cPanel Tutorial For Beginners
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cPanel Tutorial For Beginners (10 Things You Must Know)

The Objective

Before we walkthrough the cPanel tutorial for beginners, it is better to briefly go through the introduction on cPanel. So, What Is cPanel? cPanel is a type of control panel software built for Linux OS that gives you the ability to run web hosting tasks using GUI (Graphical User Interface) such as:

  • launching a website,
  • managing email accounts
  • managing domains
  • managing backup
  • managing file transfer, etc.

You may watch the video below to easily learn 10 things you must know in cPanel tutorial for beginners here…

You may also read on to go for more details and use this simple guide as a cPanel demo preview.

Part 1: Introduction And Getting Familiar With cPanel


Firstly, I will show you how to log in to cPanel. If you are using the cPanel control panel on your web hosting, 90% of the time you can log in to your cPanel using any internet browser by typing at the address bar with your domain name [slash] cPanel. (Exp: https:// xyzxyz.com/cPanel) .

If you are unable to log in to your cPanel using this method, then you will need to check your email for the login details when you sign up for the web hosting. Normally, they will send all the web hosting account details by email which will include your cPanel login, ftp login, webmail email settings, nameserver settings, etc.

After you logged in, you will see there are lots of functions and settings in your cPanel dashboard, just follow this guide closely and you will find it easier to get familiar with cPanel.

If you found that your cPanel display is different from my screen, don’t worry because maybe the default theme for cPanel might be different from each different web hosting company, but the functions will still most likely be the same.

First, navigate to the top right of the cPanel and click on your user name you will see a drop-down menu where you can change all the preferences on your cPanel account such as account, contact, password, and also the theme style just like your smartphone theme as you wish.

You can also open or close each functions bar and drag and drop for the sequence base on your preferences. You may want to drag the frequent use app to the top and the less use app to the bottom part. The main functions bar may include:

  • Files
  • Domains
  • Emails
  • Database
  • Software
  • Backups
  • Metrics
  • Security
  • Advanced
  • Preferences, etc.

Because there are so many functions on the main dashboard, you can also easily search the function you need using the search function bar

Don’t get overwhelmed about all these, I will guide you through the only things that you must know for beginners and you will get familiarize with cPanel.

Part 2: File Manager Functions And How To Use It


File manager is an easier function where you can use to upload or download files to your hosting storage without using FTP upload login or installing any other third-party software like FileZilla, etc. It works similarly just like windows explorer where we can view manage all our files in it.

If you would like to upload files to your website, you should upload them to the directory under the public_html folder. This folder by default stores all your WordPress website files where you will see it will contain these 3 folders wp-admin, wp-content, and wp-includes.

Directory under public_html folder is your main domain name where you signed up with the web hosting company. If you have an add-on domain or add-on subdomain, you will see the folders with the add-on domain or subdomain name. Here is where you should upload your files to each individual website.

Notes: If you are not sure which is your WordPress add-on domain folder website, just click on the domain name folder where by default you will see it will contain these 3 folders wp-admin, wp-content, and wp-includes.

Part 3: Domains Or Sub-Domains Settings And How To Add It


If your web hosting account allows you to create more than 1 website, then you can add more domain names using this domain function. The same goes for the subdomain. Just click on the add domain under the domain function to add another domain name. Just make sure after you added the domain name, you will need to point your domain name to your web hosting nameserver from your domain registrar account. You skip nameserver pointing to web hosting if you are adding a subdomain because it will automatically follow the main domain nameserver for each subdomain added.

If you are new, you may be asking what is the difference between domain and subdomain? As a beginner for easier understanding as a laymen explanation by just looking at the address structure.

If the website address is not beginning with www. Infront where you only see 1 [dot] in the website address then this is a domain address. Else if you see 2 [dot] in the website address then it is a subdomain address.

  • Example domain: https:// hahaha [dot] com, https:// hehehe [dot] org, etc. (only 1 [dot] in the website address)
  • Example subdomain: https:// shop [dot] hahaha [dot] com, https:// product [dot] hehehe [dot] org, etc.


The next thing you need to know under the domain function is the DNS Zone editor. For now, you just need to remember that this is the place where you can add records like A records, TXT records, MX records, CNAME, etc. if needed later.

