So, your website hosting provider uses cPanel. Why is this bad?
In simple terms, cPanel is a highly hackable interface. And despite that, it’s still one of the most widely-used hosting management platforms out there.
If hosting with cPanel is ill-advised, why do website owners still do it? A few reasons might include:
- cPanel is made for Linux, a popular open-source operating system for web servers. And well-known equals good, right?
- It’s used by well know and massive hosting companies like GoDaddy
- It offers easy configuration, and it’s built to simplify the web hosting process
- You are not technical, so why should you know?
Those risks are mostly associated with security. As far as security goes, cPanel is unreliable at best. Recurring security threats, including the recent GoDaddy hacker spree, can vouch for that statement.
GoDaddy’s servers use cPanel to host their customers’ websites. Being aware of that, hackers took the opportunity to steal the credentials of 28,000 customers. According to The Stack, the malicious software would redirect random customer websites to malicious addresses – just like a game of Russian roulette.
This specific cPanel breach lasted for 3 years, and it may not be over yet. If the world’s largest and most trusted domain registrar can fall prey to such outstanding cyber attacks, imagine a small business with little to no resources to mitigate the damage.
If you’re serious about protecting your website and your assets, you should get cPanel away from your server. Here’s why.
Why You Shouldn’t Use cPanel to Host Your Website
It’s Painfully Slow
cPanel uses Apache, the world’s most popular web server running on 67% of websites.
While Apache servers are well-known and relatively easy to configure, they’re also snail-paced due to high memory consumption. If your web pages are slow to respond to visitors’ requests, you’ll end up with low SEO rankings and unhappy visitors. You can’t switch to the faster nginx or litespeed.
It Encourages the Use of WordPress-Based Plugins
cPanel has limited options for server-based speed, caching, and security. As a result, you will resort to WordPress-based plugins to solve these common ailments.
Don’t do that.
Most WP-based plugins will only put on a high-performance facade, all the while slowing down your site and providing no security at all.
With that in mind, avoid installing plugins to compensate for your web hosts poor efficiency. A lot of those plugins might be long overdue for updates, which makes them easily exploitable.
It Has Root Access to Your Server
In order to run properly, cPanel needs full access to your Linux system. And because it grows deep roots into your control panel, it leaves your system at the mercy of serious hacking attempts.
Basically, you’re leaving your keys on the inside of the door lock. All the attackers have to do is break the window to get instant access to it. Following that, they can use existing code to hijack your data, potentially that of others on the same server and server resources.
cPanel mostly owes its slow performance to bloatware. The term refers to software that takes up unwarranted disk space.
When code is bloated, its useless components and needless features eat up RAM and CPU resources, making your server slack off. While not all bloatware is dangerous, some of it can allow malware to creep in.
It Creates Yet Another Layer of User-Managed Software
If you aren’t confident in your ability to manage your own website, you shouldn’t be responsible for it. Yes cPanel is managed by your website host, but you still have to know how to find and manage the database, set up your domain, install the SSL certificate and synergise backward overflow.
In order that your website is an asset to you, you’ll be:
- Scrambling to learn the way the internet works while you have a whole business to run
- Losing sleep over complex caching plugins and an underwhelming site speed
- Have an extra set of logins and passwords to memorise, maintain, and secure
Unfamiliarity with the tech at hand creates a black box you don’t have much control over. On top of that, without the right resources, it’s virtually impossible to mitigate potential attacks as they happen.
If I Shouldn’t Host My Website with cPanel, What Should I Use Instead?
Your best choice is to rely on providers that host their websites on NGINX or LiteSpeed.
NGINX is an open-source web server software built to handle multiple connections at once. Not to mention, it’s over 2x faster than Apache.
As an alternative, LiteSpeed Web Server (LSWS) is a lightweight Apache replacement with minimal CPU usage and memory consumption.
Both options are much more effective than cPanel. Especially when paired with managed WordPress hosting, which offers the following benefits:
- A website managed, 24/7/365, by experts in servers and hosting
- Having upgrades, security, and migrations all handled for you
- Hack-proofing your website and stopping threats before they become a problem
- Getting high-value service for a low price (since you won’t need 1000+ sites on a server to get ROI of cPanel’s licence and huge servers)
Hosting your website on NGINX or LiteSpeed means you’ll save big and keep your website running at full speed. Your visitors and Google will love you for it.
If You’re Still Considering cPanel, Remember That IT Can’t Handle Everything
One reason keeping businesses stuck with cPanel is the ”we’ll let IT handle it” mindset.
“If the website gets hacked, we’ll let IT handle it.”
The thing is, support from your website host is just a tiny piece of the puzzle. When you consider the real costs of a hacked website, you could end up losing your business to irreversible damage.
That’s why we say: managed wordpress hosting is essentially free, because it means your IT issues can no longer hold your business back.
(link to ‘What factors to consider when looking for the best WordPress managed hosting’ article, security section
On a final note, a security breach can have a significant impact on a business’s revenue and reputation in the long term. If you don’t want to risk your website’s speed or security, i’s time to look at alternative hosting.