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A Beginner’s Guide to cPanel (Control Panel) Web Hosting

Control panels are popular tools that help you to manage your hosting account.

You’ll be able to manage your domain names, create email accounts, install web applications, and upload web files.

Control panels (cPanel) are not only intuitive, but they also save a lot of time as you don’t have to manually login into your server to make any changes.

Different panels offer different features and designs, so you’ll be able to choose a cPanel based on the OS.

Further reading: Best cPanel Web Hosting

Why Use cPanel (Control Panel) Web Hosting?

As a novice website owner, managing the different aspects of your web hosting account can be a challenge. Thus, here cPanel web hosting is an effective tool that can make the process of managing different elements on your website easier. Most best hosting providers in India offer cPanel with their hosting packages, which come with a wide range of features such as file management, domain, email and databases. As such, read this beginner’s guide to know more about the control panel, its modules and pros & cons.

A. What is a cPanel Web Hosting?

cPanel is Linux based hosting that includes installation of the panel. It lets you manage every element of your web hosting account. In other words, cPanel is a simple user interface that makes complicated system manageable.

Its also a primary control panel for shared hosting accounts. It provides essential tools and a graphical interface that allows users to run a website. cPanel is the most popular control panel that lets you customize your site and comes with navigation, buttons, and links for website management.

B. Why Do You Need cPanel?

Without a cPanel, you’ll have to log in to your server every time you want to edit a configuration. Whereas, cPanel lets you complete the whole process with a few clicks. It lets you create new accounts or migrate accounts from different hosts, thereby making the process simple for you.

  • Software installation (installation of WordPress)
  • Website file management
  • Database search and backup
  • Creation of email account with management
  • User management, passwords, and security
  • Domain and sub-domain creation
  • File organization
  • Upload files on the server
  • Check bandwidth and user stats
  • Install add-on apps on the server
  • Connect domain names to hosting
  • Set up optimizations

C. How To Use cPanel?

Browse through the panel so that you know about different sections. When you log in to your account, you'll see some metrics that log your resource usage. It'll let you know about memory usage, storage space, and CPU usage. Once you are aware of your website performance, it's time to check out the different modules.

1. Preferences and Web Applications

Go to the preferences and customize the layout of your panel. You'll be able to change the style, language, information, and user manager feature. Web application features will allow you to install different types of software. This includes forums, blogs, and portals. Drupal, WordPress, Joomla, and PHP are the most common modules.

2. Metrics and Security

Monitoring the performance of your website is vital. The metrics module provides access to powerful insights that can help you to make better decisions about your website. The common modules for metrics include bandwidth, raw access, Awstats, concurrent connection usage, and visitor information.

Storing sensitive security information like passwords, usernames, and financial information is a big concern for a website. The security module of the cPanel will keep an eye on the security settings. The common modules in security include IP blocker, SSH access, hotlink protection, two-factor authentication, Let's Encrypt, ModSecurity, and leech protection.

3. Email

With the help of the cPanel, you'll be able to manage the email module in a better way. Some common modules in the email include address importer, auto-responder, default address, encryption, email wizard, global filter, track delivery, and email disk usage.

4. Managing Domain Names

cPanel lets you manage all the sub-domains and domains associated with your account. Find the domain section and manage everything from redirects to add-on domain.

You'll be able to add a new domain for a newly installed WordPress website. It lets you create additional domains that you can incorporate into other sites. With redirects, you'll be sending them to other URLs.

Make subsections of your website instead of managing new domains. With the Aliases feature, you'll be able to link other domain to your primary domain. The extra domains serve as the aliases where the website is available on the domains that you specify.

5. Managing Files in cPanel

It is the most important module in the panel as it allows you to upload and manage all the files in your system directly. You don't need to use the FTP clients with this module, and it lets you set privacy levels and take complete backups.

Some common modules in this include backup wizard, disk usage, directory privacy, FTP accounts, FTP connections, web disk, images, and Inode counter. The dashboard has features for viewing files and changing them based on your site's need. You'll be able to access all features via the file manager in cPanel.

6. Database Management

With a content management system, many websites use a database to store posts & settings and information. With cPanel Web Hosting, you'll be able to manage different database modules.

7. Installing WordPress from cPanel

Most hosts provide you with a software installer tool in cPanel, which makes it easy to install WordPress and other open-source content management systems like Joomla and Drupal.

You will generally find the WordPress installer tool in the app installers or scripts section. Once you click on the WordPress option, you need to enter the requested information.

After that, click the install option. When the installation process is completed, use the web browser to view the location that you entered. If WordPress is not available as a cPanel add-on, manually download it from the WordPress website and follow the installation process.

8. Back-up Your Website

The best part about cPanel is; it lets you take a backup of your website so that you don't have to worry if something happens to your site. In the interface, you need to locate the backup wizard.

It is generally located in the main section of the files. Simply click on the backup button to start backing up your website. You'll also be shown a screen where you'll have two options.

  • The first option will show you a full backup of your site.
  • The second option will show you a partial backup.

Once the process of backup is complete, you'll be able to download it.

D. Pros and Cons of cPanel Web Hosting

1. Pros of cPanel Web Hosting

  • Easy to use and uncomplicated interface
  • It saves time and effort
  • It includes many software auto-installers including WordPress
  • It provides backup features
  • Plenty of tutorials and online support available

2. Cons of cPanel Web Hosting

  • Many features can be confusing at times
  • Some hosts may run outdated software
  • May accidentally change important settings in the site
  • It is not available with most free hosting

To sum up;

cPanel Web Hosting is the most used and accessible panel that makes it popular among web developers and site owners. cPanel is designed to simplify the management of website hosting account for an average user.

It lets you add your emails, makes backups easy, and helps you to install many web applications and open-source software.

When getting started with your website, your hosting provider will provide you with access to the cPanel. So, you'll be able to customize your site with the available plugins and tools.

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