The web hosting market, like anything else, is awash with boundless choices for just about every function available for your server. Your control panel software, like your operating system, is a vital part of your server and something that you should choose with care. Rushing into a decision may lead to a negative experience that could ultimately affect your web site and online business.
All control panels will allow you to run your dedicated server. This means that they will handle things like DNS settings and IP management. While most control panels offer the same suite of features, each goes about them in a different way. Just as Linux differs from Windows, cPanel differs from DirectAdmin, which is entirely different than Plesk, and so on. Which one is right for your needs is a very distinct choice, based upon a variety of factors.
cPanel has been around a long time and has become popular. While the solution is a clean, easy to use interface and easy interface, it is also feature rich.
cPanel includes the following capabilities:
- Manage your Linux-based dedicated server.
- Set up and run a stand-alone web host. Using the bundledÂ WebHost Manager (WHM) you are able to have complete control over all aspects of your server. This includes the ability to create and modify user accounts, set up and apply hosting plans, brand your customers’ cPanel interfaces with custom logos and skins, and install and manage nearly any web-based application.
- Upload and manage web sites, web forums, blogs, shopping carts, and video game servers. Aside from video game servers, which require a specialized version of cPanel, you are able to run and host just about anything you want right from the get-go.
- Create and manage e-mail addresses. cPanel also makes it easy to filter out spam, use web-based e-mail clients, and has full support from POP and IMAP based e-mail as well as full SSL encryption.
- Create FTP accounts.
- Analyze web traffic using comprehensive tracking tools. Track number of visits, bounce rate, bandwidth, and the travel path of the visitors (including the search terms used when finding your web site from a search engine).
DirectAdmin is another popular control panel widely used on the Internet today. This is due, in part, to its low cost. DirectAdmin has a comprehensive feature set for both end-users as well as web hosts.
The license for DirectAdmin includes automatic upgrades, free installation, and unlimited technical support. If you would rather pay in advance there are quarterly, yearly, and lifetime license options as well. Each license allows you to host as many domains as you want, and the monthly/quarterly/yearly licenses provide protection against future price increases.
Some of DirectAdmin’s notable features include:
- Comprehensive e-mail support for all major protocols. Create and manage POP/IMAP e-mail accounts. Webmail, spam filtering, mailing lists, and auto responders are also included.
- Alter DNS and MX settings. This allows for the easy integration of external applications, such as Google Apps.
- Full web tracking. Webalizer is included, enabling users to easily track their web traffic.
- MySQL database management. Create, modify, and deleted MySQL databases.
Parallels Plesk Control Panel
Geared toward both web hosts and end users, Parallels Plesk is an intuitive control panel that is constantly updated and refined. Powering over 200,000 web servers and hosting over 6,000,000 domains, Parallels Plesk is a widely used control panel for good reason.
Plesk is a cross platform control panel that is designed in versions for both Windows and Linux. It is often seen as the preferred control panel in the Windows hosting industry because of its remarkable reliability. While Plesk is a relatively closed operating system. it does have integration for many other programs in different arenas, such as the ability to use SmarterMail in the Windows version of Plesk.
Since it is a cross platform control panel, Plesk has an advantage over other control panels, because companies can run the same control panel on both systems, which means that minimum training is required for technicians. It is only necessary for technicians to work out the operations of one control panel – which can can be a distinct advantage in terms of both time and money, for business.
If you are already using, or are considering using, other Parallels products (such as Parallels Plesk Sitebuilder) you will find that Parallels Plesk integrates seamlessly and hassle-free.
Parallels Plesk is unique in that it has the option for the addition of hundreds of supported add-on applications, such asÂ Miva Merchant. This enables Plesk to be customized in just about every way, ensuring that it suits your needs specifically.
Notable features include:
- Multi-platform support. Parallels Plesk supports Red Hat, SuSE, Fedora, FreeBSD, Debian, CentOS, Ubuntu, and Windows operating systems.
- Multilingual. Plesk is available in English, German, Japanese, Spanish, French, Simplified Chinese, and Russian.
- Advanced security options. With over 200,000 servers running Parallels Plesk you can be sure that it is a secure and stable environment.
Which should you choose?
If you are interested in a control panel that suits all, then Plesk us a great choice, because it can save both time and money. This is great for small businesses, since what you learn by operating it can be applied to all systems.
Ultimately, only you will know which control panel best suits your needs.
All in all, Plesk provides a more flexible solution and better support for automation, including an XML-RPC interface, which allows PHP or Perl scripts to call functions, optionally from a remote computer. Plesk also a large variety of plug-ins, which adds to the available features. For unlimited domain licenses, Plesk is cheaper to purchase, as opposed to other, more costly control panel options.
In any case, be sure to explore all of your options before choosing a control panel for your server.
Parallels is a worldwide leader in virtualization and automation software that optimizes computing for consumers, businesses, and service providers across all major hardware, operating systems, and virtualization platforms. Founded in 1999, Parallels is a fast-growing company with 800 employees in North America, Europe, and Asia.
To learn more, please visit:Â www.parallels.com.
View further information onÂ Web Hosting Automation here.