Scala Hosting and SPanel: Quick Guide for Managing a WordPress Website and Avoiding cPanel Price Hike in 2021

Scala Hosting Offers Excellent Hosting Performance.
The Self-Developed SPanel Is Superb.
Offers Powerful WordPress Management.
Gives You Added Protection through SShield.

Scala Hosting as a company was founded in 2007 with a mission to make VPS hosting a resource that anyone could access and build amazing things with. It is currently home to over 700.000 websites and over 50.000 customers.

The Future of Server Management

Recently, cPanel announced that they are changing their price model from per-server pricing to a per-account pricing model. As such, an alternative hosting solution might be the perfect choice for you if you do not want to deal with an increase in monthly bills.

SPanel is a newer control panel developed by Scala Hosting. This all-in-one platform can help you manage your server, make backups, keep it secure, and much more. It is a convenient alternative to cPanel as there is not much more to learn and you can jump in quickly to use it.

Scala Hosting Account Registration and Setup Process

To get started with Scala Hosting and installing WordPress for your website, the first thing I’d recommend doing is making an account.

To do this, simply go to scalahosting.com and click on the “Sign Up” button located on the top right corner of the screen.

a screenshot of scala hosting homepage, signup button is highlighted

Here on the Hosting tab, you can click on WordPress hosting to get to the menu you require.

scala hosting main menu and cheapest price per product

Here you will find a total of four packages, WP Mini, WP Start, WP Advanced and Managed VPS, and you can pick the one that is most suitable for your specific needs.

I’d recommend going with Managed VPS in order to get just about everything, but if you’re on a tight budget and only really need to manage one site, the WP Mini is a solid option as-well and not a slouch of a package by any means.

scala hosting prices and features

scala hosting buying process

Once you click on “Order Now”, you are forwarded to the Configure Product section of the page.

Here you can configure your Cloud VPS, or whichever category you selected. For the purpose of this guide, we went with Managed Cloud VPS. When it comes to the pricing options, you can select the following plans:

  • 1 month plan
  • 3 months plan
  • 6 months plan
  • 12 months plan
  • 24 months plan
  • 36 months plan

billing cycle selection for web hosting

You also have the option to get a managed VPS or a self-managed VPS.

Each of them has their own benefits and drawbacks, and is it up to you to decide what works best for you.

  • The managed server uses CentOS 8 as its main operating system. CentOS is a Linux Distribution that is derived from Red Hat Enterprise Linux which is fairly popular throughout system administrators, DevOps engineers and home users. It is much more secure and stable than Ubuntu due to the reserved nature and the lower frequency of updates. You also get pre-installed software such as SPanel or cPanel, with web, email, DNS & MySQL database services.
  • If you are the kind of person that wants a more hands-on approach to managing their server, you can also select the self-managed option that gives you full root access with SSH console for complete control over your server. The best part about this option is that it does not have any pre-installed software packages.

management selecting panel

Now comes the important part, the Control Panel selection.

You can select between SPanel, and cPanel.

cPanel costs you $16 per 5 accounts to begin with, up to $262.45 for up to 1000 accounts.

SPanel costs you nothing. You also gain better security through SShield, faster websites, unlimited account access and savings for other addons.

Selecting SPanel from the list of panels

You can also see a quick overview of the differences between SPanel and cPanel here:

differences between SPanel and cPanel

You can now customize your server by selecting the datacenter, SSD Disk space, CPU cores, RAM, type of backup, proactive 24/7 monitoring and Softaculous Premium License. Other with SPanel Cost

Other with SPanel Cost

Order with cPanel Cost

Order with cPanel Cost

Once you read the order summary, you can click on "Continue".

Here you have the Domain name configuration menu.

You can either register a new domain, transfer your domain from another register, or carry on without a domain.  Once this is completed, click on "continue".

You will now be forwarded to the final screen, that is the account creation and payment screen. Here you will need to pick an email, choose a password, confirm it, and either agree or disagree to receiving personalized offers, updates and information about Scala Hosting products and services.

Keep in mind that by creating an account, you automatically agree to Scala Hosting's Terms & Conditions.

Scala Hosting and Managing SPanel

Once you log in to your Scala Hosting account you will be greeted by the Client Area Home Screen.

Here you will have a clear overview of the products or services you are currently subscribed to, including information about their status, next due date and price.

