cPanel vs WHM

The best way to understand the difference between WHM and cPanel is that WHM is for people who administer the servers (System Administrators) and Resellers whereas cPanel is for the End Users (i.e. clients).

What Are The Main Differences Between cPanel & WHM?

WHM and cPanel can be considered in the following three level hierarchy:

  • Full WHM – Complete administrative control over the server
  • Reseller WHM – Restricted level of administrative control over the server
  • cPanel – Client level of admin rights restricted to features to manage their individual account(s) as specified by the Server Administrator or Reseller

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Who Is WHM Best For?

WHM is ideal if you are running your own server (whether a Dedicated Server or VPS) or when you want to resell web hosting services.  Below are the different levels of administration that can be provided by each type of WHM.

WHM For Dedicated Servers and VPS

With this type of WHM service the Server Administrator has full admin rights over the server (Dedicated or VPS). This means that they can perform the entire range of server administration tasks. These include:

WHM Server Configuration

Customise main server settings and basic configuration

WHM Support

Contact details for clients and remote access for cPanel support teams

WHM Networking Setup

Connectivity and Hostname setup

WHM Security Center

Server’s main security settings (Security Policies, Brute Force Protection, SSH Keys, ModSecurity, etc.)

WHM Server Contacts

Contacts for server alerts

WHM Resellers

Create, manage and modify Reseller accounts and admin rights

WHM Service Configuration

Main LAMP and Email settings

WHM Locales

Language setting for WHM and cPanel

WHM Backups

Backup and restore configuration settings

WHM Clusters

Grouping two or more cPanel servers together

WHM System Reboot

Choose between Graceful and Forced Reboot

WHM Server Status

Dashboard of key server services

WHM Account Information

Manage End User accounts quickly

WHM Account Functions

Make changes to End User hosting accounts quickly

WHM Multi Account Functions

Make bulk actions to multiple accounts to save time

WHM Transfers

Useful feature for migrating hosting accounts between WHM/Cpanel servers

WHM Themes

Manage WHM and cPanel appearance

WHM Packages

Create standard Hosting Packages (plan) with pre-determined quotas (i.e. disk space, bandwidth, number of email accounts)

WHM DNS Functions

Manage all aspects of the server’s DNS records (A, MX, CNAME, etc.)

WHM SQL Services

Manage all aspects of MySQL usage

WHM IP Functions

Manage all aspects of IP addresses assigned to the server (add, remove, reserve, configure, etc.)

WHM Software

Manage the server’s main software configuration (Apache, PHP, PERL, etc.)

WHM Email

Manage all email aspects (Delivery Reports, Mail Queues, Statistics, Sent Summary, etc.)

WHM System Health

Dashboard of main server processes

WHM cPanel Management

Manage cPanel backend, i.e. plugins, branding, etc..


SSL Provisioning and management

WHM Restart Services

Restart various services such as EXIM, DNS and MySQL

WHM Development

Access to additional cPanel support services

WHM Plugins

Configure cPanel plugins to offer extra functionality to clients

WHM For Resellers

WHM for Resellers offers a lower level of administrative features. These features can be edited by the System Administrator as described in the full set shown above. A Reseller has the following features available to them in WHM:

WHM Reseller – Setup a remote access key

A Remote Access Key is a feature which allows WHM to with external applications

WHM Reseller – Server status & information

The Server Status feature provides the Reseller with a snapshot of the available services on the server and a traffic light display of their status to allow quick troubleshooting

WHM Reseller – Manage hosting packages

By creating hosting packages the Reseller can save time when creating new hosting accounts by pre-populating resources such as disk space, email accounts and addon domains

WHM Reseller – Create hostings account in cPanel

The ability to create new hosting accounts quickly and easily

WHM Reseller – Modify Suspended Page

By creating a custom suspended page Resellers can give clients clear instructions to clients in instances where they have been suspended for e.g. non payment or abuse issues

WHM Reseller – Change hosting account passwords

Reseller can change their client’s cpanel login quickly and easily

WHM Reseller – Setup Skeleton directory

When a new client is signed up they will probably have a new domain name. New domains may take a few hours to propagate. In the meantime the Reseller can provide a temporary link for them to use. This link can be configured in the Skeleton Directory.

