Certainly you noticed the lack of books about hosting, fortunately A. Pedersen thought about writing something about WHM and Cpanel. We have previously reviewed the WHM Administration guide, and here is today the second book titled Cpanel User Guide And Tutorial. Cpanel is definitely one of the most popular control panel solution used by shared hosting mainly and even for dedicated and VPS hosting. What’s interesting with Cpanel and WHM is that it provides to end user all the experience of hosting management that anyone without advanced knowledge can manage easily a hosting account.
The book is more for beginners and newbies, but you can find some useful tips and tutorials that can make your job easier. In total the 13 chapters, around 200 pages published by Packt Publishing, covered all topics related to Cpanel from the introduction and where to find hosting providers that support it, until discovering the interface and doing advanced management tasks of your account. The first and second chapters introduce to the Cpanel world, but giving also some tips for example if you are looking for hosting what questions you should ask to hosting companies. Then you will find a glance on the main Cpanel interface and different information you can get.
From the chapter three the book dive into more technical topics starting with FTP, the management, creating accounts, Anonymous FTP access, control of FTP sessions and other type of FTP connection such SFTP and FXP Transfers which I find very interesting especially for newbies.
Chapter four provide a complete coverage on Mail features provided by Cpanel, create accounts, set quotas, access webmail. But some features here are just mentioned and not detailed very well in my opinion, such mail forwarding and Mailing list which maybe need a chapter apart. Hopefully the spam and antivirus section are very well detailed to help you keep your account protected.
Database details are explained in chapter five, very quickly nothing really difficult in my opinion: creating database, adding users, setup permission. In addition to an introduction to phpMyAdmin and phpPgAdmin the two ultimate web-based database management tools for respectively MySQL and PostgreSQL database.
Many features in Cpanel are interesting to discover about controlling access to and organizing your data, chapter six give a quick introduction for tasks very common such changing Cpanel password, adding subdomains, hotlink and leech protection, password protected directories, index manager, IP deny manager … This will be enough to get started in my opinion, the rest you will discover one day when you face problem, for example the IP deny manager can create conflict with your .htaccess already existent in your website, but of course you understand that you cannot learn everything once.
The chapter seven is very interesting because it provide information on most important tools for marketers and webmasters to keep an eye on account activity via stats and raw logs. Of course the stat tools that you will find with your Cpanel depend from a hosting provider to another, but Awstats and Webalizer are mainly the most used ones.
Cpanel provide software-based backup solution, which is useful if you want something quick and cheap but there is more advanced backup solution for professional website that you should opt in if you want to keep your website safe. The most important feature I love in the backup section in cpanel is the ability to generate a backup file of your hosting account to move it from a server to another.
If you want a script ready to use for your website, cpanel provide a many open source solution that you can install with a simple click. Chapter nine explores the different open source scripts offered by Cpanel such blogging tool WordPress, Joomla and Xoops CMS, PHPBB and invision board forums, osCommerce … etc. The author provides also suggestions on how to find other scripts and advice on working with these scripts.
Chapter ten flirt with advanced Cpanel features such Frontpage (I don’t know who is still using this), addon and parked domains, SSH, Telnet, SSL Management, Cron jobs, Network Tools and features in Cpanel Pro such Image Manager, Leech Protect, ClamAV…
Finally you can learn about security and how to deal with it in chapter eleven. Chapter twelve talks briefly about third party addition to Cpanel like skins, addons such Fantastico. There still some useful tools and links that you will discover in chapter 13, such FTP clients, DNS and domain monitoring, etc.
The book is very interesting as I have said for newbies especially, with very basic information and tutorials on how to make profit from different features available in Cpanel. I personally use WHM and Cpanel in my everyday’s work to manage my servers and hosting accounts and beside a good book there is certainly the internet and your hosting provider support to help you fix any issue you may face.