Those who are new to web hosting will find useful information about web control panels using this guide.

The hosting control panel or web panel refers to the interface that enable administrators and users to manage multiple server functions from web browsers rather than command lines. Website owners especially the inexperienced ones will find it hard to manage hosting and set up their websites without these graphical interfaces.

Hosting Tool

Web panels are basically hosting management tools providing users with web-based interfaces for website management. Without this interface, the user must log in first to the server and manage files using the traditional method. The control panel is a boon for beginners who do not possess programming expertise. Users can perform tasks by simply clicking the button.

The common features of a web panel include providing access to the following:

  • Management of Domain Name System (DNS) including web and mail domains
  • Management of Email System including email messages and quotas as well as spam prevention
  • File Transfer Protocol (FTP) management like user accounts, password management, and file system quotas
  • Access to web-based file system
  • SSH user and key management
  • Database management such as MySQL and database systems
  • Backup management
  • Log file access and reporting
  • Plugin system to configure additional services and installation of apps like WordPress.

Enterprise Features

Certain platforms include enterprise features.

  • Manage several servers from a single web panel interface.
  • Hosts can allow their clients to run the panel app parallel to the server.
  • Perform monitoring and install service alert
  • Conduct Internet Protocol Version 6 or IPv6 support, a network layer protocol that facilitates communication and data transfers over the network.
  • Ticketing system for users.

These options suit startups, big-scale enterprises, and hosting firms.

Detailed Discourse on Web Panels

Each panel generally offers similar basic features. These include domain management, emails, software installation, and File Transfer Protocol. However, such attributes, layouts, and control levels change. It depends on the web panel that you use.

cPanel and WebHost Manager

The widely-preferred cPanel and WHM consists of user-level and server management interfaces. These two interfaces match flawlessly making available intuitive hosting and website management for users specifically resellers. The interface also functions as a server administration tool for web hosts. cPanel is trusted by leading players in the hosting industry worldwide.

cPanel educates hosting providers, website owners, server administrators, and other experts. You can obtain relevant information from video tutorials, documentations, and knowledgebase. However, only Linux and Windows Operating Systems (OS) support said interfaces through a virtual setup.

With cPanel, users can avail of the following:

  • Free Secure Sockets Layer certificates installed for websites.
  • Block or prevent malicious visitors from accessing the user’s site. At the same time, it does not stop legitimate visitors from entering the website. The cPanel Hulk tool allows you to classify whitelist or blacklist accounts, countries, and IP addresses.
  • There is automated backup and restoration. Users can use progressive backups of files and folders through the Rsync. This utility effectively and promptly transfers as well as synchronises files across computer systems.
  • You can look forward to easy Peripheral Component Interconnect or PCI compliance. The cPanel and WHM server can turn out PCI compliant in several minutes because of the user-friendly editor and robust default configuration.

Hosts use the cPanel Application Programming Interface (API) to integrate features with their respective support systems.

Plesk

Plesk remains the main control panel in countries like the United States. It also saturated about 80 percent of the European market. This web panel supports Linux versions and is also compatible with Windows. Plesk comes in multiple editions. Each one is customised for individual hosting needs.

Some users say the interface is cleaner compared to cPanel. The two panels have practically the same features.

Plesk features include the following:

  • You can install Plesk on various Operating Systems. Plesk is compatible with Windows, Cloud Linux, Ubuntu, and CentOS. Likewise, you can run Plesk inside a Docker container in a Docker Hub. This aspect differentiates Plesk from cPanel. Docker refers to a PC program that performs OS-level virtualisation or containerisation.
  • Plesk added Git extension, a tool kit that makes Git work under Windows OS. This extension comes available with Plesk 12.5 and later models.
  • There is a one-click SSL security. Plesk secures the certificate and configures the database files to accommodate the http-only access. It is a guaranteed form of security for the web panel and websites being hosted on the server. Additional perks include SSL certificate renewal, running HTTP2 or revision of the HTTP network protocol, and security details if the server comes under attack.
  • A new extension will enable WordPress users to delegate security management to Plesk through a single click. This control panel will manage updates of plugins, security patches, and bug fixes.

Plesk supports various PHP versions. Node JS, Python, and Ruby are available through Phusion passenger.

DirectAdmin & Core Admin

DirectAdmin refers to the lightweight control panel supporting Linux. It contains essential features of the control panel which includes support for multiple customer setup. Users of DirectAdmin attribute the efficient user interface for beginners and expert users. It has a three-level design (Administrator, Reseller, and User) allowing straightforward switching between access types under the same login. Design layouts can be changed with the click of a button. This approach facilitates fast and easy modifications in the interface.

Core Admin was created as a centralised as well as connected solution that supports management of multiple servers. This is achieved through one web admin console. It includes cutting-edge permission and monitoring systems. The Free Web Edition is limited to take care of 10 domains.

Core Admin’s portal says it provides an extensive solution for servers as well as device admin. It integrates robust admin panels into one solution. Likewise, the comprehensive internal checking tool of this web panel along with the event notification system enables users to monitor status of users’ systems.

InterWorx

Two package versions of InterWorx are NodeWorx for server management and SiteWorx for site management. InterWorx includes a good plugin system for fast installation of apps such as the Softaculous web package manager. InterWorx also features a command line interface. The Linux server management platform has tools for server administrators while users can manage website operations.

CentOS

CentOS refers to the open-source and free control panel for CentOS Linux allocation. It includes a solid feature that can match other web panels. Its downside is lack of multiple server support. CentOS is meant more for Virtual Private Servers and Dedicated platforms.

ISP Manager

ISP Manager is Linux-based.  The ISP system offers this flexible control panel. ISP remains among the more popular control panels often used in Eastern Europe, particularly Russia. Both editions (ISP Manager Lite and ISP Manager Business) of this web panel can handle unlimited users and domains. The panel can be customised to meet branding needs of users.

Webmin

Webmin is another open-source web panel for system admin on Linux and Unix. It contains numerous modules capable of server configuration. It has a Cloudmin tool referring to a Webmin-based interface that manages virtual systems. Webmin complements browsers supporting forms, tables, and JavaScript for the file manager module. With this web panel, one can set up user accounts, Domain Name Systems, Apache, and sharing of files.

Multi Server Control Panel or i-MSCP

The open-source i-MSCP fits into the requirements of personal sites and hosting providers. Its remarkable feature is the active community that surrounds the platform. It comes along with a variety of modules for services that include Apache 2, Pro FTPd, Bind9, and Dovecot. This web panel may be extended using plugins or listener files.

Ajenti

The Ajenti is a well-designed and Python-based control panel. The web panel stands out among all panels based on PHP. It claims to have over 55,000 active end-users on different Linux and Free BSD distributions. This admin tool ensures a quick and protected manner of managing the remote Linux OS box making use of web terminals, text editors, or file managers.

Vesta

Vesta refers to the light and simple web panel. However, it does not support enterprise features such as multiple server setup. With Softaculous’ auto installer, website owners can install more than 430 applications with a single click.

A Recap

Before control panels emerged, the management of hosted services required administrative skills in server systems. Web panels entrust control of hosted services to website owners or administrators. Only the web browser is needed to fully manage hosted services. The standard web panel allows users to manage their websites, email accounts, databases, and domain. You can also monitor bandwidth and disk space use.

Keep in mind that you need to determine the hosting suitable for your requirements. This is important before finally choosing a web panel. It could be shared, dedicated, or virtual. Select one that offers the features you need for your website.