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How to Use the cPanel

A big part of managing your Internet business will be knowing how to use the cPanel. For purposes of this post I will be addressing some of the more basic applications available through the Host Gator (HG) cPanel. These functions can all be performed without assistance – but if you need help the HG reps are there to help – always courteous and friendly.

HG_1Setting up your account: The first links you would see allow you to access your account, make changes or update billing information, i.e., credit card information, bank information, etc.; or have a ‘live chat’ with one of the representatives if you run into a snag and need help.

 

HG_2Getting Started with your Website: There are all manner of help to get you started – there is a wizard or you can view tutorial videos. This section also allows you to change passwords, update your contact info, change language and create shortcuts.

 

HG_3Mail is a very necessary part of communicating online. The cPanel is really useful in that you can create multiple mail accounts for your domain(s). It also allows you to forward these mail accounts to 1 ‘catch all’ email account. After all, you don’t have time – nor do you want to monitor dozens of email accounts.

Example: You have a form or place on your website where people can request information. You’ve set up a special email for this form that is ‘requestinfo@yourdomain.com’. Having the email address be ‘requestinfo’ looks much better than ‘johndoe@yahoo.com’. It is not a good idea to have the website email directed to a generic email account. That is not to say you cannot have the email being sent to ‘requestinfo@yourdomain.com’ forwarded to johndoe@yahoo.com – you can. However, it looks much better when the email address is associated with the domain as it is more professional and gives the potential client a more secure feeling.

Some of the other mail functions available are: 

  • Webmail
  • Box Trapper
  • Spam Assassin
  • Forwarders
  • Auto Responders
  • Mailing Lists
  • Filters and more

HG-5filesManaging your files and images is paramount to a successful website. The cPanel allows you to upload and download files if you are not using a stand-alone FTP (File Transfer Protocol) program. The cPanel can also create back-ups of your website(s). This is recommended to be done at least once a week or after any significant changes or updates. In the File section of the cPanel you can also find out about your disk usage, and set up FTP access for anyone else that may need access to your files.

 

HG_6logsLogs give you information related to visitors, band width, error logs and more. Good information for tracking your websites activity. This is especially important if you are planning on a paid advertising campaign. You want to know where to spend your dollars to maximize the return.

 

HG_7securitySecurity is just what it sounds like – security for password protecting your directories, IP deny manager, and more.

 

HG_8domainsDomains in the cPanel allows you to add on new domains (if you have paid for that level of service), create sub-domains, park a domain or do a re-direct. All of these options allow you to maximize your websites.

Databases, Software services and Advanced are for those wanting to take their websites to the next level using MySQL Databases, CGI, Perl, PHP, Ruby on Rails, along with other types of managers.

This is a very basic review of the cPanel but knowing how it works and familiarzing yourself with the functions available can make operating a website or Internet business much easier.


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