Best cPanel Apps, Part 2

 

Control Panel

As you probably know, cPanel applications can greatly enhance the experience of hosting via cPanel/WHM. As with applications for any system, these pieces of software provides simple interface-based formats to monitor a network, compile data and statistics, and perform certain standardized tasks. The end result will be that your cPanel operation will run more smoothly with simplified administration.

I previously detailed some of the other top applications – 15 of them, and there are an additional 11 here as well. The apps below cover a plethora of administration aspects – security, performance, billing and support, template design, mobile compatibility, and more.

My previous piece used applications from two sources – the cPanel Application Catalog and GK~root. This piece will be derived entirely from the cPanel Application Catalog, looking specifically at the apps that have the highest ratings on their site and that were not covered in the previous article. A large amount of the information I will present, other than the general ratings, will be gathered from the application websites.

Below I will give descriptions of each app, along with insider anecdotal information related to the software, its creators, and as applicable, early childhood development. Note that this article is intended to be read over a candlelight dinner featuring lasagna, garlic bread, and mixed greens. There should only be one person seated at the table. The person reading the article should literally be “over” the table, perched on a small swing and occasionally pausing to play the harmonica. (That, after all, is how it is being written. My fiancée looks worried, but I think the blues solos are soothing her.)

Atomic Secured Linux

•    4.1 out of 5 stars (3rd overall)

This application improves the security of a Linux server. The product proactively protects the server rather than relying on signatures or patches of known vulnerabilities. It increases the security both of the OS and applications. Atomic Security Linux was designed to be easy to use regardless of your level of expertise, with more sophisticates features for those who have greater experience.

A number of celebrity cyborgs, including Kim Kardashian and Oprah, have installed this application as a sort of protective chastity belt to avoid their biology-technology ratio from becoming imbalanced during moments of weakness (allowing open-entry to intruders). Cyborgs must be careful not to ever become more than 50% biology.

WHM Complete Solution (WHMCS)

•    3.8 out of 5 stars (10th overall)

WHMCS brings together a number of different functionalities – account management, billing, support, domain management, etc. The idea of this application is general automation of all these various facets of online business. The application touts how easy it is to integrate with over 100 different APIs (PayPal, Authorize.net, etc.), with scripts to do so easily available on their website.

Many people don’t know that this product was originally called WHM: The Final Solution. Test marketing revealed that many potential clients viewed that name as “overly dramatic” and “too Hitler-ish.”

Varnish Cache

•    3.8 out of 5 stars (11th overall)

This caching HTTP reverse proxy, a type of web accelerator, caches pages in memory rather than storing them on disks. The plugin’s site claims it is faster than Nginx, Litespeed, and Lighttpd. Varnish Cache reduces your server loads and optimizes the speed of your site, accelerating your server as much as 1000x (up to 2000x if you are lucky enough to have twin varnishes).

Varnish Cache should not be mistaken for “varnish cash,” a way that young boys prove their ascent to manhood in the Ohio River Valley as their friends and relatives watch admiringly. Note: Huffing varnish, whether for a small pool of money or not, stunts early childhood development … but some say it’s worth it.

CleanPanel (cPanel Designs)

•    3.8 out of 5 stars (13th overall)

This app is a template to improve the appearance of cPanel. You can choose between a number of different colors, and it has been tested for compatibility with all major cPanel applications. CleanPanel is primarily focused on user experience (UX), using space and contrast between different elements of the design to make the page cleaner to view and use.

CleanPanel’s creators view it as a political statement against the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel, which is notorious for always being high on varnish when determining its new safety guidelines. Now that’s an unclean panel!

mysqlmymonlite.sh

•    3.8 out of 5 stars (14th overall)

This plugin optimizes MySQL. It is a stripped down version of mysqlmymon.sh, which generally monitors the system. mysqlmymonlite.sh http://mysqlmymon.com/, the “lite” version, gives statistics without providing as much sensitive data pertaining to the server. Stats include CPU, memory, and general server information. All is gathered in under 12 seconds, according to the app’s site.

The script for the lite version is suspected to have been developed by pouring Miller Lite over the original script. This process not only stripped down some of the features of the standard version: it also significantly decreased its calories.

