Using the cPanel/WHM Web Hosting Control Panel
Posted by Alan Bowman on 24 November 2020 04:22 PM
Applicable Plans - All Cloud Hosting Plans
Using the cPanel/WHM Web Hosting Control Panel
cPanel/WHM is web hosting software that helps to automate and manage websites and web servers. The cPanel software is used to manage websites, while WHM is used by the system administrator to manage the webserver. Using cPanel/WHM you can set up and manage everything from a single website to an entire web hosting business. CPanel/WHM is only available for Linux Virtual Servers.
Using cPanel and WHM
cPanel and WHM provide easy to use web interfaces that allow you to manage your websites and web server, as well as manage your own customers and resellers if you are providing web hosting.
For general assistance with using and configuring WHM and cPanel, the official documentation will have the most up-to-date information. There is a built-in Help system in WHM that is accessed by clicking on the life preserver icon on the right of any screen. This opens a panel with links to a FAQ, Forums, Documentation for both WHM and cPanel, and a way to contact cPanel directly.
The official cPanel and WHM documentation is here: cPanel/WHM Documentation Home. Make sure that you are looking at the correct documentation for your version of cPanel/WHM - to tell which version you are on, log in to WHM and look at the top of the screen. The version will be listed as WHM XX.YY.ZZ (Build ##). The version for WHM and cPanel are the same.
The built-in cPanel and WHM Help and the official cPanel and WHM documentation are the definitive guides on how to configure, use, and administer the software. While generally easy to use, cPanel and WHM have many available options and settings, and the best answers to any configuration or usage questions will come from the official documentation.
cPanel and WHM have many available options and settings, and the best answers to any configuration or usage questions will come from the official documentation.
You can easily upgrade your cPanel/WHM license to one of the other editions. Go to the eApps Store - Licenses and click on cPanel License Options. This will expand the screen, and you will be able to purchase the license you need. Our staff will install the license for you upon payment.
Accessing cPanel and WHM
After you order your cPanel/WHM Virtual Server, it may take up to two hours before it is available to you. The Virtual Server has to be provisioned, and then cPanel/WHM has to be installed. Once cPanel/WHM has been installed, our Billing department will purchase a license for you, and then our Technical Support department will install that license. Once these steps have been completed, you will be notified via e-mail.
Once cPanel/WHM has been installed and licensed, you will be able to log in and begin setting up your web server for your websites and users. You can access cPanel/WHM in two ways: 1) from the Customer Portal, or 2) using a direct URL.
WHM Initial Setup
Before you can use cPanel, you will need to set up WHM. This is where you will do some basic setup for the web server. The WHM Initial Setup is done using the Initial Setup wizard.
The WHM Initial Setup wizard is intuitive and fairly easy to use, but if you have any questions please consult the official WHM Initial Setup Wizard documentation.
To access WHM, use either the Control Panel - WHM link from the Customer Portal, or the direct URL. See Accessing cPanel and WHM if you need more information.
Once you have connected to the Virtual Server you will be on the WHM Login screen. Log in as follows:
There are six steps to the WHM Initial Setup:
Step 1 - Agreement
After the WHM Initial Setup is complete, you will be able to make selections from the Feature Showcase, and then continue to WHM.
Step 1 - Agreement
When you log in to WHM for the first time, you will need to accept the End User License Agreement (EULA). If you do not accept the EULA you will not be able to use the cPanel/WHM software.
Step 2 - Setup Networking
Once you have entered your Contact Information and reviewed the other options, click Save & Go to Step 3.
Step 3 - Setup IP Addresses
If you purchased additional public IP addresses as part of your Virtual Server provisioning process, you can add them here. More information about adding new IP addresses can be found here: Set Up IP Addresses. If you do not need to add any new IP addresses, click on Skip This Step and Use Default Settings to continue.
Step 4 - Nameservers
Leave this section at the defaults - if additional configuration is needed it can be done from WHM directly. Click on Save & Go to Step 5 to continue.
Step 5 - Services
Leave this section at the defaults, and make any configuration changes in WHM directly. Click on Skip This Step and Use Default Settings to continue.
Step 6 - Set Up Quotas
Leave this at the default, and click on Finish Setup Wizard.
After you finish the Setup Wizard, you will be on the Feature Showcase. Here you can enable highlighted features available for WHM and cPanel. Make sure to carefully read the available documentation for each feature you wish to enable.
If you have selected any Features, click on Save Settings, otherwise click on Exit to WHM. This completes the WHM Initial Setup and takes you to the WHM main screen.
Adding Users for cPanel Access
After WHM is set up, you can begin to add users for cPanel. Even if you are the only person using the Virtual Server, you will need to add a cPanel user. You cannot access cPanel as the same root user that you use to access WHM.
Users (Accounts) are added from Account Functions in WHM. You can find Account Functions two ways:
Each method takes you to the same location in WHM - the Account Functions screen.
