The Basics of Cpanel


Many web hosting providers, including Hostgator, provide clients access to a control interface called Cpanel. It’s a fantastic resource, but getting started can be challenging. In this tutorial, we’ll review some of Cpanel’s best features and explain how to implement them on your website.

To begin, go to your domain name followed by /cpanel to view your website’s control panel. After that, a login page will appear, requiring you to enter the username and password that your web host supplied you with. After doing so, you’ll be presented with a screen containing numerous symbols. If this is your first time using Cpanel, I recommend reading the included instruction in the most recent release. If you follow the steps in the lesson and read this book, you should have a solid understanding of the various tools at your disposal.

There are various tabs in the Cpanel interface. The first couple of groups will likely be specific to your site host. If you use Hostgator, for instance, you’ll have access to features unique to Hostgator, like payment processing and ticket filing in the first section and discounts from Hostgator partners in the second. Once you get past those sections, you’ll reach the universally applicable portions of Cpanel.

The first is a Cpanel-specific section. You can access the tutorial above from here, alter your password, modify your contact information, and customize Cpanel’s language and theme. The last function, shortcuts, is helpful because it lets you place a Cpanel icon on your screen. This section of Cpanel won’t see much use from you beyond the initial setup. While convenient and full of valuable features, it won’t significantly improve your website’s performance.

In the following section, you can create email addresses for your website. You should be able to establish unlimited email addresses with Hostgator, but this will vary depending on the service you use. Click the envelope icon to make a new email address, like johndoe @ your site dot com. You have complete control over the account settings, including the passcode, the maximum amount of storage space for e-mails, etc. You can check your e-mail from any machine with an Internet connection by clicking the Webmail icon. This is helpful if you frequently check your email on devices other than your primary computer but don’t always have access to programs like Outlook. I find that Cubemail is the most useful of the options they provide.

The “box trapper” function in your anti-spam software lets you specify which senders’ messages you will open. Those not on the roster will get an email asking them to confirm their email address before it is removed. Depending on your potential new customers’ responsiveness, this could be a valuable tool for your business. Spam Assasin is yet another anti-spam utility that works to eliminate unwanted messages before they even reach your inbox. The remaining buttons allow you to do various things, such as configure auto-responders. I’ll be away from the workplace for a while; please forward any messages to another address, and set up filters to control the flow of sensitive information into and out of your company. It will take effort, but you will find some pleasant things here.

The Files section is the third topic we’ll discuss. This provides access to some functions integral to the operation of your website. The first two symbols both represent copies of data. Your website should have frequent backups. This is a breeze with Cpanel. To create a document, use the backup wizard. It will make a complete copy of your website and save it as an archive file so you can quickly restore it. The replicated data is kept on your server as well. Depending on how often you refresh your site, I recommend doing so at least once per week. Having a website almost finished, only to realize you made an error and have to start over is one of the most frustrating things. The file organizer can be accessed via the following two tabs.

You can access your site’s files through cpanel and make changes, delete them, modify permissions, and add new ones. While an FTP client would be preferable, this method does the job in a hurry. You can even quickly edit your sites using the included WYSIWYG HTML editor. If your site has a web disk section, you can use it to host and share files with visitors. You can only use it if your server service permits it. Disk capacity displays your current storage usage, breakdown, and available storage. Last but not least, the final three allow you to create FTP (file transfer protocol) accounts so that users can reach your site using FTP software.

Logs constitute the fourth division. I won’t detail each symbol because this section explains who visits your site and what they do there. You can see how many people visit your site and where they click away from it. Keeping an eye on these tools can increase your site’s traffic and quickly address user issues. If you want a simple, uncluttered overview of your site’s traffic, Awestats is your best bet. Remember that it always runs a day behind in terms of statistics.

Safety measures are discussed in detail in Chapter 5. The first button hides sensitive files behind a passcode. This allows you to create a private site area only authorized users can access. Users are required to log in with a username and password to gain entry. The second tab allows you to specify blocked Internet Protocol names. You can take this measure to shield your site from spammers, hackers, and other intruders. With the help of the SSL/TSL symbol, you can encrypt your location and safely collect sensitive information like credit card data from customers. Depending on your hosting provider’s policies, this feature may come at an additional expense.

With hotlink security, you can stop other websites from using your bandwidth without your permission. For instance, if you host an image that other people would like to use, they cannot simply create a connection to your site and load the image using your data transfer. Having a limited amount of internet could be crucial in keeping your website costs down. Last, GNU Privacy Guard enables you to encrypt your email messages so that only the intended recipient can decipher them using the proper encryption key.

The domain part comes in at number six. There are a variety of options available to you in this space. Sub-domains can be made first. As a result, you can split up your website into sections like and With the help of add-on domains, you can host numerous websites from the same account. Your service supplier may or may not enable this function. For instance, I have three domain names hosted by the same Hostgator account. It ends up saving me a lot of cash. Domains you own and have “parked” can be easily directed to your primary site. If you want all variations of your domain’s extension to point to the same place, this is the way to go. Last but not least, redirect allows you to specify the destination URL for any given location.

The database portion comes in at number seven. I will not elaborate beyond the preceding caution in this subsection. Do not enter this region unless you have been specifically instructed to do so or unless you know what you are doing. These days, MySQL databases are used by many server-side applications. Your WordPress blog or Wiki could suddenly stop functioning if you make any changes to the code without first learning the basics. This is something I have firsthand knowledge of. If you don’t know why you should change this, don’t.

Probably the most exciting part is the ninth. Many popular applications, such as WordPress, Coppermine, etc., can be set up here. Since I assume no familiarity with technologies like PHP, I will only discuss one symbol here. It’s the Fantastico symbol. To access various free applications on your site, please visit here. Among the most interesting are the following:

It’s all thanks to WordPress. (very, very good blogging software)
CMS: Joomla (web content manager that allows you to create many different types of websites)
Live Support Center (allows for live help chat assuming you have someone manning the computer, otherwise provides a ticket system)
+ phpBB (the full-featured forum system)
Image Collection of Coppermine (allows you to upload and organize pictures into attractive galleries)
As seen on Tikiwiki (friendly wiki software)
In other words, Moodle (allows you to create online courses)
Online Scheduler (enables you to create an online calendar)

Those are just a few examples of the many excellent classes available here. If you’re willing to put in the effort to learn how to use these tools, you can add a wide variety of features to your website. I’ve seen similar software packages go for hundreds or thousands of dollars, so believe me when I say this is a steal.

The last section is labeled “advanced,” and it’s called that for a reason. Like the database section, this section should be left alone unless necessary. The first of these is the Image viewer shortcut. Images on your website can be viewed and converted to more widely used formats like jpg. The other is add-ons for Microsoft FrontPage. You must activate these add-ons to fully use Microsoft Frontpage (which I believe is now named Expressions).

Cpanel is a fantastic collection of tools for administering a website. If your web host provides this feature, you should benefit from it. Best of luck with Cpanel in the future, and I trust this guide has helped you see its value.

Read also: The biggest launch of the century, About Protecting Yourself By Hackers


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