What is cPanel? A Beginner’s Guide

If you are getting into web development, design, and management, then you have surely encountered cPanel when trying to get things done. This dashboard full of icons is an important tool for all the tasks that need doing at the back end of a website. But even if you’ve used it before, you might still be wondering, what exactly is cPanel? How do I use it? What are it’s core features?

In this article, we’ll look at what cPanel is, where you can find it, and how it helps you manage a website – or a number of them.

What Is cPanel?

First things first, what is it? cPanel is essentially a dashboard or control panel full of easy to use tools to make web management easier. There are lots of things that can be achieved inside it, from installing WordPress to creating staging sites and much more.

Most shared hosting servers like Bluehost and GoDaddy use cPanel as their management dashboard. Web developers with dedicated servers or their own servers can also use it as their management system. The interface can be customized to match the look and feel of a hosting server. They can also manage what features to add or take away according to their own preferences for clients.

Before we dive into what you can do with cPanel, let’s see how to access it.

Where is Your cPanel?

You can access the dashboard in a couple of different ways. The easiest way is through your hosting server platform. Siteground has a direct link from your account dashboard. Bluehost has an “advanced” button. Other hosting services have other ways of accessing cPanel but are all usually in your general hosting dashboard.

Another way of accessing it is to use your secure domain URL and add 2083 at the end. Like this:

For HTTP, use :2082 like this

If you have one, the login details are the same as your hosting login. Otherwise, log in with your cPanel login.

What does cPanel look like?

cPanel is a dashboard organized into sections. Depending on your hosting server, the interface can look different from another you’ve seen. That’s because each host can apply their branding and design to how the dashboard looks.

Below is a video from the people at cPanel headquarters that shows the interface without any branding from a specific host. It will give you a nice idea of what it’s all about.

Your Main Information

On the left-hand column of your cPanel is your account information. Here, you will find things like:

  • Your account (hosting) expiration date
  • Your IP address
  • The name servers for your domains
  • Your server’s hostname
  • A search bar to find the cPanel features you need
  • Stats about your domains, email, and storage

Then on the right is the larger area where all the features are found. Read on to learn what all those features are for.

What Can You Do In cPanel?

There are lots of things you can do inside cPanel. Some are more common than others, while others are more granular and not something everyone will need. Below is a list of the most common features.

Posted on January 21, 2023 by Orana Velarde

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