Amidst all the recent discussion concerning control panels, our team thought it might be a good idea to examine all the control panels we allow clients to install onto their cloud servers in the Hostwinds Cloud portal.
‘Control’ is certainly the right word to describe these web-based panels because each and every one of them is so user-friendly, it empowers the user to take control over all those items pertaining to web hosting.
Thank goodness for that. Without control panels like these, it would require a fair amount of technical prowess in order to carry out even the simplest web-hosting-related tasks. Control panels make it possible to manage your website and web server details, even if you aren’t a technical expert.
Can you imagine if you had to do all that organizing and configuring yourself? Who else thinks they would definitely create some sort of error while trying to figure everything out?
Control panels essentially simplify everything that has to be managed for web hosting. On that note, the web hosting control panels that you can install onto your Hostwinds VPS or cloud server are as follows:
- CentOS Web Panel
- Vesta Control Panel
Are you debating about which control panel to use for your hosting? If so, you are in luck! Why, you ask? During this blog post, we are going to give you a little information about each control panel to help you make an informed decision.
Navigating to the Cloud Portal’s ‘Create a Server’ Page
First and foremost, a guided tour to the Cloud Portal’s ‘Create a Server’ page where you can select between control panel 1-click install application templates:
Step 1: Visit www.Hostwinds.com, and log in to your Client Area by clicking the ‘Client Login’ link at the very top of the page. Enter the email address and password associated with your Hostwinds account.
Step 2: Now that you are in the Client Area, click the ‘Cloud Control’ drop-down menu >> Click ‘Cloud Portal.’
Step 3: Click the green ‘Create’ button towards the top-right of the page >> Click the ‘Servers’ option.
Step 4: Click the ‘Applications’ tab, and there you have it! All your control panel options, with the exception of cPanel, are in this area.
Why is cPanel not in this section, you ask?
cPanel is actually in the ‘Operating System’ panel because it only works with CentOS, Red Hat, or Cloud Linux operating systems, so it is offered with a CentOS operating system. To that end, cPanel also comes with WHM, but you do have to purchase the WHM license.
Step 5: Simply click the control panel you’d like to install onto your cloud server or VPS, make the other necessary selections based on your requirements, and click ‘CREATE SERVER.’
That concludes our tour. Now let’s review the various control panel options you have available to you when you create a server in the Cloud Portal.
Selecting a Control Panel
It isn’t always easy to choose a control panel because 1. There are a plethora of control panels to choose between, 2. Many control panels offer features that resemble tools within other panels, and 3. Several control panels are quite frankly very well-designed, providing excellent interfaces to make server management procedures easy.
Rest assured that the Hostwinds Team is here to help you make the right selection.
We’ll begin by outlining a few of the key features all seven of these control panels provide:
- DNS Management Tools
- File Management Options
- FTP Account Management Section
- Database Management Utilities
- Security Options and Preferences
- Email Account Management Features
Onto some of the nuances among these control panels, beginning with cPanel.
cPanel is a Linux-based control panel that has come to be the front-runner in its field. It is popular in particular among coders/web developers, and it offers very rapid loading speeds. cPanel’s graphical user interface is unbelievably user-friendly.
This particular control panel shines in terms of its security features. For instance, it allows you to have password-protected directories. Furthermore, cPanel has been around for so long that it has strong security measures set in place.
A Few of cPanel’s Noteworthy Features Include:
- A File Manager for Adding & Managing Hosted Files, for Example
- A Domain Management Section for Adding & Managing Subdomains and Addon Domains, for Example
- A Resource Metrics Section
- A Website Management Section
- A Content Management System
- An Install Area with Application Such as Softaculous Auto Install
- A Performance Analysis For the Server
- Server Optimization Features
- Automation Features
- A Backups Management Section
- An Application Management Section
Why Choose cPanel?
