My Experience With Working on cPanel Hosting
cPanel! cPanle!! cPanel!!! Na 3 whole times I call thy name. The Almighty and Invincible cPanel, created by the gods of programming for mere mortals.
I have to salute cPanel like that because you see, many people have made cPanel their GOD so to speak. They have come to believe that when you talk of hosting a website, you are talking of cPanel automatically.
These set of people, if you give them a cloud server where you can only control the server via SSH or give them stuffs like AWS CLI, they will simple faint dead.
But we get ahead of ourselves, for our talk today has to be on cPanel. I have worked extensively on cPanel for the past (quickly launch calculator app, closes it again) since around year 2004 (do the sums yourself), and I have had a lot of experiences with it, good, bad and ugly.
Let us start by trying to explain what cPanel is:
If you go to wikipedia or google and search you will get something like this:
cPanel is the company that builds cPanel & WHM. cPanel & WHM is an online Linux-based web hosting control panel that provides a graphical interface and automation tools designed to simplify the process of hosting a web site to the website owner or the "end user".
But to most typical web-designers, cPanel is that stuff that the web-hosting people send to you when you buy hosting from them, and you use it to upload your website online. Dont laugh, but that is the definition that many people will tell you (because cPanel is their gods, they dont know that their are other bigger gods out there like AWS) that can do the same thing.
Now that we know what cPanel is (at least a good idea), people that use cPanel fall into 3 distinct categories (my own classification mind you):
Class 1 : people that purchase a single host from a reseller account
Class 2: people using a reseller account
Class 3: people using a personal vps
Class 4: people using a dedicated server
Now, the class you fall into determines a whole lot of things here for class 1 is the lowest and class 4 is the highest.
Class 1: yeah you can host your website but your entire setup is based on what the resller configures for you. Your reseller may allow you make use of only php 5.5 and you need to start calling for upgrade.
Class 2: reseller is like king to class 1, yet the reseller may not own the server (vps/dedicated) and so has a lot of limits to the configuration and what can be done
Class 3: with VPS you are a chief, because you can do and undergo. I have once configured a VPS with NODE.JS, PHP, PYTHON e.t.c thinking I was a King, but I was quickly dethroned from that thought because a VPS has a great limit as well.
Class 4: Now you are King because this is a more powerful alternative than VPS. Though to a lay person, you have control like VPS but dedicated is always the best choice at the end of the day.
Now that I have breezed from class 1 to class 4 in a compressed manner (for my statements are highly compressed there), we must talk about cost and scaling. The cost of server is lowest in class 1 and highest in class 4.
When you are just starting out your business, you may not need beyond a regular shared hosting on class 1, but as your traffic and demands increase you will gradually find yourself in class 3 or class 4 depending on how quickly your business grows.
Now that we have done the introductory path, we shall be delving into the more technical part on my next post, where we shall be talking about:
- Types of servers where cPanel is hosted on, and how this affects you. cPanel on Centos 7 and cPanel on Debian 9 are not exactly the same thing and there is a reason why you should care.
- How do you control your cPanel from local pc e.g. ssh, ftp, sftp
- What about SSL? Free and Paid SSL