To interact with your web hosting account and services, chances are good you will have to use a control panel. This software comes in many shapes and sizes (the most common is cPanel), but all will let you perform administrative functions like set up email and FTP accounts, manage DNS, and check bandwidth usage.
Beyond basic functions, control panels can differ significantly, however. Before signing up with a new host, it’s always a good idea to try out a demo of the control panel. How easy-to-use is the interface? Are all the features you need there? Depending on the features and complexity, you could face a very steep learning curve or know your away around from the get-go.
Most web hosts provide links to control panel demos on their sites. If you are not given an opportunity to see the control panel before committing, find another provider. The control panel act as your arms and legs as you interact within your web host’s world, so it’s important that it work well.