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What is WHM?
Web Hosting Manager, or WHM®, is a Linux-based administrative control panel application used behind-the-scenes by webmasters and site administrators to maintain, upgrade and repair servers. Hosting resellers can use it to create and manage cPanel user accounts for their hosting customers.
A successful online presence requires solid website design, effective marketing, and reliable hosting, among others. But if you’re a hosting reseller, you also need an effective way to manage the accounts and server access for your customers.
Web Hosting Manager (WHM) is one of the most popular options for managing hosting accounts, for hosts and resellers alike. WHM gives owners and webmasters complete and flexible control over all aspects of server management.
Why You Should Consider WHM Hosting
If you provide any kind of service or products for website owners, adding hosting to your offered services can be a low-maintenance source of guaranteed monthly income in addition to your other client work. With a WHM reseller account, you can offer hosting to your clients without having to invest in and maintain your own servers and data centers.
You should consider host reselling if you already offer services like:
- Web design and/or development
- WordPress installation
- Website or blog maintenance
- SEO services
- Web content writing
- ...or other online services.
Even if you aren’t reselling website hosting at the moment, consider going with a host that has WHM enabled in case you decide to go that route in the future, since switching web hosts later on can be a hassle.
WHM vs. cPanel: What’s the Difference?
WHM and cPanel work together to provide a secure way to manage website hosting accounts.
If you’re a webmaster who has experience managing your hosting account “behind the scenes," you’re likely already familiar with cPanel. cPanel is a popular control panel interface used by many hosts to give their customers access to file, application and database management for their hosted sites.
WHM is the complement to cPanel. Just as cPanel allows resellers control over their particular server or partition, WHM provides total, root-level control over the server as a whole. Although, unless you have a dedicated server or are purchasing your own hardware, you’ll most likely receive a version of WHM limited to your particular partition of your host’s server, rather than root access to the hosting server itself.
Using WHM, you can set up and manage cPanel access for your own hosting clients. You can completely control what features your hosting clients can access, and even customize the look and feel of your clients’ cPanel with your own logos and branding.
What Else Can WHM Do?
Server admins use WHM to add new applications, copy, delete and create cPanel accounts, and manage security (including SSH keys, PHP scripts, and Traceroute data tracking).
WHM is also used to set up basic server configuration, and to perform server upgrades, maintenance, and troubleshooting. With WHM, you can choose settings like available cPanel features, Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, and Domain Name Server (DNS) information.
Beyond basic maintenance and administration, you can also use WHM to fine-tune components of each reseller account and add or remove features on the fly.
WHM can also be used to add the necessary extensions to allow users of Microsoft FrontPage to upload their websites and other content using that software. Although FrontPage was discontinued in 2003, it still remains popular among Microsoft users who want to build a website without learning how to code. Setting up FrontPage server extensions with WHM is useful if you have customers who rely on FrontPage for their design, but also have a need for a non-Windows (i.e., Linux-driven) hosting solution for other apps.
WHM Hosting Costs
As one of the most popular web management consoles for Linux servers, cPanel is most likely provided as part of your host’s basic consumer hosting packages. WHM is common as well, but not always provided. Check the details of your hosting package and contact the hosting service provider to be sure you’re getting WHM in addition to cPanel.
Hosting service companies that provide a WHM option will often charge more than they do for just cPanel. That’s because WHM hosting is often used by host resellers, who require many more resources and much more bandwidth than a typical customer with only their own website.
Depending on your bandwidth and storage needs, you can expect to pay between $20 and $100 each month for reseller hosting that includes WHM.