On the market since 1997, cPanel was one of the first examples of complete and customizable control panel software for users of Web Hosting services. Below you can see the best web hosting companies currently offering integrated cPanel Hosting solutions.
Our list of hosting providers is based on:
- Ease of use
- cPanel integration
- User reviews
What is cPanel Hosting?
cPanel Hosting refers to any Web Hosting solution offering integration with the feature-rich and user-friendly software known as cPanel, thereby enabling you to use it as the control panel for your web hosting service. cPanel is the most popular control panel software currently in existence.
cPanel utilizes a simple and clear graphical user interface (GUI) with several icons representing the main functions, allowing you to access and administer the server your website is hosted on. Among others, these functions include installing scripts (such as Content Management Systems, forums or visitor tracking tools), managing domains, storage and emails, uploading files, and analyzing statistics.
cPanel has enjoyed much success in recent years by creating a tool that is suitable for everyone, from beginners to veteran webmasters and entrepreneurs. It is designed exclusively for servers running the Linux operating system (OS), and is generally used either on a Dedicated Server or a Virtual Private Server (VPS) - although it is increasingly included in Cheap Web Hosting plans as well.
History of cPanel
Originally intended as the control panel for one specific Web Hosting company (which no longer exists), John Nick Koston first released cPanel as it is now known in 1997. At the time, there was very little competition in the server control panel market and by 1999, cPanel 3 had been released - bringing with it an automatic upgrade feature, the very first iteration of WebHost Manager (WHM) and perhaps most crucially, a new GUI theme designed by Carlos Rego which since became the cPanel default.
John Nick Koston has been working exclusively on developing cPanel for a number of years, and it is now a recognized industry powerhouse. According to their website, a cPanel Hosting account is created every 15 seconds - testament to the value cPanel places on being accessible to everyone, from greengrocers and housewives to experienced web developers and hosting providers.
cPanel User Review
What can cPanel do?
Used by countless Web Hosting providers and customers alike, cPanel offers a user-oriented solution that automates the numerous and complex workings of a web server. With cPanel, you can log in through a normal Internet browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, and configure the available services relevant to your server.
Such services usually include the following and more:
Provide easy installation of CMS (Content Management Systems)
Create, manage and delete domains and sub-domains
View and administer email accounts and mailing lists
Manage files and databases, perform and retain backups
Monitor, export and analyse visitor statistics
Manage CGI scripts and FTP
Tweak server settings to optimize your site
cPanel has a very wide array of features, and multiple customization options. Its plug-in architecture extends cPanel's functionality even further - cPanel Hosting providers will often supply a particular plug-in upon request, or in response to a specific need.
Pros and Cons of cPanel
- Updates to Apache, PHP, MySQL and related software packages are applied automatically
- Highly customizable, intuitive and easy to use
- High level of control over server settings and features
- Plug-ins extend cPanel's features still further
- Reliable and efficient
- Difficult to remove, sometimes necessitating a server reformat
- Cannot be used on servers running Windows OS
- Package management verification system cannot verify if software has been tampered with
WebHost Manager (WHM)
WHM is another web-based tool from the creators of cPanel. It is a high-level control panel which offers more advanced options to its users, allowing web hosting providers and resellers to manage and administer multiple hosting plans from a single interface. Like cPanel, it has become a recognized leader in the control panel market.
Among other useful features, WHM allows server administrators to perform maintenance such as upgrading and recompiling Apache and PHP, installing Perl Modules, and upgrading RPMs.
WHM is accessible to users with Reseller Hosting privileges, as well as the root administrator. If you are using cPanel as a Reseller, you will have access to slightly less features than the root user. The level of permission is decided by the server administrator, who generally limit a Reseller's privileges to those which affect their customers' accounts, thereby safeguarding the server as a whole.
cPanel vs Plesk
Plesk is widely considered to be cPanel's main competitor in the server function automation market. cPanel rapidly grew in popularity when it pulled ahead of Plesk in terms of features offered, but Plesk has since matched most of them, meaning the available functionality is largely the same in both even if the feature names are different.
cPanel and Plesk are both known for having very user-friendly, intuitive GUIs. Plesk is organized into sections whereas cPanel endeavors to make the majority of features available from the main dashboard - which is strongest of these two approaches depends on the situation and the task at hand.
One major difference between Plesk and cPanel is what they require the operating system (OS) of the server to be. cPanel is only available on certain Linux distributions (CloudLinux, CentOS and Red Hat Enterprise), whereas Plesk is compatible with more Linux distributions and Windows Server too. However, Plesk generally performs more slowly on Linux servers.
A lot of cPanel vs. Plesk discussions eventually come down to personal preference. See which one you prefer:
Is cPanel Hosting right for me?
Your operating system, server configuration and personal preference should ultimately influence your decision. cPanel is the market leader, but it is not the only option available. Particularly if you are planning to use a Windows Hosting service, and/or wish to write your website in ASP.NET, other options should be considered.
That being said, cPanel is a mature, stable control panel that has consistently proven itself to be effective and efficient. Free migration from cPanels on other hosting services and excellent customer support underpin its industry-leading feature set and ease of use making it a fantastic choice of control panel, regardless of your level of experience.
If you are still unsure you can use our Hosting Wizard and Knowledge Base for more ideas, or Compare Hosting plans side by side - whatever you decide, Web Hosting Search is here to help you find the best deal!