Today there are plenty of web hosting control panels out there. Linux and Windows both have a selection of panels suited to different server environments. Both operating systems also have a number of both free and paid solutions, so there is indeed a panel for every aspiring web host out there.
One of the better paid packages is cPanel. This package has long been in development, and is a time-tested software package that is popular among professionals. This is because cPanel offers the best of both worlds: all the nitty and gritty features advanced users need, but still sports a simple interface that almost anyone can learn within a day or two. The licensing fees are the only drawback to cPanel.
The open source movement is everywhere- and that includes the web hosting community! Webmin is an example of an open source software package for Unix systems. Webmin also has modules such as Virtualmin and Usermin to extend the functionality of the core hosting panel. Users agree that making modifications to Webmin is painless- and it’s selling feature.
Automatically installing a software package like WordPress is easy enough with GNUPanel- a web hosting panel that has many neat features. Other content mangement systems and blog packages can be installed just as easy: meaning web hosts can easily direct clients to this functionality to get their website up and running near instantly. It’s also a good selling feature to potential clients who don’t know web development and web design standards. GNUPanel is easy to pick up, and also equally as easy to deploy.
Another licensed alternative would be Plesk. Plesk is an alternative to cPanel, as it matches it in terms of speed, security, and features. Each year the two battle it out to improve upon their original designs, but mostly the differences occur within the interface and the licensing costs. One odd thing about cPanel is separating the WHM and administrator panel- which takes some growing accustomed to for those new to the separate systems.
A large website will quickly grow out of the shell that most web hosting panels create. A large website needs to be able to balance a load of traffic among many servers- perhaps hundreds or thousands in some rare cases. This is done through special web hosting panels such as that of InterWorx. This web hosting panel specializes in clustered servers and managing them to create a stable environment. InterWork and panels like it are only for the leaders in Internet industry, however, and common website owners don’t need it.
Web host control panels are many in number. Depending on what you need, you could side with one over the rest and do better with it. Thus, it is best to use demos available by each software package to see which one will best suit the needs you had in mind.
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