If you wish to manage one or more hosting accounts, WHM is a good choice. In this article, I will describe its good and bad points and show you how to get the right hosting for it.
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.
Who Might Find WHM Useful?
A successful online presence requires solid website design, effective marketing, and reliable hosting, among other things. 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 via Whoishostingthis.com
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
Website or blog maintenance
Web content writing
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.
The Differences Between WHM and cPanel
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 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.
Designed for use by system administrators and resellers
Designed for use by end users
WHM provides total, root-level control over the server as a whole.
Allows users to control their particular server or partition
Can control settings and limitations for cPanel users
Can’t manage settings for other cPanel users
Reseller Limitations When Using WHM
However, 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.
The reseller host will probably limit your access in other ways too. You typically won’t be able to change the username for the primary cPanel account, restart services, install SSL certificates, or set IP addresses.
Using WHM on a Virtual Private Server
However, if the host company gives you a virtual private server (VPS), then you should be able to get WHM with unlimited control. Details will vary from one host provider to another.
Using WHM, you can set up and manage cPanel access for your own hosting clients. You can completely control which features your hosting clients can access, and even customize the look and feel of your clients’ cPanel with your own logos and branding.
Creating Packages using WHM
A handy feature is the ability to create packages. You can set up a package for each host plan, defining settings such as disk space, memory, and SQL database allocation for each new customer account. This saves the effort of setting each parameter by hand and avoids mistakes. To upgrade a user’s existing web hosting plan, you can simply change the account’s host package.
WHM Other Uses via Whoishostingthis.com
Other Uses for WebHost Manager
There are many other uses for WHM including:
Performing Server Maintenance
Fine-Tuning a Hosting Reseller Account
Accessing Additional Server Security Features
Adding Microsoft FrontPage Extensions.
WebHost Manager Screenshot via Whoishostingthis.com
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).
Performing Server Maintenance Using WHM
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.
Fine-Tuning your Hosting Reseller Account
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.
The WHM control panel gives you a lot of options when setting up an account. Settings include limits on the number of parked domains, subdomains, FTP accounts, and email boxes and accounts. The Feature Manager lets you choose which features are available on the cPanel control panel.
WHM Server Monitoring Features
The server monitoring features let you catch any problems with your host service. You can examine log files, spot excess resource utilization, and set security features. Configuration options let you get alerts by several methods, including email and SMS.
When you log-in to WHM, you can check Security Advisor for possible weaknesses in account setups. It will point out the use of risky features such as anonymous FTP and shell access which isn’t “jailshelled.”
Heading Additional Security Features
Another security feature is AutoSSL, which automates the installation of SSL certificates for new subdomains. Both cPanel and WHM have access to Security Advisor, but with WHM it points out global considerations, while on cPanel it points out issues for individual customer accounts.
Microsoft FrontPage Extensions
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 Support via Whoishostingthis.com
WHM: Is it Supported?
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.
WHM Hosting Costs via Whoishostingthis.com
WHM Hosting Costs
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.
My Top 3 WHM Hosting Companies
Even with a great deal of knowledge of WHM, it can be hard to decided on the right host. Thus, I am presenting my three favorite hosts, which will act as a starting point.
SiteGround offers dedicated servers and reseller hosting with WHM and cPanel. Support and uptime are strong points. It’s a European company with data centers on three continents and support in multiple languages. They offer 24/7 support for resellers, and a white label option which includes a non-branded cPanel and a Private DNS upgrade for better server name branding. Reseller accounts also include a volume discount on hosting and special domain name deals. On top of this, SiteGround offers SSH access, unlimited FTP accounts and MySQL databases. A free Cloudfare CDN is also thrown in as part of the deal.
SiteGround WHM Hosting page via Whoishostingthis.com
A2 Hosting offers four Linux reseller plans with WHM. They include an eNom reseller account, making the business end of domain management easy. CloudFlare hosting is available as an option. Uptime of 99.9% is guaranteed. Their WHM packages offer up to 150 GB storage and up to a 1000 GB transfer limit. Their premium WHM option can manage up to 80 accounts. Meanwhile, all WHM packages come with free SSL & SSD. A free eNom reseller account is also included in all WHM packages, and an anytime money back guarantee is also included.
A2 Hosting WHM Hosting page via Whoishostingthis.com
GreenGeeks offers VPS, reseller hosting, and dedicated servers, all with SSD storage and WHM. The VPS and reseller plans include an eNom account. Their VPS accounts offer up to 3000 GB storage and all VPS accounts are provisioned within 60 seconds. They also offer a free migration service, a free nightly backup and their VPS accounts are provisioned on blacklist-free IP addresses. GreenGeeks promises 99.9% uptime and provides phone, chat, and email support.
