If you host your website with Bluehost or HostGator, you will have this thing called cPanel.

cPanel is like a dashboard for your website and you can control the entire process using cPanel. cPanel is also offered with other hosting companies but we have seen some smaller hosts not having it.

This is a basic tutorial on how to navigate through cPanel to help you with your website. In order to use any of the icons in cPanel, you just simply click on them and it will navigate you correctly.

How to Use cPanel

First thing your going to want to do is log in. If you don’t know your cPanel log in information, or the link to get to your website’s cPanel, then please check your email or contact your hosting company for that information.

This is what your login screen should look like

cPanel Login

Make sure you enter in your “Username” and then your “Password” and then hit “Log in” to get into your website cPanel dashboard. Once you Log in successfully, your screen should look something like this.

cPanel Screenshot

Above is a screenshot of cPanel taken on 1/5/2013.

This is the home screen for cPanel and you will be able to control your website completely with it. Let’s go over every single section of cPanel with images provided.

Special Offers

This is the section of cPanel where your hosting company will offer you some great things. These are the special offers. We’re not going to get to involved with Special Offers because they differ per each host but make sure you do take a look at all of them because it’s usually very beneficial free things for your website.

Special Offers cPanel

cPanel Preferences

You have 7 different icons you can click on in the cPanel Preferences. This section is more for aesthetics and for learning more about cPanel. This section includes:

  • Getting Started Wizard
  • Video Tutorials
  • Change Password
  • Update Contact Info
  • Change Style
  • Change Language
  • Shortcuts

Preferences cPanel

The “Getting Started Wizard” and “Video Tutorials” icons are something you might want to click on. If you are brand new to cPanel, then it will benefit you.

Mail Section

This is where you can create an email address and control anything to do with email in general. This is a section we use every single day to check our email accounts. This is what the Mail Section looks like in cPanel:

cPanel Mail

You have 14 icons you can click on and navigate through which include:

  • Email Accounts
  • Webmail
  • BoxTrapper
  • Spam Assassin
  • Forwarders
  • Auto Responders
  • Default Address
  • Mailing Lists
  • User Level Filtering
  • Account Level Filtering
  • Email Trace
  • Import Addresses/Forwarders
  • Email Authentication
  • MX Entry

SEO and Marketing Tools

This is also a great section to utilize because cPanel offers you some very easy to use SEO tools. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is an important thing to know, and these tools help you fill in the gaps without the mastered knowledge. This category holds 7 different links and they are:

  • Get In Google
  • SEO Tools
  • Increase Website Traffic
  • One-Click Sitemap
  • Link Building
  • SEO Tips
  • Google Website Services

The image below shows you what it looks like:

SEO Marketing cPanel

Files (Important cPanel Section)

This might be the most important section of cPanel because it is where you can access your files and control your backups. Learn how to upload files and images here. This section will also help you monitor your disk space usage and let you control you FTP Accounts. The Files section includes:

  • Backups
  • File Manager
  • Backup Wizard
  • Legacy File Manager
  • Disk Space Usage
  • Web Disk
  • FTP Accounts
  • FTP Session Control
  • Anonymous FTP

Files cPanel

Logs (Your Website Statistics)

The “Logs” section is also very beneficial and has this tool called “Awstats” which gives you detailed stats, sort of similar to Google Analytics but more accurate because it sits on the back end. You can also access your latest visitors and track your bandwidth. The “Logs’ section offers you with 9 informational links:

  • Latest Visitors
  • Bandwidth Webalizer
  • Webalizer FTP
  • Raw Access Logs
  • Error Log
  • Choose Log Programs
  • Google Analytics Integration
  • Awstats

cPanel Logs

Security, Domains, and Databases

These 3 sections provide you with Security, Domains, and Databases. The Security section offers you with tools to ban certain IP’s, and password protect directories to help hackers or unwanted people messing with your website.

The Domains section is an excellent spot to set up redirects and sub domains. Also, if you have a hosting company that allows you to add URL’s to your main account, this is where you would do that.

Databases is self-explanatory. You can find everything to do with your SQL databases here.

Security Domains Databases cPanel

The image above is what the 3 sections will look like.


This is the Software and Services section of cPanel. The most used icon in this section we use would be Fantastico. You can install services including WordPress with Fantastico. This section also offers other scrips and software to install php coded things and other very beneficial tools. It consists of 12 icons and they are:

  • CGI Center
  • BaseKit SiteBuilder
  • QuickInstall
  • Perl Modules
  • PHP Pear Packages
  • PHP Configuration
  • RubyGems
  • Ruby on Rails
  • Optimize Website
  • goMobi Site Builder
  • Php.ini QuickConfig
  • Fantastico De Luxe

This section looks like this:

Software Services cPanel

Advanced Section and the Sidebar

The advanced section should be used by people with experience. However, we do suggest you click on every single icon in every single section just to see what it offers you. You will never screw up your website just by clicking on a link, just make sure you don’t go any further and change settings unless you know what your doing. Chances are, if you know what your doing you aren’t reading this anyways so we won’t go too much in detail with the Advanced Section. It looks like this:

Advanced Section cPanel

The FrontPage icon could be very beneficial if your running a website using Microsoft FrontPage software.

The cPanel Sidebar- The sidebar is going to be the section to the left of your cPanel dashboard that offers you with some features for quick access. You can see some of your website stats without actually having to click on an icon in the Logs section, it will also show you your server settings. The side bar looks like this:

cPanel SIdebar

We put the sidebar into 2 rows so you could see the image better, but these will all be one vertical bar.

We hope this gives you a better understanding of using cPanel and we are very thankful you checked out our tutorial!