What Are Web Hosting Control Panels?

Web hosting control panels are constantly being approved and developed on a daily basis. Without a control panel it would be impossible for most web site owners to manage and operate their web hosting account. Web hosting is a broad field that embodies a variety of web based industries, including web design, programming, and many other online services.

In order to get the most out of your web hosting plan you’ll need to master the control panel. If you are not familiar with the various aspects of control panels then you may find the following information to be quite useful.

What is a Control Panel?

Control panels are singular software interfaces that are used to control web hosting accounts. Within your control panel you will be able to set up scheduled duties, upload and organize site content, manage hundreds of domains and much more. Whether you need comprehensive traffic analysis or a simple interface to check your emails, a good web hosting control panel can do all of this and more.

Why are Control Panels Used?

Control panels have replaced programming and other web skills that are no longer needed for site and server administration. Control panels are split into sections that simplify the process of operating web sites and controlling the features of your web hosting account. If you have ever tried to upload a web page to your sever manually without the help of a content management system, or if you have had the misfortune of setting up cron jobs manually through your server without the help of a control panel, then you probably understand the importance of the convenience offered by control panels.

Processes that take hours to complete can be reduced to minutes of work. After offering volumes of hours of support to their web hosting customers it became clear to hosting providers that a simpler solution was needed. Thus, the control panel was born.

How to Choose the Right Control Panel

Choosing the right control panel can be somewhat difficult if you are novice webmaster with no previous experience using control panels. Fortunately, most web hosting accounts include control panels by default, which means you do not necessarily have to choose your own. Of all the control panels there is one that surpasses all of the rest in popularity – cPanel. This control panel was specifically designed for new web site owners that need a solution without having to go through extensive training.

Using cPanel is such an easy and enjoyable experience, almost anyone can begin managing and operating their web sites with this incredible software in no time. If you need a more powerful solution then you may want to use a third party control panel such as vDeck, Virtuozzo, or Plesk. It is important to note that only dedicated and VPS hosting accounts can utilize third party control panels. If you are using shared web hosting you will not be able to change your default control panel.

Important Control Panel Features

Control panels are packed with various sections devoted to different features that are central to the administration and management of any web hosting account. In the beginning it is best to focus on the main features of the control panel to simplify training and minimize the amount of time it takes to learn the functionality of the control panel. In order to properly utilize the administrative modules you’ll need to become familiar with the most important features of your control panel.

Begin by using the domain manager to assign your domains to your hosting account. Once you have your web site (or network of sites) associated with the hosting account, you can then begin installing content management systems using the simple installation utility in the scripts section of your control panel. After the sites are set up you’ll be using the email accounts area and other administrative sections to routinely manage your sites.

How to Install a CMS in Your Control Panel

Before you begin building your site, you may want to consider using a content management system to manage and organize your site’s design and content. Fortunately, the installation process is as simple as selecting a content management system and then clicking on the install button.

If you are using cPanel then you will find the simple installation area of your control panel in the row that is titled “scripts.” If you are using another type of control panel you should contact your hosting administrator if you are unable to install a content management system. Fortunately, most web hosting accounts come with 24 hours support, so you should be able to find assistance on any matter, at any time of the day or night.

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