Someone brilliant once said some derivative of the following: “Ask yourself, ‘Is it in my control right now?’ If the answer is ‘no,’ there is nothing you can do about it at this present moment, so don’t focus on it. Focus on what you can control right now.” Please feel welcome to comment below if you know who it was who uttered those magnificent words.
During these unpredictable times, when the events to come seem to be a bit out of our control, it is nice to focus on that which we can control. Namely, our web hosting by using a solid control panel such as cPanel!
This blog post will cover just some of the many features and benefits cPanel has to offer. Additionally, we will discuss the ‘Shared Hosting cPanel Overview’ Webinar brought to us by Hostwinds’ very own Front-Line Support Team Agent, Kyle D! This video will walk you through all the cPanel tools and utilities you have at your fingertips when you sign up for Hostwinds Shared Hosting.
Before we get into the juicy cPanel specifics, check out our last two blog posts reviewing certain pertinent details of previous Hostwinds Webinars:
READ THE GUIDE: Hostwinds Client Area Overview
READ THE GUIDE: Cloud Control Overview
cPanel particulars here we come!
What is cPanel?
cPanel is a very, very popular Linux-based control panel for web hosting. You can manage your hosting with the various tools offered by this powerful control panel. cPanel is known for its user-friendly interface, and it was designed to be quite easy to navigate through.
The following excerpt from our “cPanel And WHM Overview” offers a concise synopsis of what cPanel is and does:
“cPanel is a web hosting control panel created by cPanel, Inc., that allows for the management and administration of websites and their related services.”
Notable cPanel Features:
- MySQL database creation & management tools
- SPAM filtering options
- File management features
- Cron jobs options
- Website management features
- MariaDB database management tools
- Email account features
Speaking of ‘Email account features,’ according to that “cPanel And WHM Overview” guide we mentioned above, “With cPanel you are able to configure the email accounts, forwarders and autoresponders, and includes SpamAssassin to help filter and catch any inbound spam sent to your mailboxes. You also have to option to set up DNS records for your emails to ensure your emails are authenticated and verified by your recipients’ inboxes so that they do not get filtered to spam or junk folders.”
More cPanel Core Features:
- FTP account creation & management tools
- SSH features
- Shopping cart features
- FTP statistics
- DNS zone management features
- Mail forwarding tools
- Domain & subdomain management options
- Site-building tools
- Autoresponder options
On top of all that, “cPanel can often come with Auto Installer software. At Hostwinds, we use Softaculous for our preferred Auto Installer on our shared web hosting, and offer a Softaculous license on both VPS and Dedicated Servers.” That was yet another quote from our “cPanel And WHM Overview” guide.
While we’re on a roll quoting this comprehensive guide, one last passage for the road:
“You are also able to use cPanel to create password-protected directories, configure or install any SSL certificates, and even blacklist any IP addresses that are unwanted to your site. And using the cPanel File Manager allows you immediate and direct access to upload, download, edit, or manipulate the files and directories within the webserver without the need for connecting FTP clients.”
Benefits of Working With cPanel:
- It’s incredibly user-friendly
- It contains features for newbies as well as experts
- You can back up your cPanel, and it isn’t difficult to do
- It is super secure
- It works with various other applications
RELATED: WHM vs cPanel Guide
From a practical standpoint, cPanel is a good way to go if you’d like to manage your hosting. Fortuitously, the latest version of cPanel comes free with every Hostwinds Shared and Business Hosting plan! On that note, the Hostwinds Webinar in the subsequent section of this blog piece will go over a majority of the tools available to you in your Shared Hosting cPanel account.
cPanel Overview Webinar
Without further delay, the ‘Shared Hosting cPanel Overview’ Webinar presented to you by Support Team Agent, Kyle D:
Production By Hostwinds Support Team Agent, David H.
READ THE GUIDE: A Beginner’s Guide to cPanel
There you have it – the myriad of cPanel features available for Shared Hosting clients.
In case you missed them, here are a few protips and pointers Kyle mentions in this Webinar:
1. FILES SECTION >> ‘Weebly’ Link:
“This is a great way if you want to get an easy website up and running. Now, all you have to do is make sure your domain is selected in the drop-down and click ‘Add.’” Kyle goes on to demonstrate how to publish your Weebly website.
RELATED: Weebly Website Builder Blog Post
2. FILES SECTION >> ‘Directory Privacy’ Link:
“One nice part about cPanel is the ‘Directory Privacy.’ For example, say you only wanted people with a password to be able to access a certain directory. Now, what we would do is name it, and then you’ll create a username[…]. […]it is now password-protected, so only people with the credentials can check it out.”
