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How to Use CPanel – The 7 Most Important Features of Your Web Hosting Control Panel

How to Use CPanel - The 7 Most Important Features of Your Web Hosting Control Panel

If you’re hosting your website on a Linux server (most hosting companies) you’ll receive a web-based control panel called CPanel. This allows you to manage your website using a graphical interface. This enables you to create e-mail accounts, FTP your files, install scripts, blogs and view your website statistics.

Let’s look at the most important features of CPanel in greater detail

1. Site statistics

CPanel provides AWstats to monitor your website’s performance. This software displays the number of visits and hits your site receives on a daily, weekly and yearly basis. AWstats shows you where your traffic is coming from eg countries, external links, browsers and search engines. It also tracks the keywords people are entering into the search engines to find your web pages. Monitoring your site statistics helps you to observe which traffic strategies attract the most visitors.

2. E-mail management

Your hosting control panel enables you to create and manage e-mail accounts. Here are some of the features associated with e-mail management:

  • Spam assassin: install software to filter out spam e-mails from e-mail accounts
  • Webmail manager: enables access to your e-mail accounts from a web-based control panel
  • Auto responders: enables automatic messages to be sent back to the sender
  • E-mail forwarders: enables a copy of all the e-mail from one e-mail account to be sent to another
  • E-mail domain forwarders: allows forwarding of e-mail from one domain to another
  • Create and manage email accounts associated with your domain name

3. File management

This allows you to create backups and transfer website files to the server using FTP (file transfer protocol).

  • File backups: use the backup Wizard to download your entire website (files, databases, e-mail accounts) to a zipped file on your computer. It enables you to restore your files with one click.
  • File manager: use this feature FTP or File Transfer Protocol) to transfer the website files on your computer to the server. Make sure all your files are uploaded to the public.html folder on the server. This occurs live within your browser so your uploaded files will appear immediately on the web.

4. Install MySQL databases

  • Databases: these are needed for the installation of software such as WordPress, Joomla, scripts, etc.
  • phpMyAdmin: this is a great tool for managing your databases, tables, fields, relations, indexes, users, permissions and so on).

5. Software installation

  • Fantastico: enables easy installation of software that includes: blogs, forums, content management systems (CMS), e-commerce shopping carts, image galleries, mailing lists, polls, surveys, site builders and scripts. Your specific Web hosting plan may not have all these features enabled so check with your web host before utilizing them.

6. Domain management

  • Parked domains: this is where you park one domain on top of another. For example if you register 2 domains for the same business you can direct both to the same web address by parking one on top of the other.
  • Subdomains: this allows you to create another website in the subdirectory (or folder) of your current one.
  • Redirects: enables you to redirect one web page to another. For example if you have a web page with a long URL you can redirect it to one that has a short, easy to remember URL.

7. Security

  • Password protection: this allows you to limit access to a particular folder on your website by allocating a username and password. Only those people who have the login information will be able to access that folder.

The reason that CPanel is widely used and very popular with web hosting companies is that it’s a quick and easy system for managing your website.

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Nuzul Nazera has 10 years of experience in the Business Development, IT and Multimedia sector. She co-founded Qira Studio's, Suviva Media & Tasbih Network also a leading Malaysia online consultancy.

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