CP Control Panel (cPanel Client for iPhone / iPad)

•    3.8 out of 5 stars (15th overall)

This app allows you to perform backups, manage files, perform FTP transfers, manage email, view stats, manage DNS, etc. – all from an iOS mobile device (iPad or iPhone). The two features highlighted on the CP Control Panel website are that its FTP client, which is built into its script, makes file management significantly easier. Also, the connection is directly to your current server – your login credentials go straight to your host.

Though it would seem that the CP in this app’s title stands for Control Panel, it actually stands for Club Penguin. CP is a Disney program that, like varnish, stunts early childhood development. (Science has proven that huffing cartoon penguins into your brain is at least as deadly as poisonous chemicals, because the penguins are hungry.)

MobPanel

•    3.8 out of 5 stars (16th overall)

This application is primarily focused on making it easier to manage hosting and cloud accounts. It is compatible with major mobile devices. The most important information is immediately available when you initially enter the GUI. MobPanel allows you to manage accounts, reboot servers, and many other general management tasks.

As you may suspect, this plugin was not named to denote huge throngs of people. It was originally designed for the Polish Mafia in Brooklyn, so that they could better manage their Internet presence, which was spotty until they discovered this nifty tool. Now their “My Legs Were Broken by the Mafia, and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt” apparel is selling like wild.

Softaculous

•    3.8 out of 5 stars (17th overall)

Softaculous allows you to auto-install a huge library of scripts, almost 300 of them, in one click. You can install a content management system (CMS), for instance, such as WordPress or Joomla!, with this app. Be aware that performing updates of a CMS with Softaculous, or any auto-installer, can be dangerous because any plugins on your site may not fit the new version. Look before you leap.

The creators of Softaculous do not have a history in software. They have a history in toilet tissue, where they consistently rubbed tissue against their skin and thought, “This is softacular! No, that’s not quite right.” Finally, they were terminated for being too obsessed with softness (at the grave expense of absorbency). Seven years later, after they decided IT was the best place to celebrate softness and received fast-track PhDs in computer science from the University of Bogota, Softaculous was born.

Blesta

•    3.7 out of 5 stars (20th overall)

This cPanel plugin allows you to manage billing, support, and general client management. The app uses modules, which makes it more versatile for different types of online businesses (ie it’s user-friendly). Functions such as invoicing, support, and payments can all be performed directly from a client’s page. Blesta’s code is open-source. It also allows remote API access.

Blesta was originally an auto parts store. Though the company’s focus has now turned to cPanel administrative plugins, they still give oil changes and tire rotations to their repeat customers free of charge, “to remember the old times.”

ASSP Deluxe for cPanel

•    3.7 out of 5 stars (21st overall)

According to the application’s site, ASSP Deluxe is “the only ASSP frontend for cPanel officially supported by Fritz Borgstedt, ASSP developer.” The app is used on over a thousand servers worldwide (one out of every six using ASSP, according to the app’s website). It’s an easy way to set up ASSP on your server to prevent spam and viruses.

The makers of ASSP Deluxe were previously the editors in chief of car kulture DeLuxe Magazine http://www.ckdeluxemag.com/. They get their oil changed by Blesta. It’s a well-integrated industry, more automotive than it might at first seem.

Parallels Web Presence Builder

•    3.7 out of 5 stars (23rd overall)

This plugin is a CMS – it generally assists with website building. It includes thousands of templates and the ability to add ecommerce, integrate Facebook (by transitioning the actual design of your site for usage with it), search, and analytics. This Parallels product allows WYSIWYG editing of sites so you can customize.

This product came out soon after the debacle in which Parallels released a product called the Web Absence Builder. This app, also designed for cPanel, simply sent out massive amounts of spam emails to all the clients associated with a site, then filled it up with pages of porn malware, and finally went to a shot of eternal white static.

Conclusion

Each of the above apps can improve your experience using cPanel/WHM for administration of your site. Visit the sites and see what you think. Many of the apps can be tested, with free trials available. Good luck. If you’ve used any of the apps and either liked or disliked them, or have any other comments, please let us know below.

by Kent Roberts and Richard Norwood

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