Today’s web hosting packages are driven by features. While everyone has varying needs, one feature that is vital to any webmaster is the control panel. This software is what gives you the power to create and manage your web hosting account. From designing the website to creating databases, it all originates from the control panel interface. In this article we will discuss some of the most popular control panel applications and the platforms they are designed for.
Windows Control Panels
Helm is currently one of the most widely used control panels for the Windows operating system. The software offers a number of user-friendly features including the integrated billing module. This is an exclusive attribute that you typically will not find in the average control panel application. Helm is best known for its ease of use and simple interface.
Another popular control panel for the Windows platform is Hosting Accelerator. Although packed with features, the user interface is somewhat complex. Because of this, Hosting Accelerator is more geared for experienced users.
Linux Control Panels
The leading control panel software, cPanel is designed for the Linux platform. Many prefer this program because of its array of features, ease of use and low cost. cPanel makes a viable solution for a wide range of needs from shared and VPS hosting to reseller and dedicated server accounts.
Though not as popular as cPanel, DirectAdmin is a powerful control panel and hailed by some as one of the best. Designed for Linux as well, DirectAdmin is extremely easy to use and loaded with features.
Cross-Platform Control Panels
Platform specific control panels present disadvantages to the end-users and especially the web host as they stand to miss out customers who prefer one platform or the other. For this reason, more providers are turning to cross-platform solutions to cover the two major operating systems.
The Plesk control panel is available for both Windows and Linux and is the preferred choice for many web hosting companies. This software offers a user-friendly interface with the look and feel of Windows XP. Plesk comes packed with numerous features including a comprehensive web building tool that allows you to create your site with ease. Because it serves both platforms, hosting with Plesks tends to be more expensive than other control panels.
H-Sphere is another program suited for the Windows and Linux operating system. Though widely used, H-Sphere is lacking in the feature department in comparison to cPanel and Plesk. However, it does offer all the basics and automates several administrative tasks.
According to ratings across the web, cPanel is the preferred control panel for the Linux system while Helm is more preferred by Windows users. After deciding on a program, you should then take a look at other key features offered by the web host as they will all be integrated into your control panel. Although one should never judge the overall quality of service soley on the control panel, the type of software you work with is critical nevertheless.