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Virtual Riders Headder - Briefings

An Introduction to cPanel

cPanel is site configuration and management software primarily used in managing web hosting accounts through an easy to use interface. This type of software allows tasks to be completed much more quickly and makes for creating and managing a website extremely simple.   There are a huge number of features which are all explained in the online manual.  However, managing your email and files is the priority and this document only covers those items in detail.  The rest of this page contains basic login information and a summary of the mail and files options.

Logging into cPanel
The most basic step is actually accessing the cPanel interface. To do this, type:

http://(your website’s web address)/cpanel               
or

http://(your website’s IP address:2083

In an internet browser, enter your login information (cPanel username and password) and clicklogin. On the first login, the cPanel “homepage” page should appear with the getting started wizard.

Navigating cPanel
Once logged in, the cPanel home screen will appear offering numerous functions. These include; help, logout, trademarks, switch theme, switch account, notices, find, frequently accessed areas, the status menu, the server status page and the preference links.

Preferences
This offers a number of options including the getting started wizard. The getting started wizard is available upon first login to set basic preferences.  Other features include video tutorials, change password, update contact info, change style, change language, shortcuts and branding editor.

Email Options
The next segment is the mail area. There are many mail options available through the cPanel. The mail options include access to all email accounts, SpamAssassin, Boxtrapper, mail forwarders, webmail, auto responders, default address, mailing lists, account level filtering, email delivery route, user level filtering, important addresses/forwarders, MX entry, email authentication and additional login methods.

Accessing Your Files
The files area allows the user to manage, upload and move files. More specifically, users can access backup files, a backup wizard, the file manager, the legacy file manager, web disk, disk space usage, FTP accounts, FTP session control and anonymous FTP.

cPanel is one of the most popular web interfaces offered by many of the premier web hosting providers. Due to the numerous functions available, cPanel makes it easy for newcomers and novices to create and maintain a website. As cPanel continues to upgrade and expand, the interface will be more efficient and easier to use.This document goes into detail for only a very few features. 
These will get you started.  The cPanel website has a full guide at:


Detailed information on the Mail and Files segments.

After the preferences segment come the Mail and Files segments.   These are on the right of the page, with general server information being displayed on the left hand side.
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Mail

To set up email accounts: 
  1. Click on the Add/Remove Accounts link in the Mail area.
  2. Click on the Add Account link.
  3. Enter the first part of the e-mail address and the password for the account in E-mail and Password fields.
  4. Enter the maximum size limit of this mailbox in the Quota field, if required. The size limit is in megabytes. Not entering a number means that the mailbox size is only limited by the available disk space.
  5. Click on the Create button.
Default Email address
Any e-mail that is sent to an unknown account at your domain name, such as This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , gets automatically rerouted to your default e-mail account. All web site accounts are automatically assigned a default e-mail address - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - which you can change, if required.

To set your default e-mail address:
  1. Click on the Default Address link in the Mail area.
  2. Click on the Set Default Address link.
  3. Enter the complete e-mail address of the new default in the field next to your web site name drop-down list.Note: You can enter :blackhole: to throw away all incoming mail, or :fail: no such address here to bounce the e-mail back to the sender.
  4. Click on the Change button. Your new default e-mail address has now been set.
Autoresponders
Autoresponders are e-mail messages that are sent automatically when an e-mail arrives for a specific e-mail account. Autoresponders are most commonly used for an "Out of Office" style message to inform your correspondents that you are not available, without you having to reply manually. You can have more than one autoresponder on one account. You can use plain text or include HTML code in the autoresponder, and choose from a wide variety of character sets.

To add an autoresponder:
  1. Click on the Autoresponders link in the Mail area.
  2. Click on the Add Autoresponder link.
  3. Enter the address of the account that the autoresponder responds to in the Email field.
  4. Enter your name or address in the From field. You do not have to put anything in this field.
  5. Enter the subject line of the autoresponder in the Subject field.
  6. Click on the required character set for this autoresponder from the Character Set drop-down list, if required.
  7. Click on the HTML Message tick box if you want to include HTML code in the autoresponder.
  8. Enter the autoresponder message in the Body field. You can not use HTML code in this field - plain text only.
  9. Click on the Create button.

