A hosting control panel is a tool that allows you to manage all aspects of a hosting service.
It allows you to do most of the complex system admin processes in just a few clicks from the admin interface.
You can even do advanced tasks such as server migrations, web server switching etc. in just a few clicks.
Earlier this was done manually and took a huge amount of time to set it all up where as it is just a matter of few minutes now.
There are different hosting control panel tools. The most popular ones are:
Here are some of the points that you should take into account before choosing a control panel.
- Easily manageable user interface.
- Platform independence
- Support and Forums.
- Features and Software support.
- Cost effectiveness.
- Stability and Security updates.
Easily manageable user interface
A control panel should provide an easily manageable user interface so that users can manage all aspects of their hosting easily.
Simplicity of the interface is very important, otherwise end users may get confused. Control panels should make system admin tasks simple so that even non-technical people can perform the tasks with the interface. cPanel is our preferred control panel option.
Most of the control panels available online are built for Linux based servers.
If the website you built is coded in asp.net which works well with Windows systems, you need to choose a control panel that works in Windows servers.
As far as platform independence is concerned, Plesk is the most popular option. It works in Debian and RPM based Linux servers and also in Windows servers.
Support and Forums
Once a control panel is installed on a server, management of the services is done by the control panel itself and it is very important to have great support in case there are any issues.
Most the proprietary control panels offer support, but for the free panels, it is important to have an active forum where most of the topics related bugs and other errors are discussed since no support is available for 90% of the free open source panels.
Features and Software support
It is essential that the control panel supports any required software or features you need to have installed on the server.
For example, Nginx with PHP-FPM web server setup doesn’t work well with cPanel. So you need to take into account the applications you are using are compatible with the control panel itself.
If you cannot afford to pay for a control panel go for a free one.
The most popular option is Virtualmin/Webmin.
If you do have a budget, go with a paid control panel which suits your needs and offers good tech support in case you ever need any help. The best options would be cPanel, Plesk and DirectAdmin.
Stability and Security updates
Stability and security of the server is a very important factor that will affect your business if not maintained properly.
It is very important that the server and the control panel is stable and won’t cause unnecessary downtime to the users.
Also considering the fact that there are hackers and attackers everywhere, it is critical to update the patches and bugs and keep the server secure.
When choosing a control panel, make sure the panel is stable and security updates are available regularly.
These are the essential points to consider when you choose a control panel.