While considering different hosting comanies I tried demos of different control panels and read things written about them here. From a user's standpoint, I suppose what most users will ever need to manage a website is found in all of them. Nowadays they all also seem user-friendly enough.
During the time I have had cpanel accounts as a user, the most common explanation for many minor probelems I have ancountered was that they were "a cpanel bug" or "a cpanel limitation". I also read that other control panels are considered more stable.
So my first question is why do the large majority of hosts choose cpanel? I suspect that other control panels are even clearer to understand.
My second question is about all those automatic installers. How many users actually use them? I suppose it helps to market a hosting package if it is loaded with features, but do users tend to use them at all?
cPanel began as one of the more user friendly and less expensive products on the market and kind of took the industry by storm. Many many hosting customers got on cPanel and now refuse to switch. cPanel is widely known where other control panels aren't as widely known to hosting customers that don't research.
For this reason many companies have chosen to stay with cPanel rather than risk losing customers in changing.
We have many customers using them, and not even first time site owners. They make a simple easy way to put up a site. I personally do design and run a hosting company. I used them on a personal site because I don't have time to build a site right now. And, to be honest, I kind of like them and am considering just doing some mods to make it look the way i want.
I myself was very happy do discover how relatively easily I can backup an old account in cpanel and restore it in its entirety on a new server with cpapel. This would definitely be a consideration next time I need to move a website to a new hosting company, although for a new website I might prefer a different control panel.
And idea whether there are means to convert the the settings of one control panel into another?
1. Plesk offers this feature now also. I don't know about the others.
2. It depends on the settings. I do know I can move everything from a cPanel site to a Plesk site, minus email with no problem. I haven't had the chance to look into the email more. Just not enough time in the day.
Might have to talk to one of my developers about it, as I know it would help. But it also means someone has to tear apart the cPanel backup and figure out how it works then create a conversion utility. Then again, I'm amazed nobody has done it.