Every web host offers a control panel and you will be subject to it when you sign up for their web hosting plans. Learn the pros and cons of control panels as we review and compare web hosting control panels.
What is a Web Hosting Control Panel?
A web hosting control panel is simply software that is installed onto the web host's server that is designed to give you control of hosting features. Through the control panel users are able to access and use all the fancy features the web hosts advertise on the features page. Control panels give webhosting users administrative access to set up email accounts, FTP accounts, add subdomains, add databases, manage files and more.
What Kind of Control Panel Should You Use?
Different web hosts choose to use different control panel software on their servers. Depending on the platform the web host is using (ex. Windows, Unix, etc.) they will have a different set of control panels to choose from that perform better for the respective platforms. (This is like how Windows vs. Macintosh users often have different software options.)
You may have seen names of control panels like: Ensim, Hostopia, CPanel, Plesk, Sphera, VDeck and others when looking for a web host. These control panels all have a different look and feel and serve users needs in various ways. The biggest differences in control panels are: what platform it serves, what the control panel is capable of controlling and how easy it is to figure out.
Functional vs. Intuitive
Like all software, it takes a bit of time to learn the ins and outs. (Think of the first time you needed to double space in Microsoft Word.) Some control panels are more intuitive and user friendly than others for users to manage. Other hosting control panels are extremely capable, but it takes a computer whiz to figure out. Preference and experience come into play when choosing the right web host and control panel software.
The two most popular control panels we see advertised in paid hosts are cPanel and Plesk. These control panels are comparable, however Plesk users enjoy the ease of use, while cPanel users loves the functionality.
The Best of Both Worlds
iPower, Inc. has written software for a customized and improved control panel that former Plesk and cPanel users say is the best of both worlds- intuitive and functional. They call their special hosting control panel, vDeck. Only a select few web hosts have access to use this vDeck control panel. BlueFish offers hosting for as low as $6.95 per month using the powerful vDeck control panel.
Tips for Success with your Web Hosting Control Panel:
- If you ever need to switch web hosts it is a good idea to find a web host that uses the same control panel software as your previous host so you don't have to relearn the control panel.
- Many web hosts will offer a control panel demo, or you can ask for a test password and username to try out the control panel of a potential host. Take the control panel for a test drive to see if it will work for you and your web site. After all, if you can't figure out how to access the hosting features you this article has all rights reserved and is copyright by 100 Best are paying for you are wasting your money.
- If you are having trouble learning how to use your control panel seek help. There are online control panel tutorials everywhere- if not right there in the help section of your web host's website.
Check out BlueFish's vDeck web hosting.