Green Geeks WHM Hosting page via Whoishostingthis.com
Points to Remember
Here are some points to remember when using WebHost Manager:
WHM allows management of multiple domains from one web-based control panel
It is also integrated with cPanel for individual domains
Learning to use WHM requires some effort, but less than using low-level tools
Mixing the use of WHM and command line tools can cause technical issues
Always check whether your host supports WHM as standard before choosing a hosting plan.
Other features in Web Hosting Control Panels: What Are the Best?
WebHost Manager (WHM) is a control panel designed for VPS and dedicated server accounts.
It allows the owner of the hosting account to divide their space and resell it, or create separate cPanel accounts and hosting directories for each of their websites. WHM also lets the user control certain server settings.
Who makes WHM?
WHM is made by cPanel, Inc., the makers of the cPanel control panel.
What is the difference between cPanel and WHM?
The cPanel control panel allows a user to manage the settings for one hosting directory. The WHM control panel sits above this, allowing the administrator to manage all of their hosting directories.
For example, if you are a hosting reseller, you would use WHM to create each individual customer directory and set the bandwidth limits, disk space, and resources for each one.
What kind of management does WHM provide?
WHM normally gives the user root level access to the server and its operating system (OS). On some accounts, it’s more restricted.
WHM controls permissions and setting price tiers. Users can be given control over their own individual site management.
WHM is also designed to give you important statistical and analytical information on your server, ensuring you’re armed with the information you need to keep your server secure and running smoothly.
WHM includes backup features that allow you to create automatic backups and transfer websites from one cPanel-enabled server to another. The control panel can be branded to match your company’s logo, color schemes and branding.
For companies or individuals looking for a custom experience, there are over 500 applications and plugins for WHM, making it possible to customize virtually every aspect of the control panel.
Who is WHM designed for?
WHM is designed for web hosting resellers, web designers, and people that want to host multiple websites on one VPS or dedicated server.
Does WHM come with shared hosting accounts?
No. Shared hosting accounts come with some kind of control panel purely for that account. WHM is an administrator control panel.
What does WHM offer resellers?
WHM lets you create, delete, suspend, and modify hosting accounts. You can set up pre-defined hosting plan templates, and then quickly roll out new accounts with a couple of clicks.
WHM also lets you customize some of the default error pages on your server, as well as the cPanel log in page that your customers see.
What are WHM’s system requirements?
WHM requires a 226 MHz processor and 512MB of RAM, but 1GB RAM is recommended.
On the software side, WHM natively supports CentOS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and CloudLinux.
Supported virtual environments include KVM, Linux-VServer, Microsoft Server 2008, Microsoft Server 2012 Hyper-V, OpenVZ, Oracle VM VirtualBox, VirtualBox OSE, Virtuozzo, VMWare Server, VMWare ESX Server, Xen, XenEnterprise, XenExpress and XenServer, as well as SmartOS.
Each of these environments may have specific requirements that will need to be met for WHM to work properly.
How much does WHM cost?
If you get WHM with your web hosting package, it may be included in the package price. If not, your host will probably allow you to add it for a small monthly fee.
If you buy a license directly for your own use, the cost ranges from $20 to $40 per month.
What are the alternatives to WHM?
The most common alternative to cPanel and WHM is the Plesk control panel.
is WHM better than Plesk?
WHM was designed for Linux, and also offers integration with a large number of add-on packages and applications. It is an excellent reseller platform, it’s easy to use, and it performs more efficiently than Plesk.
Plesk is available for both Linux and Windows, and integrates more closely with some Windows services, such as MS SQL. Plesk is also a good choice for server clusters, as it allows you to manage multiple servers from a single interface.
However, Plesk does not integrate with as many third-party applications as WHM, it often runs slower on Linux, and it’s more expensive.
Does WHM back up my hosting data?
No. You must have a separate back-up plan, either by using cPanel, or a third party service.
Do I need to update the WHM software?
Yes. It’s a good idea to keep the software up to date. You can manually update WHM, or turn on automatic updates if you prefer.
What is the WHM API?
WHM has its own API so you can control your server without using the WHM interface.
Does WHM store deleted accounts?
No. Account deletion is permanent. If you’re having a problem with a customer, use the Suspend function to place the account on hold. Only delete an account if you’re certain that the data in that account has been backed up.
About Gary McGath
Gary McGath spent years as a software developer before turning to writing. In addition to writing many articles on technology, he's the author of two crowdfunded e-books. His tech passions include data security and digital preservation.