Today, cPanel and WHM provides thousands of clients of web hosting companies a cheap hosting option packed full of features. Run on linux web hosting servers, the product not only simplifies the hosting experience but enhances it to users with features such as php and phpmyadmin, forum and blog software including Wordpress and many other exciting functions. With cPanel soon to be available on Windows as cPanel Server Suite it is an interesting time to be looking at the option Windows hosting to supplement Linux which has often been seen as 'THE' website hosting OS.
When it comes to cPanel, the key feature that sets it out from the competition is its ability be run on so many different server types and as such be used to host many different types of site. Regardless of whether you have a Dedicated Server or VPS Hosting, you will be able to run cPanel, providing your end users with the many features it offers. In turn, you can offer cheap website hosting to your clients with php hosting also coming as standard through the built in modules.
Through the use of php and mysql it is possible to run all kinds of programs. These include forum software and forum maker programs, blogs including Wordpress, content management systems as well as many more! Many useful programs can be installed through an addon called Fantastico offering a wide range of software products. If the software you want isn’t listed in Fantastico, you can install the program manually. Typically this is done by uploading files to a cPanel account, creating a mysql database in the manager in cPanel and then running the install program. For higher end users, databases can be managed through phpmyadmin another standard program in cPanel. Many changes will be made automatically by forum or blog software etc. however if you are developing your own application the use of phpmyadmin can be quite common.
Phpmyadmin is a program that is run on the server and allows users to modify their mysql databases. If you’re looking for a phpmyadmin tutorial there are many out there on the net (just have a look in the search engines) but in a nut shell, the program lets you modify the layout and content of any mysql databases within that cPanel account on the server. In phpmyadmin itself you are presented with a drop down list outlining all your databases. Selecting one of these options shows the tables in the database and you can select these to modify them or to add data. It is also possible to take backups of databases inside phpmyadmin allowing you piece of mind should anything go wrong when making any changes.
When using any forum or blog hosted on a server, any users posts or other text based information will be stored in the tables in a database outlined above. If you do have any such application installed have a look at your phpmyadmin hosting account (if you’re using cPanel it’s there in the main menu) and just look at how different the data looks compared to what you see on a Wordpress blog or phpBB forum. Every time you access a page on your webhosting which is run through one of these applications, the database which you saw in phpmyadmin is being accessed and turned into the page on your screen. Although more complicated to code than a standard HTML and CSS site, the benefits of a using php and mysql for this backend work is immense. Without these types of coding, forums like the one you are reading this on wouldn’t be here!
So to summarise, cPanel can be used on hardware ranging from a dedicated server through to VPS hosting. It provides cheap shared hosting to clients with software capabilities including forums, blogs and CMS with specific programs including Wordpress working perfectly under its control. Finally, with database control options including phpmyadmin it makes the perfect control panel for linux hosting and for running new web applications. With the Windows version coming to release very soon, you’ll be sure to hear more about cPanel in the very near future!