One of the most important feature of a web hosting plan is its control panel. Some people decide on whether going with a web hosting company based on the control panel it provides! The main purpose of the web hosting control panel is to provide user friendly management of the hosting account and the websites hosted on the web server. Basically, every aspect of the web hosting account can be managed from within the control panel – from the administration of the hosted websites, databases, emails to installing scripts and everything in between.
There are quite a number of web hosting control panels being used by various web hosts today, each with its own benefits and features. In this article we will look at some of the most popular ones so that you can make informed decision which web hosting plan is for you.
1. cPanel – Most Popular Control Panel
Like many other webmasters and website owners, we think cPanel is the best web hosting control panel in the industry. cPanel’s simplicity combined with its numerous features makes it the top choice for many people. The cPanel interface is simple and friendly for new users since there are a lot of helpful cPanel tutorials and videos available. For more experienced webmasters, cPanel has advanced features that they demand in order to get the job done right.
With so many advantages and such a simple interface it is not surprising that many web hosts offer cPanel by default with their hosting plans. cPanel is an excellent control panel website owners who need a user-friendly yet comprehensive control panel!
2. Plesk – The Best Hosting Automation Control Panel Ever
Plesk is available on both Linux and Windows web hosting servers. This gives them a little advantage over cPanel. The Plesk interface looks quite similar to Windows XP, with all the big icons that you would ever need. There are certain areas where Plesk excels as compared to other web hosting panels, for instance clustering support. There are four login levels in Plesk with each level having its appropriate roles and responsibilities. These namely are Administrator, Client/Reselle, Domain Owner, and Mail User.
Although Please is not as widely used as cPanel, but many web hosting providers choose to offer Plesk exclusively because they want to target the large group of webmasters on the Windows platform.
3. vDeck – Superior Web Hosting Control Panel
vDeck is a multipurpose control panel solution that marries the very best of simplicity and functionality. Now in its 4th generation, vDeck 4 puts you in control, with a completely redesigned, easy-to-use interface, featuring tabbed, drop-down navigation and one-click support.
vDeck is very easy to use even for beginners. There are numerous documentation and tutorials on this software. You can also chat and mingle with many other vDeck users in the vDeck help forums. As vDeck is rapidly gathering a fan base, many of its users estimate that it will eventually replace cPanel as the most popular control panel in the few years.
4. DirectAdmin – Easiest to Use Control Panel
DirectAdmin is not as beautifully designed and the icons are not as neatly laid out as cPanel and vDeck. However, the interface is clean, straight forward and easy to use. In fact, DirectAdmin is one of the easiest to use control panel we have experienced in!
The other advantages of DirectAdmin is its fast speed and stability. DirectAdmin is typically the choice of cheaper web hosts due to the control panel’s flexible costing plans.
5. H-Shpere – Web hosting Automation Control Panel
H-Sphere is a web hosting Automation Control Panel that was developed and released by Positive Software in January 1998. It’s later acquired by Parallels, Inc. in September 2007. H-Sphere is available for Linux, Unix and Windows platforms and works with MySQL, PostgreSQL and Microsoft SQL Server databases.
H-Sphere is well known for its advanced features, especially perfect for the scalable multiserver cluster setups. From my own experience, Hsphere is the most difficult control panel to use. It has too many advanced features which are not necessary for most users.
There you are, the Top 5 Web Hosting Control Panels based on my own experience. Of course, there are many other web hosting control panels available such as Baifox, Hosting Controller, ispCP, ISPConfig, Kloxo, SysCP, and Webmin. Some of them are open source, some are GPL while some are commercial control panels. We will perhaps look into each one of these in a future article.
Do share with us what is your favorite hosting control panel.