A control panel is provided by a web host. As suggested by the name, it is the controlling mechanism for the website and helps in managing the website. Control panel is the one place from where a user can do everything that is needed to be done, while hosting a website, this includes tracking statistical information like traffic information, creating FTP accounts, setting up email accounts, adding sub-domains, databases, managing files, among many other things.

There is a white variety of control panels available. cPanel is the most popular but others include NextGenCp, VDeck, Ensim, Sphera or Hostopia. Each panel is different and offer many tools and functions peculiar to their own product. The panel you receive may depend upon which platform you our web host uses. Factors for changing a control panel includes what features they have and how do they perform on a specific platform.

These are all features that can be found in a control panel:

Mail Manager

Mail Manager

Addon Domains

Error Log

File Manager

Index Manager

Backup

Password Protect Directories

Subdomain

Addon Domains

FTP Manager

MS SQL Manager(Windows only)

Redirects

Frontpage Extensions

Password Protect Directories

Raw Access Logs

MySQL Database Manager

PostgreSQL Database Manager

Raw Log Manager

CGI Center

Cron Jobs

Cron Jobs

Web/FTP Stats

Raw Log Manager

Index Manager

Subdomain Stats

Among the differences that ditinguish various control panels, is the ease of use. Some control panels like Plesk are relatively more user friendly. While others like cPanel, are well regarded for their functionality. Before you can appreciate which is the best control panel that can serve your needs satisfactorily, you will need to have an idea of what is on offer in the market. Towards that end, an overview of various control panels follows:

cPanel:

Linux based systems is where cPanel is mainly found. It can offer assistance for over 10 types of Linux the and at the moment does not cater to Windows or OSX. cPanel is helpful in controlling everything your site needs including MySQL database to email issues and much more beside.

The range of features and functions provided by cPanel is higher than many services available today and this diversity and price are key reasons in why cPanel is so popular.

Plesk:

Plex is available for Linux and Windows web hosting servers where cPanel is not. Many users find it helpful that Plex has an interface similar to Windows XP. The control panel looks good and offers many features available in cPanel. It can enable any user to build their own site with easy to sue tool. It offers many features but it may be viewed as more expensive than other products, especially cPanel.

H-Sphere:

H-Sphere is also a popular control panel used by web hosts. Just like Plesk, it is also available for Windows, as well as Linux based web hosting servers. It offers a good range of features ranging from complete automation to key functionalities. However when compared with cPanel and Plesk it has less features.

DirectAdmin

DirectAdmin is unique as it offers many services other panels do not but it does lack some of the functions offered by the main panels. It has a limited range of support with only a few Linux versions and no Windows support but it is a cheap option.

Ensim

Ensim is also available for Windows as well as Linux. It has an adequate interface but lacks in features.

Interworx

Interworx also caters only to Linux based Web hosting servers. It has got a clean and well-organized interface with some impressive features like the site usage snapshot.

Hosting Accelerator

Hosting accelerator supports only Windows Web hosting servers. Its interface is not well organized and appears crowded with options which may overwhelm inexperienced users.

Helm

A key feature of Helm is the ability to view bills within the control panel but it is only available on Windows.

CWIPanel

The CWIPanel aims for Windows server management. It is an average product.

InsPanel

This control panel has also been made only for windows based web hosting server. This is an average product with standard features.

There are a lot of control panels to choose from but cPanel usually ends up on top due to its price, features and ease of use.

Among the recently developed control panels, Pandela.com has come out with its NectGenCP control panel. It has been in development, since a few years and one must say that it is really impressive.

You can tell that modern internet technology has shaped this product. It is simple to use and has been created specifically for web hosting clients. It has such a great ease of use that even novices can pick it up in next to no time. It is said it takes no more than mouse clicks to perform any function. It may seem simple but there is a lot going on and all of the functions aid web site management. The makers of the service have also issued all users with a challenge and if they can think of something they would like in the next version of the product, they will incorporate it.

Features contained within NextGenCP:

Gain control over your domain:

Users have full control over their domain as well as sub-domain. They can also register and host their own domain names easily and quickly.

Managing a Database:

This product makes it extremely simple to create and manage your very own database with just a few clicks of the mouse. phpMyAdmin provides the database management and the data is secured by Database Backup Manager.

Take control of the mail accounts:

It is easy for users to control and access their email accounts. An advanced SPAM filtering system is provided by Pandela.com and this will keep your inbox free of junk and unwanted emails. If this isn’t enough, there are also filters for the mail, assistance for accounts and other functions.

Use tools to improve your site:

NextGenCP has plenty of tools, which make managing a web site very easy. Some of these tools are Script Installer, Hotlink Protection and IP Access Manager.

Sites Statistics;

The statistics available will offer all the data about your visitors, a complete tally of bandwidth and traffic consumption and an overview of email accounts.

System for Support:

All users of NextGenCP have full access to the support system. Whenever a user faces any problem, he/she simply has to post a support ticket, and the issue will be taken up by one of the staff as early as possible. The average response time is not more than 15 minutes.

With so many impressive features, there is no doubt that NextGenCP looks one of the best web host control panels ever created. It is also good to hear that Pandela.com is promising to continually improve the service each and every day.

About the author:Tired of hyped up web hosting companies that don’t deliver? Get the tools and real user reviews you need to find the best hosting companies for you at www.webhostingmadness.com.