V-Decks vs. C-Panels

If you own a website that you are hosting online, the odds are in favor that you are going to come into contact with one of these two control interfaces. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but what most people don’t know is, “What’s the difference?”

This is a general problem for those who aren’t remarkably tech savvy. When they are shopping around for their hosting plan, the difference between companies may be access to one or the other of these interfaces and you don’t know which one is going to work the best for you. That’s why it’s so important to understand what they are and pick the one that is going to best fit your needs. Fortunately, those differences can be broken down very simply.

What Are Hosting Interfaces?
The first thing that needs to be addressed is what a hosting interface actually is. Knowing its function helps to determine whether the way it approaches that utility is something that you can deal with and will make things as easy as possible to accomplish what you need to.

A hosting interface is the way that you interact with your website once it’s online. This isn’t to say that you can necessarily change the way the website works or looks, though there are sometimes functions that allow that in a limited fashion, but it does help you control how the website is accessed, how it presents itself to a web surfer, and what sort of helpful systems you can use to contribute to a more well-rounded, well-tracked, and overall helpful presentation of your business online.

For example, Web hosting interfaces can help you add additional programs and functionalities to your website that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to do without extensive coding on your end. Things like WordPress, Joomla, or Wiki capabilities are often added through the interface control panel. Similarly, functions like being able to forward certain pages to other locations can be determined by settings in the hosting interface control panel.

Essentially, if it deals with anything outside of the basic content and design of your website, then there is a good chance that you can find the solution you need in your hosting interface. That’s why it’s so important to have one that meets your needs.

The Ubiquitous C-Panels

The odds are highly in favor that if you’ve been running a website for a while, you’ve used C-Panels before. It is far and away the most popular hosting interface for good reason. This isn’t to say that it is the “best”, but rather that there are legitimate reasons why a person might go with them rather than V-Decks.

For example, C-Panels are a lot easier to navigate. The interface is really well designed with simple, intuitive buttons and menus and a visual style that is pleasant and helpful. Part of the intuitive nature is that so many hosts use it and the design has become somewhat of an industry standard, but even people who are coming fresh to hosting their own website can generally get going with C-Panels within a few minutes of looking around.

Its popularity also works to its advantage since there are hundreds of videos and tutorials that explain every aspect of the interface, in detail. If you have a problem, it’s almost assured that somebody else has the solution and has presented it in a way that will match your Google query style. That means that you don’t have to worry about going through extensive customer support if you need to accomplish something.

That being said, there are some flaws with the system. While most small and medium sized businesses will have no problems with the control mechanisms that C-Panels provide, larger companies may find it particularly difficult to accomplish some of the tasks that their bigger, more complex websites need to accomplish. This is especially true when a website has a complicated site map with lots of redirects and numerous paths to reach the same location.

The C-Panels interface is also available on Linux-based platforms, so if you’re using a Windows- or Mac-based one, you’re unlikely to be able to access it fully or take advantage of its benefits.

The Highly Focused V-Decks

Unlike C-Panels, V-Decks is a major work in progress that is still trying to find its feet. That’s not to say it’s unusable, far from that, but rather that there are some bugs that are being worked out as far as how it interacts with the end user.

V-Decks is fantastic at dealing with things like e-commerce sites and larger Web presences. What it lacks in intuitive design it makes up for in scalability and control of even the tiniest aspects of hosting control. It allows very precise adjustments to be made so that pages on your site can be accessed smoothly and that users will always be sent where they need to go, whether it’s back to an item they just added to a shopping cart or to a confirmation page.

The add-ons for V-Decks are also really top-notch. While Fantastico, the script-manager in the C-Panels interface is good, Install-Central has quickly become at least comparable and might even become more useful and powerful in future releases. Soon it will have as many scripts as C-Panels as more and more people start using the platform.

The biggest problem with V-Decks is that it is a lot more difficult to use than its counterpart. The design is not nearly so intuitive; it is harder to navigate, and even the syntax and diction are confusing. That being said, this continues to improve with every new version and the creators seem dedicated to listening to their users in developing updates. Mostly, it suffers from the problem that making a deeper, more powerful system almost always entails making it harder to use in order to accommodate the additional functionality. As the people being V-Decks see past their blind spots in coding and continue to improve, we will likely see a much more functional system over time.

Which Should I Choose?

The fact of the matter is, no matter which one of these you choose you’ll end up with a solid platform that will be able to accomplish most functions with a minimum of fuss. However, a good general guideline is that if you have a small to medium-sized business with very little in the way of online sales, C-Panels will be easier to use and give you what you need. If you have a larger business or engage in significant e-commerce activity, V-Decks is probably going to be better suited to your needs.

Posted on Monday, June 30th, 2014