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TheWebHostBiz > FAQs > Hosting Automation FAQs

Hosting Automation FAQs

1. What is a control panel?
2. What are some of the different features offered on a control panel?
3. What is the difference between controlling the server with the control panel and with the server OS and web server software?
4. What are my alternatives to using a control panel?
Question: What is a control panel?
Answer: A hosting control panel allows a web site administrator to manage their site remotely. The features of a control panel vary widely from the ability to reboot a server or control the services running on the server to file management and data base connections. Another way to think of it is being an online version of Windows settings/control panel for the server.
Question: What are some of the different features offered on a control panel?
Answer: Control panels offer a huge variety of features from very simple site management like uploading files and changing the look of the site to "What You See Is What You Get" (WYSIWYG) editing tools with seamless backend data integration to web hosting control panels that automate all aspects of the business lifecycle for a hosting service provider including service provisioning, e-commerce, domains, billing, customer care, marketing and more.
Question: What is the difference between controlling the server with the control panel and with the server OS and web server software?
Answer: The main difference is really remote access vs. sitting down in front of the computer to control it. If your web host is in Miami and you are in L.A. you will have a tough time managing your website if you need to go to the data center or call someone every time you need to make a change. Control panels also offer a wider possible range of features geared towards web sites like billing management and web hosting reseller management, for example.
Question: What are my alternatives to using a control panel?
Answer: You will need to manage your website somehow so if you don't want to use a control panel you may want to pay for a managed web hosting solution and have the IT staff at the web hosting company take care of everything for you. Otherwise, you will need remote access to the server and have to control it through the OS and software on the server and manage file transfer through FTP or a similar application.
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