In today’s web hosting world there is a 'de-facto' control panel called cPanel. There is a large segment of reseller hosting and shared hosting customers who look for cPanel hosts. To a certain extent, many of those looking for reseller web hosting accounts are looking for cPanel hosts.
Because cPanel is one of the most established control panels in the web hosting market, if a customer transfers to a new host, choosing a host with cPanel will make it easy for them to migrate their settings and will minimize the learning curve with the new host.
cPanel has become a force in the market – they have easily past the critical mass of customers that they need to be a dominant market power and they can charge whatever price they want, they can be slow with bug fixes, they can be slow with new features and they cna be slow with updates.
There are many problems with cPanel… a very breif list would be:
* While some of cPanel is open-source, there are a lot of encoded, compiled routines that are vital to its functioning. If you find a bug (and believe me there are many), you have to wait for cPanel to decide that they want to fix it.
* A lot of the cPanel code is compiled Perl – this makes extremely large and extremely slow binaries that need to run each time or whm is called.
* cPanel offers no clustering support (I don't call distributed name servers 'clustering')… scalable hosts need the ability to have separate email servers, MySQL servers, email list servers, etc). Because some vital routines are hard-coded into cPanel, it can't even be ported, upgraded or patched to do distributed hosting without major problems
* cPanel tries to offer everything to everyone (and run on over a dozen Linux/Unix platforms [and windows!]) you wind up with an installation that is simply bloated well beyond what most hosts will need. Can you fathom cPanel + windows? It's a sysadmin nightmare. What sane web hosting system administrator would want this burden on their shouldiers?
My advice to cPanel is simple: Stop trying to support dozens of operating environments, choose an OS, support it, fix it and maintain it.
There are simply so many bugs that are confirmed by cPanel but not fixed. For example this bug report was reported by us in November of 2005, confirmed by cPanel on Dec. 1st 2005 and it is still unresolved as of Today, Sept 14th, 2006.
Instead of spending their time fixing known (and confirmed) bugs and improving their software, cPanel decided to work on their own script-deployment system (cPAddons).. that'd be a very useful feature except that Fantastico for cPanel provides around 50 pre-installed scripts, blogs, message boards and more. *shock* – cPanel has wasted their time.
Reseller hosting customers have expectations from their providers: speed and reliability from the servers and quick resolution from the hosting company. cPanels compiled binaries & bloating have slowed our servers down, bloated them down with useless software and their (extremely) slow response times have simply forced us to give responses such as "this is a cPanel bug, our hands are tied until cPanel resolves this issue".
The above is an excellent summary as to why our shared web hosting system runs on our own in-house developed control panel, SimpleCP. Running our own control panel on our shared hosting servers gives us power, flexibility, scalability & performance that we could never dream of with cPanel. It is for those reasons as well that we will be creating a fast, clustered/distributed and responsive replacement for cPanel for our reseller customers.