Web Hosting Information’s Guide to Site Control Panels

Often, when you select a hosting package, the type of control panel the hosting company offers can be a major part of your decision. Since there are so many different kinds of panels on the market today, we’ve rounded up some of the most popular and easy to use panels that hosting companies typically offer. This won’t include unique panels that hosting companies build on their own, but it should give you an idea of what you’ll be working with. We’ve included links to all of the panel’s sites where you can try out the demo’s and see for yourself which one you like best.

CPanel ’ By far, this is the most commonly offered control panel today. It offers several networking and other advanced features, as well as controls for managing your files, mail accounts, password protecting your directories and much more. The learning curve for basic features isn’t too high, but some advanced features may require a test drive or a quick look through CPanel’s help file. For day to day operation of your site, this is one panel that is hard to beat. As a side note, WebHostManager, a popular control panel for reseller accounts is offered from the same company and is also pretty simplistic in design but powerful in operation.

Ensim Pro ’ This panel is available for both Windows and the Unix platform and is quickly gaining ground as more hosting companies begin offering this panel for their customers. It offers reseller administration, as well as site and end-user administration, making it a favorite among resellers. This control panel comes with the PowerTools package which features numerous applications, much like Fantastico. Ensim offers a great package of documentation for new users and as it continues to improve, should become even more popular.

Plesk ’ SW-Soft recently released version 8.0 of their popular control panel for Unix, but their Windows version is still at 7.5. The new 8.0 release offers what they have termed the PleskDesktop to assist end-users in completing tasks and customizing the management of their server. Support for multiple languages is provided and several add-ons are becoming available, such as Plesk AntiVirus. This is definitely a fun panel to work with and will most likely continue to improve. Support is provided for Virtuozzo integration and many more advanced features are available.

Helm ’ This panel is not as popular, but is gaining ground in the market, thanks in part to the manufacturer’s new marketing strategy targeting hosting companies. Three different levels are offered, from administrator to reseller to customer, and this panel truly integrates quite well with Windows applications. Support is provided for ASP, ASP.NET and several other scripting languages. The SelfDiagnosticTool is a great feature and can help you easily pinpoint what is going wrong with your server. This is a panel to watch as it continues to grow.

H-Sphere ’ Only a handful of hosting companies are currently offering H-Sphere, but you can expect that to change as the panel continues to evolve. Currently, this panel is really handy for resellers, offering billing entries and other management tools that are designed to make their lives easier. Credit card processing has been integrated, making this a great time-saver app. The GUI is easy to understand and several advanced features are offered. If you’re into reselling, this may be a panel you need to try, particularly since it offers so many ways to make your job a lot simpler. This panel works on both Windows and Linux servers and is also available for shared or dedicated IP addresses.

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Web Hosting Information’s Guide to VPS Hosting
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Posted on 04/16/06 5:47 PM

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