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Top 8 Web Hosting Control Panel Tools

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What does a control panel do for web hosting?

A web hosting control panel is a visual interface that lets you manage your website by clicking on command icons as part of your web hosting package. With it, you can do administration tasks from the web interface instead of having to type in commands manually.

How do I use a web hosting control panel?

A web hosting control panel is a virtual interface provided by a web hosting service that allows you to manage your servers and hosted services. Every hosting provider has its own type of control panel. To access your control panel, you only need to go to your hosting account webpage and input your login details. Your control panel will open.

You may use the statistics offered to optimize your sites, to analyze traffic for search engine optimization, and to track your site’s performance. For instance, the number of visitors, what browsers your visitors use, or how long users stay on your site.

A control panel also helps you to tighten the security on track, by creating password-protected directories, whitelist IPs, or blocking specific IPs from accessing your site.

Your hosting provider may offer one-click applications accessible from the control panel. This may be part of the hosting offering or by a third-party application. It may also include content management systems, e-commerce applications, image galleries, and ad management, among other things.

Do I need a control panel for my server?

A common question is whether you need a control panel installed in order to manage a server. Technically, you can manage a server successfully without a control panel. However, this requires knowledge and familiarity with the server functions and server administration skills.

A control panel makes it easier to control the server because of its automation functionality. The panel can take care of a server’s repetitive and everyday tasks. For instance, setting an app or deleting email addresses can be automated via a control panel.

A downside of using a control panel for your server is the lack of customization options. If you know how to manage your server and know how to customize it, you can get away without a control panel. However, if you are not experienced in managing your server with command lines, you will probably benefit from a control panel. Routine tasks like setting up websites, emails, or databases are much easier with a control panel. Using one will reduce the time you need to spend administering your server.

Web Hosting Control Panel Features

A web hosting control panel enables you to manage your server from any connected computer. Every web hosting provider offers a control panel with a range of available tools. There are also other control panels to choose from, each one with a different list of features. There are, however, some common features shared by the different products.

Some tasks you can do on a web hosting control panel include:

  • Account administration: With this option, you can renew your plan, update your billing details, and update or change your password.
  • Domain management: You can renew, forward, and register new domains and IP addresses from the control panel. You can also edit the domain name system and manage sub-domains.
  • Email management: Set up, manage, and delete email accounts from the control panel. You can also set up email forwarding and spam filters.
  • File management: File transfer protocol (FTP) allows you to upload, access, and manage the files and folders of your server. FTP requires access to a control panel.
  • Database management: You need a database to manage your web data - and to do that, you need a control panel. The database can be on premises or cloud-based. The control panel allows you to control the performance of the database.

Some offerings may also include the following features:

  • Mail server management and configuration.
  • Managing SSL certificates
  • Monitoring system services
  • Support of content management systems, like WordPress.

Top web hosting control panels usually offer premium features and add-on packages for enterprise versions, which allow you to:

  • Manage multiple servers from a single interface
  • Manage multiple Virtual Private Servers (VPS)
  • Manage security policies