what is a control panel, how many control panels?

A control panel in hosting/IT industry, is generally a web based program that is used to manage resources, entities, domains, mails, servers etc..

Without a control panel, for example, adding a domain to your server may be a tedious task. many and complex steps is needed.

I am being asked sometime about ehcp, its function, or even like what is a control panel... Here, i want to mention generally about types of control panels.

there are many types of control panels, many different ones for each type.
1- various user control panels, such as user preferences in forums,
2- plugin control panels, such as Community Builder in joomla,
3- cms control panels, such as joomla backend,

4- Hosting control panels, ehcp, cpanel, plesk, etc...
5- Virtual server control panels, such as virtuozzo,
6- Server control panel, specific for server vendors,

7- Domain control panels, specific for domain vendors,

i can divide these into four categories,
a. below hosting control panels, that is, panels that cannot be installed/used without a hosting... (1,2,3rd types)

b. hosting control panels,
c. above hosting control panels, which operates above hosting control panels, independent of it, controls virtual servers or servers,
d. domain control panels,

lets learn each of these:

Hosting Control Panel (hcp):
this is installed on a server. Whenever i say server, it is meant a real/dedicated server or a virtual server. They are almost same.
hcp is installed on a server, on a dedicated ip, without domain, or hcp files can also be put under a domain on a server that is already setup.

You use hcp's to control some aspects of your server, add hosting on it, run websites.. have databases, ftp accounts.. To run a website on a server, websites general properties are determined using these hcp's.

Domain Control Panel (dcp):
This is nothing to do with server or hosting. This is only used to control your domain behaivour. These are provided mostly by domain vendors. Used for dns management, registry management of your domains.. you use to redirect your domain to specific dns servers...

To have your domain working, you will need to use at least your hosting control panel, and domain control panel... if your server gets suck, or malfunctions, you will use your dedicated/vps server control panel to re-install the operating system.

What to do for having a running website, with your own server:

1- Setup your server with a hosting control panel like ehcp. Most hosting related programs, such as apache, dns, mail-postfix should be runing on your server. At lease apache and dns-bind must be working. Otherwise, your website will not function. (If you will use another dns service, you dont need dns, but here we will show you with dns..)

2- Add your domain in your control panel, add some sample page if there isnt some..

2- buy your domain such as yourdomain.com from a domain seller.

3- set the domain name servers as your custom dns server address, or, if this will be your name server, register ns1.yourdomain.com and ns2.yourdomain.com as name servers on your domain control panel, which is provided by your domain seller...

after all these, your domain should be working on your server.

To understand The working of your domain, have a look at this:
the cenario of your working domain will be:
a. someone enters www.yourdomain.com on his browser address line.
b. browser asks first dns (that is dns of your computer or ISP) for www.yourdomain.com
c. if dns knows www.yourdomain.com ip, it returns and browser displays it.. if not, this first dns asks an upper dns server. This continues until a dns that knows www.yourdomain.com ip is found, or root dns is reached.

d. if root dns is reached, it finds and asks the registry (where you bought www.yourdomain.com) what is the dns of this domain.. registry asks that dns server and responds back to the asking dns, and finally the ip of www.yourdomain.com is sent back to the person who browses www.yourdomain.com. Thus, the browser reachs that ip, asks for www.yourdomain.com, the apache (or any webserver) responds to it with your domain's files... index.html or index.php,

look at here too:

to be continued...

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