Click on Create a New Account. This is where you will enter the information for the new cPanel account. More information about creating a new account can be found here: Create a New Account.
Backing Up Your cPanel/WHM Virtual Server
There are three options for backing up your cPanel/WHM Virtual Server:
There is no automatic backup available for Virtual Servers, so you will need to select a backup option that meets your needs. If you do not implement a backup solution, then your data is at risk for total loss.
There are also several options available for backing up your files available through eApps:
More information about the backup services available through eApps is available here - eApps Online Backup Services
Using WHM you can create a self-signed SSL certificate, or generate the files needed to purchase a commercial SSL certificate. You can also install an SSL certificate purchased from a Certificate Authority (CA).
All of these functions can be done from SSL/TLS in WHM. You can find SSL/TLS two ways:
Each method takes you to the same location in WHM - the SSL/TLS screen. The official documentation for SSL/TLS functions in WHM is found here: SSL/TLS. Below are some key features you will use for SSL:
The security of your cPanel/WHM Virtual Server is your responsibility and should be one of your top priorities. WHM has a large number of security features that can be used to enhance the security of your Virtual Server and users, including the ModSecurity web application firewall.
The security features are configured from Security Center in WHM. You can find Security Center two ways:
The security tools available allow you to make changes and enhancements to the security of your web server, mail server, PHP applications, and users. Please review the official WHM Security documentation to understand the available options: Security Center.
ModSecurity Installation and Configuration
ModSecurity is a Web Application Firewall, used to defend against attacks to web application, and to allow for more detailed HTTP traffic monitoring to detect threats. ModSecurity runs as an Apache Web Server module and is configurable on a per-domain level.
Recent versions of cPanel/WHM have ModSecurity installed by default. If you are using version 11.40 or newer, the ModSecurity (mod_security) Apache module is installed by default. If you are on an older version of cPanel/WHM, please see the ModSecurity documentation on how to install and enable it: Apache Module: ModSecurity.
The default ModSecurity installation is for the web server itself at a global level. To manage this configuration, go to ModSecurity Configuration in the Security Center. Each ModSecurity option has a link to the ModSecurity Reference Manual if you need further information about what that option does.
You can also manage custom ModSecurity rules in the ModSecurity Tools section of the Security Center. More information about ModSecurity Tools can be found here: ModSecurity Tools.
ModSecurity can also be installed at the customer domain level, so that a cPanel user can enable or disable individual domains within ModSecurity. However, this is not enabled by default. In order to enable ModSecurity at the domain level, you will need to do one of the following:
With either method, this will add ModSecurity to the Security section in the cPanel Control Panel. The user can then Enable or Disable ModSecurity for their domains. More information about the ModSecurity Domain Manager can found here: ModSecurity Domain Manager.
ModSecurity at the domain level uses the settings defined in WHM, there is no control for an individual user or domain over the ModSecurity rules.
Adding additional IP addresses to cPanel/WHM
By default, your cPanel/WHM Virtual Server comes with one public IP address. You will need to purchase additional IP addresses if you do any of the following:
To purchase additional public IP addresses, you will need to go to the Upgrade/Downgrade options for your Virtual Server, and purchase the IP addresses (not Internal IPs) that you need. More information can be found here: Upgrade/Downgrade Resources for your Virtual Server.
Once you have purchased the additional IP addresses, you can add them to WHM: Add a New IP Address.
More information about how to use and manage IP addresses can be found here: IP Functions.
When you add a new Account to WHM, the domain is added to the mail server. This means that the domain owner or user can manage e-mail addresses for their domain in the cPanel Control Panel. More information about how to set up and use cPanel Mail functions can be found here: cPanel Mail.
There are also tools to manage the mail server in WHM in Email. You can find Email two ways:
Each method takes you to the same location in WHM - the Email screen. In Email you can view and manage reports and the mail queue, and do some troubleshooting. More information about the functions available in Email are found here: Email.
Adding Additional Software to cPanel
The software that is available for cPanel users to install is managed in WHM using cPAddons. The default cPAddons include software like WordPress and OSCommerce, but other applications can be added.
The cPAddons are installed from WHM in cPanel. You can find cPanel two ways:
Each method takes you to the same location in WHM - the cPanel screen. In this screen, you can install and manage cPaddons.
To install a cPAddon, click on Install cPAddons Site Software. This takes you to a screen that shows the currently available cPAddons. To install one, click the box to the left of the name and then click on Update cPAddon Config. This will start the install process. Wait a few minutes, and scroll to the bottom of the screen. If you see a [Back] button, the install is complete.
In the cPanel Control Panel, you can go to Software and Services > Site Software to see the applications available.
You can also add third party applications as cPAddons. One place to look for additional addons is the cPanel Application Catalog. Contact the vendor you wish to purchase an addon from, and they will give you a Vendor's Information URL that you can add to the cPAddons so that you can install their software.
More information about adding cPAddons, including adding new vendors, can be found here: Install cPAddons.