Another thing you need to know under domain function is how to use the redirect function. You can set to redirect your website address to another URL address under this function. Just select redirect type permanent or temporary and the domain you want to redirect and finally add the destination URL.

Part 4: Email Functions


In this email function, you can create your professional email account under your domain name. I suggest you should create and use this email account for your website or business purpose because it will be more authority, professional, or not spammy look for your website or business rather using free email account for a business like Gmail, Yahoo, etc.

Your webmail address will look like [email protected] .com, [email protected] .net, etc.

Steps to create a new email account:

  • Step 1: Just click the create button under this email function to create our email account.
  • Step 2: Key in your username and password for this email account
  • Step 3: Select your prefer storage space for this email account. I suggest you select unlimited.

If you don’t want to limit yourself to log in to webmail to check your emails in cPanel, then I would also suggest you check on the checkbox for “Send a welcome email with instructions to set up a mail client” so that you can use that setting to setup app like Gmail, Outlook, etc. on your smartphone to log in to your webmail anywhere you go.

Part 5: Backup Functions And Settings


The backup function maybe is different from different web hosting. Just look around to find something like schedule backup to set your preferred backup frequency for either incremental files or full backup files. It is pretty straightforward to set up.

In my tutorial video above using one of my dummy web hosts (you may refer to the tutorial video above), this web host backup is set automatically, so for my case I don’t need to set anything. Just take note of where the restore button is located, so that if anything happens to your website, you will know where to hit the restore button.

Part 6: Metrics Functions And What You Should Look For


Under this function, you can click on “Visitors” for simple analytics to view which ip address, date, and which page on your website has been visited.

For more details analytic for your website, you may view it using the “Awstats” function. This is an awesome function in cPanel where you can view lots of statistics data in very detail. Just try around to click on this function in your cPanel to see what you can see.

Part 7: Security Settings And What To Take Note


In these security settings, you need to take note of “SSL/TLS” app, this is where you can install an SSL certificate manually. If your web host comes with a free SSL certificate, you will need to generate the free SSL certificate in the”SSL/TLS Status” app.

It depends on which web hosting you are using, in some cases, you don’t have to generate an SSL certificate manually, they will auto-generate and install for you. Just take note of where to locate this app function.

Part 8: Software Section And 1-Click WordPress Installation


In this software section, you can use the “Softaculous App Installer” or “WordPress Manager” to install WordPress to your website.

The other app you need to know is the “PHP Selector” app. In My Domains tab, is where your can change your PHP version. Just select the latest version, unless you are facing some compatibility issue and you will need to come back here to roll back to an earlier PHP version.

The next tab is the “Extensions” tab where you can turn on or off for your current PHP version feature and functions. Just leave everything as default, you just need to know how to come back to this setting in the future if you need to change something.

The last tab is the “PHP Options”, this is the place you can set the maximum upload_max_filesize, max_execution_time, memory_limit, post_max_size, etc. You might want to upload a bigger media file size on your WordPress dashboard, so this is the place for you to set.

Part 9: Database Functions And PHPMyAdmin


In most of the new web hosting with 1-click WordPress installation, you don’t need to manually create a database to install WordPress, it will create automatically for you. For beginners, you just need to know “MYSQL Database” is to create or delete the database.

The other option “PHPMyAdmin” PhpMyAdmin is a PHP script meant for giving users the ability to manage with their MySQL databases. Through this app, you can create, change, drop, delete, import, and export MySQL database tables.

Again, you just need to know the location how to come back to your cPanel PhpMyAdmin

Part 10: Advanced Settings And More


In “Advanced Settings” you will see additional functions support by your web hosting company. In my video tutorial, my web host company supported LiteSpeed Web Cache Technology, so you will see the “LiteSpeed Web Cache Manager” app to manage the settings.

Another cool function is the “Cron Job” app. Cron Jobs commands are used for scheduling tasks to run on the web host server automatically at a specific time you scheduled.

Conclusion


As a beginner, if you take note of the 10 parts I mentioned in this article, I can assure you that, you will not feel overwhelmed the next time you log in to your cPanel dashboard. Now, is time to take action, I will assign you a task to log in to your cPanel dashboard and follow my 10 parts tutorials again one by one and click around in your cPanel to familiarize yourself.

To start a WordPress website, click here.

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