Websites are hosted on various web-hosting platforms to be published on World Wide Web. Web publishing has been made simpler through web hosting services offered by various companies over the years.

As web hosting evolved, keeping the need of its customer in perspective, managing web hosting platform and the website with ease was the upcoming quest. Hosting control panel software serves this requisite by providing graphical or web based user interface for effectively managing the web hosting platform and the website.

Web hosting control panel software that can be installed by web hosts on its server allows you to make any changes to your web hosting account. Specific features provided by these web hosting control panel software include provision of web based file manager, account verification of email, maintaining FTP user accounts, provision of visitor statistics, web space and bandwidth availability details.

cPanel, Direct Admin, Power Panel and Plesk are some of the common hosting control panel software, which can be used for easy management of your website.

What is cPanel?

A UNIX based web hosting control panel, which simplifies web hosting through automation tools and user interface. cPanel with its three-level architecture enables web developers, administrators and resellers with easy management of their website.

In addition to graphical user interface, cPanel has functionalities of API based and command line system through which you can allow web hosting service providers and developers to have standard administrative system.

cPanel has a functionality to work as virtual private server or as a dedicated server. You can install it on operating systems such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and centOS. You can use Enkompass as a windows version of cPanel.

Features of cPanel

Storage Space

  • Domain Management:  A unique feature with which you can host single or multiple domains for each account.
  • Sub Domain Management:  Enables you to create many variations in primary domain name.
  • Bandwidth: Allocates optimum bandwidth for each hosting plan.
  • Spam Assassin: You can reduce spam using cPanel’s spam assassin tool.
  • Forwards and Aliases: Mapping of external email addresses is made easy using forward and aliases function of cPanel.
  • Auto responders: cPanel helps you to manage and create auto response via auto responders.
  • Mailing list: If you like sending emails and newsletters to a large group of people, mailing lists offered by cPanel serves your purpose.
  • Box Trapper: This is again a unique functionality provided by cPanel through which non authentic email senders need to reply to verification email before their email lands in your inbox, thus saving it from getting spammed.
  • POP3/IMAP account: cPanel allows you to create and manage POP3 and IMAP account giving you the flexibility of access.
  • Mail client configuration: Enables you with automatic configuration of email details.

Database Administration

  • MySQL 5 w/phpMyAdmin: Enables you to create databases and control user permissions through MySQL.
  • PostgreSQL w/phpPgAdmin: Aids you to create databases and control user permissions with PostgreSQL.
  • Remote MySQL control: External web servers can access your database by updating their names in the host list by using MySQL control.

Statistics

  • Website Statistics: cPanel has a feature called webalizer, which makes your website’s traffic statistics readily available.
  • Raw Access logs: With raw access logs you will be able to know which content is being browsed on your website.
  • Bandwidth statistics: Enables you see the information related to the usage of bandwidth.
  • File Management: cPanel assists you with management of your website related files direct from your PC.
  • FTP: cPanel allows you to access website related files through File Transfer Protocol (FTP), you will need to log in via a third party program though.
  • Anonymous FTP control: If required you can give your FTP’s free access to all the users for file download.
  • Backups: Download a zip file of your entire website or any part of your website. Note that these back up are manually performed. Appropriate admin permission is required for scheduling auto backups.
  • Disk Space usage: Unlike all other platforms, cPanel shows you the disk usage for all the databases and account directories.
  • Logaholic statistics: Did you ever wanted to know how the visitors are using your site? Logaholic statistics is the right tool to know it.
  • File Manager: Web hosting account can be hosted through file manager.

Security

  • ssh/Shell Access: This feature allows remote connectivity to your server.
  • Hotlink Protection: With this unique feature your bandwidth remains intact reducing bandwidth stealing instances.
  • Leech Protection: Sharing passwords publicly can be restricted using this security feature of cPanel.

Some advanced feature along with the above makes cPanel a rich web hosting control panel; fitting in to all the necessary requisites of the clients and users alike.

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