A Quick Look Into Web Hosting Control Panel (And Where You Can Get It for FREE)
So you've finally created a website and got a cheap web hosting provider. Now what? The next step is to get everything in order, that is, to manage your website.
You can do that within your server. But be warned: one misstep, and you may break everything on your website. Thankfully, web hosting control panel was invented. With it, server management becomes hassle-free even for newbies.
In this blog post, we will take a quick look into web host control panel and what it does. At the end of this post, we will introduce you to free control panels you can use right away.
What Is a Web Hosting Control Panel?
A web hosting control panel is a web-based interface that allows you to manage and control your website hosting with ease, so you won't have to scramble over your settings and risk your website.
Through a control panel for web hosting, you can set up many aspects of your web hosting, including adding sub-domains, add-on domains, email accounts, security, plugins, web hosting with free SSL certificates, and more with just a few clicks.
Also check our quick guide on choosing the best eCommerce web hosting providers in 2020
What does this mean for you, and how can you benefit from using hosting control panels?
Controlling and modifying your website isn't a child's play. It takes time to master the ins and outs of server management, but the control panel aims to make everything simple for you.
Ease of use
With it, you can manage multiple servers, make changes in your hosting provider, and add new domain names, databases, and FTP accounts to upload new website content.
It also makes email management easy-breezy.
Fast and one-click actions
There are hundreds (or thousands) of control panel providers in the market, and each offers a scope of unique features and competitive price tags. When selecting a web control panel, make sure that they offer the essential and basic functions, including domain and DNS management, subdomains, add-on domains, file manager, mailbox management, logging, and monitoring.
A more advanced hosting control panel offers encryption features for robust security and protection against HotLinking (or the act of stealing someone's bandwidth by linking directly to their site's assets).
Some control panels include features such as automation, custom error pages, and database management.
Types of web panels
There are two types of control panels: one is commercial (or commonly known as an open-source control panel). The other is a custom panel, which is usually developed in-house and is proprietary to the web host.
You can purchase an open-source control panel from a third party. Don't worry, thousands of web hosting that offer hosting control panels.
Do you really need a web-based control panel? While we want to answer that with a simple yes or no, the question begs for more information.
Instead of a yes or no, we will talk about what would happen if you don't have one.
Most hosting management providers include a control panel as part of their packages. And while the control panel should not be your only basis when selecting a hosting company, it's an important factor to consider, nonetheless.
When you don't use hosting control panels, the effect is basically the exact opposite of having one.
More sweat, more stress
You have to manage and modify your website manually. One wrong tweak, then your website might end up being broken.
Plus, you won't be able to use the automation that control panels offer. That means you have to update your servers with your own hands. You will have to spend more time and money, provided you have hired a professional to do the job.
Hassle security management
When you don't have a control panel provider, you also miss the ease of security management. Your website will be more at risk of malware and theft when you miss updating your server's security.
The lack of control panel can make things difficult, especially for beginners. If you're a newbie, you best get yourself a reliable control panel to lighten up your load. Otherwise, you might spend more time figuring out how to manage your website when you could have just spent it to focus on other areas of your business (or get yourself a pizza!)
Emails, emails everywhere
When you don't have a control panel, you will have to manage your emails by hand. And if your business relies majorly on emails, then this could mean chaos. Web panels offer automation and easy management.
Free Control Panels You Can Use
You can go with popular control panels that already have earned praises and positive impressions from users and experts, such as cPanel or Plesk. But these forerunners do not offer themselves for free. cPanel costs from $15 to $45 per month, while Plesk costs $10 to $45 per month.
Why hurt your pocket when you can actually get a web hosting panel for free, with almost the same features as popular ones?
We've listed the free, open-source control panels you can use today:
ISPConfig Hosting Control Panel- Multilingual Statistics
ISPConfig is a free open source control panel interface with stable, ultra-fast, and secure performance guaranteed to make server management quick and easy. With ISPConfig, you can manage multiple servers or a single server from one control panel. They have a single server, multiserver, as well as mirrored clusters.
They have jampacked features, too! For instance, ISPConfig will manage your:
- Email accounts
- Shell users
- FTP users
- Cron jobs
- MySQL databases
- IPv4 support
- IPv6 support
CentOS Web Panel - Perfect for Beginners
Newbies looking for a user-friendly web control panel will definitely love CentOS Web Panel.
It is a free control panel for hosting loaded with lots of amazing features.
