cPanel Guide For Beginners
What is cPanel?
cPanel is a Linux-based web hosting control panel that provides a graphical interface and automation tools designed to simplify the process of hosting a web site. cPanel utilizes a 3 tier structure that provides capabilities for administrators, resellers, and end-user website owners to control the various aspects of website and server administration through a standard web browser.
In addition to the GUI, cPanel also has command line and API-based access that allows third party software vendors, web hosting organizations, and developers to automate standard system administration processes.
cPanel is designed to function either as a dedicated server or virtual private server. The latest cPanel version supports installation on CentOS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), and CloudLinux OS. cPanel 11.30 is the last major version to support FreeBSD.
Application-based support includes Apache, PHP, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Perl, and BIND (DNS). Email based support includes POP3, IMAP, and SMTP services. cPanel is accessed via https on port 2083.
Once installed, cPanel cannot be easily removed. cPanel’s FAQ states that the best way to uninstall cPanel is by reformatting the server. However, uninstall guides are available online for expert server administrators who do not wish to reformat their server. Similarly, it should only be installed on a freshly installed operating system with minimal prior configuration.
cPanel helps you to create the website that fits your needs regardless of your experience level. This control panel software is common among Web hosts and includes many features that enable you to craft an informative or helpful website for your consumers and associates. If you’re familiar with HTML, CSS or other Web programming, you can hand-code a website from scratch with cPanel’s file manager. Otherwise, cPanel is capable of installing scripts like WordPress, a powerful content management tool which lets you create an entire blog or website with just a few clicks.
With the File Manager
1. Log in to your cPanel account in your browser with the username and password provided by your Web hosting service.
2. Click the “File Manager” icon from the main page. If prompted, select “web root” as your desired location, because this is where you need to place files to make them available online.
3. Click the “New File” icon to create a new file. Create the front page on your site. This file should be named “index” or “default.” For example, your host will recognize “index.php” as the front page or “default.html.” A basic index file might look something like the following:
I’m glad you could make it. Click here to learn more about me.
4. Save your file. Repeat the process to add more files. Remember to use hyperlinks to link between all your files. After you save an HTML file, you can select it from the cPanel File Manager and click “HTML Editor” to use the software’s syntactical editor, which requires an existing HTML file.
1. Log in to your cPanel.
2. Click the Fantastico icon in your cPanel to open the script installer that automatically installs software such as WordPress. Select “Wordpess” from the Blogs section, and click “New Installation.”
3. Choose the installation location, enter an admin username and password and your email information. Click the button to begin the install.
4. Click the button to confirm installation. The script sends you an email with your login information and dashboard URL. Log in to WordPress and click “Add New” under posts or pages to begin adding content to your website. Once you press “Publish,” your content will go live.
How to Design a WordPress Blog on a Local Machine
The WordPress blogging software is most often installed on your Web hosting account. Many Web hosts offer an easy “one-click” approach to installing the software. Sometimes, however, you may wish to install the WordPress software on your computer instead of your Web host. You may do this as a learning project or to build a website before you pay for your hosting. In order to install WordPress, you will first need to install some software on your Mac or PC to emulate a Web host, and then install the WordPress software inside that web host.
Download the latest version of WordPress from WordPress.org. Unzip the download folder. You will need all of the files later in the installation process.
Download and install the Microsoft Web Platform Installer from from the Microsoft website. After you’ve completed the installation and the program launches, click the “Install” button. The software will walk you though the installation process and prompt you to enter a database password. It will then ask if you want to install an existing site or create a new one. It will then will ask you to create a WordPress username and password. When you complete this process, you will be at the WordPress log-in screen. Log in with the information you created and you will be ready to install themes and load content.
To install WordPress locally on your Mac, you will first need to install MAMP. The MAMP software works on Mac OS X 10.4.x or later and creates a system of local folders that mirror what would be installed on your Web host. Download the software from the MAMP home page, install it and launch the MAMP application. You will need to configure the preference section with the following: Apache Ports: 8888 MySQL Ports: 8889 PHP: version 5 Apache Tab: Set your document root or folder location When all of your preferences are set, click the “Start Servers” button, then the “Open Start Page” button. This will open a Web page. Click on the “phpMyAdmin” link, then the “Create New Database” link. Give your database a name, WordPress is suggested, and click the “Create” button.
