Web Hosting Control Panels Guide
The web hosting control panel is a graphical user interface used to manage your website. This panel is accessible online through a web browser. Almost all of the hosting companies provide a control panel for their users. Here you can control all the features and functionality of your hosting plan.
The control panel is extremely important because here you will be doing tasks like account administration, one-click installation, domain management, FTP, email management, database management, backups, file management, and support. Some of these tasks will be part of your daily routine and some others will be done only one time.
The account administration task will include your plan renewal, altering your billing profile, updating your passwords, and more. The software running the control panel must be secure and up to date because the control panel has all your personal information including the credit card.
The one-click installation task is where you can install your site content management system. Most of the hosting providers will let you install some of the most known content management systems like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla with one click. If you want to install another system you will have to download it from its official site and then upload it via FTP to your website's server.
The domain management task is where you can control anything domain related like your domain renewal, MX records, DNS editing, domain forwarding, and more. Domain management isn't the kind of task you do frequently but it's one the most important and complex tasks to deal with when the help of customer service might be required.
Next is FTP or File Transfer Protocol. Here you will gain access to all your site files and folders hosted on the server. Sometimes it might be required to intervene manually in your site files, deleting or editing some of them. Or in some other cases, you will have to transfer files from your pc to the server or vice versa.
In email management, you will be able to set up professional webmail accounts, manage and delete them. Here is a place where you will come often.
Database management is where you will be able to manage all your data. MySQL database usually comes integrated within any web hosting plan. Also from here, you can check the uptime of your database and its performance. In case you want to use another type of database make sure that the control panel will support it.
Some of the hosting plans come with an automated daily, weekly, or monthly backup system. From your control panel, you can access this section where you can create backups or restore one.
File management is another task that you will use frequently. Most users use FTP but if this it's not your case, control panels provide some type of browser-based file manager which in some cases is an easy drag and drop system.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I'm Nardi Freeman, the founder, and editor-in-chief of STARTINGSTREAM. With over 5 years of web building, I know how complicated and tiresome this task can be for a non-IT person. My goal is to help and solve people's internet problems. So my website includes give away content, training, and tutorials for free.