What is cPanel?

cPanel is a Linux-based user-friendly control panel or dashboard that allows you to manage your web hosting server. With more than one million active users, it is one of the most popular tools used by web hosts. 

Usually, most affordable hosting plans license cPanel, whereas premium hosts develop their own dashboard. But whatever the case is, all cPanel dashboards are designed to make your work as a web administrator easier.

In this article, we’ll explain what cPanel is and how it can be used to maximize your web hosting plan.

What is cPanel?

Basically, cPanel is a simplified interface for handling server management tasks with the help of built-in applications and other control tools. 

Bluehost cPanel screenshot
Bluehost cPanel

Is cPanel Free?

As a third-party software, cPanel is not free; however, most web hosting providers offer it as part of their web hosting package. So you don’t have to pay separately for the service. On the other hand, other web hosts may charge you an extra fee for access to the platform.

How To Login To Your cPanel Dashboard

Not every host offers cPanel, but If your web host supports the service, you should receive an email containing a link and other necessary information to access your cPanel dashboard.

Alternatively, you can log in to your cPanel through the following processes:

Step 1

If your website’s address is not secured (that’s if it starts with HTTP), type your URL, colon, and 2083 in the address bar.

The result should look like this: http://mysite.com:2082

If your website’s address is secured (that’s if it starts with HTTPS), type your URL, colon, and 2083 in the address bar.

The result should look like this: http://mysite.com:2083

Step 2

Press the enter button, and you’ll be directed to a page where you can input your cPanel username and password.

Features of cPanel

cPanel helps users easily manage and host a website to carry out domain management, database management, and other web management functions.

It can also be used to install several web server apps such as WordPress through the Softaculous app/script.

In addition to these two points, here are some of the other reasons why web admins prefer cPanel:

  • User-friendly interface
  • Cost-effective
  • Secure
  • Support for multiple domains 
  • Highly compatible 
  • Flexible
  • Saves time
  • Large collection of software
  • Easy management of emails
  • Backup and expansion support
  • Robust database support 

Related: Best WordPress Hosts

What Can You Do With cPanel?

You can do a handful of things with cPanel, but we’ll narrow the list down to feature the most important ones.

WordPress Installation 

Depending on your expertise and installation method, installing WordPress through your cPanel dashboard is a stress-free task that shouldn’t exceed five minutes. Most web hosting providers offer auto-installers or one-click installation scripts such as Softaculous, QuickInstall, and Fantastico.

To install WordPress using any of these applications, follow the steps below. 

  1. Login to your cPanel dashboard
  2. Go to the auto-installer section
  3. Click on the WordPress icon
  4. Fill out the install form

Creating Customized Email

cPanel can also be used to create a customized email address (containing your domain name) for your website/brand. It only requires a few clicks.

  1. Login to your cPanel dashboard
  2. Go to the email section
  3. Click on Email Accounts
  4. Enter the necessary details (domain, email address, and password)
  5. Click Optional Settings to set your preferred storage space for the email
  6. Click Create Account

Adding Domain And Subdomain 

You can either choose to create addon domains or subdomains with cPanel.

Addon domains are used to host additional websites on a particular hosting plan and cPanel dashboard.

A subdomain is a domain within another domain.

For example, if your domain is: mywebsite.com, your subdomain could be support.mywebsite.com or blog.mywebsite.com.

Follow these steps to create an addon domain:

  1. Login to your cPanel
  2. Scroll to the Domain section 
  3. Click Domain

To add a subdomain, follow the steps above and click on the Subdomain icon.

Uploading And Managing Files

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) can be used to upload and manage files on cPanel. But for a more seamless process, the built-in File Manager is your best bet.

  1. Login to cPanel
  2. Click File Manager under the files section
  3. Navigate 

From then on, you can perform different tasks like file uploading and editing using the different tools on the top bar.

Website Backup

Losing site data is a nightmare that no web admin wants to experience. Thankfully, you can avoid this bottleneck by manually backing up your website in four simple steps.

Login to cPanel

  1. Go to files
  2. Select Backup or Backup Wizard (we recommend the latter because it has a slightly better user interface)
  3. Follow the instructions to complete your website Backup

Note: Some hosting providers might impose limits.

Final Thoughts

cPanel is an excellent control dashboard or server management tool for managing your web server and hosting plan. So, whether you’re a new website owner or an experienced developer, you’ll find its simplified interface and wide range of features useful.