Install WordPress on Mac
Copy all of the files inside the unzipped, downloaded WordPress folder into the document root folder your created inside MAMP. Open your browser and go to the WordPress page for your local installation. Enter “localhost:8888/wordpress” into your browser. This will take you to a database setup page and you’ll need to enter the following information: database name: wordpress database host/server: localhost database user: root database password: root Finally, type the blog name and your email address into the last page. You’ll be ready to add content to your WordPress blog.
Once you have WordPress installed and configured on your local machine, it will work exactly the same as WordPress installed on a Web host. You can still install new themes, configure existing themes and add pages and post content.
How to Move a WordPress Site to Plesk
Plesk is software that a website host uses to automate functions related to the creation of website hosting accounts and the management of databases. You can manually back up your current WordPress site and install a new WordPress site on a Plesk platform using the software’s Application Vault feature. Once you have a new installation of WordPress on your Plesk platform, import the content from your previous installation to move it to the new WordPress site.
Back Up Current WordPress Site
1. Log in to your current WordPress site.
2. Click “Tools” and click “Export” from the menu.
3. Select the “All Content” option, then click “Download Export File.” This will create a backup file of all of your posts, pages and comments and allow you to save this content to your computer.
Install New WordPress Site on Plesk
1. Log in to your Plesk dashboard and navigate to the “Applications” tab.
2. Click “Install” next to the “WordPress” application and agree to the application license.
3. Select your domain from the drop-down menu, then type the name of the installation folder in the following text box.
4. Type your preferred administrator email and password in the “Settings” text boxes.
5. Click “Install” to install the WordPress site on Plesk.
Import WordPress Content
1. Click the “Administrative Interface” link provided after installation. Bookmark this page so you can return to log in at any time.
2. Type “admin” as the administrator username and the administrator password you chose earlier to log in to your new WordPress. You can change your username from the user settings later.
3. Click “Tools” and click “Import” to navigate to the import page.
4. Click “WordPress” from the list of platforms. WordPress will prompt you to install an import plug-in.
5. Click the “Install Now” button to automatically download and install the plug-in, then click “Activate Plugin & Run Importer.”
6. Click “Choose File” to browse your computer for the file that you exported from your previous WordPress site. Double-click the file to load it.
7. Click “Upload File and Import” to move all of your previous content to your new WordPress install on the Plesk platform.
How to Move WordPress From the Root to a Subfolder
Many small businesses choose to run their websites on the WordPress platform because of its flexiblity. It’s a fairly simple procedure, for instance, to move WordPress from the root directory of where it is installed to a subfolder. You’ll need a File Transfer Protocol, or FTP, program in order to make new directories and copy files. Once all the files are moved to the new directory, a few simple configuration changes on the WordPress back end are all that is needed for your new site to be operational.
1. Create the subdirectory for the new WordPress installation with your File Transfer Protocol program.
2. Log in to your WordPress website with the administrator username and password.
3. Click “General” on the dashboard on the left side of the screen. Change the address to the new directory in the “WordPress address (URL)” box. For example, if you want to have WordPress run in the subdirectory “blog,” type “http://yourdomain.com/blog.” Keep the Site Address (URL) field the same. Click “Save Changes.”
4. Copy the WordPress files to the new subdirectory location.
5. Copy the “index.php” and “.htaccess” files from the new subdirectory into the root directory.
6. Open the “index.php” file in the root directory with a text editor. Look for the line that says: require(‘./wp-blog-header.php’); Replace that line with this line: require(‘./blog/wp-blog-header.php’); Replace “blog” with the name of your new subdirectory.
7. Open your Web browser to the following address: “http://yourwebsite.com/blog/wp-admin,” where “blog” is the title of your new subdirectory.