You also have a clear view of the Support Tickets, Invoices, Domains as well as other services that are connected to your account.

screenshot with client area

Under the “My Details” section, you can edit your account details, edit the payment methods, review the contacts and sub-accounts, change your password, view your security settings as well as email history.

how to edit your account details

Once you click on the “manage” section on the Services tab, you can click on “Manage Server” to get into the SPanel settings.

click on “Manage Server” to get into the SPanel settings

Screenshot with highlight "Login to Spanel" button

Here you can log in to the SPanel.

Screenshot of your Spanel area

Creating and Managing An Account

SPanel allows you to create, terminate, list and suspend accounts.

In order to create account, simply click on “Create Account” under the Accounts Management Section and enter the following information:

  • Domain
  • Username
  • Password
  • Disk Space Limit
  • Inodes Limit
  • Addon Domains Limit
  • Email Account Limits
  • MySQL Databases Limit

how to manage Spanel account

Installing WordPress on SPanel

Once you create an account in the previous step, go to the “List Accounts” section of the page, and look for your newly generated account.

Here you can click on “Actions” and click on “Login”.

click on “Actions” and click on “Login”

Once you are logged in, scroll down to the very bottom of the page and find the “WordPress Manager”

higlight the “WordPress Manager” button

Once you click on the WordPress Manager, you will be prompted to create an account.

"Install new WordPress site" panel

On this menu you will have to enter the domain/path name, the folder name, Username, Password, and Email Address.

Fill the new WordPress site's data

Once all of this is completed, you will receive a confirmation that WordPress has been installed.

a confirmation that WordPress has been installed

How to Make a Backup

To make a backup of your WordPress VPS Using SPanel, you need to log into your account and scroll down to Files and click on “Backup”.

highlight the "BackUp" button

On the following menu, select “Generate Backup”.

select “Generate Backup” button

SPanel will now show you a notification that the backup has been generated.

notification that the backup has been generated

That’s all there is to backing up your installation of WordPress on SPanel.

How to Install an SSL Certificate for Security

From your account dashboard, go to “Tools” and click on “SSL Certificates”

the "SSL certificates" button is highlighted

On this screen, you will have a clear view of all of the available domains. Click on the domain you would like to install an SSL certificate to, click on “Actions”, and you can either Install Free SSL or install Custom SSL depending on what you have or need.

"Install free SSL" button

Confirm that you want to install the SSL of choice and you are good to go.

please confirm that you want to install the SSL

Creating a Subdomain

Creating a subdomain is easy as-well.

From the SPanel menu, navigate to “Domains” and click on “Subdomains”.

the "Subdomains" button is highlighted

Here, name your subdomain and click on “Create Subdomain”.

the "Create Subdomain" button is highlighted

You will see a confirmation as well as the subdomain on the bottom row.

confirmation as well as the subdomain on the bottom row

Deleting WordPress

If for whatever reason you come to the point where you want to completely remove WordPress, here is how you can do it.

how to Uninstall WordPress

Find the Existing WordPress Installations on the very bottom of the page, and click on “Uninstall”. You will have to confirm this action by clicking on “Yes” on the pop-up window.

Terminating An Account

To terminate the account, simply select the account you want to remove and click on “Terminate” on the right corner of the screen.

“Terminate” button on the right corner of the screen

Confirm afterwards by clicking on Yes.

Click "Yes" to confirm

notification that account have been terminated

SShield Explained

In order for other panels to truly differentiate themselves from cPanel and add more value to their packages, they have to develop features that are unique to them and are actually solid. One of SPanel’s biggest strengths is the SShield implementation.

SShield is an in-house built platform that is intended for easy web hosting management. Its main purpose is to protect your website, or multiple websites, from attackers such as hackers. If we analyze the statistics, it has a 99.98% success rate for blocking any suspicious activity, which is quite impressive.

SShield essentially monitors all websites on a given server in real-time, and when a hack or an attempt for a hack occurs, the tool detects it and suspends the suspicious activity.

Aside from this, SShield also gets information about the hack, and prepares a detailed report for the owner of the website. Its summary contains information about how to fix the vulnerability and make the website more secure. This leaves you with an added level of peace of mind knowing that your website is monitored at all times.

SWordPressManager Explained

SWordPressmanager is a tool that makes the installation process of the WordPress application simple and allows you to manage and update everything with ease. It is also high when it comes to security, and it even has a Lock function that can lock all of your files, directories and other important things within the server in order to make them impossible to edit without permission. The only exception to this rule are important updates, where the system can unlock your files, make the required changes, and re-lock them accordingly once the process is completed.