WHM Reseller – Suspend unsuspend hosting accounts

If required there is a feature to temporarily suspend or unsuspend hosting accounts for any reason such as non payment of hosting fees.

WHM Reseller – Terminate hosting accounts

Ability to terminate hosting accounts from the server when required

WHM Reseller – Upgrade or downgrade hosting accounts

Feature to allow Resellers to upgrade or downgrade their clients hosting accounts

WHM Reseller – Multi-functions option

Feature to allow Resellers to save time by upgrading, downgrading or terminating multiple hosting accounts at once

WHM Reseller – Feature Manager

Time saving feature to allow Resellers to assign custom features like addon domains, manage MX records for different hosting packages.

WHM Reseller – DNS Zone Manager

Extra DNS control for Resellers.

WHM Reseller – MX Entries Manager

Useful in instances where clients want their email hosted on another mail server and need MX entries to be set accordingly

WHM Reseller – Park Domain Names

Useful feature to allow clients to park domains on their main domain to redirect them to the primary domain

WHM Reseller – Mail Troubleshooting

Reseller can troubleshoot email problems by tracing email address route from server

WHM Reseller – cPanel Branding

Control the look and feel of your Reseller cPanel

WHM Reseller – Cpanel News Feature

Control the Cpanel News content that clients see when they login to cPanel

WHM Reseller – SSL Certificate – Create And Install

Resellers can generate and install SSL certificates easily and quickly

WHM Reseller – WHM Password

WHM password security control and management

WHM Reseller – cPanel Demo Mode

Allows prospective clients to access a demo version of cPanel

WHM Reseller – Limit Bandwidth Usage

Allows Reseller to set bandwidth limits for their clients

WHM Reseller – Modify Hosting Accounts

Feature for Resellers to update a hosting account quickly and easily

WHM Reseller – Modify Hosting Account Quota

Allows the Reseller to update a client’s disk space quota quickly

Who Is cPanel Best For?

cPanel is best suited to end users who need the ability to manage a single domain name or several domain names that they own and they are the only person who needs administrative access.

The features and quotas available to a cPanel user are set by either a System Administrator or a Reseller via the WHM Interface. Therefore cPanel users have access to a limited range of the server’s functions and are only in control of their own domains.

The main features that they can access are summarised as follows:

cPanel File Management

Users can manage their files and the disk space allocated to them. They can also manage key functions such as FTP for uploading files, managing backups and password protecting directories.

cPanel Database Management

In this area end users can manage their MySQL databases using PHPMyAdmin which is a graphical tool for managing databases.

cPanel Domain Management

Here customers can manage their domains with useful features such as using addon domains to host more than one website, set up domain redirection or create subdomains (to host eg: a blog).

cPanel Email Features

cPanel offers full email management so that end users can add, remove and edit email accounts, create autoresponders, set up email forwarding and many other features to ensure they can manage their email service in exactly the way they want it to operate.

cPanel Metrics And Analytics

End users can monitor visitors to their website and check various useful statistics.

cPanel Security Features

This is where security can be managed whether that is setting up SSH Access (needs to be allowed by System Administrator or Reseller), protecting content via Hotlink Protection or setting up an SSL Certificate.

cPanel Software Applications

This is where various software such as Ruby on Rails and PHP/PERL can be managed.

Advanced cPanel Settings

For Advanced users, this is where tweaks can be made for Apache, MIME Types and CRON Jobs amongst others.

cPanel Preferences

Used to manage User preferences, rights and permissions.

We hope you have found useful the difference between cPanel and WHM.

Thanks for reading and leave your questions below to keep the conversation going.


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