Like many website design companies, we use hosting partners, and they use varied hosting platforms. This article is about the Web Hosting Control Panels (WHCP) we have used, tried out, and now rely on for the best performance and easiest-to-use service.
As seen on our Website Hosting page, we generally use Plesk and cPanel as a ‘WHCP’, which is the front end tool that manages the hosting.
Plesk hosting platform
Plesk tends to cost more as it has a licensing cost and runs around 75-80% of the World’s websites. cPanel costs much less and runs around 20%, but has equally terrific tools at hand to make, managing a site’s infrastructure, as simple as possible. Together, Plesk and cPanel take up around 98% of the world’s hosting – an astonishing figure when you appreciate how many websites there are out there.
For many years we have mostly used Plesk. We can manage your email settings, performance settings, and view stats. Very easy for us to setup your hosting, security and to some degree, your spam levels.
cPanel is a tiny bit more complicated, but we still really enjoy the experience.
Above all, both these platforms allow super-simple means of also adding your email accounts. You don’t have to use Hotmail or Gmail to send your emails, if you want email@example.com. We are in fact using cPanel more and more now, as we can setup everything so quickly and easily, control all aspects of the hosting, plus our hosting partners are technical wizards and always on-hand when we need them, and any time.
Understanding both these platforms helps us to help you – when a client comes to us with their existing hosting, if they are using either one of them, we immediately know how way around the system. If it is a bespoke tool, it’s a very different ‘ball game’.
Google Cloud Hosting
We trialled Google Cloud Hosting, and while we found the speed to be great, the back end technical side is incredibly complicated, and uses terms not seem in the other platforms. Even with our knowledge, we just couldn’t quite get to grips with it.
This hosting platform is extremely powerful. Extremely stable and reliable. Absolutely no question about that.
We’ve experienced website hosting where the package in use couldn’t cope with the demand on it, nor the “attacks” on it. However GCH is able to handle those sorts of website far better.
If your website gets upwards of 5,000 hits a day, as well as “dodgy traffic” intended on attacking your site, this could be the answer. It does the most amazing task of keeping your site going through all this, such as DDoS attacks. You can increase the RAM on your hosting quite easily (once you understand the setup), but with that, comes considerable cost, and alas, no support.
With cPanel and Plesk, we can create an Account or Subscription; with GCH it is called an Instance. Yet another new term! But we found things like simply setting up FTP to be incredibly problematic. It uses so much security, that if manage to connect it using a laptop, to view the FTP connected folder, and then wanted to connect another computer (like another member of staff), you have to go through quite a process to do it again. Security wise, this is smart. Easy-of-use wise, it’s mind blowing.
The other drawback we found is that this hosting has no email setup whatsoever. It is purely “website hosting” on offer. If you use Gmail already, no worries! If not, then it gets pricey, as you have to them use GSuite to direct your email, and that is quite pricey.
We also found that the hosting has zero support. We mean none, quite literally, none.
You can get it, but you have to pay a hefty sum for it. In our experience of hosting, there is always support. If a site crashes, if the server overloads, if you simply have a question about its setup! We know our hosting systems, but even we need support from time to time, and our hosting partners are always there to “take over” should we have a question beyond our knowledge. And we pay nothing extra for that. We’ve had tickets and emails with our partners up until around midnight before.
We are not blasting Google Cloud Hosting at all – we have seen the amazing performance it can bring, but in our view, with that performance comes some complications, lack of business-direct emails, and severe lack of support. But if your site is massive, and needs that “super power”, it’s a great option. Just be wary of the support levels, costs, and getting to grips with it all.
Which option is best for your business?
This is where we come in. Get in touch with us about your website. Chances are, cPanel will fit your business perfectly. From speed, storage, easy of use and to you at the ‘customer side’, you will simply see a website that performs brilliantly. With terrific support, huge stability, and since we actually moved some websites to our new cPanel hosting platform, stability has in fact increased!! That said, we are not knocking Plesk either. It can depend very much on the server itself, and the resources available to it.
As a business looking to host their site, much of this won’t mean an awful lot to you. This is more about our side of things, but we wanted to air our views on the three we have used, trialled, and come to enjoy using – namely, Plesk and cPanel.