What is cPanel?

cPanel is the leading control panel in the web hosting industry. It was created in 1996 by John Nick Koston, the original developer and CEO of the current cPanel Inc company.

Since then, cPanel has evolved to become the #1 favourite control panel in the web hosting business.

cPanel is a private type of software, and has been developed to be fully compatible with most RPM based Linux distributions like RedHat Enterprise Linux and CentOS Linux.
It was built to be installed into a Dedicated Hosting, Cloud Hosting or VPS. It can not be installed on reseller hosting accounts.

What is cPanel / WHM?

cPanel, is the final control panel that helps users to manage their web hosting accounts from a fancy and easy to understand web based control panel.

WHM, on the other hand, is the full root administrator that let users manage the WHM control panel, from where users can create, eliminate and modify websites and server settings.

cPanel was designed to have four main control panels:

cPanel, the end user administration panel.
WHM as root, the root administrator, who has all the administrator privileges over the server.
WHM as Reseller, a limited WHM control panel version for web hosting resellers.
Webmail, it is the panel used to check and send emails over a web interface.

Main cPanel Features

Nowadays, cPanel has become the symbol of shared hosting. When you talk about shared hosting you are talking about cPanel. And this is to the great adoption it has from web hosting providers. Even users are so much used to work with cPanel that when you move one user to a different control panel they feel lost.

This has been possible thanks to the great features it provides:

  • Easy to understand web interface, with fancy and very graphic icons.
  • Multiligual support with around 30 different languages from around the world.
  • File manager to manage all the files of your websites from a web interface.
  • Domain configuration for your website.
  • SSL configuration / management.
  • Mail manager to create, modify and delete email accounts.
  • FTP manager that allows you to create FTP accounts and privileges.
  • Database manager, useful to create and manage MySQL and PostgreSQL databases.
  • AntiSPAM features like SpamAssassin and Custom Spam Filtering.
  • Statistics about disk, bandwidth and general account usage.
  • Compatible with Softaculous and Fantastico Deluxe for 1-click app installations.
  • Compatible with Security distros such as CloudLinux.
  • Crontab manager to create, delete and modify Linux cron jobs.

cPanel for Windows

Although cPanel was originally developed for Linux platforms, since with the time it was ported to Windows. A market that was always having a big lack of a serious control panel.

On 2011 Enkompass was the first cPanel release for WIndows Server. However, due to the slow product development, it was declared EOL in 2014 and there are no future plans to work on this Windows-compatible version.

cPanel on FreeBSD

During some years cPanel also offered FreeBSD support. But as cPanel 11.30, there were no new versions that were supporting FreeBSD operating system. The EOL dates for freebsd were FreeBSD 7.3 September 30, 2012, and FreeBSD 8.0 May 31, 2011.



About the Author: Santiago Borges

Experienced Sr. Linux SysAdmin and Web Technologist, passionate about building tools, automating processes, fixing server issues, troubleshooting, securing and optimizing high traffic websites.