Articles on: Dollie Control HQ

How does Dollie compare to cPanel?


Software such as cPanel, Cyberpanel, and DirectAdmin can be installed on any server and allows someone to easily manage the server and all it’s moving parts. The software comes with a lot of overhead because it needs to able to do large amount of different things. You can use the software quickly setup applications like WordPress but additionally it manages  PHP, NGINX, Apache, MySQL, FTP, SSH, Firewalls, security, caching and hundreds of other server features. There is no container technology involved. It is all one big server with your sites and services running inside them. If PHP breaks all your sites break. If one of your WordPress sites were to be hacked all the sites could be compromised. Software like cPanel is great if:

You are comfortable with managing the entire server stack yourself.
You want to use your server for multiple “things” such as hosting WordPress sites, hosting Joomla sites, delivering emails, and serving static websites.
You come from a background where all these concepts of server management make sense. Doing this the old school way without Docker containers and other things. There is nothing inherently wrong or bad with this software so we’re not shooting it down.


With Dollie things are quite different. Most fundamentally it is built from the ground up to do one thing: Serve and deploy lighting fast WordPress sites in the most efficient and secure way.

How is this done? Through Docker containers.Every WordPress site is housed in its own isolated container, which has all of the software resources required to run WordPress optimally (Nginx, PHP, MySQL and when needed Redis/Memcached).We then give you the tools as partner to manage these containers through your Dollie WordPress install and additionally through our container manager.The big difference is that here you don’t have to worry about maintaining the full stack or other high level server management things. All of your containers are self container “applications” that are self healing and optimised for WordPress. What you can do is make changes to the container when needed. For example reducing or increasing the maximum amount of allowed RAM or CPU cycles. Or increase or restrict bandwidth. If you are an experience developer you can also login to each container via SSH and update individual PHP/NGINX configs, but this is completely optional.

Comparing the two

Now finally if you compare the way a server with cPanel is set up to a Dollie server. It’s night and day. The Dollie server is a Ubuntu 18.04 server with Docker installed, firewall/hardening and the Dollie/Stratus5 container orchestration software. The deployed containers contain bare bones Ubuntu 18.04 stack with NGINX/PHP/Percona/Reddis and basic monitoring and backup scripts and thats it.The cPanel has your base OS, the actual software, an incredible amount of base software from email servers, multiple versions of php etc etc. It can get messy, it’s usually highly unoptimised and in terms of performance for your actual hosted websites it will not compare to an optimised Docker container serving just WordPress.

So to make a long story short, you can't directly compare Dollie to cPanel or other server management software, since they are both different things. But we hope after reading this you'll have a better understanding in what makes Dollie different when it comes to deploying and managing high performance WordPress installations under your own domain.

Updated on: 14/02/2023

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