Reseller Hosting is the perfect starting point for prospective entrepreneurs wanting to start a web hosting business with minimal investment and tech knowledge. Being a Hosting Reseller entails buying hosting resources from a parent hosting company, creating custom plans, rebranding the offering and selling them to your customers. You also get dedicated customer and tech support from the hosting company. One of the most critical applications that help a newbie Hosting Reseller is an intuitive control panel. Control panels for Reseller Web Hosting make the hosting and account management seamless.
What is a Control Panel?
A web hosting control panel is a web-based interface that’s central to managing your Reseller Hosting business. With a control panel, you can add and delete clients, assign hosting plans to each client, keep track of payments made to you, upgrade or downgrade plans for your customers, plan email campaigns, and do so much more.
Basically, your control panel will enable you to run your business from one place — a central dashboard that can keep track of everything and has the ability to make changes. A simple Google search will reveal that there are a host of control panels available. This article lists out five best control panels that you can use as a Reseller Hosting provider.
Leading Control Panels for Reseller Hosting Service Providers
cPanel is an industry-leader and one of the most popular web hosting control panels for Linux-based hosting platforms. Based on the Graphical User Interface (GUI) it accords the ease of use to Linux-based servers.
Through cPanel, you can categorize your applications and tools into easy-to-find Groups, databases, Files, and software. The cPanel interface offers buttons, links, navigation, graphics, etc. that help make server and hosting management easy for you.
cPanel functionality is majorly split into:
- cPanel – the popular user interface
- WHM (Web Host Manager) – a server management interface
Some common areas that you can manage with cPanel include installing and deleting software, organizing and managing web files, creating and managing domains/subdomains, creating and managing email accounts, managing security and passwords, managing the users and so on.
WHMCS stands for Web Host Manager – Complete Solution and it’s a control panel owned by the same company that developed cPanel, one of the most popular hosting control panels in the market.
Like cPanel, WHMCS is only available for Linux based hosting platforms. Another shared trait between cPanel and WHMCS is popularity. WHMCS is the most popular Reseller Hosting control panel currently in the market.
There are several reasons for this. For starters, there’s the ease of use. As long as you know how to work a computer, you should be able to figure out how to use WHMCS. It’s designed for people who aren’t necessarily hosting or Linux experts. The entire interface is GUI, and the layout is extremely intuitive.
WHMCS has one central page or dashboard that acts as the nerve centre of the program. You can control all aspects of your business from this page.
WHMCS is a feature-rich control panel that offers the following features:
- Adding and removing customers
- Changing plans
- Creating custom email campaigns
- Automating the entire billing process
- Personalising or creating custom-branded control panels for customers
- Providing customer support from within the application, and much more.
The integration between WHMCS and cPanel is seamless as both are owned by the same company. This makes WHMCS a popular choice for most Linux Reseller Hosting businesses.
Plesk is available for both Linux and Windows and is also the most popular control panel for hosting services based on servers that run on Windows Server operating systems.
One of the main benefits of Plesk is that it looks, feels, and works a lot like Windows XP, which was a very popular consumer-grade operating system. The GUI is extremely faultless and easy to use, making it very popular with people who are daunted by the prospect of having to use Linux.
Plesk offers a whole range of features, chief amongst which is their tier system for permissions that are really helpful if you have a few employees for your business. There are four tiers in Plesk — administrator, reseller, domain owner, and mail user. The tiers are listed in decreasing order of access and privilege. Built on PHP, C, and C++,
Plesk comes with in-built firewalls, support for all popular CMS applications, and an extension ecosystem. It is the default choice for most Windows-based Reseller Hosting providers.
ISPconfig is perhaps the most famous free hosting control panel in the market currently. ISPConfig is built on an open-source platform and supports reseller accounts and normal hosting management accounts to operate via a single application.
The main advantages that ISPConfig offers:
- It is free
- It is known for its stability and reliability
Free hosting control panels usually have a notorious stability record, making ISPConfig quite popular. ISPConfig is supported for Linux hosting only.
ISPConfig also is quite good at managing its resources. It won’t stress your server a whole lot and is great if you have a low RAM hosting plan. Finally, ISPConfig comes with native support for virtualization. In fact, it’s the only free control panel to support virtualization natively.
Additionally, ISPConfig is known to be difficult to set up. So, if you’re not an expert, you’d be better off hiring one to set it up for you.
Webmin scores the highest on this list as far as compatibility goes. It’s available for most, if not all Linux distros and is also partially compatible with Windows, meaning that some features may not work.
Webmin is known to be extensively modifiable, making it popular with system admins with a lot of experience. Additionally, it’s also free to use, for both website owners and Reseller Hosting providers. What’s more, it offers features that rival cPanel and Plesk.
The customization options are meant to help people set it up exactly as they want it, but it often means that there’s no single reference for the way the central dashboard is supposed to look or function. Suffice to say if you’re new to hosting, Webmin might not be ideal for you.
DirectAdmin is one of the cheapest reseller control panels in the market today. The lower cost does not come at the cost of features, though. With an intuitive Graphical User Interface, you can configure everything to your taste. There’s built-in email management and is known to be very reliable. Additionally, you can manage an unlimited number of email accounts and websites with the panel.
DirectAdmin is popular due to the effective automation of tasks which allows servers to be seamlessly shared and ensures that site owners can easily set up and manage their websites.
You can also create and manage domains/subdomains, create and manage email accounts and FTP user accounts, manage MySQL and DNS, backup and restore account data and site files, manage files, install SSL, and so much more.
The only real drawback with DirectAdmin is that the layout of the application isn’t traditional. So, if you’re new, it’s going to take some time to get the hang of it.
All control panels listed above are great options if you’re a Reseller Hosting service provider. However, they’re aimed at different niches each. Top hosting companies offering Reseller Hosting stick with cPanel/WHM or Plesk. So, if you’re planning to start a Reseller Hosting business, make sure that you choose a reputed hosting company that offers pre-integrated cPanel/WHM or Plesk as their default control panel.
ResellerClub India offers a range of Reseller Hosting plans with inbuilt cPanel/WHM and free WHMCS, along with 24×7 tech support. This way, you can come to grips with the software quickly and concentrate on growing your business rather than worry about glitches and problems with your control panel.
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