Lesson 11


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Lesson 11

  1. 1. Lesson 11 A tour of cPanel Hosting control panel Let’s take a tour of the control panel of your HostGator account, called cPanel. Many web hosts use cPanel, so the interface will be the same if you buy hosting from any provider who uses it. This is where you will administer the technical aspects of your host server, not build your site. Access cPanel by typing your domain into the browser’s address bar, followed by /cpanel. cPanel access www.yourdomainname.com/cpanel You will want to bookmark or favorite this address so you can access it with one click in the future. Then enter your hosting username and password. The left side lists some of your site’s stats, such as how much of the server space that is available to you is being used. It shows bandwidth usage as well. HostGator provides an unlimited amount of bandwidth with your hosting package, but it’s conceivable that one person’s sites could affect the entire server’s performance if they put too high a demand on it, and HostGator could require that you buy a second hosting package. However, this is not something to worry about until you have sites numbering into the hundreds or else one site with millions of visitors. That will take a while. ---------------- Bandwidth is the rate You can also see at a glance how many e-mail accounts you at which information is transferred over an have, additional domains, databases, and other details about Internet connection. your server and its capabilities. ---------------- The right two-thirds of the page has the different features of your hosting package. You won’t use most of them at this point, but we’ll talk about a few that you will work with. 68
  2. 2. You can always use the Getting Started Wizard or the video tutorials to learn more later if you need to. Password and contact information Under Preferences, the Change Password option allows you to choose your own rather than use the one assigned to you by your host. Guidelines for selecting a secure password are listed on the page. I recommend that you make this change, and it’s a good idea to change it every month or so. Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s a pain in the patootie. You also need to fill in your contact information under Update Contact Info. It’s a good idea to check the notification boxes below it so that you are kept informed of any developments on your server. E-mail accounts Under the Mail subheading, click on the E-mail Accounts icon to set up an e-mail address that is associated with your domain, such as yourfirstname@yoursite.com. When you bought your hosting, a default e-mail address was created, consisting of the username that was assigned to you: username@yoursite.com. Here you can create one of your own that makes more sense, such as possibly yourfirstname@yoursite.com or whatever you’d like. Let’s do that now. You will choose your own password here. 69
  3. 3. After you click Create, it will give you the option to see the settings for adding your new address to an e-mail client such as Outlook Express, Entourage, Apple Mail, or whatever program you are already using. To do that, click on the program you use in the list and make a note of the settings. Step-by-step instructions for adding an e-mail account to Outlook Express can be found on the following page, about halfway down. Outlook Express e-mail setup www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/ie6/using/howto/oe/setup.mspx#E6D Alternatively, you can view your e-mail via the web. To do this, you would click on Webmail and choose one of the options presented, and follow the instructions (only a couple steps). Which one you use is a matter of preference; just go by whichever interface you like better. However, the simplest way is to just set up a forwarder so your mail comes to the address you check most often. Still under the Mail heading, click on Forwarders. Click Add Forwarder. Fill in your new e-mail address and then type in the address you want it forwarded to (such as the one you already have). 70
  4. 4. Working with files Now look at the Files subheading. Click on Backups. This feature makes it easy. Click on Download or Generate a Full Web Site Backup. Fill in your e-mail address so you can be notified when it’s done. It may take a few minutes depending on the size of your site. Then you can go back into Backups in cPanel and click on the name of the backup. It will download to your hard drive. I don’t need to nag you about how important backups are, do I? Regularly make backups to a separate location, such as a CD, an external hard drive, or another computer. You should also create a backup before you attempt any major changes to your site that you are not 100% sure will work. Now click on File Manager. Choose the option to open the Home directory. Take a look at the files on the left side of your screen. This is cPanel’s FTP function; in other words, you could upload files to your site using this method if you didn’t have WebCEO. However, it’s a little more limited and in my opinion, harder to navigate, so it serves as a good Plan B in case you have difficulties with WebCEO. ---------------- Files for your web site Again, the folder you will be mainly concerned with is always need to go in public_html. This is where all files will go in order for them the public_html folder to be viewable by others. Double click on public_html on in order to be seen on the Internet. the right side of the screen. There’s still not much in it, but ---------------- you’ll be filling it up! You can use the buttons above the list of files to navigate around your server. Back will obviously go back to the previous screen, and Up One Level will close the folder that you’re in and show its parent folder. Web site statistics: Hits vs. visitors Under Logs, click on Awstats and then the little magnifying glass next to your site name. This is a detailed listing of all the statistics of your site. See the orange heading Unique Visitors? This is not an exact count of how many people have visited your site, but it’s probably as close as you’re going to get. (Exact numbers are impossible to track with complete accuracy.) 71
  5. 5. Now look at the light blue box called Hits. In the early days of the Internet, there was a lot of talk about how many hits a web site would get, and many people would have hit counters on their site. Even now, many of my clients ask for a hit counter so they can see how many people have visited. I explain to them that hits does not refer to the number of people who have visited your site. Rather, it’s a tally of each page element that has been downloaded to your browser, namely, HTML code, images, and scripts. Each of these elements are counted separately. Therefore, one visitor could generate hundreds of hits, depending on how many different areas of your site they access. Even one page can have hundreds of specific files that are counted as hits. So you can see why it’s not an accurate way to gauge a web site’s success. Unique visitors is much closer to the actual human figure. Because we’re going to be installing a program called Google Analytics, which tracks these same stats with an easier-to-understand interface, we won’t go into depth about Awstats. Just know that it is there. Additional domains Let’s jump down to the Domains heading. The Addon Domains button is what you will use when you build your second site and all subsequent ones. At the end of this course, the process will be explained in detail. Databases Under Databases is where the MySQL databases are found. These keep track of all the info needed to host a blog, shopping cart, or other programs. We’ll pop back in here later. Scripts and services Lastly, under Software/Services, take a look at the Fantastico De Luxe button with the happy smiley face. This is used to install any of dozens of scripts available with your hosting plan. (All of these require databases.) We’ll use Fantastico to install WordPress. Assignment to complete before continuing Add at least 3 more ideas to your topic list. 72