Read below to understand the basics of a cPanel dashboard.
By deafult, cPanel will put the Files section first on your dashboard. Note that you can change the order in which your tools appear in cPanel using the drag & drop method.
The Files section in cPanel includes the following tools – File Manager, Images, Directory Privacy, Disk Usage, Web Disk, FTP accounts, FTP Connections, Backup
- File Manager allows you to manage all files connected to your account, including renaming, uploading, and deleting them. You can also get to your file manager using the Quick Links section at the top left of your cPanel.
- Images lets your manage images that have been previously saved to your account.
- Directory Privacy allows you to set a password to protect certain directories of your account.
- Disk Usage helps you monitor your account’s available space.
- File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a fast and convenient way to transfer large files online. We have a tutorial on FTP here.
The Databases section allows you to create MySQL databases and users, and to modify and access to them. SQL stands for Structured Query Language. SQL is an international standard in querying and retrieving information from databases. There are several tools in the cPanel Database section:
- phpMyAdmin: manage a single database as well as a whole MySQL server.
- MySQL Database & MySQL Database Wizard: allows you to store and manage large amounts of information over the web; these are essential to running web-based applications like bulletin boards, content management systems, and online shopping carts. The Wizard guides you through setting up a MySQL database and user privileges.
- Remote MySQL: You can use this to add a specific domain name so visitors can connect to your MySQL databases.
Clicking on the Web Applications section will open Installatron; this is where you can install different applications (WordPress, Omeka, etc.) to your domain. My Apps will list your currently installed applications and All Applications will allow you to browse the directory of software available for installation in your account.
To understand more about web applications, click here.
The Domains section of cPanel allows you to manage your addon domains, subdomains, aliases and redirected domains. Additionally, you can use the Simple Zone Editor (and in some cases, the Advanced Zone Editor) to map different parts of your domain to different services.
- Addons act as a
secondwebsite with its own unique content, but you are required to register the new domain name before you can host it. For example:www.seconddomain.com
- Subdomains act as a second website with its own unique content without having to register a new domain name. Instead, you use your existing domain name and change the www to another relevant term. For example: help.reclaimhosting.com
- Redirects map old domains to your existing domain.
- Aliases allows you to create additional domain names to be mapped to the current domain.
The Email section in cPanel allows you to do many different tasks with email accounts. This includes creating and removing email accounts, forwarding email, etc.
- Accounts: Allows you to create e-mail accounts, as well as pick your passwords for them. You can manage e-mail accounts separately for each domain.
- Forwarders: This allows you to send a copy of any incoming email from one address to another so that you only have one inbox to check. You can also use this section to forward all email accounts from one domain to another.
- MX Entry: Allows you to reroute a domain’s incoming mail to a specific server; this is used to create a backup mail exchanger to take care of email in case a server fails.
- AutoResponders: Set up an email account to send automated emails.
- Default Address: This feature will “catch” emails that are sent to an invalid email address for your domain.
- Mailing Lists: Creating a mailing list allows you to use a single address to send an email to multiple addresses.
- Track Delivery: Exactly what it sounds like; track the delivery route of a specific email.
- Global Filters: This interface allows you to create and manage your server filters for all of the email that your domains’ email accounts receive.
- Email Filters: Create and manage email filters for individual email addresses to avoid spam and redirect mail.
- Authentication: Helps prevent spam so incoming and outcoming messages can be detected with verifiable information.
- Address Importer: Allows you to create multiple email addresses or forwarders for your account. These can be imported on a CSV or XLS file from your computer.
- Apache SpamAssassin: is a filter that identifies spam by using a range of tests with statistical methods.
- Encryption: allows for messages to be encrypted with a “public key”, and decrypted with a “private key” that is retained by the intended recipient of the message.
- BoxTrapper: Protects your inbox from spam by requiring all email senders not on your Whitelist to reply to a verification email before you can receive their mail.
- Calendars and Contacts Client Configuration: enables you to access calendars and contacts on personal devices. With the new release, this is currently only available for Apple-distributed clients.
cPanel offers a number of different monitoring and statistic tools to help you administer your hosting account. The Metrics section of cPanel includes Visitors, Errors, Bandwidth, Raw Access, Awstats, Analog Stats, Webalizer and Webalizer FTP.
- Visitors: Use this to see your 1,000 most recent visitors for each of your domains.
- Errors: This displays the last 300 errors on your site; helpful if looking for missing files or broken links.
- Bandwidth: Bandwidth, also called data transfer rate, is usually expressed in bits per second (bps), and represents the amount of data transmitted through a connection over a period of time. Use this function to view the bandwidth usage for your site; see total usage, or by month. Includes web and mail usage.
- Raw Access: This is another stats function that allows you to see who has visited your website without graphics. A downloadable zip file of your site’s activity is availble.
- Awstats: Allows you to see your website visitors with visual aides.
- Analog Stats: lightweight summary of your website visitors; simple summary.
- Webalizer: complex stats program; view stats by domains, hits, files, pages, etc.
- Webalizer FTP: Uses the same concept as Webalizer, but uses FTP protocol.
- Metrics Editor: allows you to choose what stats programs you will use when viewing site statistics.
- CPU and Concurrent Connection Usage: gives an overview of resource usage and any issues that might have occurred.
cPanel has an entire security section devoted to protecting different parts of customer web sites from unauthorized access. The cPanel Security section includes SSH Access, IP Blocker, SSL/TLS, Hotlink Protection, Leech Protection and ModSecurity.
- SSH Access: allows secure file transfers and remote logins online. Watch our video on how to manage SSH Keys on Reclaim Hosting here.
- IP Blocker: This
fuctionallows you to block a range of IP addresses to prevent them from accessing your website. This is done by simply searching a qualified domain name.
- SSL/TLS: The SSL/TLS Manager will allow you to generate SSL certificates, certificate signing requests, and private keys. These are all parts of using SSL to secure your website. Information is sent encrypted instead of in
- Hotlink Protection: prevents other websites from directly linking to files on your website.
- Leech Protection: prevents your users from giving out or publicly posting their passwords to a restricted area of your site
- ModSecurity: protects your website from various attacks using a web application firewall, provides additional tools to monitor your Apache web server.
The Software section of cPanel is located towards the bottom of your cPanel dashboard. The only functions you need to worry about in this category are Optimize Website and Installatron Applications Installer. More specific tools can be found within the Installatron Applications Installer.
- Optimize Website: This function allows you to optimize the performance of your website by tweaking the way Apache handles requests
- Installatron Applications Installer: this function will take you to the
installatroninterface where you can download new web applications, or manage your current ones. Learn more about web applications here.
Check out everything the Advanced section offers below.
- Cron Jobs: allow you to automate certain commands or scripts on your site. For instance, you can schedule a command or script to run at a specific time every week to delete temporary files.
- Track DNS: this allows you to find out information about any domain; trace the route from the server to your computer, for example. This can be helpful to make sure your DNS is set up properly.
- Indexes: this manager customizes the way a directory can be seen (or not seen) online.
- Error Pages: in two simple steps, you can select the domain you wish to work with, and then create/edit error pages for that site that viewers will see.
- Apache Handlers: controls how the Apache web server software manages certain file types and extensions for your site.
- MIME Types: tell browsers how to handle different file extensions.
The Preferences section is new with the new update of cPanel. This section can be found at the bottom of your dashboard.
- Password & Security: allows you to change your cPanel password.
- Change Language: This tool allows you to change the language used in your cPanel Dashboard.
- Change Style: Use this tool to customize your cPanel interface; choose between Basic and Retrothemes.
- User Manager: Find how to use User Manager here.