How to Use a SQL Database and cPanel
If your business’s website hosting is powered by cPanel, you can easily create new SQL databases through its user-friendly interface. These databases are linked to a content management system such as WordPress or Drupal and keep your website’s content separate from its aesthetics. This allows you to make changes to your site without having to edit each of your Web pages separately. SQL databases are created and managed through cPanel’s Databases menu.
1. Log in to your cPanel account. The login page is usually located at “http://yoursite.com:2082”.
2. Scroll down through the menus until you locate the “Databases” header. Click the “MySQL Databases” button and then wait for the database list to load.
3. Create a new database by typing a name into the “New Database” text field. The text you enter will be automatically prefixed with your cPanel log-in account and an underscore; for example, “yoursite_database1”. Click “Create Database” when you’re done.
4. Create a new user for this database. Scroll down to the “Add New User” menu and then enter a user name in the “Username” text field. Again, this is prefixed with your cPanel username. Type a password for the account. You can click “Generate Password” if you’d prefer cPanel to create a password for you. Click “Create User” when you’re done.
5. Link the user account to the database. Under the “Add user to database” header, select the user and database you just created from the relevant drop-down menus. Click “Add” when you’re done. You have now created a database and user account — the database name, username and password can now be entered into your content management system to link the two.
How to Delete WordPress From cPanel
Whether you’ve taken over a domain, but don’t wish to keep the old content, or you’re just looking to start over from scratch, you can delete a WordPress installation from cPanel using either Site Software or Fantastico Deluxe. Both are cPanel site managers designed to make your life easier when adding or removing scripts from your Web domain. If you use HostGator as your hosting service, use QuickInstall, their custom-developed script manager, to do the same thing.
Using Site Software or Fantastico Deluxe
1. Launch your Web browser and log in to your cPanel account.
2. Click “Site Software” or “Fantastico Deluxe” in the Software/Services section.
3. Click “WordPress” in the Blogs section.
4. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click the “Remove” link to the right of the WordPress installation you wish to delete.
1. Launch your Web browser and log in to your cPanel account.
2. Click on “QuickInstall” in the Software/Services section.
3. Click “Manage Installations” at the top of the QuickInstall screen.
4. Click the red “X” to the right of the WordPress installation you wish to remove, then click the “Uninstall” button.
How to Completely Uninstall WordPress From HostGator
HostGator is a Web hosting provider that utilizes the Fantastico De Luxe installation utility to install and remove software packages through the CPanel dashboard. Many Web administrators use Fantastico to deploy WordPress and other software packages because Fantastico tracks updates and provides a script to automatically uninstall the software. However, some administrators prefer to manually install packages such as WordPress. If the package is manually installed, the program is not tracked by Fantastico and must be manually removed.
Use Fantastico to Uninstall WordPress
1. Log on to your CPanel account, which can be accessed on HostGator with the URL of your domain name along with the “/cpanel” subdirectory. If your domain name is “mydomain.com,” your CPanel dashboard can be accessed at www.mydomain.com/cpanel.
2. Scroll down to the “Software/Services” section in the CPanel dashboard and then click the “Fantastico De Luxe” icon. Fantastico opens and displays a list of installed applications. Each application entry includes a “Remove” button.
3. Click the “Remove” button next to the WordPress site to uninstall it. Wait a few minutes for the application to completely uninstall. A message appears when the software is completely removed.
WordPress Manual Uninstall
1. Open your CPanel dashboard in a Web browser and log in to your hosting account.
2. Click the “File Manager” icon in the “Files” section of the CPanel dashboard. The File Manager opens.
3. Click the folder containing the WordPress site and then click the “Delete” button in the top tool bar of the File Manager.
4. Navigate back to the CPanel dashboard by clicking the “Home” icon or the “Back” button. Click the “My SQL Databases” icon in the Databases section. A list of databases you created are listed.
5. Locate the database that corresponds to the WordPress site you want to remove. Click the “Remove” link to the right of the database name. The WordPress site is manually uninstalled.
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