cPanel - a Creative Way to Manage Your Web-Hosted Services
Control Panel or cPanel hosting is defined as a "Linux-based web hosting control panel that provides a graphical interface and automation tools designed to simplify the process of hosting a website". According to the cPanel website, "It doesn't matter if you're a boutique web shop, a corporation, or just a freelance techie, anyone can use cPanel", along with their virtual private or dedicated servers, to offer hosting to customers.
The cPanel interface is one of the most popular and commonly used hosting management programmes available on the market today; however, there are alternatives available to cPanel, for example, Webmin and Plex. Webmin is mainly used for Unix-based operating systems while Plesk has many features that are similar to cPanel. The biggest difference between these two is the price. cPanel is more reasonably priced than Plesk. This makes it more attractive for big web hosting companies who install it as part of the monthly fee that their clients pay them to host their websites.
There are several advantages to using the cPanel interface to manage your hosting account. It does not matter what your technical skills level is. If you are a novice user, cPanel offers you the ability to manage your hosting account with minimal technical expertise. On the other hand, if you are an expert user, especially knowledgeable in HTML and PHP, you will be able to customise the cPanel interface and your website to suit your needs.
Most web hosting companies offer cPanel, as well as other interfaces, for example, a WordPress login interface, as options to manage your hosting account. Each company can offer a different version of cPanel that they include in the different hosting packages they offer. Some companies include video tutorials and step-by-step instructions on how to configure and install your website using cPanel. Other companies, on the other hand, expect you to have a certain amount of basic technical knowledge, including how to use cPanel.
The cPanel interface that is offered by web hosting companies broadly consists of a three-tiered structure that allows administrators, resellers, and end-users access to the tools they require to control the following aspects of website and server administration:
- Website setup and management
- Install scripts such as a message board
- Access to MySql databases
- FTP access and management
- File management
- Backup management
- User access to logs manager
- Manage and access your email from your phone via Webmail and mail hosting
- SEO options manager
When looking for a web hosting company, it is important to look for a company that offers a full range of features such as easily customized modules and links to frequently accessed areas in the cPanel interface, so you can easily navigate to the functions that you need and use the most. It is equally important to ask whether there is quick and professional technical support offered by the web hosting company.
In my opinion, a web hosting company providing a cPanel interface should offer the following elements to their clients:
- There needs to be 24/7 technical support so that you can get answers to your cPanel related questions immediately.
- There needs to be integrated support including videos as well as a starting wizard for people who have had no prior, or very little, experience using cPanel.
- The cPanel interface needs to be highly customisable. You need to be able to drag and drop the modules that you require onto the home page of your interface. You should be able to change the skin of the interface, as well as install the latest versions of content managements systems such as WordPress and Joomla with a click of a button. You do not need to have any coding knowledge.
- Your cPanel interface needs to offer advanced features such as web page indexing options, the ability to change error pages, run Cron jobs, and view server traffic and error logs.
Finally, in the fast paced, ever evolving world of the internet, where websites are the face of any modern business, it is crucial to find a web hosting company that meets your personal and business's requirements. Anything less than a perfect fit could cost you the competitive edge that your business needs to stand out from the rest of the pack.