As a web host reseller, one of your most important
business decisions is your choice of web hosting control
panel software. The web hosting software you use will
save or cost you time, money, and frustration.
What reseller control panel features will reduce your
workload? What hosting software programs are integrated
with the reseller control panel or work with it? What
website control panel features will your clients like?
In this article, weve compared four quality web
hosting reseller software programs:
All of these reseller control panels come with control
panels for your clients. They all have numerous features
advanced email management, web statistics, pre-installed
scripts, multi-language support, and more. They all
work on Linux platforms, while H-Sphere and Plesk also
work with Windows. According to the cPanel website,
a Windows version of cPanel is in development.
Other features that set these control panels apart
are their degree of automation, the number of features
and ease of use for the end user, and the features and
ease of use for you, the reseller.
When you become an Alabanza reseller, you dont
just have a reseller account you lease a dedicated
server from Alabanza. Alabanza owns the control panel
the server, and you resell directly for Alabanza. If
you lease a dedicated Alabanza server, you can create
your own reseller accounts. However, only you can set
up hosting plans; resellers below you will be limited
to hosting plans that you create.
Alabanza offers resellers a high degree of automation
with its Domain System Manager (DSM), which can significantly
reduce overhead and time spent on routine tasks:
Billing and invoice management
Credit card processing
Ordering fraud protection
Even novices can sell hosting with this level of automation.
DSM also integrates with bulkregister.com for domain
name registration. It does not easily integrate with
other domain registrars, though.
A key Alabanza feature that resellers can offer their
clients is the Xpress Product Suite, which provides
web development and email management tools. The Xpress
Product Suite includes SiteXpress, a website-building
program that features over 300 templates and requires
no web design skills.
For resellers and end users, cPanel is known for its
ease of use and range of features. cPanels collection
of over 50 pre-installed scripts and Fantastico auto
installer help clients set up their sites with little
web development knowledge.
A basic cPanel reseller account comes with two separate
programs for resellers to manage their business:
WHM (Web Host Manager) is used to create accounts
and packages, add and suspend sites, modify passwords,
view bandwidth usage, park domains, install SSL certificates,
and perform other administrative functions.
From the resellers cPanel control panel,
a drop-down menu takes the reseller to the control panels
for each of the sites on the reseller account, including
the resellers site.
With the addition of an optional program, WHM AutoPilot,
you can automate account creation and suspension, email
notifications, and other tasks. WHM AutoPilot also integrates
with common payment gateways and has a helpdesk, an
invoice module, and other tools.
H-Sphere is designed for both Linux and Windows platforms.
Moreover, resellers can set up plans for both Linux
and Windows and administer sites on different servers
from the same control panel. The control panel, actually
a separate server, also provides administrative access
to the integrated helpdesk.
The H-Sphere control panel server automates account
configuration, credit card processing, domain registration,
and email notifications. It also includes a built-in
billing module and supports over 20 payment gateways.
From the resellers point of view, H-Sphere has
a higher learning curve than most other control panels
because of its numerous features. For example, when
setting up a new plan, the administrator has two pages
of features to choose from, including setup and monthly
pricing for optional services.
Beginning webmasters may find H-Sphere too complicated
for their needs. More advanced users, however, appreciate
the features and control that H-Sphere offers the end
user. A key feature is the ability to have control over
separate domains with multi-domain hosting.
H-Sphere comes with the website builder SiteStudio,
which guides users through a variety of style choices
and stores content separately from the layout. No HTML
or FTP knowledge is required.
Plesk is known for its stability and security. Resellers
and end users like its simple navigation, its clean
interface, and its professional appearance. It comes
in versions for both Linux and Windows platforms.
With Plesk, all users use the same control panel but
with different levels of control:
Client / reseller
Each level of the control panel gives the user control
of that level and the level(s) below it. Email users,
for example, can log into their mail user control panel
to change their password, add autoresponders, and change
other personal settings without having access to the
domain owner control panel.
Plesk handles SpamAssassin at the mailbox level rather
than at the domain level.
This feature enables users to whitelist or blacklist
email for each email address, allowing each email user
to have individual settings.
SWsoft, the company behind Plesk, also offers SiteBuilder,
a five-step website builder using pre-built templates.
SiteBuilder has over 300 templates in different categories
to choose from, and users can publish their sites without
any HTML or FTP knowledge.
If your Plesk reseller account is with a web host that
offers HSPcomplete, you will have some automation available
with your account, such as credit card charges and email
About the author:
Lois S. is a Technical Executive Writer for Website
Source, Inc. http://www.websitesource.com.
Her established writing skills coupled with experience
in the website hosting industry have provided internet
professionals with marketing, product and service ideas
for many years.