If you aren’t already familiar with the various control panels used in web hosting, don’t stress out too much. Control panels are just the main hub in which you get to access all the settings and controls for your hosting account. A few of the settings in a basic control panel are straight-forward, but other features could be hard to get used to. Regardless, we will take a look at some of the most common features in a control panel and see how they work. For the most part, we will be focused on cPanel, but these features are also available in other control panels such as Plesk and DirectAdmin.
Mail Services: Anything related to emails and email accounts will be located in this section of your control panel. You can create specific email accounts with the use of your domain, such as firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you may not prefer to access your hosting account to check your emails all the time, so you could also enable an email forwarder. An email forwarded will send all the emails to the email inbox of your choice. You could also create mailing lists for your clients using the mail section of the control panel.
Domain Services: Wondering how to add a domain to your hosting account? It is done in the domain section of your account. You can add a domain, delete a domain, create a subdomain, and even redirect domains from your domain control panel. The one thing you cannot do is change the name servers, if the domain is not registered with your hosting company.
File Managing: From the file managing section of your control panel, you can get access to the file manager, which is an exact replicate of FTP access. Using the file manager, you will be able to extract and compress ZIP folders, delete files, upload files, change file permissions, etc. You can also create backups of your account in the file managing section of the cPanel. Backups can be stored on the server automatically, so you have access to them all the time or downloaded to your computer.
Traffic Statistics: You can view bandwidth stats, traffic stats and error logs from this section. The system administrator will have the ability to either enable or disable the traffic stats option, so you may need to verify with your hosting company. Bandwidth stats are always available, and they give you information on usage and overall hits. The error logs give you information on the dead links that people are trying to visit, so it really can give you valuable information.
Databases: On many occasions, scripts and plugins tend to use the database features on hosting accounts. These databases store user information among other information the site needs to pull up. Some users find it hard to use databases because of the technical aspects, but that has been simplified a great deal with the use PHPMyAdmin. You can create/delete/import databases using this section of the control panel.
We just went through some of the most commonly used features in web hosting control panels. Hopefully, this gave you some insight as to how to get things done in your hosting account. Most control panels have a search feature, so feel free to make use of it. Also if you run into any trouble or have any questions your web hosting company’s support staff is there to help.