What is cPanel? Why is it an Integral Part of a Shared Hosting Package?
cPanel is a privately-owned company known for developing a web hosting interface also named cPanel. It is a Linux-based graphical interface that simplifies the process of hosting and managing a website. cPanel has a 3-tier structure, each created for –
- Administrators (major hosting company),
- Resellers and
- End users or Website owners
In this write-up, we shall be focusing on the features and relevance of cPanel for the end user (small scale web design company/IT Company, individual business owners).
Relevance of cPanel in a Shared Hosting Plan
While scanning through various shared web hosting plans, you may have come across cPanel. In fact, hosting experts will warn you never to purchase a Linux shared plan that does not include cPanel in its offering, particularly if you are not a technology expert. So, why is it such an integral part of a shared hosting plan? This is a very relevant question to understand for all website owners.
To put it in simple words, cPanel stands for a control panel that assists users to manage and use the various features of the hosting package – such as managing email, databases, updating the front end of the website. For example, if you want to upload files or take a backup of the website or check website bandwidth, all this can be done through cPanel.
To further understand the role of cPanel in shared hosting plan, it is imperative to recognize the need and requirements of an end user.
Shared Web hosting- Ideal Solution for Small Business Owners
If you are small business owners, budget and cost of developing and hosting a website could be a concern for you. By paying a small sum of $5 to $10 a month, you can run a website quite efficiently on a shared web hosting plan. The real reason this type of hosting is affordable is because the infrastructure (disk space, CPU time, and bandwidth) of a shared server is distributed amongst multiple entities. The cost of maintaining and updating the hardware and software environment gets divided, and therefore the price tag on a shared plan is quite less.
For instance, Timothy is the owner of a printing press. His primary agenda behind setting up a website is to inform his customers about the service, pricing and contact details of his printing business. Creating a website is an auxiliary need for his business. He doesn’t want to be bothered by the technical undertaking of running and maintaining a server. Therefore, he will prefer purchasing a shared plan from a reputed hosting provider so that he can manage the day to day operation of the website with limited fuss and fanfare. All this is possible through cPanel.
cPanel is also highly beneficial for small IT and design companies who develop and host websites on behalf of small business owners like Timothy. Once the design project is over, they can simply transfer the operation of the website to the business owner with occasional technical support in between.
Features of cPanel that makes it an Integral Part of Shared Hosting
Convenience and affordability is the mainstay of a shared hosting plan. Keeping that in mind here are some of the most notable features of cPanel can be classified as under:
The file manager allows the user to upload, create, and remove files very easily. A separate image interface allows the resizing or uploading the images. You can also keep track of the available disk space and with the assistance of backup interface download the data, or email information onto your computer.
The email interface allows the website owners to manage email accounts attached to the domain. Users can create the mailing list, archive emails, set auto-responder, etc.
Domain Management –
This particular feature is relevant is you are owners of a small IT company who are hosting the websites on behalf of their clients. Executing tasks like adding a domain, sub-domain, redirecting traffic from one web page to the other becomes very manageable.
Database Management –
This feature of cPanel is again relevant for IT service providers to manage database through phpMyAdmin, MySQL Database, etc.
Advantages of cPanel
Easy to Use-
The interface of cPanel is created in such a way that even website with no technical expertise can easily work their way through it. Users can easily explore the features of the platform through intuitive icons and images. All types of file management can be easily accomplished through cPanel.
Highly Compatible –
cPanel is compatible with most open source applications and operating system including Linux, Free BDS, CentOs, Fedora, etc.
Direct licensing from cPanel is very expensive. However, if you buy a shared hosting plan, cPanel becomes very affordable.
Through script libraries like Softaculous and Fantastico, latest commercial and open source web applications can be installed on the website through the cPanel interface. This particular feature is relevant for small scale IT service providers to add new features on the client’s website.
Conclusion – Is cPanel the most Popular Hosting Panel?
The popularity of cPanel can be determined by the number of top web hosting providers offering cPanel in their shared web hosting plan. According to hostingadvice.com , the top 10 hosting providers of 2017 that include names like HostGator, eHost, FatCow, etc. have sided with cPanel. This graphical user interface or GUI is highly compatible with Linux, an open source platform and one of the most popular OS for web hosting.
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