Getting Started With Cpanel Account
NOTE: There are more tutorials about Cpanel in our Help Desk
cPanel is the most popular Linux control panel around, and if you are using linux web hosting services then you are likely to have access to the cPanel control panel so that you can easily manage your web hosting account. Although cPanel as a control panel is fairly easy to use, some of the advance features that it has on offer may be confusing to those who are using cPanel for the first time meaning that it is always a good idea for such people to know what they are doing. If you are using web hosting for the first time then you may find any web hosting control panel confusing to use, and because of this you should follow guides on how to setup your web hosting account correctly using cPanel. If you are looking into using a web hosting provider that offers cPanel web hosting then you should make use of their cPanel demo before purchasing any web hosting services, since by doing this you are able to decide whether the control panel is right for you or not. The same can be said for VPS and dedicated server administrators; a certain level of knowledge is needed to be able to manage a VPS server or dedicated server properly, and if you are going to be using a control panel then it is important for you to ensure that you will be able to manage your server correctly using he control panel as well.
What’s the difference between WHM and cPanel?
What some people don’t realise is that there are two different sides to cPanel; there is the actual cPanel side which provides users with client side access so that they can manage their web hosting accounts with ease. There is also the WHM side which allows the system administrator to manage a majority of the server settings involved with running cPanel, whilst both reseller webhosting providers can manage their clients and web hosting packages using WHM. The two different sides to cPanel mean that it is easier for those who are running it to manage it, plus it keeps the activities of web hosting customers and reseller clients separate. Both control panels operate individually meaning that each has a separate interface; cPanel itself comes with a very much client orientated GUI, whilst the GUI of WHM is designed for those who are slightly more technical minded. It is important to note that as a reseller you will be using WHM, whilst as a web hosting customer you will be using cPanel.
How do I get started with cPanel then?
You will find that your web hosting provider has enclosed the URL to cPanel for you in your welcome email, along with your client side access details; in the case that you have purchased a reseller hosting account then you will also find that you have been emailed the URL for WHM as well as your login details for WHM so that you can manage the different aspects of your reseller hosting account. Most web hosting providers run both cPanel and WHM via secure connections; however, this still means that the classic ways of accessing cPanel and WHM are through ‘http://www.yourdomain.com/cpanel’ and http://www.yourdomain.com/whm’, respectively. Other services that cPanel runs can also be accessed through specific URLs; i.e. webmail can be accessed through ‘http://www.yourdomain.com/webmail’. As cPanel is relatively easy to use, once you have logged into either cPanel or WHM there is relatively little more for you to do, except to configure the certain settings of your web hosting account that you need set to ensure that your website is able to function correctly. The most important features of cPanel and WHM that you should take into consideration when first logging in include:
- Changing your account password - when you first login to cPanel or WHM it is recommended that you change your password from the one which you have been provided with by your web hosting provider; by doing this you are able to ensure the security of your account as it means that you will be the only one who knows it – if your web hosting providers needs access to your web hosting account for one reason or another then this can be done by them through WHM as they have the ability to access any web hosting account without the need for the account password
- Setting your account email address – it is important for you to set an email address on your web hosting account if it hasn’t already been done by your web hosting provider when they set up your hosting account – if you attach an email address to your web hosting account then you will be automatically by cPanel for certain acitivities, such as when a new application is installed into your web space by Fantastico – this does add an extra security measure to your account since you will know if your account has been compromised in one way or another
- Move module boxes – with the cPanel control panel you can easily move around the different modules boxes/sections that you are presented with on the homepage of the control panel, and through your use of cPanel you will probably find that there are certain modules which you use more than others – this means that you can move the modules that you use most to the top of the page, and the ones which you don’t use or don’t use that often to the bottom of the page so that you only see the ones that you want to, this will help you to be more organised.
cPanel is easy to get started with, you just need to know your way around the control panel. cPanel itself provides you with an introductory tutorial which will tell you how to use a majority of the control panel’s basic features, although for more advance features you can make use of internet tutorials to help you out. If there are other features of cPanel or WHM that you are unsure about then you should contact your web hosting provider who should be able to help you out.
I’m more use to using another control panel, what is cPanel able to offer me that other control panels can’t?
cPanel is able to offer users a wide range of features that aren’t found in other Linux web hosting control panels, and that is one of the reasons that it is the number one choice for both web hosting providers and their customers. cPanel has been around for over 10 years meaning that it has the advantage of age and experience, but this also means that it has gained a large and trusting fan base who expect the control panel to live up to their expectations. A majority of the features offered by cPanel are geared towards Linux web developers who are using scripting languages such as PHP and Perl in conjunction with popular Linux database systems such as MySQL server and PostgreSQL; however, there are still the basic features in place to ensure that those who just want to host simple HTML websites are able to without having too much hassle. The main features that cPanel is able to offer end users include:
- A separate reseller panel – cPanel’s separate reseller control panel, WHM (Web Host Manager), is one thing which sets the control panel apart from other Linux web hosting control panels that are available – it proves resellers with advance management tools that they can make use of to keep their reseller hosting account in order – if you have your own VPS server or dedicated server running cPanel then you can also make use of WHM to manage different aspects of your server including Apache and the email services related to cPanel
- PHPMyAdmin integration – cPanel comes with PHPMyAdmin as standard which means that cPanel clients can manage their MySQL databases on the fly using a web interface instead of having to use a desktop MySQL database management application – as long as users have access to a computer which has the internet as well as a web browser installed then they can make use of PHPMyAdmin – users can still make use of desktop database management applications if they have a preference in this area, although PHPMyAdmin is the recommended solution
- Seamless account migration – as a system administrator or reseller you can make use of WHM to seamlessly migrate web hosting accounts over from other cpanel based web hosting servers – being able to offer such a service to potential clients will make your web hosting plans look more appealing since it means in theory that you can easily transfer over the accounts of new clients from their existing web hosting provider with little or no downtime, that is taking into consideration that they have already changed their domain’s nameservers to those for you.
Such features show that cPanel is a control panel that is ahead of other Linux web hosting control panels quite a bit, and thats why you will find it available for Linux VPS servers and dedicated servers as well as on standard shared hosting packages.
In conclusion, it is very easy to get started with cPanel. The features offered by cPanel that aren’t found with any other Linux web hosting control panel ensure that it is the number one choice for Linux web hosting providers, but the one thing to remember is that web hosting providers wouldn’t use it if it wasn’t easy for clients to get used to it. cPanel is used by many web hosting providers to offer shared web hosting and reseller web hosting services, but it is also available for VPS servers and dedicated servers in some cases.