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Choosing the Right Control Panel for You

Choosing the Right Control Panel for You

Best Control Panel

Control panel access is now provided as standard with more or less every web hosting package that you can purchase these days, regardless of the form of web hosting that you have chosen to use or the web hosting provider that you use for your web hosting needs. Control panels are available for any form of web hosting; for example, with shared web hosting services you may be provided with client side access to a web hosting control panel but with VPS and dedicated server hosting you are provided with your own installation of the product therefore meaning you have full control of it. The control panel that you are provided with is dependent on the operating system that you choose to base your web hosting account on, since not all web hosting control panels can work on a single operating system. The main thing to consider when choosing a control panel for a shared web hosting package or for your VPS or dedicated hosting server is whether you know how to use the control panel concerned; there is no point in ordering hosting based on a control panel that you are going to be unable to use. In order to use a control panel properly, you also need to ensure that your chosen web hosting package will be able to support it.

Control panels provide you with an easy way to manage your web hosting account or server using a web browser, but are seen by some as a waste of time since they themselves have the necessary skills to manage a lone server. If you are unable to see any advantages that control panels can bring to you, then it probably isn’t worth wasting your time looking for a VPS or dedicated server that come with a control panel, but shared web hosting packages normally come with client side control panel access as default. Some of the main advantages that control panels can bring you can include:

  • web based management – since a majority of web hosting control panels are now web based, you need to use a web browser in order to use them to their full effect – this means that in theory you could use a web based control panel from any computer that is connected to the internet in any part of the world, providing you with a massive advantage when it comes to sorting server problems out
  • client management – if you want to host your own web hosting clients and have a reseller hosting package, VPS hosting server or dedicated server then you can make use of a web hosting control panel in order to allow you to host and manage all your clients as well as to allow your clients to manage their own web hosting accounts
  • ease of use – using a control panel makes it easy for you to manage your server and/or web hosting account since an easy to use GUI is provided, whereas without a control panel you would have to rely on your web hosting provider making the necessary changes on your behalf or you would need to have the necessary skills to manage a server.

Since control panels can provide you with so many advantages, it is important that you consider a control panel for the form of web hosting that you are looking into, regardless of whether or not you have the skills to manage a server for example. Even though you may have to pay extra for control panel access in the case of VPS and dedicated server hosting, the advantage of being able to manage your web hosting account or server from anywhere can benefit all users.

Prior to choosing the control panel that you think would be appropriate for use with your web hosting package, you will need to select the appropriate operating system on which you want to base your web hosting package so that you can make sure that your websites will be able to function correctly in the web hosting environment. Because of this, your choice of web hosting control panel will be reflected by the operating system that you choose to host your website on for the main reason that not all control panels are able to function correctly with some operating systems. However, some operating system dependent control panels that you may come across could include:

  • cPanel – this control panel is currently only able to run on the Linux operating system meaning that a majority of web hosting providers use it to offer their shared Linux web hosting services, however, many web hosting providers also offer cPanel as a separate add-on which is available for their VPS servers and dedicated server hosting packages
  • Plesk – although Plesk is available for both Linux and Windows based web hosting servers, it is seen as the most reliable control available for Windows web hosting meaning that it is used by a majority of web hosting providers in this area – Plesk control panel is slightly more costly than cPanel meaning that web hosting providers tend to shy away from using it for Linux web hosting services
  • LXAdmin – LXAdmin is traditionally offered as a control panel for VPS hosting servers since it is included as a default template by web hosting providers who are using the HyperVM VPS control panel system to offer their VPS hosting services, this means that it isn’t available for other forms of web hosting including dedicated servers
  • Helm – Helm is an old Windows web hosting control panel that isn’t used by many web hosting providers nowadays since it is easy as unreliable, therefore meaning that you shouldn’t be considering a Windows web hosting package if it is based on the Helm control panel.

All of the above mentioned control panels are provided by web hosting providers at the moment, therefore meaning that a majority of web hosting companies that you may look into will probably be offering a combination of control panels for their web hosting services based on the above list. However, since there is a lot of choice when it comes down to control panels, it is important that you do your research to ensure that you choose the right control panel for you.

Your choice of control panel can also be affected by other factors. One of the main factors is the specification of your VPS, since for example, cPanel requires that your server has at least 256MB RAM but that at least 512MB of RAM is recommended to allow cPanel to run smoothly on any Linux web hosting server. Other factors that may also influence your choice could include the overall cost of a license for your chosen control panel as well as how secure it is. These factors may affect your choice in the following ways:

  • server specification – if you have a server that doesn’t have enough resources in order to cope with a control panel then you will find that the control panel probably won’t function correctly and that your server will frequently crash – this is something that you don’t want since it means that you and your clients may be affected in the event of downtime
  • cost – some control panels can cost a lot for the right to use them, when in the fact they don’t provide users with value for money since they aren’t provided with a great wealth of features that could help boost their website traffic for example if they were provided with website enhancement features or script installers
  • server security – one thing which more and more system managers are taking into consideration is system security, and how they can make their systems more secure to ensure that malicious attackers are unable to gain access to their servers in any way – this means that system managers are being more skeptical about how secure web hosting control panels are.

If you feel that the control panel you have chosen is right for you, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t go ahead and purchase the necessary license for it. Web hosting control panels are only suited to someone if they are secure and are able to meet the requirements of anyone that is going to be using them. Although some may be daunted by the cost of a control panel, the benefits that you will receive by purchasing a control panel will more than supercede the disadvantages you will face if you don’t purchase a control panel.

In conclusion, in order to choose the right control panel for you, you need to consider your requirements such as what you will expect from a web hosting control panel along with whether you think you will be able to use it correctly. As with anything, using a control panel will take some getting used to but you still need to do your research prior to purchasing a license so that you know what you are getting yourself into. Control panels can provide you with major advantages, and unless you have server administration skills, you will be at a disadvantage if you don’t purchase a control panel license.

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