Introduction to Web Hosting Control Panels
Web Hosting Control Panels are software tools which allow the System administrator to easily manage a complete web server through the use of a web interface
Control Panels are great for web hosting businesses who make frequent and repetitive changes to their server configurations. This means adding new domains to host, suspending domains, monitoring domain resource usages (disk quota and bandwidth usage), adding email addresses, etc. Most control panels give your end users, the domain owner, a seperate control panel of their own. This allows your customers to support themselves, because they can easily accomplish common tasks like managing email accounts, managing databases and viewing resource usages. This, in turn, frees up your time to expand your business!
Since a control panel pre-installs many pieces of software into a server, you lose a bit flexibility and control. For example, currently Cpanel supports only Apache v1.3.x. Some customers insist on v2.x but this just is not possible right now. So, you are often limited by the software the control panel supports and pre-installs for you. However, the control panel developers realize this and try to make their software deployments as flexible and customizable as possible. Cpanel really shines in this area because it is very simple and intuitive to recompile Apache and PHP to support extended and customized options. For example, the new version 11 of WHM/Cpanel does support Apache 2.x.
RapidVPS Control Panel Options
WHM/Cpanel is the king of web hosting control panels. Written mostly in perl, Cpanel offers maximum flexibility for web hosts, webmasters needing to host diverse website configurations, and system administrators who want a powerful but automated method of administering their Linux server.
Webmin is a FREE, open source system control panel. Webmin is not designed for web hosting companies, although it is used by many. Webmin does not automatically provision your server with a complete suite of web hosting services like Cpanel does, so the administrator is more reliant on alternative software installation methods such as source code installation and the distribution's package manager (rpm, apt, emerge, etc).
Various Open source Control Panels? (like webmin)
Surely, there are other free control panels out there. To our knowledge, all of them can be installed into our virtual servers exactly like a conventional Linux server. However, we can not support every complex web hosting control panel under the sun, so if you choose to explore alternative control panel options, be sure to read the manual and participate in the online community for support.