Brief Overview of cPanel - The Beginning
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The original author of cPanel is J. Nick Koston. The cPanel project started out in 1997 and was destined to be a main control panel for Speed Hosting. The author himself also had a stake in this company. After a relatively short time, the company merged with Web King. Due to some agreements, cPanel was available exclusively to networks hosted by Virtual Development Inc [VDI].
Apparently, there were some internal problems between the author, J. Nick Koston, and VDI. Consequently, the project was split into two independent applications: cPanel and WebPanel. The latter was run by VDI, while cPanel remained with its leading author. Ultimately, cPanel was vastly improved during the first two years, while VDI's WebPanel variation failed.
The author focused totally on improvement and turned cPanel into a world-class, web-based web hosting control panel. It became "contrasted" and "extended" with Web Host Manager (WHM), which is a powerful and reliable utility used to manage and administer hosting accounts on a web server. This is critical in the case of resellers.
(Image Courtesy of cPanel, Inc.)
Another important thing that cPanel does to stand out compared to other web-hosting control panel alternatives is manage software packages on its own. cPanel can update Apache, MySQL, PHP, and other server-side applications to ensure that they are up-to-date and that bugs and security holes are fixed and patched.
Last, but definitely not least, we must point out that cPanel runs on various Linux distributions, such as Fedora, Red Hat, SuSE, FreeBSD, and so forth. You won't see this with servers running on Microsoft Windows. The authentication is secured with SSL (on port 2083) and administrators with the necessary permissions can just log in via a simple web browser.
Let's see how we can access cPanel. For the sake of simplification, let's assume that you've just purchased the following "hostname.com" website. We'll also assume that you've opted for a domain. We all know that it takes a few hours until the domain names are resolved. Thus, during the first few hours, you can only access your website (including your cPanel) via the direct IP address.
Accessing your cPanel can be done by typing the following URL into your favorite web browser: "hostname.com/cpanel". If your hostname isn't resolved yet, then it should be something like the following: "XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX/cpanel" where those Xs stand for the IP address of the server. Don't worry; you are always informed of the IP address of the server and the login information for your cPanel.
In case you were given a randomly generated password, it is more than recommended that you change it. Lately, however, companies tend to automatically set cPanel's login information to the same username and password that you registered while signing up to purchase the specific plan.
Now that you're in, let's check out the dozens of front ends and supported features.
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