3. FILES SECTION >> ‘FTP Accounts’ Link: “By default, you can connect to FTP using the cPanel credentials that are set up when you order your web hosting with us. You can also create new ones if you wanted to give somebody specific access to a certain directory rather than the entire file system.”
Before explaining how to create a MySQL database within the DATABASES section, Kyle offers a quick note about FTP connections: “You can only have up to eight concurrent FTP connections. Any more are likely to fail.”
4. DOMAINS SECTION >> ‘Site Publisher’ Link:
“[…]the Site Publisher is a very basic tool to get a web page up. As you can see, there are different themes used for different things. For example, there is a simple ‘About Me,’ ‘Under Construction,’ and things like countdowns.”
5. DOMAINS SECTION >> ‘Zone Editor’ Link:
“By default, the Zone Editor sets up all of your DNS records you’ll need for a functional website and email. Most of these you will not need to touch, but in some cases, you may want to point your domain to another IP address or possibly change your MX record, which is in charge of mail. So if you had your mail delivered elsewhere, this is the record you would want to change.”
6. EMAIL SECTION >> ‘Forwarders’ & ‘Mailing Lists’ Links: “For ‘Forwarders,’ this is how we are going to forward mail from one email address to another.”
“For ‘Mailing Lists,’ this is how you can create an email that will send mail to other users.”
7. EMAIL SECTION >> ‘Track Delivery’ Link: “This one will show you any incoming or outgoing messages. It will show you if they have failed, if they have been deferred, or if they have been accepted along with information here.”
8. EMAIL SECTION >> ‘Email Deliverability’ Link: “cPanel will provide you with some tips in case there are specific DNS records to be set up in order to properly authenticate your domain when sending email.”
Kyle also noted that ‘Email Disk Usage’ enables you to “see how much space is used by all of your mailboxes.”
9. METRICS SECTION >> ‘Resource Usage’ Link:
“[…]this is pretty important, it’s the ‘Resource Usage.’ When it pops up, it will let you know if there’s been any recent issues, but if you go to ‘Current Usage,’ which is also available through this ‘Details’ button, it will show you the resource usage of your hosting over the past time frame[…]. It will also let you know how many inodes you are using, which is also available from the cPanel main page.”
Onto some notable points mentioned about the SECURITY section.
10. SECURITY SECTION >> ‘IP Blocker’ Link: “The first tool is the IP Blocker. If you would like to restrict access to your sites from certain IP addresses or IP address ranges, you can do that here. You would just have to put the IP address or the domain and below it will show you different formats it will accept.”
11. SECURITY SECTION >> ‘SSL/TLS Wizard’ Link: “[…]you can select domains here, and this is for purchasing an SSL. Our Shared Hosting comes with Auto SSL through cPanel, which is a free, domain-validated SSL certificate.”
12. SOFTWARE SECTION >> ‘Cloudflare’ Link: “Cloudflare offers a vast suite of tools for you to use including a DNS manager themselves, so if you wanted to point your nameservers to Cloudflare, then you could manage your DNS on Cloudflare through here if you would like.”
13. ADVANCED SECTION >> ‘Error Pages’ Link: “This lets you set custom error pages for different errors that may come up.”
Reminder: “Keep in mind that if the server cannot be reached through the domain, these won’t come up.”
14. PREFERENCES SECTION >> ‘User Manager’ Link: “It is important to note that these are not cPanel users. These users are either email, web disk, or FTP accounts, and you can add accounts here, or you can see that this will accumulate all the other accounts that you’ve added in other parts of cPanel[…].”
That was just a small sample of the comprehensive cPanel tutorial Webinar provided above. If you have any questions about said Webinar, please feel encouraged to comment below!
Stay Present & Focus on That Which You Can Control Now
To sum up, cPanel is awesome. To sum up the theme of this year thus far, if it’s not in your control right now, figure out what it is that is in your control right now, and try to do that. If there isn’t much now that is in your control presently, leave it to the powers that be, and try not to worry.
Oh wait, one more thing! Have you seen Hostwinds’ “Webinars Archive” Knowledge Base Guide? Click the link below if you are interested in reviewing any of the Webinars Hostwinds has published previously:
Lastly, all of us here at Hostwinds would like to tell you that we have your back during these times, and always. Amongst all the changes occurring, one thing will remain constant – our willingness to help. Please feel welcome to comment below with some more positive encouragement pertaining to recent events. While the world is practicing ‘social distancing,’ let’s forge our own connections in a different way. Let’s use this space to be there for one another! Be well, dear friends. Be well.