Web hosting usage requires knowledge about the control panel, which is a key function in any web site operation. Therefore, the choice of which control panel a web hosting firm chooses to offer in its hosting plans, can be a very significant factor for the sucess of both the web hosting company, and its customers.
One of the most important issues in selecting a control panel is determining how “user friendly” it is. Web hosting customers will range from novices to more sophisticated developer types of people, so it is essential to find a control panel that can appeal to all levels of users easily. Most everyone would probably like a control panel to be operate that is simple to navigate so that they may find information and tools in an efficient fashion.
Control panels are now standard features in most all web hosting packages, with tools provided, regardless of the type of services choosen.Â Shared hosting, for example, usually provides client-side access through the control panel, compared with a dedicated server that offers a much more advanced version allowing for complete control of the server.
Control panels are dependent on the platform that they run on, since many applications are not compatible with all operating systems.Â Aside from the platform, there are many issues to consider when searching for any control panel, or effective management tool.Â This article will address many of the most important issues involved in choosing a control panel.
Features to Review
- User Friendly – The purpose of the control panel is to make it as effortless as possible to maintain a web hosting account or web server.Â Therefore, the contol panel itself should have an easy navigation and be logically organized. Those who lack administrative skills will require the easiest tool possible that is also straightforward and simple to operate.
- Operating System Compatibility – Be certain to ensure that the control panel will work with your operating system, as well as those of your potential customers.
- Easy Administrative Functions – Admin functions for account creation and management should be easy to navigate and include such functions as: creating packages, adding and suspending sites, modifying passwords, monitoring and logging bandwidth and disk space usage by account, parking domains; and installing SSL certificates.
- Web-Based Browser Management â€“ Most hosting control panels are web-based, and require utilization of a web browser.Â Most users will have no problem using a browser-based application, since nearly everyone has experience doing so on the Internet. The web-based applications tend to work very well with all of the major browsers such as Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla FireFox.
- Client and User Management â€“ For dedicated server or reseller hosting packages, it may be a good idea to consider having a control panel that allows customers and other users to maintain their own hosting environments.Â For example, Plesk is a control panel that allows for easy management for multiple users, while also enabling respective hosting account management.
While there are new control panels introduced on the hosting automation market regularly, feature-rich control panels have been on the horizon for quite some time. Many of the control panels on the market are cotinually upgraded so that the software keeps up with market trends. This allows for web hosting firms to sell the very latest software with its web hosting packages.
Since small web hosting firms and hosting resellers are always on the look-out for new ways to accelerate the development and growth of their businesses, web hosting automation is just one of the services that can make that endeavor easier.Â The hosting control panel is a key component of web hosting automation and its features should be considered important enough to thorougly investigate and understand, so that customers can get the most out of their web hosting services.
The complete and seamless integration of modules such as server, service, customer, order, billing, and help desk management offer a more true and open architecture for more powerful automation software used in the hosting business.
Choosing the right control panel will entail measuring your specific needs against whatever kind of hosting may be required.Â While most any software program requires some time to become familiar with it, the control panel chosen should be as user-friendly a product as possible, so that the average person can use it without much difficulty.
The Plesk control panel offers what is referred to as a PSA (Plesk Server Administrator) which works on both Unix and Linux web based servers, allowing for hosting companies to offer a feature rich control panel for their customers. In addition, a comprehensive reseller option is also available. The levels of use include: Master Level (Server Admin) which allows multiple server management; Server Level for single servers; Reseller Level, for resellers to manage clients; and the Domain Level, designed for the basic user.
Because control panels offer so many different features, it is vital to strongly consider the type of hosting needed before making a choice.Â This is true regardless of whether you have experience as a server administrator or the type of hosting required: shared, VPS or dedicated hosting.Â The bottom line is to remember that the major benefit of a control panel will be to provide all users with the ability to manage a web hosting account or server from any remote location. Be sure to learn as much as possible about control panel software being considered, by utilizing available demo versions until you find one that adequately suits all of your needs.
As the recent recipient of the 2009 Editors Choice Award for best CRM provider, Parallels understands that the SaaS Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is probably the largest Software as a Service (SaaS) market.
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. Parallels virtualization and automation solutions are used by more than 10,000 hosting providers and their customers worldwide.
For more information about Plesk, please visit:Â www.plesk.com/html/products/psa/index.htm.
To learn more, please visit:Â www.parallels.com.