Account: A record for accessing
privatized information. For example, your cPanel account lets you manage your
website. In cPanel, other instances of the term “account” occur in email and FTP.
A rule that determines where email, delivered to a domain's main email account
and meeting certain criteria, will be delivered. See also Filter.
Addon Domain: An additional domain
name associated with your cPanel account. Each addon domain is stored in its own
directory which you can configure. This allows you to manage multiple domains
from a single cPanel account. Addon domains must be registered with a domain
name registrar to work.
Analog: A program that provides
information about the visitors to your website in both graphical and statistical
views. More information about Analog
can be found at its website: http://www.analog.cx/.
A process whereby visitors without FTP
accounts may upload and download files to and from your site. Although it poses
security risks, anonymous FTP
can be convenient if you wish to make files publicly available for downloading.
When setting up anonymous FTP,
it is important to protect any sensitive information by changing file
permissions and directory access permissions.
Apache: A program that receives
requests from web browsers. It then responds by “serving” web pages to the
browsers; for this reason, it’s called web server software.
Apache Handler: A means of telling
software how to process a given type of file. By default, Apache
only handles certain file types. You can configure Apache
handlers for other file types using cPanel. For more information, see Apache's
Authentication: A process for
confirming the identity of someone with whom you want to share sensitive
information. On the web, authentication usually involves either a username and
password set or a public/private key pair.
Auto Responder: Auto responders
allow you to automate replies to incoming email. In cPanel, this feature can be
useful for confirming the receipt of mail, or for informing correspondents that
the recipient is unavailable (for example, while on vacation).
AWStats (Advanced Web Statistics): A
program that provides information about the visitors to your website in both
graphical and statistical views. More information about AWStats can be found at
its website: http://awstats.sourceforge.net/.
Backscatter: Bounce email messages
(or failed Delivery Status Notifications) erroneously sent to a domain whose
name has been forged as the sender of spam. Using SPF
on your mail server should reduce backscatter.
Backup: A copy of your website’s files,
directories, databases, and email configurations. Keeping a backup copy of your
website on your personal computer is a wise precaution.
Bandwidth: The amount of data
transferred to and from a web server. Every time a visitor views a file (whether
it’s a web page, image, video, or audio file), that file has to be transferred
to the visitor’s computer. Bandwidth
is the total size of all these files transferred to your visitors’ computers. It
is important to keep track of bandwidth usage, as it is limited by web hosts.
Banners: Images which appear on a
website, often as advertisements at the top or bottom of a page. Often, banners
alternate with each successive visit to the page.
BoxTrapper: An application included
with cPanel that filters spam by requiring would-be senders to reply to a
verification email (also known as challenge-response verification). Only after
the sender is verified through the reply will his or her original email be
BoxTrapper Blacklist: A list of
email addresses from which incoming mail will be automatically blocked. cPanel
automatically sends a configurable warning message upon receipt of mail from a
blacklisted address. See also BoxTrapper Ignore
List and Whitelist.
BoxTrapper Ignore List: A list of email
addresses from which incoming mail will be blocked. cPanel does not send a
warning message upon receipt of mail from an ignored address. See also
BoxTrapper Whitelist: A list of email
addresses from which incoming mail will automatically be accepted. See also
List and Blacklist.
Build: Formerly, a minor version of
cPanel. (These are now referred to as Release
Catch-All Address: The email address to
which cPanel routes any email message sent to email accounts which do not exist
at your domain. Also called a Default
CGI (Common Gateway Interface): A
protocol that lets a web server communicate with scripts and other software.
cPanel’s CGI Center provides an array of CGI scripts that let you
generate and manage useful features for your website, including a guestbook,
clock, hit counter, countdown clock, and banner ads.
CIDR (Classless Inter-Domain Routing): A
routing method that assigns each Internet user to a four-part IP address, with
each part separated by a decimal, followed by a slash and a number between 0 and
CLI (Command Line Interface): A means
of communicating with a computer by typing commands. On Unix systems, this is
also often called a shell.
Client: Any application that
accesses a service on another computer. Web browsers such as Internet Explorer
can be called web clients. FTP
clients include FileZilla and Cyberduck.
cPAddons: Pieces of software that
you can install on your website through cPanel. cPAddons provide useful tools to
your website. Common examples include bulletin boards, chat programs, and online
CPAN (Comprehensive Perl Archive
Network): The main repository of Perl
modules, pieces of Perl
software. The CPAN library (located at http://www.cpan.org) contains over 12,000 modules, most of
which are free of charge. cPanel allows you to search CPAN and install Perl
Cron Job: A command on a server,
executed at regular intervals. These commands are stored in a Unix configuration
file called crontab.
CSR (Certificate Signing Request): A
request, which you send to a certificate authority, for an identity certificate.
cPanel can generate a CSR for you, but since authorities vary with regard to the
information they require, you should check their requirements before applying
for a certificate.
Default Address: The email
address to which cPanel routes any email message sent to email accounts which do
not exist at your domain. Also called a Catch-All
Directory (Folder): A repository
for files, analogous to a file folder on your personal computer. In website
management, directories contain all of the files associated with your website.
DNS (Domain Name System): The
component of the Internet which acts as a “phone book,” converting
human-readable domain names (such as
computer-readable IP addresses (such as
22.214.171.124, in the case
Domain: The name you give your
website, which will appear in your website’s URL
and email addresses. Usually seen as
example.com, where "example"
is meant for your domain’s name.
DomainKeys: An email
authentication method that attempts to verify that a message actually came from
the domain it appears to have come from.
DSA (Digital Signature Algorithm): A
method of generating public and private keys for encrypting data. This algorithm
was developed by the U.S. government.
