Easy Hosting Control Panel – Just How Easy is ISPConfig 3 to Use?

I decided to no longer use a virtual private server and instead build my own web server. I obtained a Comcast Xfinity business class broadband service. As long as you have a business class service, then you can physically host your own websites.

Comcast will most likely block your hyper text transfer protocol traffic with one of their residential Internet services. Anyways, one predicament of maintaining your own web server, is what operating system and or web serving software to use. I tried for days if NOT weeks to install a web server manually.

This is often times called a Linux Apache Mysql PHP server. What I could not over come was some of the configuration files for hosting multiple websites. I finally gave up and started researching free open source multi website control panels.

I finally found my solution for an easy hosting control panel, called ISPConfig. I had used cPanel for years. However, cPanel requires a monthly subscription.

ISPConfig is one of the first free open source hosting control panels I tried. The installation can have quite a bit of a learning curve. Depending on what Linux distribution you install, you might end up using the ISPConfig installation script.

This installation script requires that you answer some web hosting technical questions. You will need to know and understand how a website actually works on the server end. Once you are able to successfully install ISPConfig 3, then this web hosting control panel could be classified as easy.

ISPConfig is just as easy to use as cPanel. However, there is a lack of documentation as the developers require that you purchase the user manual. I was able to find most if not all of my questions answered on their public forums.

I was able to configure and maintain two wordpress websites for four years. I was able to configure email as well. ISPConfig has a web based administrator interface.

Most if not all tasks that you can complete in cPanel can completed in ISPConfig. You can access the live online demo for free. You can even demo the administrator interface.

With anything that is new, their will become a learning curve. However, once you familiarize yourself with the web based interface, you will be up in running in no time. I actually because of a lack of money, had to abandon my business class internet and thus my own physical web server.

I am paying very little for a virtual private server currently. I tried installing ISPConfig with a quick installer. However, it failed and I decided to install Centos web panel.

However, I am considering installing ISPConfig 3 again. I was in a bit of a rush to move three websites from a yearly shared hosting plan. I would just need to provision my virtual private server again and restore all three websites.

ISPConfig 3 has four major sections where you maintain your website(s).

* sites
* email
* domain name system
* virtual server

Also, you can actually use ISPConfig 3 to resell web space. You just create separate clients. I was pleasantly surprised with the ease and speed of maintaining a web server.

Most major tools are at your finger tips so that you can maintain multiple websites. Installing WordPress is straight forward. Initially, I had installed ISPConfig 3 on a minimal version of Ubuntu server.

However, when I recently tried installing it, I was using a minimal server version of Centos. This could be the problem. Creating email inboxes was simple.

Also, you can create catch all inboxes with ISPConfig 3. Adding an Internet protocol address is simple as well. Many tasks like adding domains and sub domains only require a couple of mouse clicks.

I was able to maintain multiple websites with ISPConfig quite quickly just like I had before with cPanel. ISPConfig 3 supports the following Linux distributions:

* debian
* ubuntu
* centos
* fedora
* open suse

There is a separate billing module that you can purchase if you want to become a web hosting seller.

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