cPanel – Advantages and Disadvantages
A control panel makes it easy for seasoned as well as new admins to perform day to day administrative tasks. Although admins prefer to manage their servers through the terminal they tend to use a control panel for ease of use. And in terms of ease of use, there is no competition for cPanel in the industry. Beginners as well as migrators from other control panels tend to easily find their way through the organized layout.
cPanel is a new user friendly web based control panel that helps users manage a web hosting account or a dedicated server. You can perform administrative functions on your account or server without having to go through the terminal at all. The best part about cPanel is, you can use it and pull up the terminal whenever you need, it accepts the changes you make through a terminal.
It is not just user friendly in terms of ease of use, cPanel is by a huge margin the most popular control panel available. The number of users and community support is massive. The huge community and free to use resources probably cover all imaginable aspects of cPanel hosting. This makes it fairly easy for anyone to get started with cPanel.
A lot of developers create free and paid add-ons for cPanel that let you automate or manage various tasks. There are hundreds of plugins you can chose from, it is easy to find a plugin and add a function that is not available by default. If you run a dedicated server and have very specific requirements, it is fairly easy to find a developer to create a plugin or an add-on.
cPanel is available in four tiers but “Stable” and “Release” are the only two tiers suitable for production. While Stable tier has been tested for bugs and compatibility issues with a focus on reliability, it is not as up to date as its competition. The Release tier on the other hand is up to date and on par in terms of compatibility but may not meet reliability expectations of production servers.
Given the popularity, it is no surprise that the disadvantages of cPanel are less than the advantages. One of the main criticism of cPanel stems from its default theme. It looks and feels outdated in 2014 but most admins are able to find a theme and change the interface to their liking.
The widespread usage also attracts an unusually large number of hackers. However, if you take necessary steps to protect your Apache, PHP and MySQL you can protect your server from most common and advanced attacks like DDoS and SQL injection.
A cPanel license is also expensive compared to the competition at the moment. It is best suited for small and medium scale websites and isn’t suitable for huge websites. The bug fix and exploit acknowledgement and resolution can also take a while. Overall support is great but the competition does a better job than cPanel in this segment.