What is cPanel? How To Control Your Hosting With cPanel?

Are you completely new to the VPS server with cPanel setup? cPanel, the most popular web-based control panel, is always in high demand. Your web hosting solution also needs a powerful control panel like cPanel. So, if you don’t know what is cPanel already, it’s time to learn how to use it!

Do you need help with that? Don’t worry! Our comprehensive guide to the cPanel setup will help you become a pro! So, let’s get started!

What is cPanel in a Hosting Provider?

First, let’s understand the cPanel control panel. Consider a cPanel system running just like a desktop application. It is a Linux-based tool that allows you to control various tasks of managing your web hosting. So, cPanel in a hosting provider means having only a Linux-based Operating System. It doesn’t support servers with Windows or other OS.

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With cPanel, you get a user-friendly dashboard where you can run complex commands to control your hosting operations. The graphical interface is easy to access and use. You can use the visual icons to simplify different processes of managing your web hosting, like:

   Access your add-on domains

   Install an SSL certificate

   Enable file backups

   Receive timely updates

   Establish FTP connections

   Access your databases

While there are other alternatives cPanel still holds the top spot among the following hosting solutions:

   Shared Hosting

   Dedicated Server Hosting

   Cloud Hosting

   VPS Hosting

   Reseller Hosting

So, irrespective of your web hosting solution, you can still install cPanel and manage different workflows and tasks through it.

What are the advantages of having a VPS server with cPanel?

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Knowing about what is cPanel isn’t enough! You must verify what advantages you can have once you install cPanel. So, let’s review the top reasons for choosing cPanel for your web hosting:

User-friendly Interface: cPanel has the simplest visual board any non-technical person can use. You will find all features listed on the interface under manageable modules. Once you locate the required item, you can easily take the next action using the visual representation. So, hover through the intuitive menus over the dashboard and enjoy smooth navigation.

Simple Installation Process: Most VPS service providers install the cPanel interface in your server for future usage. Otherwise, you can manually set it up at your own pace. In the next section, we will investigate the steps to install cPanel. Otherwise, the cpanel will be auto-installed when you activate your hosting plan.

Highly Compatible: cPanel is compatible with various third-party systems and web browsers. You can use it on Microsoft Edge, Safari, or Google Chrome. Additionally, you can use cPanel with SEO engines and site builders.

Diverse Features: From creating FTP connections to managing server databases, you can execute any complex task with cPanel. It covers every aspect of web hosting management. Your VPS server with cPanel boots your operational productivity with such unique features.

Support and Reliability: You will find plenty of cPanel resources across different online forums. The widespread community support enables you to provide reliable assistance anytime needed. You also get technical manuals about using the cPanel products.

Are there any disadvantages of cPanel?

Using cPanel for your web hosting can bring some unexpected downsides, too. So, be prepared to face any of the following disadvantages:

Costly Licensing: Among all alternatives cPanel incurs the maximum licensing cost. So, it’s not the ideal control panel if you run on a tight budget. Also, if you require hosting for a single website, cPanel might not be your best option. You should ask the hosting provider to lend a cPanel license to avoid additional costs.

Risks of Data Loss: As the control panel of your server, the cPanel system has the accessibility to overwrite your server configurations. It can uninstall an existing update or remove important configuration data from the system before you realize it. The chances of losing server data due to a driver failure are also very high. So, consistently implement backup and disaster recovery plans in the server configurations.

Security Breaches: Most cPanel systems are vulnerable to Brute Force or DDoS attacks. If you fail to implement high-security restrictions like two-factor authentication, your server setting will remain vulnerable to security risks. So, always install security patches to prevent such security threats.

How To Install cPanel On Server?

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Now, you must learn how to use a VPS server with cPanel. You need to choose a Hosting Provider that offers cPanel hosting plans. During the activation of your hosting plan, cPanel is usually auto-installed. Check with your hosting provider to confirm this.

Here is a guide in case you install cPanel manually:

Verify System Requirements: Before you start the manual installation, ensure that your server meets the system requirements for cPanel. This includes a clean installation of your Linux operating system.

Access Your Server: Use SSH to access your server. You can also use the provider's dashboard if you use a cloud-based service.

