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Navigating the C-Panel

As promised, today I’m going to reveal a bit about the very useful but somewhat intimidating C-panel. The name derives from either Command or Control maybe both? Sometimes it feels like I need a Conquest-panel to control the Command-Panel. The C-panel is a piece of hosting software that enables you to manage most aspects on your website from a macro perspective. As far as I know the hosting software is the largest of the lot and allows relatively easy management of your site (if you know which aspects to use).

The first thing to realise is that a lot of the buttons and menus can be ignored. The C-panel is packed with so many weird and wonderful things, but at the start only a few are essential.  The panel can usually be reached via typing in your domain followed by /cpanel (e.g. chriswinterhoff.com/cpanel). Your domain name registrar will have sent you an email with the login details to sign on.

Once you have logged in there are three sections that you need to pay attention to:

Firstly, you will have to install the blog software to your website. After locating the “software/services” tab, you will note a button called “softaculous”. Softaculous is an auto-installer which helps you install apps onto your website. With its help, it is much easier to install apps such as wordpress (imagine programming a blog into your website… urgh!). After clicking on this, follow the steps to install wordpress.

Secondly, and perhaps the most important area once set up is the “backup” area. Since your website is live on the web, it is also vulnerable to systems failures, errors and computer virus attacks. The hosting provider will do its best to thwart many of these failures and attacks, but it is unlikely to resist them all. That’s why it is very important to back up your site regularly. This area will help you do that. And depending on how often you post content, I would schedule a weekly or monthly backup routine, saving the backups to your cloud or hard drive.

Thirdly, the stats page will be one of your regular sections to check out once you have a few posts on your site.  Here you’ll be able to check out historical stats regarding page views for the website as a whole, each separate post, times of the website views, country’s of your viewers locations amongst a few other things. If you experiment a bit, you can judge which topics get the most views and how long people take to read through your content (if they do read through it, that  is). Of course, a lot of this depends on how big your subscriber base is or how easily your website is found via a search engine (more info on Search Engine Optimisation in future posts).

These are broadly the three most important areas you need to pay attention to at this point in time.I will go into more detail about the wordpress settings and initial set up next week.

Happy Monday!

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