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1/13/2014 – The Origin of cPanel

Posted by Jamison on 13 01 2014.

If you’ve had experience putting up your own website or websites you might have had to deal with cPanel, the web hosting control panel program that lets you interact with your website servers, keep track of site data and also manage your sites features. You might even consider yourself to be an adept or expert at using cPanel already. However, do you know how this program, currently considered the favorite domain management and hosting tool, came to be?


The origins of cPanel


The program you know as cPanel today started out as the Unix-based in-house control panel for the now-defunct web-hosting company Speed Hosting, the program itself was designed by one of the company’s shareholders by the name of John Nick Koston. The company was looking for ways to let others not familiar with the Unix operating system (in other words website owners and web administrators) to be able to handle their own websites, and so cPanel was born. It saw initial release in 1996.


Koston later took his expertise to another now-defunct web-hosting company, Virtual Development Inc., after Speed Hosting and Webking merged and moved their server development operations there. The then version of the program, cPanel 2, was adopted as the company control panel; however it was only available to clients who sites were hosted by VDI.


An improved version of the program, the cPanel 3, was released 1999 to include the Web Hosting Manager feature. It also downloaded updates automatically.


Koston, by then the lead programmer, later left VDI due to internal problems and took his own version of the program with him while VDI maintained their own program called WebPanel, but they were unable to support it or update it and eventually it was dropped from use.


Koston worked with BurstNET, another web-hosting company, before leaving to focus on work on his program. Eventually a corporation was formed to handle the licensing of the program which costs around $450 a year. It is currently based in Houston, Texas. While it has been available for some time now, the program itself saw its “official” stable release only last January 14, 2013 and is still being constantly being upgraded. The latest is the version released just last August 28.




cPanel has undergone many improvements since the initial release. Originally designed for Unix, it is now available for many operating systems including Linux, BSD and Windows (this version is called Enkompass) and is also now being offered in more languages.


It also now has more features, including add-ons that do a lot of things like managing your emails, shielding against spam, monitoring your resources, automatic updates and even making it easier to access other nifty open-source programs.


Users have praised cPanel for its ease of use, a host of practical and useful features and great support. They even have a 15-day free trial.


There are quite a lot of domain management and hosting tools available in the market today. However, there is only one name on top of that list and only one product you should be getting, and that is cPanel.