Forwarders

Forwards simply allow you to automatically forward e-mail sent to one account to another account. This is useful when you work at two separate locations, or have gone on holiday.

To forward mail from one account to two or more accounts, just add two or more forwards for the account that is being forwarded.

To add a forwarder:
  1. Click on the Forwarders link in the Mail area.
  2. Click on the Add Forwarder link.
  3. Enter the first part of the e-mail address that will be forwarded in the first field.
  4. Choose the required domain from the drop-down list.
  5. Enter the full e-mail address that the forwarder will forward mail to in the second field.
  6. Click on the Add Forwarder button.
File Manager
The File Manager allows you to manage your site through HTML, rather than an FTP tool or other third-party application. You can upload, create or delete files, organize files in folders, and change file permissions. While not as sophisticated as most FTP tools, File Manager is free and gives you all the basic functionality necessary to manage your site.
Note: All of the other topics in this section assume that you are already in File Manager.

To open and navigate in File Manager:
  1. Click on the File Manager button on the home page.
  2. Navigate by using the following:
  • Open a folder by clicking on the folder icon.
  • Go up a level by clicking on the Up one level link.
  • Use the path links at the top of the window to move up and down the path.
  • Select a folder, so as to view or modify its properties, by clicking on the folder name link
Backup
The Backup area allows you to download the daily, weekly, or monthly backup file of your entire web site, or a particular MySQL, alias, or filter backup file. If your computer crashes, or your personal backups are destroyed, these files allow you to recover your site in a convenient manner (you could also use FTP to download each file, but it would take much longer as the files are not compressed).

How often a backup is created is decided by your web host. Contact your hosting administrator for more details.

Important: You should keep your own backup copy of your web site as well. Do not rely solely on the backup provided by your web host. Having multiple backups in different locations provides security against permanently losing information.
Note: A complete web site backup file includes everything - from web pages to images to scripts to access logs. A large site will have a large backup file, and will take some time to download.

To download a backup file:

  1. Click on the Backup button on the home page.
  2. Click on the Daily, Weekly, or Monthly backup file to download the entire system backup for the indicated time, or click on the link underneath the required area to download an SQL, Alias, or Filter backup file. Refer to Generating a backup if you need to generate a backup first before downloading it. Note: To download any previous stored backups, click on the Generate/Download a Full Backup link, and click on any backup that is listed.
    CPanel 2
  3. Save the file to disk.
Note for Windows users: This file is in .tar.gz format (a GZIP archive file that contains a TAR archive file). This is a common archive format used on Unix machines, in the same way that .zip is a common Windows archive format. Most compression utilities should be able to uncompress a .tar.gz file.

You can generate a backup at any time. This is useful if you have just made some changes to the site and you do not want to have to wait for the routine backup (usually daily or weekly) before downloading the backup.

To generate a backup:

1. Click on the Backup button on the home page.
2. Click on the Generate/Download a Full Backup link.
3. Click on the location for the backup from the Backup Destination drop-down list. The following locations are available:
  • Home Directory - Saves the backup in the public_html level of your site.
  • Remote Ftp Server - Saves the backup on a specified remote FTP server.
  • Remote Ftp Server (passive mode transfer) - Saves the backup on a specified remote FTP server that will only accept passive (PASV) mode FTP transfer. Please refer to your hosting administrator or the remote FTP server if you have questions about passive mode transfer. 
4.Enter your e-mail address in the Email Address field. An e-mail will be sent to this address when the backup has completed.
5. Enter the FTP address, user name, and password in the Remote Server, Remote User, and Remote Password fields if you are saving the backup file at a remote location.
6. Click on the Generate Backup button. An e-mail will be sent to the specified address when the backup has finished and can be downloaded.

 

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