What is cPanel and Why Do I Need It?

What is cPanel

If you’re doing any reading at all about web hosting, it won’t be long before you come across cPanel. Many people talk about cPanel hosting as if it’s a special kind of web hosting, like VPS or shared hosting. But in reality, cPanel is a hosting management program. The “c” stands for “control,” and true to its name, cPanel gives you all the tools that you need to manage your web hosting account and the websites attached to it. 

So what exactly is cPanel?

Essentially, cPanel hosting uses a web-based control panel that helps you to manage your web hosting accounts. In cPanel, you can find all the tools you need to create, administer, and manage your websites in one convenient location. cPanel also tracks several of web hosting statistics for you, including traffic to your websites and server resources. 

Is it really necessary?

You could do all of these things without cPanel, but it would be a lot more complicated and time-consuming. This is why people love cPanel so much, and why it’s nearly essential for smooth management of a website. cPanel is especially important for those who are new to website management. Without cPanel, you’d either have to teach yourself how to program or hire someone to manage your website for you. Most reputable web hosts offer cPanel hosting as part of their packages. Some web hosts that don’t offer cPanel offer their own control panel software, but none come close to the ease and efficiency that cPanel provides. 

If your web host doesn’t provide cPanel, don’t panic. cPanel is extremely easy to install. In fact, the program’s developers have specifically designed the software to be easy to install for all types of users. So no matter what your relationship is with web technology, you can install cPanel without any technical training or web hosting knowledge. 

And you’ll be glad you did. For one thing, cPanel is incredibly easy to use. The interface is simple, intuitive, and beginner-friendly. Most of the tools you need are right there on the homepage, and more advanced tools are relatively easy to find. Since cPanel is attached to your web host, you can manage multiple websites from the same cPanel account, as long as those sites are all managed under the same hosting account. cPanel hosting isn’t exclusive to certain kinds of hosting programs. Whether you’ve purchased a shared plan, a VPS (Virtual Private Server), or even a cloud hosting plan, your web host most likely provides cPanel hosting as part of your package. For VPSs or dedicated servers, cPanel can really be a lifesaver, as these plans give you a lot of additional administrative control.

cPanel is also incredibly secure. The software has been designed to be as risk-free as possible. No matter what you do within the program, you can’t significantly damage or alter your websites. cPanel doesn’t allow you to do any design work or make any changes to the website itself. All it does is streamline the administrative process, and give you easy access to the data you need to make informed decisions about any changes you do decide to make to your websites.

Any administrative function you can think of can be done through cPanel. File management, FTP, backups, email creation and management, domain and subdomain management, error page management, password management, MIME types, Apache handlers, CGI scripts, statistical information, user management, Cron jobs, chatroom management, bulletin board, shopping cart (for eCommerce or eBusiness sites), Leech protection, Hotlink protection, SSL management, Network management, and MySQL database management can all be accomplished through cPanel alone. The program is essentially built up of a series of “tools” that work in a similar way to the apps on your phone. Just as each app performs a certain function, each tool in cPanel is designed to help you complete a certain task or help you to find specific information. 

Long story short, cPanel is critical to having an excellent hosting experience. Even if you’re an expert programmer, the amount of time and effort you save with cPanel hosting will make it worth it every time.  

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