011 - How to configure cPanel account, Mail Client and SSL Protocol

Knowing how to setup cPanel configurations for your website is one of the key leverages of a website builder. Understanding and familiarizing with cPanel makes anyone smart and fast during website implementations.

CPanel ecosystem spreads hundreds of web developers, thousands of hosting companies, and millions of domains all over the world. CPanel is not just a tool, it’s a software that empowers an industry.

This chapter discusses the best and smart steps to take as a beginner with cPanel like website email configuration and setting up SSL certificates.

Before we start configuring our cPanel, let us find the importance of using cPanel as a control panel.

CPanel is a Linux based control panel which uses graphical interface to manage and control website hosting functions and automate the processes of hosting managements. Its main function is to speed up administrative components of website structure.
Instead of using console which is very tedious and takes much effort to learn and use, cPanel maximizes productivity with it inbuilt programs.

cPanel has inbuilt programs like fantastico, softaculous which also speeds up the processes of installing bundles of scripts by automating their installations and updates of web applications such as WordPress, SMF, phpBB, Drupal, Joomla!, Tiki Wiki CMS Groupware, Geeklog, Moodle and others.

There so many inbuilt cPanel plugins by other third party web management free vendors. In this section, we shall only tackle the most important ones to use to launch our website.

When you purchase the domain and hosting from namecheap or any other Linux hosting account, your hosting account will be setup and the information about your Package information like hosting plan, main domain, the starting date of your domain and IP address are all sent to the email you signed up with.

You are also sent with the cPanel access information like your cPanel URL “http://yourwebsiteaddress/cpanel” and your default cPanel username and password.
You should log in to the account using your sent account information. The following exhibit figure 1 shows the interface of a logged in cPanel account.

There are so many functions and buttons on the cPanel interface. Right now the most important thing to note is how to install SSL Certificate with namecheap’s cPanel, how to install WordPress which we will deal with on the next chapter and also how to create new email account for our hosting services so we can use that official email to install WordPress

Creating email accounts using cPanel’s mail installation functions.

Most hosting platforms provide the privilege of creating limited number of email accounts for websites. When you have an email like “info@yourwebsite.com”, your visitors recognize your brand and corporate entities regard your company or website as authentic.

Domain emails also helps your website to create an email identity to customers, suppliers and etc. CPanel also has inbuilt mail clients to process, send, read and manage emails.

To create your company email follow the steps below.

1.     Head on to the Mail part of the cPanel interface as shown in the following figure. Click on the Email Accounts link.

Clicking on the Email Accounts link will take you to the email configuration panel. On the email configuration panel, enter your email details, the preferred email name like “info@yourwebsite.com”.

Just remember to omit the “@yourwebsite.com” from where you should enter the name as shown on figure 3 below. Cpanel already appends that information to your new email.

Make sure you use the Password Generator button to generate strong password for your official website mail.

This advice is recommended. You can also decide to select the Mailbox Quota size to either unlimited or the specified megabyte size as you want. I normally click on the unlimited radio button because I expect more mails.

After creating the email, you can check your inbox with your cPanel mail client. This is done by either navigating to your website address by typing “http://yourwebsite.com:2096”.

The colon “:” after the website extension “.com” is appended with the 2096 number which is the default port number for the mail client of cPanel.

Normally I create a redirect URL of the above port address to a readable one like http://mywebsite.com/mail. I normally prefer to use WordPress plugin to create the redirect URL. We shall come to that on the chapter Installing WordPress best rated themes, plugins, logo and branding.

To open your email for the first time, navigate to the address provided above with the port number as displayed again here “http://yourwebsite.com:2096”. Replace your domain name to the “yourwebsite.com” part.

Then enter your email and password to sign in. The default mail client interface provides you with three email clients to choose or select. You can select to open with horde, roundcube or squirrelMail.

Installing Namecheap’s SSL Certificate
Namecheap makes the installation of the HTTPS protocol which uses the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) very easy to work with.

The Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a computer networking protocol that manages server authentication, client authentication and encrypted communication between servers and clients of the internet structure.

As discussed on the previous chapter, configuring domain name and hosting, Google now gives ranking points to addresses that uses the HTTPS protocol instead of the http protocol.

It is now required to use SSL whenever purchasing domain name. This section guides anyone to install the inbuilt cPanel plugin purposely designed to make SSL installation easy.

Best way to Install SSL Certificate with Namecheap cPanel
Assuming you purchased the PositiveSSL to the Namecheap account when registering your domain and hosting, then Namecheap will automatically configure your SSL settings for you.

To take advantage of this settings, click the TRY NOW button on the light blue panel, titled “Auto-install SSL in two clicks” as shown on the figure below.

This will take you to the next page to log in to your cPanel account with your namecheap account. This action enables namecheap to retrieve information from your account and start the auto configuration.

If you didn’t purchase the PositiveSSL, this settings will not appear. So once you click on the “sign in with Namecheap” button, you will be taken to the next page to allow or reject namecheap to pass domain entries to start your SSL configuration settings.

After allowing namecheap, you are taken to the next page to start installing the plugin.

After installing your SSL, your website is ready to install WordPress.

Easiest and best way to install Wordpress (SOFTACULOUS)