CentOS web panel supports CloudLinux and CentOS/RHEL 6.x distribution. You can easily manage your servers with it, thanks to its advanced features and web interface that offers full control.
Check out some of CentOS features:
- Apache from source
- Nginx reverse Proxy
- Status & Configuration
- suPHP & suExec
- Varnish Cache Server
- Mod Security & OWASP rules
- Rebuild Apache vHosts
- OneClick Rebuild Postfix
- MailBoxes, Alias-Forwarder
- Postfix Mail queue
- Roundcube webmail
- AntiSpam & AntiVirus
- Postfix & Dovecot
When it comes to security, CentOS has the best Linux Firewall and other features, including automated backups, IP access control, live monitoring, and full database management.
- File System Lock Mod
- SSL Certificates
- CSF Firewall, CageFS
- Shell Access Manager
- suPHP & suExec
- Mod Security + OWASP rules
- Security Limits per User
CentOS web panel supports the management of emails and DNS. It also facilitates Ipv6 and offers great flexibility, with the ability to integrate with another control panel.
The easy to access and user-friendly web interface make managing your server a piece of cake!
Here are a few more things you must know about CentOS web panel:
- They provide web-based management of virtual servers, website, and email domains.
- Unlike ISPConfig, CentOS cannot manage multiple servers from one web panel.
- You will receive direct access to server logs.
Ajenti - Reliable Speed and Performance
When it comes to speed and performance, Ajenti is the star player. It promises more efficiency and is relatively faster than other companies.
Ajenti comes with pre-installed modern tools like code manager, text editor, code manager, and file manager. All of these features have an impact on the efficiency of web management.
With Ajenti, you can manage and configure your server without breaking a sweat.
Thousands of webmasters love Ajenti because it allows them to install packages and use its virtual emails, which comes with the auto-configuration of Courier IMAP and EXIM 4.
Not only does Ajenti support various operating systems, but it also supports Python, PHP, Node.js, and Ruby applications.
You can enjoy web and email domains management with Ajenti, too! Plus, you can manage not just one server, but multiple servers from one web panel.
Here are a few more things you need to know about Ajenti:
- It does not support IPv6
- You can take advantage of the DNS and email management
- You can manage more than one server with it
- It comes with a user-friendly interface that even beginners can navigate
- Offers mirrors and clusters configuration
- Includes logfile reporting and access
Webmin - Maximum Protection
If security and protection are paramount to you, then you should go with Webmin.
Compared to other web panels, Webmin is written in the high-level and dynamic Perl programming language. Many love using Webmin for its basic yet flexible features that help admin manage websites more efficiently.
Aside from the robust protection, you will also like the modules and interface of Webmin, which are all geared towards quick and easy file, email, server, and domain configuration.
Check out some of Webmin's features:
- Offers email domains and web management
- Provides database management
- Supports IPv6
- Offers FTP administration
- Enables you to manage multiple servers
- Firewall is available for maximum security
- Includes logfile reporting and access
- You will get direct access to server logs
Webmin supports a wide variety of systems, including:
- Amazon Linux
- cAos Linux
- Cendio LBS Linux
- CentOS Linux
- Corel Linu
- Lanthan Linux
- Linux Mint
- Lycoris Desktop/LX
- Mac OS X
- macOS Catalina
- macOS High Sierra
- macOS Mojave
- macOS Sierra
- Mageia Linux
- Oracle Linux
- Oracle VM
- OS X
- Playstation Linux
- Raspbian Linux
- Redhat Linux
- Secure Linux
- SGI Irix
- Slackware Linux
- Slamd64 Linux
- Tao Linux
- Tawie Server Linux
- ThizLinux Desktop
- TinySofa Linux
- Whitebox Linux
- Wind River Linux
- X/OS Linux
Related: The Fastest Web Hosting Provider According to Digital Experts
Web control panels are crucial if you want to manage your websites with ease. They save you from the trouble of puzzling out sophisticated codes and plugins. You can still manage your website even if you don't get one for yourself, but it will require you to spend more time (and money) to make even the slightest adjustments.
So, our best advice is to get one! After all, you don't necessarily have to shell out money for one, especially when there are many open-source and reliable panels out there that do the job very well. They offer easy management and added protection to keep your websites working efficiently.
Go on and take the given web panels above a spin, and let us know how it went for you.
Was this guide helpful? We'd like to know your thoughts in the comments below!