If you’re hosting your site, you’ve probably seen it, maybe poked around with it a little as part of your monthly or yearly package. If you’re building your own site with your own servers, the whole shebang, you’ve probably heard it in the forum threads and splashed across other open-source protocols and management servers. We are, of course, talking about cPanel, one of the most popular web hosting control panels available on the web. Compatible with Linux distributions, cPanel, like its other control panel brethren, provides a graphic interface that simplifies website hosting, and allows users to have site and server administrative rights through a standard browser. While cPanel has a no-frills, practical user interface, it can still be a bit confusing to a beginner.
Change Your Password
cPanel provides every user with a starting username and password for access to the domain user interface, and it’s the same login that lets you into the MySQL database, FTP account, email, and system user login, which when enabled, can allow remote access to a server via SSH. In short, if someone hacks your account, you’re complete toast. So standard password precautions apply – avoid familiar dates, go with a good combo of letters, numbers, and symbols, don’t let your web browser remember your passwords, and change your password frequently.
Know Your Server
Get friendly with your server environs, all the information of which is listed on the side bar of the main page. It tells you key bits of info like server operating system, kernel version, application versions, IP address, and hosting package limits. You should also check your service status, accessible through the Stats tab, to see how much processing power you have access to -disk space status, the number of CPUs running on your server, and total memory usage.
Take advantage of built-in security measures. Make sure to engage Spam Assassin for your email, and don’t use the forward to email address or blackhole options unless necessary, since those can be attack points that hackers can capitalize on. Disable Frontpage if you don’t need it, since Microsoft no longer supports the extension on Unix. Don’t forget to turn on bandwidth protection to repel bandwidth leeches.
Monitor and Analyze
Ensure you get feedback. Give cPanel a secondary email with which to reach you in case the first is unavailable, and make sure to search and subscribe to monitoring tools that well keep watch on your site and domain availability for you. This service is provided by some web hosters, but getting a second one monitoring report can ensure your data is accurate. Have your notifications go to your email right away, so you can respond as soon as possible in the case of an emergency.
Make Management Easy
Use an auto-installer to set up your software applications. Auto-installers will make dozens of helpful software applications available to you with minimal to hassle-free installation. These applications include popular blogging platforms like WordPress, as well as file management systems, project management, wikis, password managers, chats, portals, and forums.