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Control Panel In Web Hosting

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Control Panel in web hosting is a web-based utility (free or paid) that allows administrators and/or users to manage almost all the tasks from GUI (Graphical User Interface) based interface with the support of CLI (Command Line Interface). Most control panels include a basic set of features which includes DNS Management, Email System Management, FTP Management, Backup Management, Database Management and Logs Management.

Problem:

Without a control panel, it would be very difficult and time taking to setup/use all the services efficiently. With native approach of setting up user directories and virtual hosts for separate accounts/users, one will have to create an account, a directory for the user, virtual host for the user domain and FTP account etc.

This becomes a problem when you have multiple users. In some cases, there are few hundred accounts and managing all these accounts becomes a huge pain.

Solution:

To get rid of these hectic tasks, we recommend you to use a Control Panel. With control panel, we can automate all these tasks. Simply with just one click, we can create home directory of user, FTP account, email account and database etc. User will simply upload his website from FTP account and everything else will be managed by hosting control panel.

Which Hosting Control Panel To Use?

There are quite a few hosting control panels available in the market. Each has it’s own perks. We will try to give our two cents on few of the famous ones.

Webmin:

It is an Open Source hosting control panel which can be installed on almost all famous Linux distros. It can be installed on low specs system. We can manage/install virtual hosts, FTP accounts, database etc with just a single click.

Pros:
  • Fully Open Source hosting control panel which is absolutely free.
  • It can be installed on a very low specs System/Server, typically uses around 256MB of memory.
  • It doest not require any Core OS changes unlike other hosting control panels which means your Core OS will remain safe if you uninstall or remove it.
Cons:
  • Difficult to Setup as it requires Basic to Advance level knowledge of Linux.
  • Very limited features.
  • As compared to other Hosting Control Panels, Webmin has no support available what so ever!
  • Cannot be installed on Windows.
  • There are a-lot of security concerns related to Webmin as it is prone to hacks/attacks.

Plesk/Odin:

Odin formerly Plesk offers all the basic and advance features of a hosting control panel including Account Management, Email Management, Backup and Restore Option.

Pros:
  • Very flexible as compare to other hosting control panels.
  • Can be installed on almost all famous Linux distros.
  • Supports Windows Servers as well, unlike other hosting control panels available (Plesk also supports SQL Server).
  • Cheaper than it’s competitor cPanel/WHM and Flexible Licenses according to your requirement. (Web Host Edition for unlimited domains costs $35/month, Web Pro Edition for hosting 30 domains costs $15/month, Web App Edition for hosting 5 domains costs $5/month).
Cons:
  • Plesk/Odin offers different kind of Control Panels for different users, which somewhat makes it confusing for the end user (Control Panel, Server Administration Panel & Power User Panel).
  • It is not very popular in Hosting Control Panel industry which makes it difficult to offer Plesk Hosting to less technical clients.
  • It is not very user friendly for Resellers as it has a single login of Administrators and end users.
  • It uses excessive resource as it offers extensive GUI.
  • No Free Support for Plesk/Odin, You have to buy support plan if you’re facing any issues.
  • It is not very tightly coupled with Base OS.

cPanel/WHM :

One of the most popular hosting control panel among all the hosting providers offer cPanel accounts. If you will purchase the hosting, cPanel offers all the features which are offered  by its other competitors as well. What makes cPanel/WHM stand out of the crowd is its APIs which can be easily used with your applications.

Pros:
  • Clean and very user friendly Hosting Panel which makes it the most popular hosting control panel, also the de-facto standard in hosting control panels.
  • cPanel/WHM is very tightly coupled with base OS.
  • The only control panel which offers Complimentary Support as well as paid support.
  • Easy Installation and Management, One can manage almost everything from WHM Graphical User Interface (WordPress, Joomla & Drupal etc).
  • For DNS management, cPanel/WHM offers ‘cPanel DNS only’ which is a separate control panel for managing DNS only and it is absolutely free.
Cons:
  • Limited Operating System Selection as it can only be installed on CentOS/Redhat.
  • cPanel/WHM offers only two kind of licenses (VPS which costs $200/year and Dedicated which costs $425/year).
  • Support for IPv6 is not very mature.
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