As a beginner, cPanel can be pretty confusing. The tool has evolved to be a swiss army knife for web hosting management. Over the years, it’s evolved to have so many options, that it can intimidate those new to cPanel. On top of that, if you add the plugins inserted hosting providers, it can get downright dizzy to look at everything in a single cPanel screen!
So here are five tools in cPanel that you should start exploring right away. There are some that I’ve deliberately decided to avoid talking about like SSH – you can explore those once you’re more comfortable with the basic stuff. The ones below are those out of which absolute beginners will get immediate value.
1. The File Manager
The single most important tool for a beginner in cPanel is the file manager. Using this, you can upload stuff to your site (like verification files) for the Google search console tool, access your .htacess settings (carefully!), and use it for custom WordPress plugins.
Here’s the location on the NameHero cPanel tool:
A lot of people will tell you to use FTP to access your site. Indeed, I have a tutorial on NameHero that shows you how to configure my favorite FTP client WinSCP. But there’s a twist – ordinary FTP is extremely unsafe. It sends your username and password in plaintext over the Internet for everyone to see. You should never use it. Ever. A safe alternative is to use SFTP, but that requires a lot of additional setup and messing around with public and private keys that, as a beginner, you are simply not ready to handle.
So if you want to access your files and folders, you should use the in-build cPanel file manager.
The next tool you should be familiar with is JetBackup. It’s not available with all web hosts – but NameHero has it. It allows you to backup your website before you make any major changes. Here’s the location:
The amazing thing about NameHero backups, is that they’re stored offsite. So even in the case of a network-wide attack, your data is still recoverable!
3. Create and Manage E-Mail Accounts
When you start a website, you should have an e-mail address with your own domain name. It’s a much more professional look compared to a Gmail or Yahoo account. So one of the first things you should do is visit cPanel and click the “Email Accounts” link as shown here:
The tool is self-explanatory. Once you’ve created an e-mail, you can explore other options in this section as well. For example, you can create mailing lists, forwards, and more.
Cloudflare is an amazing service that I’ve come to appreciate more and more over the years. It’s probably the best CDN out there. And it’s free! So enabling Cloudflare in cPanel is a no-brainer:
If you really want to take your Cloudflare integration to the next level however, you should change your DNS records and disable the integration from cPanel. Here’s a tutorial from NameHero on how to fully integrate your site with Cloudflare.
5. LiteSpeed Website Caching
We’ve written a lot about LiteSpeed on the NameHero blog, and for good reason. It’s one of the most awesome things about NameHero! Particularly LiteSpeed caching that you can manage from cPanel. Here’s the relevant section:
This, together with the LiteSpeed plugin for your website delivers a level of server caching unmatched by any plugin in the WordPress repository. It should be a regular part of your site’s setup.
Some of the tools above are specific to NameHero. Others, like the File Explorer, are common to all cPanel installations. As you grow more comfortable with managing your site, you’ll keep discovering more about cPanel and its secrets.
I’m a NameHero team member, and an expert on WordPress and web hosting. I’ve been in this industry since 2008. I’ve also developed apps on Android and have written extensive tutorials on managing Linux servers. You can contact me on my website WP-Tweaks.com!