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The industry standard when it comes to managing WordPress hosting is cPanel. If you buy a cPanel hosting package you’re getting a blank canvas in the form of the server space and cPanel is the paint and paintbrushes that let you create whatever you want on that canvas.
The cPanel suite of tools is accessed via a graphical user interface making it easy to manage all aspects of your WordPress hosting package. According to BuiltWith, over a million live websites are using it.
If WordPress hasn’t already been installed by your hosting provider it will need to be installed. There are two ways of doing that via cPanel.
The first and by far the easiest way to do this is if your hosting provider has included an automatic WordPress installation tool such as MOJO or Softaculous. If they have been included these tools will be found in the autoinstallers category. The downside of going down this route is the fact that an automated installation may well contain bloatware such as Themes and Plugins that you don’t need.
The second way to install WordPress is to do it manually. To do this you need to download the WordPress files and copy them into the correct directory. Once that’s been done you can use cPanel’s MySQL Database Wizard tool to create the databases that you’ll need. The database details should be added to the wp-config.php file using the Code Editor tool. This method requires more technical knowledge but results in a WordPress installation that’s tailored to your specific requirements.
Once you have installed WordPress you can log in to cPanel. Usually, cPanel is on port 2083, so if that’s the case you access cPanel via https://www.yourdomain.com:2083 and log in by entering the login credentials that were given to you by your hosting provider.
Managing your WordPress hosting via cPanel
A lot of the tools that you will need can be found in cPanel’s Files category.
The first thing you should do is to check the permissions on your files. You can do this via the File Manager tool. You can also use the File Manager tool to upload Themes and Plugins, or to delete any Themes and Plugins that were autoinstalled that you don’t actually need.
The Files category is also where the Backup Wizard tool lives. This tool enables you to create a backup of your entire WordPress site or you can just use it to back up specific files or directories. As well as enabling you to perform backups, the Backup Wizard makes it easy to restore your WordPress installation from a previous backup.
WordPress is constantly evolving, so it is important to ensure that you perform regular updates. Regular updates keep your WordPress installation secure.
Thankfully, cPanel’s WordPress Manager tool automates these updates, making it easier to keep your WordPress installation up-to-date. You can find the WordPress Manager tool in the Applications category. Users who prefer to have more control over their WordPress updates can choose which updates are applied automatically and which require manual intervention.
Another feature of the WordPress Manager tool is user password management. This includes automatically dealing with password reset requests.
Monitoring your WordPress website via cPanel
A standard WordPress installation provides you with information about how much traffic your website is getting. This information can be viewed on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis. You can break down the traffic to see which of your pages are getting the most traffic and you can find out where the traffic is coming from. The information is updated every half hour.
If you need more detailed statistics to help you monitor how your WordPress website is performing there are some additional options available via cPanel’s AWStats tool. This tool can be found in the Logs category.
AWStats tells you how long each visit lasted, how many of the visitors were robots or spiders, and which keywords and keyphrases were used to find your website. The tool also tells you what operating systems and browsers your website visitors are using.
You can exclude certain IP addresses from the statistics. This is useful if you don’t want the statistics to include your own page views.