cPanel: A Key Differentiator Of Cloud Web Hosts
cPanel is a key factor to look for when you are choosing a cloud hosting provider. There are heaps of fantastic cloud hosting companies which don’t offer cPanel, but when we are assessing cloud hosting providers for their usefulness as a cloud web host for the typical web site owner or small business, we look for cPanel as this makes the knowledge barriers to easily using your cloud server much lower.
What is cPanel?
cPanel is the most popular server management interface.
Its a graphical user interface which allows control over all the common service functionality required to manage your own website on a Linux server. cPanel is fairly easy to use compared to most other server control panels, but its biggest benefit is its popularity. Because there are just so many people using cPanel for web hosting, if you ever have a problem with managing your server or your website you can almost always find the problem by Googling it, and find someone who had the exact same problem and how to fix it. This is even more common when you are using the most popular web site CMS (content management systems) such as WordPress, Drupal or Joomla.
What other cloud server control panels might be available?
Its important to realise that most genuine cloud hosting providers (as opposed to VPS hosts who have “cloud” virtual private servers, which are actually running on a single or small number of physical servers) are geared to a much larger and more technically capable clientele than your typical web hosting company.
Their customers often have in house IT teams, and are looking for a cloud solution to replace an in-house physical server, and will be paying hundreds or thousands of dollars a month to manage their cloud. These customers need Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): they want a high powered virtual computer in the cloud which they can use instead of a high powered server in their office. And they will have highly varied needs for the type of software and functionality they need. Thus many of the larger and best value cloud hosting companies offer basic Linux servers that still need a lot of configuration by an experienced server administrator before they can be used to run a website or other applications.
What these servers typically have is a control panel which controls the creation and size and function of the server itself: this is quite distinct from cPanel which is more geared to managing files, domains, databases and the other things we need to run a website.
What you need to run your website on a cloud server.
This isn’t the case for your average individual or business wanting cloud hosting for their website. In this case you need a server which is set up with industry standard tools to run your website with a minimum of fuss. cPanel is the defacto industry standard to meet these needs.
This reduces the number of cloud hosting companies you can choose from but will make your life much simpler when it comes to managing your web site in the cloud.
…the vast major of web site owners a graphical control panel like cPanel is an essential interface with their cloud web hosting server.
The other downside of cPanel is that it is quite resource intensive, meaning you will need to buy a more powerful server with more memory and storage to accomodate cPanel in addition to your site. For this reason, more technical users may prefer to run their website directly on a Linux server, but for the vast major of web site owners a graphical control panel like cPanel is an essential interface with their cloud web hosting server. Read more about cloud web hosting