While the power of the cPanel control panel makes it ideal for Linux-based VPS, dedicated server and cloud-hosted websites, the term cPanel Web Hosting is most usually associated with shared hosting, a solution for small sites with moderate traffic. Until recently, it has been a no-frills, entry-level option. That, however, has changed considerably. Robert King, Director of eukhost, explains what to look for when choosing the best cPanel shared hosting provider.
What is cPanel?
In general, the major users of shared hosting are small businesses and individuals, many of whom have only limited IT experience. Indeed, it is often the business owners themselves who manage the website and this can be a challenging task in terms of both time and know-how. cPanel is an industry-leading control panel designed to make this job much easier and quicker to do. It has a user-friendly, intuitive dashboard that makes it easy to find the various tools included in the control panel and has built-in user assistance for those who require it.
What makes it the stand out control panel, however, is the extensive number and scope of the tools that cPanel provides. These make it possible for those with limited experience to carry out a wide range of important hosting and website management tasks, such as adding new domains, installing software, managing email addresses, setting up automatic updates, checking website and server performance and much more. While windows web hosting comes with Plesk control panel. You can choose the web hosting service as per your requirements.
Though cPanel is an exceptionally useful tool, recent advances in shared hosting mean that potential users should also look for a cPanel plan that offers the following features:
Online success requires more than just having a website. To meet the high expectations of today’s internet users and rank well in search engine results, the website needs to load quickly on users’ browsers and respond swiftly to their inputs and interactions. Slowness and delay cause visitors to leave websites and abandon shopping carts.
Just because shared hosting is an entry-level solution doesn’t mean that site owners should expect second-rate hardware. To ensure websites perform better, look for cPanel plans that are hosted on servers with high-speed SSD drives and Intel Xeon based clusters.
Just as vital as a website performing well is its need to remain available online. Going offline means no one can visit and if this is a common occurrence, it too can affect search engine ranking and deter people from returning. For this reason, those wanting cPanel best web hosting should look for a host that provides an uptime guarantee of 99.9% or above. For clarity, uptime is measured as the percentage of time that a website stays online during each accounting period.
The 99.9% figure is given because there are genuine reasons your web host may need to temporarily take the server offline, for example, to install an operating system update or security patch, both of which may require a server reboot. Such actions only take minutes to do and to minimise any disruption, they are scheduled to be performed when the server is least busy, often in the middle of the night.
Another reason why a website can go offline is if it has reached its bandwidth limit. A bandwidth limit is the amount of data that a user can send or receive during any accounting period. In some ways, this is very similar to the mobile data limit people have with their smartphones. Bandwidth limits are usually generous enough for most small websites, however, if there is an unexpected increase in visitors or if the site begins using new customer-facing tools that increase the amount of data used, the existing limit may be reached and the site go offline until the next accounting period begins.
While the aim of a bandwidth allocation is to ensure no individual user on a shared server hogs everyone else’s resources, it is not a practical solution. No website experiencing a spike in demand suddenly wants to disappear offline when things are going so well. The solution is an easy one to solve. Rather than opting for a more expensive plan with a bigger bandwidth allowance, users should choose a cPanel host that has unmetered bandwidth. This way, as long as they abide by the host’s fair use policy, they can have all the bandwidth they need and won’t go offline.
Expert support around the clock
The limited experience of shared hosting customers means that when issues do arise with a website, they often need expert help to put things right. And as problems can occur at any time of the day, that support needs to be available around the clock, 365 days a year. 24/7 technical support (not just customer service) is, therefore, an essential feature of any cPanel shared hosting plan. Ideally, that support should be contactable via a variety of channels, such as online chat, telephone, ticket and email.
Data loss can have catastrophic consequences for businesses. 60% of firms that suffer a data breach, for example, will fail within six months of the cyberattack. For those that survive, the time and cost of rebuilding a website from scratch and replacing its content can be considerable. In addition, there are the negative consequences of prolonged downtime.
In reality, much of this is avoidable. Simply by making regular backups of a website and its data, if a data loss does happen, whether through cyberattack, human error or hardware failure, the time taken to bring it back online is massively reduced. Instead of two months downtime, restoration can be done in hours, potentially sooner.
Though most larger companies insist on having a backup solution in place, many shared hosting customers do not do this. This is often because the cost of a backup plan, though usually just a few pounds per month, can work out to be more expensive than the actual hosting plan. For that reason, website owners can save themselves money and rest assured that their website data is safe by choosing a cPanel hosting plan that comes with free, daily backups included in the price.
Email hosting included
Buying a domain name for a website also gives the user the ability to use the same domain name for professional email addresses. However, some shared hosting plans don’t come with email hosting included and this means it needs to be purchased as an additional extra, often doubling the price of the overall hosting.
Not only should customers look for a cPanel plan that does include email hosting; they should also check the quality of the email solution being offered. The better email solutions include all the features expected, including webmail, Outlook and other client integration, calendars, tasks, contacts, email forwarding, autoresponders, spam and malware filtering and more.
The growing volume and sophistication of today’s cyberattacks mean security is a major priority for all website owners. Not only do they need to protect their websites, data and business interests; they have to look after their customers and comply with data protection regulations.
Part of the solution is choosing a cPanel web host that takes security seriously. Aside from the already mentioned free backups and email filtering, look for a host that defends websites from hacking, malware and other forms of cyberattacks, provides free SSL certificates for all sites, and enables users to restrict access to and password-protect their directories.
Shared hosting is an ideal solution for small websites and with cPanel, managing the site is made much easier, especially for those with limited admin experience. However, cPanel hosting packages have evolved over recent years and anyone considering them should be looking at the range of features mentioned above to ensure they get the highest quality hosting and value for money.