When it comes to web hosting, cPanel is one of the most versatile options you’ve got. Here’s a breakdown of the platform’s most important features.
Consistent branding and marketing are crucial factors for the success of every company. Among many other benefits, these things improve your customers’ experience.
In the modern market, the majority of sales happen online. As such, having a finely tuned website is one of the most important aspects of your marketing. You want your customers to have the perfect experience whenever they visit your page.
To keep up with the fast-paced world of online marketing, your website also needs to be easy to update. Surely, you’ll make periodic adjustments to your offers and programs. When that happens, you want your website to easily reflect the latest developments in your organisation.
The best way to ensure you can make these changes at any time is to implement a website management platform. And for that, cPanel represents the ideal solution.
What Is cPanel?
CPanel provides practically every tool you need to manage your website. The platform has various features and automated site management tools, all provided within a comprehensive graphical interface.
Additionally, cPanel is a very user-friendly server that can be used intuitively. In other words, you won’t need to spend months learning the software to take advantage of its main benefits.
The platform has quite a history behind it. It saw its first release in 1996 and rose to fame almost immediately. The positive reception of cPanel continued through the years, even after it changed owners.
At the moment, cPanel covers more than 12.5% of the market globally.
Besides the functionality that the platform offers in website management, it’s also capable of integration with other tools. This is made possible through cPanel’s API, which gives it great versatility.
In fact, many businesses, particularly hosting providers, use cPanel in combination with other website development and management tools to achieve impressive results.
Often paired with Web Host Manager, cPanel ranks among the favourite tools of web developers. This Linux-based control panel is a proven, reliable tool for industry professionals worldwide. At the same time, it can be run by relatively inexperienced users.
Using cPanel, you’ll gain nearly unlimited control over your website without having to learn to code.
The Key Features
The list of features that cPanel boasts is pretty extensive. The most popular among them cover vital aspects of website management, from ease of use to integrate with numerous applications. Other key features include:
- Basic Functionality. CPanel’s user interface is extremely straightforward. This allows first-time users to jump in and begin utilising different cPanel options right out of the gate. Many features are available with a single click, making your experience almost entirely free of technicalities.
- Website Publishing. With cPanel, this functionality is available at the tip of your fingers. You may choose to build your website from scratch or utilise the platform’s integration with the best site builders.
- Domain Management. This feature allows you to create aliases, create new subdomains or remove old ones, and monitor site visitors and DNS zones.
- Calendar and Email Integration. cPanel allows you to use an email with efficient spam protection. You may also set up and integrate your working calendar into the site.
- File Backup and Management. The platform allows for seamless backup right from the interface, and users can easily transfer files from the panel.
- Customisation Options. cPanel offers branding options for users who require more than regular hosting. The appearance and tool availability can be tailored to your specific needs.
- High Compatibility. The panel has integrated support for the most popular browsers like Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. In addition, many applications are available from third parties, expanding the platform’s functionality even further.
- App Installers. CPanel is integrated with specific app installers that broaden the choice of additional applications for the platform. For example, Softaculous has over 400 apps, including SEO tools and CMS.
- Easy Configuration. Most functions and customisation options will be available with a single click. As mentioned before, cPanel is designed for easy use and you don’t have to be a professional or have extensive experience to set up the platform.
This is not yet an exhaustive list of cPanel’s features. The user interface of cPanel is full of other features that allow users to control the hosting service. Server information is readily available from the dashboard, as are the analytics about resource usage.
Even when used in its “vanilla” state, without additional applications or plugins, cPanel is a powerful tool.
The platform features various file management features, such as a file manager, backup, and FTP accounts. You can upload or modify files with ease, and, in the case of smaller projects, all actions should execute very quickly.
In terms of databases, cPanel can utilise tools like Postgre and MySQL for database communication and remote access.
Security has also been improved, with features like SSL/TLS, hotlink protection, and SSH access readily available.
On top of the premium functionality, cPanel boasts excellent support for all users. While the platform doesn’t have a live chat option, users who find themselves in dire straits can submit a priority phone support request. This type of support comes with a fee, but it’s very worthwhile in the case of more severe issues.
In terms of accessing cPanel, it starts with a simple log in through the address bar on your browser. Users need to enter their website address and add a four-digit number at the end. For HTTP addresses, you should add “:2082”, while for HTTPS addresses, the addition will be “:2083”.
After entering your username and password, you’ll come to the dashboard from which you’ll be able to use cPanel’s options and features.
You can store all relevant contact information, such as your email. The system will then use the address to notify you of account activity. It’s also possible to select which activity warrants notification through contact preferences. If you need to update your phone number, our Concierge Service can take care of this task for you in no time.
Creating databases will also be done straight through the “MySQL Databases” menu. You can add new database users through the menu in a similarly straightforward fashion.
When choosing additional software, you can use the Softaculous installer or the built-in installer. The process will be as easy as finding the desired app, selecting it, and choosing the installation option.
Viewing relevant metrics is another handy feature. You can track statistics with ease and quickly gain insight into the number of visitors or resource usage.
Dedicated tools can give you an extensive report on on-site traffic, with detailed breakdowns by the hour, day, and month. These analyses can be done with current traffic, or you can draw on the data records to compare site performance over larger periods.
There are many advanced features, too. These options are mostly of value to users who know precisely what they’re doing and want to ensure they have complete control over their websites regarding server management, network tracking, and other crucial aspects of management.
For example, you can run automated scripts through Cron Job. These scripts can perform various actions, such as file deletion, once a designated period passes or during a scheduled file backup.
Are There Any Drawbacks?
Of course, cPanel, like every other service, isn’t just all benefits. There are certain drawbacks to this otherwise excellent platform.
For instance, users can’t use cPanel servers for software installation without using the software repositories supplied by the platform. This wouldn’t be a significant issue were it not for the fact that those repositories often don’t receive software updates.
Another downside lies in cPanel’s inability to host streaming, whether it’s MP3 or video. Also, while the platform is easy to use, that doesn’t necessarily mean everyone will be able to use it.
To clarify that last point, most users will need to receive consent for unlimited file access. This can take a lot of time and negatively affect file responsiveness. On the brighter side, the issue can be circumvented by configuring the settings.
One of the most worrying aspects of cPanel is its vulnerability to cyber-attacks. On that front, it would seem that the platform requires more serious security.
For one, the panel relies on two-factor authentication, which doesn’t perform ideally and can be vulnerable to certain types of attack, such as brute force. Secondly, the platform is dependent on the server that manages the software, making it vulnerable to hacking from third-party sources.
Encryption presents a massive issue with cPanel, and users are often recommended to install a VPN to improve online security.
Finally, cPanel isn’t exactly cheap to use. In fact, the platform is more expensive than the competition. While its excellent functionality and versatility may justify the price point, some users might still find the cost too big even when they consider the benefits.
With certain options ranging over $1,000, cPanel is sometimes seen as a solution for medium to large companies. The pricing can drive small businesses away, especially if their resources are limited.
Is cPanel Right for You?
Even considering the drawbacks, cPanel has too many useful features to be ignored. In fact, most users will find everything they need with this platform.
When it comes to web hosting, cPanel is well ahead of the competition. It can achieve, in minutes, what some other platforms would struggle with, and the panel remains user-friendly even in the case of relatively complex tasks.
That being said, there are scenarios in which you might consider an alternative. If security is particularly important and you don’t have advanced needs for web hosting, you might find a different platform more suitable.
However, in most cases, cPanel will prove to be the right choice. If you want to start using this excellent platform, Automation Agency can help you set it up. Get in touch with us and check out our cPanel support.