While looking up for web hosting services, web masters must obtain a clear understanding of the nature of their proposed website and the type control, they would like to have over the possible changes to be incorporated. Websites differ in the type of upgradation required over the time. Some may have a constant requirement of textual changes, while others may incorporate photographs, graphics, and so on. Control panels offered are varied according to the packages that are subscribed to. All of the packages offer some basic components that are mandatory for the client. Options to add new domains, password change and addition of new accounts are some of the main features.
cPanel (control panel) is a graphical web-based control panel to simplify administration through the changes in the interface. The software is not freely available and to be paid through a monthly subscription. CPanel is versatile enough to run on PHP FreeBSD, Redhat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, and Windows Server. Since cPanel has become a commonly accepted tool for web hosting, a web master will be at an advantage to install and be linked to the website. Cpanel provides statistics tool that covers all details like disk space being used, domain name, bandwidth changes every month, e-mails, secondary domains and SQL database. Managing FTP data and editing CGI scripts is easier with cPanel. Fantastico Deluxe is supported by cPanel and allows web masters to install 50 or more free scripts without any specific programming required. Switching the interface to suit specific needs becomes easier with cPanel. A cPanel enabled computer allows the webmaster to access the website and upload, edit or delete files. The tool offers a provision for backup of files, in case of a system crash or accidental deletion of important data. Backup of mailing lists and e-mail information are also available.
Plesk control panel allows setting up new sites, mail accounts, and DNS entries. Plesk control panels are available to work with POSIX platform, SUSE, FreeBSD, Windows Server 2003 or 2008, Red hat Linux. The tool helps to create templates for client and sites. Plesk control panel is usually used along with Windows Server. Since Windows Server plans do not come with a control panel, as SSH/Shell Commands is used to access the server. The control panel allows working via Shell access, but in an automated method at the click of a mouse. It is one one of the most secure and stable tool for website maintenance. It works well with both Windows and Linux, avoiding the need for changes to the operating system. It is highly compatible with Windows Server 2008 software.
While it is not mandatory to have a control panel from a host, it is better, since managing the website externally becomes unwieldy. cPanel and Plesk are reliable, quick and secure. The major differences arise in terms of the user interface. Changing one’s host may make it difficult to continue with tha same control panel. The long-term usage charge is less for cPanel as compared to Plesk. CPanel is the most compatible with almost all web hosting tools and is much user-friendly. If an unlimited domain license is bought, Plesk is much cheaper than cPanel. Plesk is compatible with SUSE Linux, while cPanel is not. XML interfaces are not provided with cPanel, while Plesk supports XML and allows PHP or Perl scripts. A good control panel is useful to optimize the website for SEO ranking and incorporating key changes for interaction with the user.