January 3, 2011
We hear this a lot: "I've been told that Cpanel is the best, so we're probably going with that - it's only $5 per month and we get lots of bandwidth." At that point we sit back, chuckle, sigh and do the "eye roll". Yes it may be a great tool, and it is, if one is a developer and one needs a control panel that can configure every aspect of a hosting environment.
For most people though, it or any other type of hosting control panel is not what they think it is and unless they know what they are doing, they should stay far away from it. It isn't a CMS or a managed platform, it's simply a control panel for a hosting environment. Take this analogy: think of hosting as a big empty room, a hosting control panel, such as Cpanel, is like a control panel for that room, it allows you to turn the lights on and off, turn the power outlets on and off, control the heating, set the alarm etc.
Software, Addons, Updates
Fantastic - now what, the room is still empty! Well you now need furniture - the control panel actually allows one to move free open-source applications, such as free cms's and addons (furniture), into the room. So you go and move a bunch of free furniture into the room - the furniture most likely doesn't even match because it has been created by totally different developers. The furniture also comes as-is. So if there are any problems with it, it's your responsibility to download the software updates and install them, provided of course that the developer actually supports it. This all has to be done while hopefully not overwriting any of one's existing data in the process.
The furniture (software) may also contain mites (bugs). Once again, it is also your responsibility to check for bug fixes and download and install them, provided of course that the developer actually supports it. If the bugs aren't fixed, hackers will take advantage of this and hack into the website and do what do they do - nastiness.
Support and Expansion
So now you've installed one of the free TV's (software) in the room and now have some questions about it. Chances are that you won't be able to call anyone, because the TV was free, so at best you'll only be able to surf some forums for answers and hopefully answer your questions. What happens when you want to design a custom piece of furniture (custom addon)? You now need to find a designer/developer who who will be able to design an additional piece of furniture for the now mix 'n matched room, while at the same time not introducing new bugs/holes into your room. You'll should also consider whether the developer will still be around in a year to support the custom piece of furniture.
So what's the Difference?
The difference between a hosting control panel and a managed platform is that with the latter, one gets the Hosting, Software, Addons, Updates, Security, Support and Expansion (room, furniture, designer etc) all rolled into one easy-to-use solution and it's usually all provided by the same company - so one point of contact for everything! You don't need to worry about all the minuscule details - that's taken care of - all you really need to concern yourself with is:
maintaining the content and data of the website using the provided dashboard, addon modules and content management system
growing the website
We offer a managed cloud platform, find out more about the Morphogine Cloud.