Most web hosting accounts come with a software management application that gives you easy management options from one location. This application is referred to as cPanel and for most beginners starting out with there own web hosting service this makes getting started very easy. With a little bit of trial and error even a beginner Will be right at home with this program.
Cpanel makes managing your domains easy enough. It gives you the ability to setup sub domains, redirect more than one domain to point at a website. It also allows the ability to add additional domains to the account. Typically the limits on these functions will be determined by your web hosting account
Cpanel is also where you go to setup email address’s. You can setup email address’s for each domain. Most web hosting providers allow you to even forward those emails to an existing account. The email setup functions will include being able to create, delete or modify each mail box that you setup. You will also have the ability to set it up as a pop account so you can download your email to a program like Microsoft’s Outlook Express or read it through one of the email access programs in cpanel.
There is also going to be functions to manage your databases. You will be able to create, modify and delete databases as needed. This is usually a two step process where you setup the databases and then you have to setup users for them so that the applications using the database can get access.
Your FTP (file transfer protocol) access is also setup in the cpanel. You can set the level of access certain users have as well as other ftp tasks. Some web hosting providers even have a built in FTP program. If not there are several free ones available in the Internet including Filezilla which is one of the more popular and flexible to use.
Most web hosting providers will include several scripts and an auto installer called Fantastico for easy setup of them. This will include applications like WordPress, Forums, Mambo, phpbb, and several more popular products written in php. Fantasitico will walk you through setting them up with out having to upload them yourself and then configure them as well. This will save you many hours of frustration as some of these installations can be involved, especially if your not familiar with typical script installations.
It is also valuable to be able to see how many surfers your getting to your website. With cpanel you will get a statistics program that will be able to tell you how many clicks you are getting and where they are coming from. It will even tell you how many are different surfers compared to someone who keeps coming back to your website and click through multiple times.
Cpanel makes managing your web hosting account considerably easier and less complicated. However you will still have to take some time to learn the tricks of the trade but with experience you will find it a time saver.