Control panels come in all shapes and sizes in the web hosting world, and while their tools are often similar, each has its own following for different reasons.
In this article, we will compare the two control panels offered by InMotion Hosting for managing WordPress installations: cPanel and our newest product, Platform i for WordPress VPS hosting.
cPanel vs. Platform i Quick Comparison Guide
Both products will be broken down in more detail below, but for users primarily interested in the differences between the tools, this chart provides an overview of cPanel vs. Platform i.
|Shared WordPress hosting
|Managed WordPress VPS
|Domain and DNS management
|Server optimization settings
|1-Click on WordPress Installation
|WordPress Core Updates
|Theme and plugin managment
|Site health monitor
|Other CMS management
|PHP version management
|Number of websites hosted
|Varies by plan
|1 according to the plan
What are Control Panels in Web Hosting?
In simple terms, control panels are graphical user interfaces (GUIs) that help users manage their website and server configuration.
Aspects controlled by the control panel include:
- Domain management
- File management
- Database administration
- Email setup
- Security settings
Web hosting companies offer control panels to help users who don’t have technical experience or feel uncomfortable connecting to a command terminal. These panels provide an easier way to manage various tools. Additionally, many hosting plans still provide SSH or Root access for users who prefer a more advanced approach.
What is cPanel?
Although only about holding 7% of control panel market share., cPanel is the second most used control panel in the world. cPanel offers a wide range of tools and features and has a fairly intuitive user interface that helps people who are new to hosting.
Note: While managed VPS and managed dedicated server customers have access to WebHost Manager (WHM) to create and manage multiple cPanel accounts on the server, this article will specifically focus on cPanel functionality for managing WordPress websites.
With its extensive documentation and community support, cPanel has become a popular choice for web hosting providers and users alike, streamlining website management and enhancing the overall hosting experience.
Because of its extensive documentation and interface, cPanel is a favorite among users. Some of its features include:
- One-click installation of WordPress: cPanel provides a one-click installation process for WordPress with Softaculous or WP ToolkitWhich makes it quick and easy to create a WordPress website without technical knowledge.
- File and database management: cPanel’s File Manager allows users to easily manage WordPress files, including uploading, editing, and organizing. It also provides access to PHPMyAdmin for managing WordPress databases.
- Email administration: With cPanel, users can create and manage email accounts associated with their website. This includes setting up email forwarding, autoresponders and spam filters.
- Security settings: cPanel offers a variety of security features, including SSL/TLS management, password protection, IP blocking, and firewall configuration, providing powerful security measures for WordPress websites.
- Note: Some security settings may only be available through WHM.
- Backup management: cPanel allows users to manually back up their WordPress website files, databases, and configurations, ensuring data protection.
- Note: InMotion Hosting offers Backup Manager as a premium option to allow cPanel users to create backups Automatic backups for their website files and databases. These backups are stored on a separate server, preventing data loss if something happens to your website’s server. General Guide cPanel backups are still available for users.
- Site statistics: cPanel provides detailed website statistics and analytics through AWStats, such as visitor logs, bandwidth usage, and resource statistics, giving users insight into their WordPress website’s performance and traffic.
- CMS support: In addition to WordPress, cPanel supports the installation and management of other content management systems (CMS) such as Drupal or Joomla, allowing users to access multiple websites in a single account.
These features make cPanel a reliable and efficient tool for managing WordPress websites, offering convenience, security and performance optimization.
What are All-in-One Dashboards?
As explained above, control panels focus on the technical aspects of hosting and provide tools tailored specifically for managing servers and websites.
On the other hand, an all-in-one dashboard is a broader concept that includes not only hosting-related tasks but also other website management functions.
All-in-One Dashboards typically include features like account management, SEO optimization, analytics, billing and support, and more. The goal of this type of dashboard is to provide a comprehensive solution for managing all aspects of a website in a single interface.
What is platform i?
Platform i is the latest product from InMotion Hosting. It is a powerful comprehensive dashboard with multiple site and account management features to create the best user experience on a fully isolated VPS server.
Currently, Platform i only serves WordPress websites. Its focus is to provide users with a highly optimized server environment for WordPress that ensures fast performance.
Users with a Platform i account can also invite other people to collaborate on projects through Teams for free. This makes it the perfect choice for agencies managing a corporate website or designers looking to get their clients’ opinions on an ongoing project.
Platform i is easy to use, powerful and fast, making it a great choice for users looking for a premium managed WordPress hosting experience.
Platform i features
As an all-in-one dashboard focused on WordPress, some of the features of Platform i include:
- WordPress pre-installed: Platform i starts you off with a server environment that has the latest version of WordPress pre-installed. However, you can easily create more WordPress installations with the click of a button in your projects area.
- File and database management: With Platform i, you can easily access the file and database manager. This feature is currently only available on Playgrounds, but will soon be available on VPS environments. You can also access them via SSH access.
- Note: A Premium key is required to access the GUI version of file and database management.
- WordPress Management: Activate, deactivate or update plugins and themes, check the health of your site and create backups without logging into your WordPress dashboard.
- Playgrounds (exclusively Platform i): Playgrounds allow you to securely organize, test and update websites. Troubleshoot, fix bugs, and add new features to Playground without breaking your live site.
- Snaps (exclusively on Platform i): Snaps makes it easy to build a WordPress site by creating theme and plugin plans. This feature is great for agencies that build sites using a common set of plugins and eliminates the need to install each plugin individually. All Snap sites launch in the Playground environment and will soon be available for deployment in VPS production environments.
- Email administration: Email management is now made easy through cPanel and includes the ability to manage email inboxes and spam filters. Users can easily access their inbox through the platform’s i interface.
- Teams (exclusively on the i platform): Invite other users to view, manage, and collaborate with you on a project at no additional cost.
- Security settings: Each production server operates as a fully isolated container, eliminating any possibility of cross-infection from other users. Additionally, Platform i plans come with Modsec’s Web Application Firewall (WAF) and protection against brute force and DDoS attacks.
- Backup management: Platform i allows you to easily create website or server backups in your Dashboard. Use the Backup section in Maintenance to create backup copies of websites and easily restore them; Or create a Server Snapshot to capture all your server settings at a specific point in time and revert to them when needed.
- Site statistics: Easily check your project statistics in the site statistics section. Get an overview of visitors, site health recommendations, and view your overall WordPress settings.
- CMS support: Currently, Platform i only supports WordPress websites, but this may change in the future.
- Account and billing management: The I platform allows you to assign resource ownership to project assets, view subscriptions and receipts, and configure billing information for each team.
Platform i is the ideal solution for agencies, marketing teams and web designers looking for ways to easily manage WordPress sites that are fast. Users can harness the power of a fully isolated VPS with hyper-fast performance, a playground for testing, and WordPress management tools, all from a single dashboard.
In conclusion, both cPanel and Platform i offer unique features and benefits for WordPress site owners.
cPanel offers a proven solution that has been widely used and trusted by the web hosting industry for years. It offers a comprehensive range of tools and features, making it suitable for users who prefer a traditional and feature-rich control panel.
Platform i presents a simplified and consolidated approach that integrates multiple functions into a single dashboard. This option may appeal to users looking for simplicity and ease of use while enjoying its powerful infrastructure.
Ultimately, the decision between cPanel and Platform i should be based on your individual needs, preferences, and the specific requirements of your website.