A Control Panel is a web-based user interface through which you can manage different aspects of your presence online. For example, you can create or edit website files, set up and check email messages, manage databases, check visitor statistics and so forth. Those things are performed through buttons and menus within a browser and the Control Panel could also be called ‘back office’, i.e. the admin area associated with your hosting account. Most of the Control Panels available will permit you to handle all hosting-related matters, but you shall usually require a different system to manage payments or to get a new domain name when the company offers domain registrations. With respect to the platform they use, you may be able to use the billing account to open a support ticket to ask a question or to resolve an issue also, or you might have to use a 3rd system.