cPanel explainedcPanel is a commercially available and popular Linux based web hosting control panel for managing all aspects of a web hosting account.

It employs and easy to use Graphical User Interface (GUI) and operates on a three tier hierarchy as follows:

  • Hosting Company
  • Reseller
  • End User

The Hosting Company and the Reseller use a similar interface called Web Host Manager (WHM) where the Hosting Company has the highest level of administration rights and can restrict access to certain features in the Reseller WHM. These restrictions are usually based as much on security (i.e. SSH) as they are on marketing (i.e. allowing Overselling).

The end user has access directly to a cPanel interface where they can perform a comprehensive range of tasks for their website.

In addition, cPanel also has the ability to allow 3rd party vendors to integrate their services into cPanel so that the client can seamlessly access these services via an automated integration.

cPanel can be licensed for both Dedicated Servers and Virtual Private Servers and will run on CentOS, RedHat Enterprise Linux, CloudLinux and FreeBSD.

CPanel supports Apache, MySQL and PHP as well as popular email protocols including POP3, IMAP and SMTP. cPanel is accessed via port 2083.

What Are The Main Features Of cPanel?

cPanel has a comprehensive set of features detailed below by category for ease of use:

cPanel File Management

  • File Manager – Quickly access and manage files (create, edit, remove) without FTP
  • Disk Usage – A graphical way to understand how disk space is being used for better disk management
  • FTP Connections – Gives overview of FTP sessions
  • BackUp and Backup Wizard – Backup Wizard to make backing up website files easy
  • Images – This feature allows users to resize, convert and view images
  • Web Disk – Allows webmasters to view disk space as if on a PC and administer disk space (edit, navigate, upload and download files)
  • Anonymous FTP – Useful for offering files for public download
  • Directory Privacy – Password protect directories for better security
  • FTP Accounts – Manage FTP accounts easily

cPanel Database Management

  • PHPMyAdmin – Third Party GUI Tool for database administration. Ideal for use with MySQL
  • Remote MySQL – Allow databases to be accessed remotely e.g. from other applications on other servers
  • MySQL – Powerful Database to run your web based applications
  • PostgreSQL Databases – Popular Database alternative to MySQL
  • MySQL Database Wizard – Easily create and manage your MySQL Databases
  • PostgreSQL Database Wizard – Easily create and manage your PostgreSQL Databases

cPanel Domain Management

  • Site Publisher – Create a basic website presence or holding page in preparation for a new website
  • Aliases – Redirect domains to different websites
  • Advanced & Simple Zone Editors – Manage various aspects of a domain’s DNS such as A and CNAME Records
  • Addon Domains – Reduce costs by adding domains and creating new websites and email addresses for each without the need to purchase new hosting for each domain
  • Redirects – Setup redirects from a specific page to another one
  • Subdomains – Used to create subsections of a website for a specific purpose such as a company blog or knowledge base

cPanel Email Features

  • Email Accounts – Setup and manage all aspects of email accounts quickly and easily
  • Autoresponders – Useful for sending automated replies to emails received
  • Track Delivery – keep track of emails sent
  • Authentication – Send secure email which has been authenticated
  • Archive – Save emails received and sent for a specified time period
  • Calendars and Contacts – Keep up to date with the calendars and contacts interface
  • Forwarders – Setup email forwarding for specific email addresses
  • Default Address – Any email received which is incorrectly addressed is sent to the default address
  • Global Filters – Set up email filters
  • Encryption – Creates a ‘Public Key’ for secure email communication
  • Configure Greylisting – A basic spam prevention measure
  • MX Entry – Reroute incoming email to another server
  • Mailing Lists – Create one email and send to multiple recipients
  • Email Filters – Useful for redirecting emails, spam prevention or piping emails to applications (i.e. a helpdesk)
  • Apache SpamAssassin – Anti-Spam application
  • BoxTrapper – Prevents unknown emails from hitting your inbox

cPanel Metrics And Analytics

  • Visitors – A complete record of visitors in the Apache log files
  • Raw Access – A zipped version of your server’s visitor logs
  • Webalizer – Website visitor analytics tool
  • Errors – A full set of the most recent errors on your site so you can address any issues
  • AWStats – 3rd Party tool to visualise visitors to your site
  • Webalizer FTP – Metrics tool to show FTP visitors to your site
  • Bandwidth – Shows bandwidth usage
  • Analog Stats – Simple view of website visits
  • Metrics Editor – Select Metrics to run on domains

cPanel Security Features

  • SSH Access – Secure, authenticated connection to the server via the Command Line
  • Hotlink Protection – Prevents bandwidth theft when content embedded on another website
  • ModSecurity Domain Manager – Enable or Disable ModSecurity
  • IP Blocker – Decide if you want to block certain IPs from accessing your site
  • Leech Protection – Restrict the number of logins
  • Two-Factor Authentication – Improved login security
  • SSL/TLS – Enhanced security by managing SSL/TLS and Certificate Requests
  • Security Policy – Set questions verify access from unknown IPs
  • SSL/TLS Wizard – Automate the SSL provisioning process

cPanel Software Applications

  • PHP – Check the server’s PHP configuration
  • RubyGems – Management of Ruby
  • Optimize Website – Tweak Apache responses
  • PHP Pear Packages – Instal PEAR packages so you can run them in PHP
  • Ruby On Rails – Deploy Ruby On Rails Applications
  • MultiPHP Manager – Manage PHP configurations easily
  • PERL Modules – Create PERL Modules so you can create PERL tasks
  • Site Software – Add extra software such as Ecommerce and Bulletin Boards
  • MultiPHP INI Editor – Manage PHP configuration

Advanced cPanel Settings

  • Indexes – Customize the default Apache Index page
  • MIME Types – Set instructions for dealing with different file extensions e.g. .html, .htm
  • CRON Jobs – Automate repetitive tasks at scheduled times, e.g. daily invoice creation
  • Error Pages – Configure how error pages appear to your visitors
  • Virus Scanner – Identify Malware threats
  • Track DNS – Check DNS settings by tracing the route from a PC to the server
  • Apache Handlers – Control file types and extensions
  • API Shell – Used to run cPanel API calls

cPanel Preferences

  • User Preferences – Set User preferences
  • User Manager – Set and edit user rights and permissions

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