Guide to Web Hosting Control Panels
cPanel, Plesk, Vdesk or Custom
What is the Control Panel?
Every website online is hosted on a leased web server that is included with a web hosting plan. Also included with a web hosting plan is a control panel, which is basically the user-friendly interface used by the end user when managing their websites and web server. Since each control panel carries its own benefits for different types of webmasters, and the majority of hosting plans have preinstalled control panels, it is important to consider this aspect when choosing a web hosting provider.
Control panels are specifically designed to facilitate administrative functions such as:
- Database creation and management
- e-mail account creation and management
- FTP account and client management
- Subdomain creation
- Domain forwarding
- Creating server backups and much more.
Although nearly all control panels include these basic features, there is a significant difference in the way the user interface looks and functions. The following are several factors to consider when choosing a web hosting plan based on the control panel.back to menu ↑
Web Hosting Experience
The most commonly used control panels on the market are (in order from most to least popular):
While each of these control panels have very unique interfaces and overall functionality capabilities, they are all capable of accommodating the requirements of nearly any user.
However, some control panels provide additional functionality and therefore have user interfaces that are more difficult to navigate (because they contain more options and modules). Perhaps the easiest control panel to use (which most novice webmasters begin their online endeavors with) is cPanel, so it is not surprising that it is also the most popular. Thus, while inexperienced webmasters may opt for a hosting plan that includes a preinstalled those with more experience that would like to expand their current capabilities may want to consider a more corporate solution like Plesk.back to menu ↑
Operating System Compatibility
It is also important to note that certain control panel are only compatible with specific operating systems.
For example, cPanel is used within the Linux operating system, while Plesk can be installed within both Windows and Linux.
Thus, individuals that would like to utilize cPanel operating system will be restricted to Linux Web hosting plans.
However, recently the makers of cPanel have introduced a Windows compatible control panel known as Enkompass, which has a user interface that is very similar to cPanel’s.back to menu ↑
Learning Curve and Demo Modes
Every control panel comes with a bit of a learning curve, which is basically the amount of effort and time that you will need to put forth in order to learn to use it effectively. Fortunately, some control panels (such as cPanel) will allow you to use a demo mode before purchasing a web hosting plan that has this control panel installed. If you are a novice webmaster it is not advisable to use control panel that does not have a demo mode, as you could be wasting a significant amount of time trying to learn how to use the control panel unnecessarily.back to menu ↑
cPanel, which is the most popular Linux based control panel and serves for over ten flavours of Linux. Most of the web hosting companies also have a preference for cPanel, due to its low hosting cost. This particular software package provides several other services such as deploy applications, provision customer accounts, transfer accounts from one server to another, servers secure and many other useful services.
Features and advantages of cPanel:
* Website statistics: The cPanel provides statistics facilities that enable a website owner to analyze the total amount of traffic. Most of the web hosting providers believe that the statistics programs consume a lot of resources on a shared environment and hence tend to eliminate this facility. Thereby it is always better to check whether the web hosting company is actually providing the web stats package.
* Managing the email process: Many website owners are keen to have the power to generate or destroy email accounts and the cPanel control panel allows this facility. There is also a facility based in Webmail which offers every client the opportunity to access their emails online. There are further facilities offered by cPanel with regards to email, one of which is the ability to instruct a forwarder to move an email account to another. There is also the ability to generate auto-responders that will provide an automated response to customers.
* Providing File Manager and FTP facilities: Having FTP access is useful to upload files and cPanel provides this service and this facility is incredibly important when trying to manage a website. There is also the provision for a website owner to use the cPanel to give other people access to newly created FTP accounts. There is still the opportunity for the website owner to dictate the access rights of other users, a power shared by them and the host firm. Using a FTP package may not be for everyone and for those uncomfortable with using this process can have access to a File Manager in cPanel to control their files. The beauty of the File Manager is that it offers users the opportunity to load up files, unzip files and manage the copying and deletion processes of the files.
Plesk has turned out to be the control panel for Linux and Windows that has turned out to be the most popular. This means that the majority of companies who offer a web hosting service for Windows and Linux will provide Plesk. Many people have remarked that the Plesk interface looks similar to Windows XP and as you might expect, as it serves both platforms, it can be an expensive service.
Benefits of using Plesk:
* Having shared hosting: Plesk is able to provide an identical various-platform design that allows any user to take control of their shared hosting landscape. This facility can also be undertaken on a self-administration basis. No matter the technical level of the website owner, they will find they are able to take full control of setting up, creating and fully managing their accounts.
* The ability to have dedicated hosting: A good number of technically proficient clients would like to undertake their own dedicated hosting and Plesk and its control panel facilitates this by means of its RPM installation and its modular design. There are a whole host of tools on offer to the client and these include XML-API and other unique 3rd party applications.back to menu ↑
View the Different Control Panel used by the top tier Web Hosting Packages
|1and1||- 1st year Domain FREE
- 50% OFF
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|Dreamhost||- 1st year Domain FREE
- 20% for 3 year plan
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|Go Daddy||- Save 40%
- Free domain with annual plan
- Free Microsoft Office 365
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|HostGator||- 1st year Domain FREE
- Save 43%
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|SiteGround||- 1st year Domain FREE
- 60% OFF
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|BlueHost||- 1st year Domain FREE
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|iPage||- 1st year Domain FREE
More details on iPage
|InMotion||- 1st year Domain FREE
- 56% OFF
More details on the InMotion
You can choose from cPanel, Vdesk or Custom.