Here’s what makes cPanel stand out:
cPanel has a decent amount of documentation that will help you carry out virtually any task you can think of. The panel’s wide-ranging community is also an excellent resource for receiving help with the tools and features. On top of that, cPanel offers innumerable add-on options.
The following excerpt from our “Create a Server with Yoda Pt. 1” blog post will give us a little more context about important cPanel particulars:
“cPanel works with applications including but not limited to PHP, MySQL, and Apache.
NOTE: cPanel requires a cPanel license, so if you choose this panel, it is important that you add a license.
You can do this anytime through your Client Area by clicking the ‘Service’ drop-down on the blue navigation bar at the top of the Client Area >>> Clicking the ‘Order New Services’ link. Then click the ‘Licenses’ link within the ‘Categories’ section on the left side of the page. ‘cPanel VPS License’ is one of the options that pops up on this page. The green ‘Order Now’ button will get you where you need to go to purchase the license.”
Another good point mentioned in the blog post:
“NOTE PART 2: Hostwinds recommends a 4GB RAM minimum plan if you choose to use cPanel.”
Click below to review the remainder of that informative post.
Now, you may have heard the term ‘WHM’ (WebHost Manager) associated with cPanel. The two work hand in hand with one another using a tiered system. They use tiers in order to allow certain people administrator access. These tiers also allow for reseller access.
Helpful cPanel Guides in the Hostwinds Knowledge Base:
CentOS Web Panel
CentOS Web Panel is a great Linux-based tool for server management. It is highly secure because it uses a system in which it tracks every action made by a user, logs it, and associates it with the user’s username. It also has several other security measures set in place. Not to mention it allows for automatic updates.
This web panel comes preinstalled with LAMP Stack.
LAMP Stack Stands For:
For more information about this web stack, click this link:
Why Choose CentOS Web Panel?
Other prominent CentOS Web Panel features are as follows:
- Firewall Management Features
- Options Pertaining to Memory
- Backup Management Tools
- CPU Core Information Section
- Auto Responders for Email
- SSH Key Options
- FreeDNS & DNS Zone Manager
- Information Pertaining to the Network
- Litespeed Enterprise Web Server
- DDoS Protection Options
- Softaculous Auto Install
- MongoDB Options
Helpful CentOS Web Panel Guide in the Hostwinds Knowledge Base:
Another leading control panel these days is Webmin. It is remarkably clean and easy to navigate. Webmin is modular and supports many types of extensions. This control panel also works with a whole bunch of applications and software.
Why Choose Webmin?
- PHP Options
- SSL Certificate Features
- Administrator Access Options & Tiers of Users
- MySQL Tools
- Apache Options
Virtualmin is very organized and straightforward. It is known to be quite secure, and it works with both HTTPD and Apache. Additionally, Virtualmin comes with Ngnix preinstalled on it.
Interestingly enough, Virtualmin is connected to Webmin. Here is how our Support Team Representative, David, explained the manner in which Virtualmin and Webmin intertwine:
“You create Webmin accounts within Virtualmin. Webmin is the account manager, and Virtualmin is the server manager. Virtualmin is for the overall server, Webmin is for the accounts.”
Why Choose Virtualmin?
- Administrative Access Options
- Backup Management Section
- Automation Options
- Antivirus Features
- SSL Certificate Tools
- MySQL Features
- Server Monitoring Options
Helpful Virtualmin Guides in the Hostwinds Knowledge Base:
According to that “Create a Server with Yoda Pt. 1” blog post mentioned above, “Plesk is yet another crowd favorite. This control panel allows you to automate a lot of its tools, and one of its features is a complimentary website building application. Plesk is known for its high level of security and its versatility.”
Plesk runs on both Windows and Linux servers. Not only is this web-based control panel very intuitive, but it also comes with a tremendous amount of applications. Additionally, it supports several modules and extensions.
