If you have a hosted website, most likely you’ve had some exposure to cPanel. It is the most popular website control panel and virtually all quality hosting companies use it. In fact, I’ve switched hosting companies several times over the years and I’ve yet to find a good company that uses anything else.
When using cPanel, there are a few tools that you’ll probably use more than others and some you might never use at all. For me, the top three tools I use are Email Accounts, Backups, and MySQL Databases.
The Email Account Tool
The Email Account tool is located in the appropriately titled mail section, which is the second section down on the cPanel screen. This is where you will set up email accounts that you want to use for your website. If you’re building a company website or any website that will have multiple users, you can set up individual email accounts for each person. You can also set up email accounts for personal use as well as separate email accounts for different areas of your website. For instance, one address for your contact page, another for the webmaster, and still another for sales info. Even if they’re all you, no one has to know it. Best of all, the email accounts are pop mail, so you can use them with email programs like Outlook, which makes them really convenient.
The MySQL Databases Tool
The second tool I use all the time is MySQL Databases. You’ll find it in the Databases section, which is the seventh section down. Unless you’re building a static webpage, you’ll most likely end up using some kind of web content management software, possibly several different types of software depending on what you plan to do with your website. For those, you need a database and the MySQL Databases tool is what you use to create your databases and your database user accounts.
The Backups Tool
Finally, I use the Backups tool, which is in the section right below mail. Anyone whose ever had a computer malfunction knows the importance of making backups. Backing up your website is just as important. If you don’t update your site frequently, monthly backups should be good enough. If you update a lot, you might want to back up every day. For me, weekly backups work well.
Always keep consecutive backups stored in a safe place. That way if something happens and your website gets damaged, you can go back and restore from your last good backup. Keeping several copies backed up over a period of time ensures that you will always have a clean copy with minimal data loss, in case you don’t catch the problem right away. You wouldn’t want to go to your most recent backup and find that it’s damaged and not have an earlier clean one.
If I could wish for any improvements to cPanel, it would be for a favorites section at the top of the cPanel screen, where I could drag and drop my favorite or most used tools for easy access. It would make things more convenient than having to scroll up and down the screen when I am working on my website.
cPanel is the best control panel there is and it makes setting up and managing my websites a breeze. Once you’ve used cPanel, you won’t want to use anything else.
Web Hosting Expert
@JulianaP16 on Twitter is a webmaster who’s happy to assist with any of your web hosting concerns. Join her here in the support forum where she’s happy to answer your questions on Web Hosting with CPanel. InMotion Hosting are Based in Los Angeles and well known for their US based support, not just for the privalidged dedicated server but for shared hosting and VPS hosting alike.