What Is cPanel And Why Do I Need It?

What Is cPanel?
cPanel is a very popular web-based control panel. It is a full-featured website development tool that helps in your website’s management using a graphical user interface (GUI). With the cPanel, you have complete control in managing your website without depending on highly qualified website developers.
With the cPanel, you now can manage the important aspects of file management, FTP, backups, email management to manage every possible mail-related tasks including spam filter and autoresponder, email account forwarders and mailing lists, domain and sub-domain control, error page management, password protection of web folders, MIME types, Apache handlers, CGI Scripts, statistical information, users management, Cron Jobs, Chatroom management, bulletin board, Shopping Cart, Leech Protection, HotLink Protection, SSL Manager, Network Tools, and MySQL database administration.
The additional features of the cPanel are included in ‘Fantastico’, a web application that can help in building content management systems (CMS) like Joomla, Drupal, GeekLog, Mambo, etc; and blogging applications like the b2evolution, Nucleus, and WordPress. Customer relation application, Discussion Boards, E-commerce applications, Hosting Billing, Polls and Survey application, Site Builder, Forum creation, and many other web applications can also be installed through Fantastico.
In a way, the cPanel is a complete web management tool that is very easy to operate. Hence, the cPanel has become a boon to many webmasters, who earlier had to maintain their website mostly through programming knowledge and highly technical skills. Now, cPanel, also known as Control Panel, comes bundled with web hosting package and helps manage the website and its files.
cPanel Introduction
cPanel has now made website administration and development very easy tasks, even to the new entrants in the field of website development and hosting. Apart from being the web-based administrative control panel, cPanel helps in accessing vital features of overall website statistics with the web stats, FTP stats, AWStats, bandwidth usage, and visitor’s data.
cPanel also helps in creating and maintaining databases, uploading and downloading files; editing, creating, and deleting files; and many other important functionality. The ease at which the website can be managed through the cPanel is truly unbelievable and has made the website management extremely simple.
cPanel is used on Linux platforms that include Fedora, Mandriva, SUSE, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, as well as FreeBSD. The Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol version of cPanel is accessed on ports 2082 and 2083.
cPanel’s Advance Features
As cPanel is a graphical user interface, the users can access it as a front-end tool to carry out the various website operations. The other important features that can be easily handled through the cPanel are the file manager, mailing lists management, autoresponder, Crontab tasks, PGP keys, and email management, mail forwarding, webmail and spam filtering. These are great features to help any type of website.
cPanel also helps to create account or site creation, redirects, management of additional domains, and other features to build and edit web pages and the website. The Cron job helps trigger automate tasks at given time schedules.
The pre-installed CGI scripts such as forums, shopping carts, chats, and website development tools can easily be activated through the cPanel. Email management has become very easy due to cPanel’s excellent email-related features.
The greatest feature, arguably, is the inclusion of ‘Fantastico’ web application, which can easily install various content management systems (CMS) like the Mambo and Joomla, and can install the ever popular blogging platform, WordPress, that has taken the internet into an advanced era of blogging. There are other softwares and scripts that can be installed through the Fantastico option. cPanel has become the greatest website administration tool that even a newbie can easily manage.
Using these great features of the cPanel and Fantastico, the webmaster can now concentrate on creating quality content and web pages on his website without worrying about the in-depth technical aspects of the website’s development, because most of these technical aspects are taken care by cPanel, Fantastico, and other great features.
Database Management
Managing the vital aspect of database creation and maintenance has also become very easy with cPanel. The very difficult tasks of database management that was once handled only by the highly trained database administrator can now be managed by anyone. The excellent graphical user interface makes it possible for everyone to easily understand all the steps that are required for database management.
cPanel’s Statistical Features
The cPanel’s statistical features are indispensable to any webmaster. These features, notably the AWStats, can quickly present various web and traffic related statistics. These statistics are so complete that a glance at them can reveal how your website is performing at any given date.
The cPanel also reveals how much bandwidth has been used by your website, and how many web visitors visited your website from which countries, what time of the day the traffic was either high or low, and which web pages were visited often. It also knows when the various search engines’ crawlers visited your website.
Such extremely powerful statistical features are instantly available to you, and you can thus fine tune your website to make it more successful in future by using this data.
Other Add-ons
Many other useful add-ons can be used through the cPanel, notably SMF, Drupal, phpBB, Joomla!, and many other powerful web applications to manage every aspect of website development and maintenance. cPanel also handles the upgrades to Apache, MySQL, PHP, Fantastico, and other web applications automatically. This keeps all the applications up-to-date and ready for immediate installation and usage as and when they are required.
WHM (Web Host Manager) and cPanel
WebHost Manager (WHM) is a web application that is used by administrators and resellers to maintain and manage web hosting accounts on a web server. WHM can be accessed by the administrators and users with reseller privileges on ports 2086 and 2087, whereas the cPanel is accessed on ports 2082 and 2083.
cPanel Builds
Several builds of cPanel application are available according to the various levels of testing that includes edge, current, release, and stable. Every new release presents additional great features to help you in your website management.
The cPanel, thus, offers any webmaster the confidence and control of running a successful online presence through its simple yet extremely powerful interface. The cPanel can also be used to manage several sub-domains with ease and speed, making it a very stable, dependable, and a truly versatile web-based tool.
Do you need cPanel and its rich features? Now, there should be no doubt whatsoever about the power of cPanel and why your website needs it. Even if you possess limited website development skills, you will be able to confidently use the cPanel’s excellent capabilities completely and create features-rich website quite easily!