Most of the web designers/developers, within time, begin to manage too many websites, build resource-consuming applications and require more than a standard web hosting package.
Then it comes to deciding a hosted/ready-to-use platform or own a VPS/dedicated server and host the websites yourself.
Both have cons and pros, the first one requires no technical knowledge but has a limited flexibility (you can't install a custom extension onto the server, etc). For the VPS/dedicated option, exactly the vice-versa.
If you decide to go with the VPS/dedicated option and will be hosting multiple websites, then using a control panel application is a good idea.
Once installed, it will save you too much time on creating new websites, databases, e-mails, etc.
And if there will be client sites on that server, then that's a much better decision (as you can give the control to them).
Here are 10 open source and free web hosting control panels (which are categorized with operating systems) for managing servers easier.
It is a fully scriptable, distributed and a 100% object oriented hosting platform which supports Apache/Lighttpd, djbdns/bind and pure-ftpd.
The platform enables the end user to manage every aspect of a web hosting account while providing the admin the ability to manage the whole system.
Kloxo has a built-in messaging and ticket system, a backup-restore module and much more.
It is written in PHP, Perl and C. The system provides full control over the server, resellers and end users.
The application can communicate with database, email, web and DNS servers, monitor traffic or diskspace used and more.
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