Beginners Guide to cPanel (10 Steps to Mastering cPanel)

Are you setting up your own website for the first time? If so, it’s likely you will use cPanel. cPanel can be confusing for a person who has never used a control panel before. What’s worse is that a lot of the guides are so technical that newbies don’t understand them. This is where we come in.

I’m going to give you some great tips and tricks that you can use to make managing your website a lot easier. Let’s get started with the basics.

The Basics


If you know what cPanel is and you have already logged in, feel free to skip this section.

What is cPanel? cPanel is where you are able to manage everything connected to your hosting account. cPanel has an easy-to-understand graphical dashboard, it has regular updates, it’s well-maintained, and it has phenomenal security measures. cPanel is used by most customers to manage their website.

With cPanel, you can:

  • Set up Emails for Your Website
  • Connect Your Domain Names and Your Hosting
  • Install a Content Management System, Such As WordPress
  • Upload Files
  • Monitor Bandwidth Usage
  • Backup Your Website

Other features available to you with cPanel include managing website analytics and installing helpful apps.

How to Login


If this is your first time logging in, use the username and password provided by your hosting provider. The easiest way to login to cPanel is to put in your web address in the search bar and then type 2082 (unsecured) or 2083 (secured).

For example:

        http://www.yourdomain.com:2082 or https://www.yourdomain.com:2083

Next, type in your username and password.

If you need more help, cPanel has some awesome video tutorial links. There’s an abundance of documentation about every facet of cPanel on the Internet listed by topics.

When you login to cPanel, you’ll see a screen that looks like this:

If the cPanel interface you see looks different, no problem. You can change the style under the preference tab of the homepage. From there, click change style. You get the option of choosing basic or retro. Click “Basic” and then click “Apply.” The cPanel will convert to something that looks like the image we shared above.

Using cPanel


On the top of cPanel, there is a search bar that you can use to find functions quickly. Just type in the function are looking for and cPanel will bring it up for you.

Navigation Bar

The navigation bar is found on the top right corner of the screen. You’ll see Account Management, Search Features, Logout, and Notification.

Search Features is basically a search bar that allows you to get anywhere in cPanel.

Account Management lets you change the style, language, contact information, etc. If anything gets messed up, you can reset it all.

Notifications is where you’ll get updates from cPanel, such security concerns, apps that are out of date, as well as other must-know information.

Logout is pretty clear to understand. Just remember to log out every time you’re done with cPanel.

Sidebar

On the left-hand side of your screen, you will see the sidebar. The sidebar has four options. These options are Home, Statistics, User Management, and Dashboard.

  • User Management allows you to add or remove users from your account.
  • Statistics shows things like the number of email accounts you have, FTP accounts, how much bandwidth you’re using, domain names you have, etc.
  • Home takes you to the primary page of cPanel. This is where you access the majority of its functions.
  • Dashboard is where you find the most commonly used links on the site. At a glance, you’ll be able to see things like disk space, mail statistics, and more.

Updating User Preferences


The first time you login to cPanel, visit the Preference section to update your password and your contact information.

Change your password every three months to protect your site from hackers. To do this, use the following steps:

Click “Password & Security” and you’ll see the following screen:

The password generator is a great way to create a super strong password. Write your password down somewhere safe.

Update Your Contact Info

cPanel needs an email that is not attached to the domain name you are hosting so it can send updates if needed. When you click “Contact Information,” you’ll be taken to the following screen:

Leave all the boxes checked so that you get updates if any suspicious activity, hosting problem, or security issue is detected.

Add a New User

If you have someone who you trust helping you with your website, you can add them as a new user by clicking the “User Manager” icon under the preference section. You will be directed to the following screen:

On this page, you’ll see three icons next to each account. There’s an envelope that indicates you can set up an email account. A delivery truck icon indicates the new user has access to FTP. A disk drive icon indicates that the new user has access to web disk services.

It is a simple process to edit, delete, or change any user, change their password, or change any option associated with the account name. You can add a new user by clicking the add user button located on the top right corner.

Managing Domain Names

cPanel allows you to add domain names as you purchase them, manage subdomains, and even redirect your domain to a different site.

The Addon Domains section allows you to create a new domain that can be used in the creation of a fully functioning website. This means that multiple domain names can be hosted using the same control panel.

In the Addon Domains section, you will need to input information like the new domain name, document root, and subdomain.

  • New domain name is the domain name exactly as it is registered without the “www.”
  • Subdomain is where the subdomain of the primary domain on the cPanel account is created. Your visitors will have no idea they’re being redirected from the original domain name.com over to your new domain name.
  • Document Root is the space on the server where new domain files will be located.
Editing/Removing Domain Names

When you are on the “Addon Domain,” you will see a section called “Modify Addon Domain.” It allows you to edit the document root. This is not something we are recommending, but it is a feature that’s available. You can also manage redirections that you put in place. That is one site forwarded to another. You can also remove the domain.

The above-mentioned features are just a few of the basic features available in cPanel.

Other features include:

  • Personalizing settings for email accounts, including forwarding your email to another address and setting up spam filters
  • Managing your files, including creating new folders, uploading files using file manager, and adding FTP accounts so others can upload files
  • Backing up your website and checking your disk space
  • Using one click installs like WordPress, configuring domain names and site names, setting up administrative accounts, selecting a theme, and more

We hope this guide has been useful, simple, and easy to understand. Our goal was to give a brief overview of the most important basic functions of cPanel. Most changes made on cPanel are reversible, but some are not. Make sure you thoroughly understand what you’re doing before you make any changes, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

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