Simply put, a C-Panel is a control panel. It’s used in computer software from operating systems to hosting platforms. We’re going to talk about the latter.
Why are C-Panels so important?
From the view point of a user, control panels are important because they let us interact with what ever technology that control panels control, right? Yup! But from an ownership standpoint, knowing how to use a control panel can make all the difference to you and your company. You get a host to serve up your webpages. Something like 1and1 or GoDaddy, both of which I don’t recommend. In fact, if you’re working with WordPress, then go with WP Engine. They are a little more pricey than your 1and1’s and GoDaddy’s, but they are much more secure, they don’t go down (and leave your site useless for hours) and they’re much more helpful.
What ever cPanel you are using, you’ll want to check out that specific tutorial which is usually given by the company you’re hosting with. Here is a great piece for the WP Engine setup. But here’s why it’s important to know this. It comes down to ownership of your domain, your website, any email associated with your domain and so on, so forth.
You, no one else, needs to be the owner of your domain. If you don’t own your domain, then talk to whoever does and get it back from them. Usually, it’s the agency or person who built your website. They, in the past, have bundled that in with your package or what ever they did for you. And now people are getting much more wise when it comes to owning their domains. This is an important step because let’s say you come up with some really great idea or your own blog starts getting traction. If you don’t own your domain name, the company who does can hold that domain over your head and potentially do whatever they want with it. They can charge you and arm and a leg to get it back.
I usually buy my domains on NameCheap and from there I can point that domain to my hosting company. This way I still keep ownership of my domain and I’m able to do what I want with it, without having to go through a third party. Once you sign up for a hosting company you can also buy your domains from that company, usually.
CPanels are pretty easy to navigate once you get the lay of the land. Most companies have set cPanels up so that they’re user-friendly. You can set up your email, so you get one of those cools emails like [email protected] You can upload new files to your site, and set up subdomains to have a development environment.
So, instead of having your developer or the agency you’re working with take care of the hosting part of your site, take the time to learn a little bit about it. It’ll only make you smarter in the long-term and save you lots and lots of money if you ever want to switch companies.