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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    442

    Do you sell hosting WITHOUT a control panel

    I am interested in knowing if any web hosts out there have thrown out the control panel method for their solutions.

    Did you write some of your own scripts to do things like add email accounts and such?
    Do you do managed services to add/change things for the clients?

    I see (online and in personal experience) control panels forcing you to use older versions of software, inability to do normal security upgrades, lots if instability and security issues.


    I can see a client who wants to add a new website which adds a little httpd.conf stuff, email stuff, a user, a dns setting, and some other stuff. But that only takes a few minutes to add manually and I would think is seldom needed.

    I don't know...it just seems like the control panels do to much (or try to) and I would be happier with one that just did the minnimal needs of setting up a site and some small tasks.

    I would be interested in a host that does not use the control panels and would love to hear what you say about them.

    Many hosts I used to use, managed dedicated, had lots of tech help but most were not as proficient and depended on the control panels....

    what do you think about them?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    WebHostingTalk
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    Control panel is important since it can make your life easier.

    It is ok if you have 1 or 5 domains to setup a month but if you have plenty of orders/clients, etc... it is hard and it is better to have a control panel to do everything for you.
    Specially 4 You
    .
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    England, UK.
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    22
    I am currently sticking with the cPanel for my business. It's great because most clients know what the cPanel is before signing up, so they know what great features come with it.

    When I decide to expand my business, I could think about writing a brand new Panel.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    442
    I have not used one in awhile, but when I did I found that upgrading linux (such as yum update) was never running on my servers and ensim did not seem to think it was wise to do so.

    It seems like it would be great for a smaller, tighter version of the basic server management stuff...for a specific build of linux..to be made.

    I am thinking of writing some scripts for it...

    I do agree if you have a ton of clients and due to the price wars cannot afford a large tech staff, that you have to have some kind of easy to use system for the client.

    However, I just do not see, other than adding a new website (and all it entails) and some mailbox setups, that the standard website owner really needs much else.

    I was 'wowed' when I did my first non-panel install at all the cool things I kept getting...
    1- logwatch every morning
    2- cron emails, yum update emails, and auto spamassassin updates

    and was shocked when I looked at all the extra programs that the host had on my server versus my new one. Things like cups was running..!!!

    Now I know it really depends on the host...but it was scary.

    But doing a virtulization must be a nightmare and having the software just do it for you is super sweet too.

    I would figure there was some 'down and dirty' group out there that use their own small scripts to allow users some access but without all the control panel extras.

  5. #5
    I'm gonna agree with WHNChris, you can do one for yourself when you big like 1and1.
    They have their own control panel for their clients and for the servers that they sell.

  6. #6
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    With or without a control panel, you still need to disable all the services that is not required for hosting business. It is very obvious.
    Specially 4 You
    .
    JoneSolutions.Com ( Jones.Solutions ) is on the net 24/7 providing stable and reliable web hosting solutions and services since 2001

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,882
    IMO also it will be difficult to manage the clients from the back end only. With out a control panel your life will be harder as a host.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    303
    I think a control panel is so much better and easier to do just about everything like cpanel.
    Hey Mikey likes it!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by iHubNet-Matt View Post
    IMO also it will be difficult to manage the clients from the back end only. With out a control panel your life will be harder as a host.
    would be definitely difficult to manage anything - i mean if you did it just for personal use, then it's ok, if you know how to handle httpd.conf, etc. then you're good to go - but without a control panel, managing clients would be very hard.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Austin Tx
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    I offer traditional and control panel, but don't like using them much myself. Gimme a shell any day.
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  11. #11
    Yeah, offering hosting to customers is a no go. They would probably pick it up over your standard hosting, so chances are it would be cheaper, however they would have a rude awakening when they realize that administration via the command line interface is not clickable and there is no pretty pictures.....

    Give me cPanel to give to customers any day, and leave me to doing the SSHing

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Greece
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    Quote Originally Posted by programguy View Post
    I
    I see (online and in personal experience) control panels forcing you to use older versions of software, inability to do normal security upgrades, lots if instability and security issues.
    I agree with you 100% about control panels forcing you to use the software and the version they want and depend on them to patch your servers.

    When we start doing hosting we did everything manually without a control panel. After the first 200 customers, it was taking many hours per day doing what customers ask.

    So we wrote our own ssh based control panel which allows customers to manage domains, subdomains, e-mails and databases.

