this website with Lunar Pages for the last 7 years (November 2002 to November 2009), I decided to move my website to Host Gator.

Why would I want to do that?

Is it because LunarPages support goes down hill? Nope, it is as good as before.

Is it because LunarPages server becomes unreliable? Nope, it is still as good as it is.

Then why?

Some more, HostGator is actually more expensive than LunarPages! Why would I want to move my site hosted with LunarPages for 7 years with great support and great server reliability to a more expensive host?

It Is Because Of Their Control Panel (LPCP vs CPanel)

cpanelLunarPages used to be using CPanel that every great web host out there are using. However, LunarPages has developed their own control panel known as the LPCP (which basically is the abbreviation of LunarPages Control Panel). [Demo]

Cpanel is a third party licensed software developed by CPanel, Inc. All web hosts need to pay them license fees before they can install it on their servers. There are 2 reasons why LunarPages wants to develop their own LCPC instead of using Cpanel.

1. To save on license fees, thus business cost.

2. To have more control to their control panel. Since they write their own codes, they can easily add and remove whatever features they want to their control panel. They also claim to be able to integrate the control panel better to their servers, without "waiting" or being "limited" by CPanel.

LunarPages LPCP Control Panel 
(LunarPages new LPCP Control Panel)

They didn't migrate old users to their new LPCP. Only new users are being placed to LPCP servers or they will need to pay an extra $2/month to use CPanel. So I am still able to use Cpanel for "free".

If I am still on CPanel, why would I still want to move? 

The problem is that they also stop upgrading their CPanel theme! Everybody, be it Blue Host or Just Host or even Web Hosting Pad are using the new CPanel theme known as Cpanel X 3. But LunarPages is still using the old and dumb CPanel X 2.5 theme!

September 2010 Update: They are in the midst of upgrading all their servers to be compatible with CPanel X 3 theme! It will take a few weeks/months to complete. Upgrade progress can be found here.

LunarPages CPanel 
(LunarPages CPanel X 2.5.0 Theme)

HostGator CPanel
(HostGator CPanel X3 Theme)

Comparing CPanel X3 with CPanel X 2.5

There are many new and improved features in the X3 theme. For example, you have a new powerful file manager to manage your files. This new file manager is AJAXed, which means you can manage your files faster and easier because the page doesn't need to be reloaded every time you delete or rename a file. Furthermore, the old file manager is so old and outdated that I have been using it since 7 years ago.

In X3, you also have a search box to quickly search for features. For example, you can type "email" in the search box and all the email features will appear to you such as creating new email account, forwarding your emails, etc. Or you can type in "domain" and all the domain related features such as domain add-on, alias, etc. will appear to you. Other than that, CPanel X3 also groups icons into relevant sub groups so you can easily look for them. Not only that it looks nicer, CPanel X 3 have just too many improvements as compared with X2.5.

 CPanel File Manager
(CPanel New AJAX File Manager)

CPanel Legacy File Manager
(CPanel Legacy Poor File Manager)

After I find out that they have no plan to upgrade to CPanel X3 in the future, I think I have to move on and switch to another web host.

My Advice

For new potential LunarPages users, you can choose between LunarPages LPCP or CPanel. LPCP will be free but CPanel will cost you another $2/month. You can choose your preference when you sign up.

If you choose LPCP, you will need to make sure you like it because the new LPCP is a light weight control panel which is not as powerful as CPanel.

If you choose CPanel, make sure you are getting the X3 theme. If you are not, simply request them to move you to a server with the X3 theme because they have many of them.

Remember to check out my best web hosting chart 2011.


- Host Gator Review