Download cPanel Installation Script: Run the cPanel installation script to initiate the cPanel installation process. The installation script will guide you through a series of prompts. Follow the wizard to configure cPanel settings, including network configuration, services, and security options.

Now your VPS server with cPanel setup is complete, here is how you will use it:

Login to your cPanel: Open the URL link to connect with your website containing its IP address (example: Now, you can log in using the credentials you previously received. The administrator level is located in the WHM (Web host manager) and is accessible via port 2087 (encrypted connection) by default. The client and reseller part is located in cPanel and is accessible via ports 2082 and 2083 (encrypted connection).

Update password & contact information: Change your default password with a new one from the "Password & Security" option. Continue updating your contact information with the correct details.

Manage your domains: Use cPanel to view the existing domains. You can add domains, aliases, subdomains, and redirects according to your requirements.

Manage your files: Use the 'File Manager' option from cPanel to manage all your existing files related to FTP connections and accounts. You can initiate file backup from here.

Backup your website: Use the Backup Wizard from Files to back up your website/web server. You can either do a partial or complete backup. Later, you can download or restore the backup files.

Connect your databases: If your website uses a CMS like WordPress, it will have databases. You can use cPanel to manage the current databases or create new ones.

View Traffic Statistics: Use the metrics feature of cPanel to check your website visitors' data and traffic statistics. It's a great feature to monitor resource usage and analyze user behavior when visiting your website.

Use Hotlink Protection: Alongside SSH access control, you can use the Hotlink Protection feature of cPanel to stop others from using your files. You can allow the URLS that will have access to your files. All other URLs will get auto-blocked.

These are enough to know what is cPanel and how to use it. However, your job isn’t over yet! Continue reading as we explore your alternate control panel options other than cPanel!

What Are The Alternatives Cpanel You Have?

You will find many alternatives to cPanel out in the market. But not all are equally capable. Every alternative control panel will have different features based on different hosting types. You’ll need to check every option to find out what they offer and if they are better for you than cPanel.

cPanel or Plesk: Which is better?

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Like cPanel, Plesk is another popular control panel system. While most WordPress owners use cPanel, Plesk can be a great option to switch. Want to know why? Keep reading to decide which one is better.

User-Friendly Interfaces: cPane has a classic interface with a proven track record. Plesk has a sleek and modern design reminiscent of WordPress, offering a great user experience.

Affordability: While cPanel is perfect for resellers and large organizations, Plesk offers a cost-effective solution as a great budget-friendly alternative.

Features Diversity: Plesk’s features list isn’t as long as cPanel, which offers extensive features but tends to be pricier.

So, what do you think? cPanel or Plesk, Which will you choose? Before you decide, hear out the other options you have available to try!

DirectAdmin vs cPanel: Which to choose?

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Even though many argue that DirectAdmin and cPanel are very similar, you need to decide which control panel best fits your hosting solution. Listing here the primary differences between the two:

Interface Battle: DirectAdmin has a clean, classic interface with three main sections. On the contrary, the cPanel interface categorically displays all available features for easy navigation.

Cost Matters: Both require paid licensing to use. However, DirectAdmin licensing bears a higher price tag than cPanel’s license.

User-Friendliness: DirectAdmin has multiple menu options, while cPanel has a Categorical layout view. However, both are overwhelming at first but user-friendly.

Features Accessibility: DirectAdmin has limited sections with higher costs incurred for advanced functionalities. On the contrary, cPanel has a robust search function and extensive plugins and modules for easy customization.

The justification between DirectAdmin vs cPanel has helped you decide which control panel to choose. Still, consult with your hosting provider to discover better options that might be available!

Wrap Up

Don't just host; host with cPanel for a seamless and customizable experience. Even though you will find many alternatives cPanel, they will offer only a few features and integration facilities as compared to a VPS server with cPanel. So, consider the use cases of different control panels and see which aligns with your server management activities. If you are determined to use cPanel, confirm with your hosting provider if it’s already included with your hosting plan. Otherwise, opt for manual installation and start using cPanel!
Rashmi Debnath

Hi, I'm Rashmi D., a passionate content writer with 10+ years of expertise. By profession, I'm a cloud Architect who enjoys translating complex technologies into reader-friendly technical blogs and articles. I enjoy exploring and testing new trends and the latest tech inventions. Let's discover what's happening in the tech world together through my writings!