SPanel vs cPanel

When we compare SPanel, which remember, comes at no extra cost when you pick the Scala Hosting provider, with cPanel, this is what we can see.

Panel cPanel SPanel
Ease of Use Easy Easy
Monthly Price $16 and up Free
Resource Usage Heavy Light
Security System Basic SShield
System Resources Manager Non-existent Present
WordPress Manager Basic SWordPressManager
Unlimited Accounts Available After Payment Free
Branding Present Present
Many PHP versions Present Present
Automatic Backup Functionality Present Present
Apache Support Present Present
Nginx Support Present Present
LiteSpeed Support Present Present
OpenLiteSpeed Support Present Present
SpamAssassin Present Present
Brute Force Protection Present Present
Management of SSH Access Present Present

Comparing Resource Usage

The main reason why cPanel got to the level of popularity that it did is due to the fact that the developers behind it put an emphasis on functionality and features. As such, you will notice that your control panel is constantly bombarded with features, settings and options for you to manage and manipulate in any way you see fit for your specific website. A skilled developer will know all of them and use them to operate everything throughout the website. However, when it comes to web hosting clients, the chances are high that some of these features might never see use.

SPanel is specifically designed for speed, while also giving every client website as much resources as they require. This custom panel is light on resource usage by design, and you can run it on VPS solutions with less than 1 GB of RAM available.

Comparing Supported Devices

When it comes to cPanel, it works flawlessly on Apache, and it has a reliable setup that gives the client enough control to keep the website operational. You can even gain more speed by integrating Litespeed, a faster technology that is compatible with cPanel.

SPanel comes packed with a lot more versatility in this regard. The control panel supports Apache and Litespeed out of the box, but can work with Nginx and OpenLiteSpeed, giving you a lot more options to pick from and configure to your needs.

Comparing WordPress Management

cPanel through the usage of a software installer can give you access to many different management systems, shop platforms and web building applications. This is a one-size-fits-all solution, but a master of none as a result.

SPanel is specifically designed to fill the needs of WordPress users. It has a built-in SWordPressManager that allows for one-click installations, automatic updates and unique Security Lock Functions that are all made by the SPanel team in-house or are in other words, proprietary.

Comparing Costs

This is the most important factor to many people when the time comes to make a decision. cPanel is known as a premium hosting management tool and gives you the option to purchase based on a subscription model, which is usually on a monthly or annual basis. Over the years, cPanel has raised their price, and the chances are high that they will do so again in the future, that is how their business model works.

SPanel has the biggest advantage here, as when you pick it with Scala Hosting, it costs you nothing at all. This is not a trial period, and you do not have a limited time-frame to use SPanel, its simply free, forever. This is essential for people who are on a tighter budget, or do not want to deal with cPanel’s price hikes.

The Bottom Line

Overall, throughout my experience of using SPanel, I came to the conclusion that it offers two areas when it comes to management, one for the end-user that is managing the separate accounts and website, and another for the server management itself. This allows the admin to easily create, terminate or manage accounts, as well as change their passwords, while also having the ability to even suspend or unsuspend an account, modify the main domain name, or even modify the username and perform other functions quickly and efficiently.

As a person who has used cPanel for years, I can say that SPanel’s screen is excellent due to the fact that it even shows you information about the server such as the GPU, RAM and Disk utilization, information about each service running on the server, and the option to restart the service at any time.

SShield also monitors all traffic coming in and out of the website, 24/7. It is fully automated through the usage of artificial intelligence and machine learning in order to inspect the code and determine if you are getting legitimate traffic.

If you are the kind of person that wants to optimize their spending, and do not want to spend money on more features you will not end up using, SPanel might be the best control panel to use. This is due to the fact that it will provide you with all of the essential features without inflated costs.

Bruno Mirchevski Bruno Mircevski is an experienced content writer as well as entrepreneur. His career took him to different phases where he had to switch web hosting providers for one reason or another. Taking a trip from shared web hosting to dedicated web hosting, he experienced it all and is prepared to share that knowledge with you. With years of real hosting experience, he will explain the ins and outs of every single web hosting provider out there as you take an in-depth look at everything they have to offer, and what their pitfalls are.

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"Scala Hosting and SPanel: Quick Guide for Managing a WordPress Website and Avoiding cPanel Price Hike in 2021"

Scala Hosting and SPanel: Quick Guide for Managing a WordPress Website and Avoiding cPanel Price Hike in 2021