The cPanel control panel is one of the most popular and widely used Web Hosting Control Panels for Linux Servers. The majority of web hosting providers provide cPanel as their preferred Control Panel, and it is no secret as to why they have stuck to it.
So, what difference does X brand Control Panel make over Brand Y? Does it even make such a big difference if the core functionality is the same? Of course it does.
The web hosting control panel that a web host offers, is one of the main pillars supporting that business. The entire quantum of technical support depends on how easy or difficult the control panel is for the average user. Let’s see how.
A nerdy tech-savvy user maybe able to easily understand common icons and link headings to navigate through the control panel. But the average user may not be so familiar with all the buttons and menus that bombard him upon logging in to the Control Panel.
Let’s say that Old Man Jerry would like to change his email account password. How easy that task becomes, is all dependent on the control panel interface. The colour scheme, the icon size, the layout and format all make a difference to Jerry’s experience. Will his fear of technology turn to frustration or will it be a pleasure? This is a key area often ignored by Control Panel providers. They focus more on the functionality and coding and less on the ease of use for the average user. A 60 year old user often gives up in crossing these small hurdles like password resetting and setting up an email address.
cPanels user interface remains one of the easiest and simplest to navigate. Although there is much scope for improvement, there is no better alternative which balances design and functionality. This drastically reduces support costs and the cost of maintaining a large support team for trivial issues. It helps your support team focus on larger, more important issues.
cPanel offers free technical support to all license holders. This means that if your web hosting company cannot figure out your technical support issues, they can escalate your matter to the cPanel support team for free. Not only does this provide confidence to the customer that their support is backed by a panel of professional specialists but it also ensures that software related issues and updates are comprehensively covered by the software provider. Not having this assurance means that you are at sea if you upgrade the control panel software and it fails or is caked with bugs.
The cPanel documentation is not only comprehensive, but also in a simple format. It is broken up into headings to help you understand the structure better. Its in a lucid and structured format. The best part about the documentation is the step-wise bullet format of the documentation. This makes it easier to pinpoint the menu item or icon you need to click on or navigate to.
Upgrades and Updates
Another important factor which determines the hosting client’s experience is the regularity of updates and fixes behind the scene. At many web hosting companies, security is given least priority when compared to convenience. Even major software flaws and bugs are left unattended for months on end, sometimes even leading to hack attacks and downtime. What is required is disciplined updates from a reliable source. cPanel promptly fixes software flaws and allows web hosts to plug the bugs on their servers automatically. The software upgrades and updates extend not only to cPanel’s own software, but also to third party vendor software which was bundled with cPanel. This gives peace of mind to the web hosts as well as their customers – something that is often ignored.
Tools and Utilities
Every webmaster need a set of basic tools to manage his website. From Analytics and Statistics tracking to Virus Scanners and Database Management tools, cPanel bundles the most commonly used tools and offers them to the end-user. Imagine the time and resources spent in researching the most compatible and effective Virus scanner or Stats tool and downloading it, uploading it and installing it to your hosting account. You would probably waste a whole week in doing that. Most other Control Panel services, provide rudimentary tools, some of which are outdated and no longer supported. Not having these tools is too much of a loss to the end-user.
The cost of the cPanel Control Panel is compensated by the fact that the hosting provider is saving more money by hiring lesser support staff, who are engaged in handling important questions rather than wasting time on trivial queries. The documentation, research and timely upgrades are brownie points which cannot really be quantified in terms of money. All this and more has a trickle down effect on the end user, who longs for a simple, less-technical experience.
Its no surprise why cPanel ranks on the top of Google Search results for the phrase “web hosting control panel”. Its the best option that exists in the market today. Till you haven’t used the best option, you won’t know what you are missing out on. If your web hosting provider is selling Linux hosting space, ensure that they use cPanel.