  13. #13
    Almost seems like there might be a market for Cpanel Lite I for one, am never going to let clients manage email lists from Cpanel. That is just one thing right off the top that I can think of, there are probably more. In general, I LOVE control panels. But a bulldozer to kill a fly I have never liked. Lean and mean is the way to go. Less stuff running equals MORE RAM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    442
    for a shared account,

    I figure you want them to be able to add/delete emails for their accounts.
    password protect some directories
    they only need one database, really. Charge for more.
    you can chroot them into ftp folder.
    if virtual, i guess allow them to reboot.


    for reseller domains, that is different indeed. They will be selling shared accounts above I guess but they would have to be able to add a new domain, dns, etc for that new domain.

    But if they are a reseller on your server, then they are leasing the whole thing and if they want a cp, let em have it, if they do not..then let them use your scripts.

    It seems like a good month's hard work and testing of your own scripts would mean a more secure server with less overhead. But if you cannot write scripts or desire to spend the time making a control panel yourself, then you need to use one..

    thats what i get so far from the thread....very interesting to see how you all use them or do not.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    NYC
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    1,446
    We have been working on our own control panel for about 6-months. Control panels are quite literally what sells the service for many hosts..

    Dreamhost's control panel (for example) is far ahead of its time. Honestly, if they would allow licensing of their control panel, we'd be using it. It is simply put, the best control panel I've ever seen utilized. It is one of the biggest reasons they have such a low turnover on customers. We can only hope ours comes close to comparing once it's finished.
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  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    Orange County, CA
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    532
    We ditched control panels and just manage things with a few automated scripts on Debian (sometimes in Amazon EC2). We do application hosting though, and our clients don't need access to the server outside of the app.

    Personally, I don't think control panels make things any simpler; they just provide the illusion of simplicity by doing a lot of things for you (their own way). They make upgrades or customization more difficult because they have many dependencies.

    That said; on budget, general-purpose web hosting there's no reason to write something yourself. cPanel/Plesk won't be right in every situation where you're running a server. If you have specialized needs, you should know how to do things by hand anyway.
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  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Dallas, TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by programguy View Post
    I am interested in knowing if any web hosts out there have thrown out the control panel method for their solutions.

    Did you write some of your own scripts to do things like add email accounts and such?
    Do you do managed services to add/change things for the clients?

    I see (online and in personal experience) control panels forcing you to use older versions of software, inability to do normal security upgrades, lots if instability and security issues.


    I can see a client who wants to add a new website which adds a little httpd.conf stuff, email stuff, a user, a dns setting, and some other stuff. But that only takes a few minutes to add manually and I would think is seldom needed.

    I don't know...it just seems like the control panels do to much (or try to) and I would be happier with one that just did the minnimal needs of setting up a site and some small tasks.

    I would be interested in a host that does not use the control panels and would love to hear what you say about them.

    Many hosts I used to use, managed dedicated, had lots of tech help but most were not as proficient and depended on the control panels....

    what do you think about them?
    cpanel all the way. I don't think I have ever seen a company sell webhosting without a control panel. I have seen quite a few companies build their own control panels, that replicate like cPanel but they aren't skin's or anything like that.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Austin Tx
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    2,001
    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Wall View Post
    cpanel all the way. I don't think I have ever seen a company sell webhosting without a control panel. I have seen quite a few companies build their own control panels, that replicate like cPanel but they aren't skin's or anything like that.
    Control panels are actually a relatively recent development, in their current incarnation.
    For the first 15 years of the 'net, it was FTP only all the way.

    I've sold web serving for years without requiring a control panel, with thousands of concurrent customers at a time. If the customer want's it, it's available, but is by no means required to offer a successful service.

    As someone else has also I think at least partially stated, they can be a big nuisance to sites that need redundant servers behind HA / Failover systems that require constant synchronization.
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  19. #19
    most people look for control panel, if you dont have to manage many sites then you can do away with a control panel, but as customers grow, needs grow and then you can manage everything manually, you need to have some automation, and here where control panels come in.

    cpanel is the favourite of most users as its layout is friendly.
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  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    New Zealand
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    Yes we sell a fair amount of box's without cp's, they are used mostly in DB cluster applications
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  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Riverview, FL/Concord, NC
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    612
    If it was like a Windows VPS I would say, sure, why not but linux, not a good idea for shared

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    1

    Control Panel is an add-on

    We only install a control panel if our clients request it, and then we just install the minimum necessary webmin modules.

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