Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What is cPanel?

August 2, 2009 by  
Filed under cPanel

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cPanel is a unix based web hosting control panel that provides a graphical interface and automation tools designed to simplify the process of hosting a web site. cPanel utilized a 3 tier structure that provides functionality for administrators, resellers, and end-user website owners to control the various aspects website and server administration through a standard web browser.

In addition to the GUI interface cPanel also has command line and API based access that allows third party software vendors, web hosting organizations, and developers to automate standard system administration processes.

cPanel is designed to function either as a dedicated server or virtual private server and it supports CentOS, Red Hat Linux, and FreeBSD.

Application based support includes Apache, PHP, mySQL, Postgres, Perl, Python, and BIND. Email based support includes POP3, IMAP, SMTP services. cPanel is commonly accessed on port 2082.


cPanel was originally designed as the control panel for high Speed Hosting, a now defunct web hosting company. The original author of cPanel, J. Nicholas Koston, had a stake in Speed Hosting. Web King quickly began using cPanel after their merger with Speed Hosting. After Speed Hosting and Webking merged, the new company moved their servers to Virtual Development Inc. (VDI), a now-defunct hosting facility. Following an agreement between J. Nick Koston and VDI, cPanel was only available to customers hosted directly at VDI. At the time there was little competition in the control panel market with the main choices being VDI and Alabanza. cPanel 3 was released in 1999; its main features over cpanel 2 were an automatic upgrade and the Web Host Manager.

cPanel 3 tended to be buggy and did not have a good user interface. The interface improved when Carlos Rego of WizardsHosting made what became the default theme of cPanel. Eventually due to internal problems between VDI and J. Nick Koston, cPanel split into two separate programs called cPanel and WebPanel. WebPanel was the version run by VDI. Without the lead programmer, VDI was not able to continue any work on cPanel and eventually stopped supporting it completely. J. Nick Koston kept working on cPanel while also working at BurstNET. Eventually Nick left BurstNET on good terms to focus fully on cPanel. cPanel has been updated and improved over the years. It is now a stable and reliable control panel.

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