Use your cPanel to the full

A cPanel guide for beginners. (1): overview

By Michael Scannell

A free extra with your Web hosting package

You don’t have to be a geek

cPanel is an online control panel you can use to add features to your Web site, and see how everything is working. All the best Web hosting providers—including Web Costa Blanca—make it available to website owners.

It’s easy to access. Once you have got used to it, you will be impressed by what you can do. And it comes free with your hosting package.

Michael Scannell

Michael is the Web Costa Blanca webmaster.

He has worked on many Web sites, both large and small, in Spain and the UK.

So how do I get in?

  1. Get on to the home page of your site.
  2. Look in the address bar (just under the top title bar) where the name of your Web site will be displayed. It may read just http://www.mydomain.com/, or it may include your home page name, e.g., http://www.mydomain.com/index.html.
  3. Whichever it reads, change it to http://www.mydomain.com/cpanel/. Use your own real domain name, of course, and make sure you include the / after cpanel. Then press ‘Enter’ or your return key.
  4. You will be prompted for your site username and password. (You will have been given these by your hosting provider. Web Costa Blanca spells them out in a big system e-mail with the subject ‘Your new site is up.’) Enter them.
  5. If all is well, up will come the cPanel home page. Bookmark it, or add it to your ‘Favorites.’
The cPanel homa page

Now take control

At the top of the screen is a message asking you to update your details.

A cPanel tipIf you have changed your e-mail address since you signed up for Web hosting, click on the word here at the end of this message, and update it. For this, it’s best to use an e-mail address which has nothing to do with the site. If there are site problems, how will your hosting provider contact you? Use an e-mail address you got from your ISP.

On display
Much more interesting are the icons which fill most of the screen, and the blue information area to the left. I’ll be taking you through the icons in later parts of this guide. For the moment, let’s look at what you can find out from the information area.

General account information: here the most interesting details are the amount of disk space you are using, and the amount you have left available. If you have a lot of space, you could consider subscribing to a cheaper hosting package the next time you renew your hosting. Equally, if there’s only a little space left, you could consider upgrading your package. The same applies if your bandwidth is either low or close to your limit. (The bandwidth figure you see here is for the current month. For more detail you need to look at one of your statistics packages in “Web/FTP stats.” I’ll be covering this option in a later part of this guide, but explore it now if you’re curious.)

Not sure what bandwidth is? Check here in our FAQs.

Also in this section you can see how many e-mail features are available, and how many you are using. Part 2 of this guide will cover setting up e-mail addresses.

General server information: will be of most interest to the technically minded. With one exception. If you find the row for Documentation and click on the link Click to view, you will be able to read the official cPanel manual. It’s not hugely friendly if you’re just starting out—which is why I am writing this guide—but you can use it to track down anything you’re already keen to find out about.

Or you can just click on icons which look interesting, and see what’s on offer. In later parts of this guide I will be covering each option in detail—but why not have a look round now?

Next tutoral in this Cpanel beginners’ guide: how to set up e-mail addresses

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