Since not everyone is an expert at website development, time will be dedicated to explaining the website development process, the various tools and software involved, and what type of tool cPanel is. By the end of this explanation, you will already be on the road to appreciating just how much you need cPanel.
Why Do I Need a Control Panel?
To transform your abstract idea into a tangible website, you need to first secure a location on the Internet (website hosting). An address to that location is also needed (domain name). When you are ready to add content to your website, a content management system (CMS) will help you. So what else could you possibly need? The answer is a control panel.
A space on the Internet comes with ‘keep and care’ rules. Think of it like mowing the lawn, paying property taxes, and other relevant activities that come with land ownership. A control panel helps you manage your web hosting account. Access is mostly through a web browser.
For the more tech-savvy among us, there are other ways to interact with your web hosting account. But even then, a really great control panel also includes those methods. One example of accessing your account remotely is through FTP which cPanel hosting allows.
How Does cPanel Fit In?
cPanel is the most widely used control panel. The features are many, and the interface user-friendly. This means that regardless of your IT knowledge, you can create stunning websites that are dynamic.
cPanel hosting comes standard as part of your shared hosting package. But if you decide on a virtual private server (VPS) or dedicated server option, the following seven reasons should be enough to encourage you to include cPanel hosting as an addon.
7 Reasons to get cPanel Hosting
1. Full Customer Support
Given cPanel’s popularity, informal support can often be found in other users. For more comprehensive and formal support however, users have a variety of options. Support can be had in the form of ‘how-to/step-by-step’ instructions on cPanel’s website guiding you through individual processes. Users may use the cPanel forum to post questions free of cost for a technician to respond to; or subscribe to their YouTube channel if you are more visually inclined.
2. Ease of Use
Varying levels of users have cPanel hosting. To reflect this, cPanel uses a very user-friendly graphical user interface (GUI). This reduces, if not eliminates, the need to know command prompts. Features come already organized under headings, and icons reflect the main purpose of the tool. If unsure of a tool’s purpose however, descriptions are provided.
Additionally, everything is on one page, with a search bar located at top to eliminate scrolling as you become more familiar with the interface. Not liking the default look? Choose from any of the themes cPanel offers. Perhaps you use some features more often than others. Move them closer to the top of the page, and drag around the icons to match usage frequency as well.
3. Peace of Mind
‘Ctrl Z’ revolutionized word processing, and has saved us many times. cPanel hosting operates on similar principles. The software has several built-in safety measures to reduce the likelihood that you could inadvertently sabotage your website. From prompts to two back-up features (‘Backup’ and ‘Backup Wizard’), you are guaranteed that your website will not easily fall victim to accidental occurrences.
So far, reasons have been focused on the ways in which users interact with cPanel, because using cPanel hosting builds confidence in its users. Now, focus will be on the software itself, and what it can do.
4. Extensive Website Maintenance Features
Let’s list some of the more known features within cPanel hosting: FTP accounts management; email management; database management; file management; the already mentioned backup systems; and domain management (such as parked domains, and addon domains).
You might be familiar with all of them, or maybe not. So let’s expound on FTP accounts. FTP can be used as a security feature. cPanel hosting allows for the easy creation of multiple FTP accounts which you may use to dictate who has access to which areas of your website. It does this by verifying that the user is in fact who they say they are, and that they have the requisite permissions to make changes.
cPanel also uses several third-party software that in turn lend to the extensive list of features. Some third-party software used in cPanel hosting are EasyApache 4, AWStats and RoundCube webmail. AWStats, for example, is a website analytics software that helps you track your website’s usage. Information collected include number of individual visitors, the average number of times they visited, and the number of pages they visited while there.
5. Multi-Layer Control Panel Options
Let’s say you only have one website, and all your resources are dedicated to it. You may choose a shared web hosting plan. It will come with cPanel hosting. This is known as front-end usage. If however, you have multiple websites (some of which you sell to others), or you use VPS or a dedicated server, a more advanced control panel may be best. For that, cPanel offers Web Host Manager (WHM).
This means that there are multiple levels of access available to you. The three levels are:
- cPanel hosting – mostly used by the end-user on shared servers and control is limited by the web host provider
- Reseller WHM – ideal for persons who may resell websites as there is more control over some server settings
- Full WHM – complete administrative access to the back-end of cPanel
6. Set it and forget it!
Unless you have literally all the time in the world, you don’t want to spend the bulk of your time on website maintenance. cPanel hosting uses crons to help you automate the more repetitive bits of website management. A cron job (the automated instruction) allows you to define the parameters of the operation or task, including when the task is to run. You can include email notifications to keep up-to-date on your cron jobs, including when they do not run properly. In such instances, cPanel usually provides a report so you can know why.
When running cron jobs however, ensure you have a fairly good grasp of Linux operating systems.
7. Everyone’s doing it!
Don’t be so quick to dismiss this logic. cPanel has been providing web hosting services for over two decades. In that time, it has grown to be the most used. That didn’t happen by chance. It is dependable, effective, and intuitive. Try it and you will see.