What is a Web Hosting Control Panel?

A web hosting control panel is a type of software installed on a server that allows administrators and web hosting customers to manage and administer the server without having to write code or use a command line interface (CLI).

Interface

Most web hosting control panels have a web-based interface that allow some or most common hosting related tasks to be completed via a web browser.  Some also have an API that allows third-party software and scripts to use the functionality the control panel provides.

Functionality

Functionality varies greatly, but most web hosting control panels are designed to make it easier to allocate resources to a new website (typically by creating a hosting account and assigning bandwidth and disk space quotas), setup email accounts, and manage DNS, etc.

Some control panels will even include script installation utilities, website building software, domain registration, and client billing.

Proprietary vs. Third Party

Some web hosts create their own proprietary control panel, while others use control panel software produced by third parties.  Some even take a hybrid approach, using a third party's control panel as a base, and customizing it.

Popular Control Panel Software

The most popular control panels are:

Popular Hosting Billing Control Panels

While not technically a hosting control panel, some hosting billing solutions integrate with a hosting control panel so much that they can be used as an alternative to the hosting control panel interface for some tasks.

One of the most popular hosting billing control panel is:

  • Web Host Manager Complete Solution (WHMCS)

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