Security is huge for Plesk, and it does a fantastic job of maintaining a robust security system. It also allows you to check your server status, which can be quite useful in the event of an issue arising. Plesk has ‘Administrator,’ ‘Reseller,’ Mail User,’ and ‘Domain Owner’ as tiers of access.
Why Choose Plesk?
- SSL Certificate Features
- SPAM Prevention Service & Option to Block Hacker IP Addresses
- Free Website-Building Tools
- WordPress Toolkit Feature
- A Multitude of Automated Tools
- Wide Range of Language Options
- Easy Configuration
- Firewall Features
- MySQL Options
- Backups Section for Your Files
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT PLESK: Plesk does require a license.
Helpful Plesk Guides in the Hostwinds Knowledge Base:
Vesta Control Panel
Vesta Control Panel runs on Linux. The control panel’s security and aesthetically-pleasing interface make it a great choice.
Why Choose Vesta Control Panel?
We’ll let our “Definition of Vesta Functions” Knowledge Base guide take it from here.
- Packages – Lists the available user account types that can be created, and lets you create/modify/delete them.
- IP – Lists the IP address(es) of the server and lets you add/delete them and set owner/user groups.
- Graphs – Shows Daily/Weekly/Monthly/Yearly graphs for Load Average, Memory Usage, Bandwidth, etc.
- Statistics – Shows monthly or overall statistics like the number of Web/Mail/SSL domains, accounts, databases, etc.
- Log – Activity log for changes made in Vesta
- Updates – Shows software versions for installed programs and allows auto–update to be toggled and manual updating of programs
- Firewall – Shows the firewall rules and allows add/delete/suspend for them, as well as the Fail2Ban listing
- Apps – Links to Softaculous to allow website app installation, including WordPress, PrestaShop, and many others.
- Server – lists the server processes and their ram/cpu/uptime; allows configure/stop/restart for them.
- User – Lists user accounts for Vesta and allows to Add, and Edit/Suspend/Delete existing users.
- Web – Lists web domains and allows to Add, and Edit/Suspend/View Logs/Delete existing web domains.
- DNS – Lists domain zones and allows to Add, and List Records/Add Records/Edit/Suspend/Delete existing DNS Zones
- Mail – Lists email domains and allows to Add, and List Accounts/Add Accounts/Edit/Suspend/Delete existing email domains.
- DB – Lists databases, links to PhpMyAdmin, and allows to Add, and Edit/Suspend/Delete existing databases.
- Cron – Lists cron jobs (scheduled programs) and allows to Add, and Edit/Suspend/Delete existing cron jobs.
- Backup – Lists captured backups and allows to Download/Restore/Delete, as well as capture new backup.
Click below to view the rest of that guide!
ISPmanager is accommodating for those who are new to hosting as well as individuals who would like more advanced features. It gives you the option of working with one of two versions. The ‘Lite’ version is for VPS hosting, and, as such, this is the version offered for our 1-Click Install Template in the Cloud Portal. The other version pertains to reseller and shared web hosting.
Why Choose ISPmanager?
- Content Management System Options
- SPAM Prevention Tools
- Administrator Options Such as Setting Tiers of Access for Users
- SSL Certificate Features
- Comes with MySQL & PHP Selector
- Metrics on Resource Usage
- File Permission Tools
- Works with Apache
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT ISPMANAGER: Like cPanel and Plesk, ISPmanager requires a license, which you can purchase in the Client Area.
Helpful ISPmanager Guides in the Hostwinds Knowledge Base:
That concludes our brief review of each control panel offered as a 1-Click Install in the Cloud Portal, folks.
Still Need Help Deciding on a Control Panel?
If you are still apprehensive about which control panel to choose for your cloud server or VPS, please feel welcome to reach out to Hostwinds’ live support team anytime, 24/7/365. We will be happy to help you make the right selection based on your specific needs. Our team is available via Live Chat (www.Hostwinds.com) or phone (888-404-1279).
We hope you have a terrific rest of the week!