Web Hosting Tutorial Series


Video #4: What is a control panel?


This video tutorial will teach you about the control panel, an essential part of any web hosting account.


Click to Watch 'What is a Control Panel?' Web Hosting Video


In terms of web hosting, the control panel is a web-based interface provided by your hosting company that allows you to manage a variety of hosted services in one spot. A control panel allows you to configure email accounts, upload files to your website, access server logs, manage databases, analyze web traffic, add new functionality, and more. It is an essential part of any web hosting account. Without it – even just a basic control panel – you wouldn’t be able to get very much done.


You do not necessarily need to know computer programming to effectively navigate your way around a control panel. It is a browser-based, point-and-click interface. Three of the most widely used web hosting control panels in the industry today are cPanel, Parallels Plesk, and DirectAdmin. They are popular because they are easy-to-use, intuitive, and offer a wide variety of robust services.


Some control panels only run on Linux, some are meant for Windows, and some will work with both types of operating system. One important thing to keep in mind – just because your computer at home is running Windows doesn’t mean you need to find a
Windows hosting account. You only need a Windows account if your website requires features that only work on Windows. Otherwise, a Linux account will work just as well, and with very few differences.


What’s the difference? Most versions of Linux are free, whereas you can’t install Windows on a computer unless you pay for a license. Because of this, Windows hosting accounts generally cost a bit more. Many of the companies in our top 10 web hosting list provide linux-based control panels like cPanel, this helps make them very affordable.

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The key units for measuring website space and usage: megabytes (MB) and gigabytes (GB).

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