Entropy Banner Manager: A script,
included with cPanel, that lets you manage rotating banner images on your
Entropy Search: A script, included
with cPanel, that creates a search engine for your website.
Error Pages: These pages display
warning messages when visitors encounter problems while trying to access your
site. cPanel lets you configure the error messages that display for your site.
For an in-depth look at HTTP
error codes, please visit our HTTP error codes
Filter: In cPanel, a tool that
processes mail according to your preferences. For example, a filter can
automatically discard spam or save mail from a specified sender to its own
folder. In cPanel, filters can be applied to the main email account on a domain
(Account Level Filters), or customized for each individual account
(User Level Filters).
Forwarder: A tool that lets you
forward a copy of every email message you receive to another address. When a
forwarder is set up, you will still receive mail at the original recipient
address. If, however, you create a forwarder without first creating the original
address, messages will be forwarded to the end address without being sent to the
original address, as it does not exist.
FrontPage®: A discontinued Microsoft® application that
allows you to edit your web page in WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get)
format, rather than using HTML
code. cPanel provides FrontPage
extensions, so you can publish your site using FrontPage,
allowing you to skip the FTP
process. Newer versions of FrontPage
allow you to publish your site using FTP
or WebDAV. See the FrontPage
User Manual for more information about publishing.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol): A method
of transferring files from one computer to another. cPanel comes equipped with
an FTP server that can be configured to your preference. An FTP client must be
installed on your computer in order to send files to and receive files from the
FTP server. Some FTP clients include FileZilla (for Windows®, Linux, and Unix),
and Cyberduck (for Mac®).
FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name): A
name that uniquely defines a domain’s location. It is usually seen as
host.example.com. with a trailing dot. For the purposes of cPanel,
including a final dot is not necessary, but the domain name must contain at
least 2 dots.
GnuPG (GNU Privacy Guard): A suite of
tools used for data encryption and signing. These tools are most commonly used
for signing emails. For more information, see the GnuPG website.
gzip: A program which compresses
files for quick transfer. The compressed files use the filename extension
Your cPanel account’s highest-level directory, which contains all of the files
and directories used by domains managed through your account. Files placed in
your home directory are not accessible online unless they reside in the
public_html directory or a subdirectory of
HotLink: Also known as an “inline link.”
A hotlink is a direct link that embeds a file (such as an image or video) from
your site into another website. When another site embeds your files, it is using
your bandwidth to serve those files.
.htaccess: A file that resides in
a specific directory, and contains configuration information applying to all the
information in that directory. The
.htaccess file may also contain
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language): The
language in which most pages on the World Wide Web are written.
.htpasswd: A file that resides in
a specific directory, along with an .htaccess file. The
file contains encrypted password information when authentication has been set up
for the directory.
HTTP (Hyptertext Transfer Protocol):
The method (protocol) for transferring data over the Internet.
IMAP (Internet Message Access
Protocol): Along with POP3,
one of the two most widely used email transfer methods. IMAP synchronizes email
account information with the mail server on a regular basis. If you log in to
multiple computers to check your email, IMAP will allow you to see what messages
you have viewed, replied to, forwarded, etc. POP3
does not allow you to see this information.
Index Page: The page viewed by default
when a visitor accesses a directory of your website. If no index page exists for
the specified directory, the visitor will see a list of files in that directory,
unless you turn off indexing in cPanel. This page is most often titled
IP (Internet Protocol) Address: A
number that identifies a computer on a network, making it possible for other
computers to find and communicate with it.
Java: A computer programming language
used by many web applications. cPanel uses the Java language to provide the
SSHTerm and Java Telnet
features. These small applications, which run within the context of a web
browser, are called applets.
Key: In cryptography, a key is used to
encrypt or decrypt information. Keys are an important part of encryption and
security and should be guarded appropriately.
Leech: A visitor who uses another
person’s password to access a restricted area of a website. cPanel allows you to
prevent leeching by redirecting likely offenders or disabling accounts whose
passwords have been compromised.
Legacy: A term for an old software
program or computer system that is still in use.
Local Host: An easy way to refer to
the computer that you are currently working on.
Log: A file, automatically created by
the server, that records activities performed by or on the server. For instance,
error logs are lists of errors that visitors have encountered on your site.
Mailing List: A list of email
addresses which list members can use to communicate. Alternatively, such a list
can be used to send email messages to a large group of people. cPanel uses a
program called Mailman for mailing list software; for more information, please
see its website, http://www.list.org.
MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions)
Type: Now called an Internet media type, this component of a file
identifies the file type, so that web browsers know how to handle it. cPanel
lets you specify which application should be used to open files with a given
MX (Mail eXchanger) Entry: A record that
specifies where email should be sent for a domain. If you are using an email
scanning service or custom mail delivery, you may need to change the MX record
for your domain.
MySQL: A relational database management
tool and server. Databases are an integral part of web applications such as
bulletin boards and blogs. cPanel provides an integrated MySQL
interface as well as a MySQL
database editing tool called phpMyAdmin.
Nameserver: A computer that contains
a list of domain names and their corresponding IP addresses. These computers are
spread through the Internet and allow you to find where a domain is located.
Nameservers gather data about domains over time; therefore, changes to DNS
records can take up to a week to reach all the nameservers on the Internet (or
Parked Domain: A second domain that
points to your primary domain. When users attempt to access the parked domain,
they will see your main website. For example, both http://www.cpanel.net and http://www.cpanel.com go to the
same place, as
cpanel.com is a parked domain for
PEAR (PHP Extension and Application
Repository): A repository of PHP
code. cPanel allows you to search for and install PEAR packages consisting of PHP
programs which can perform useful functions for your website.
Perl: Known for its ability to
process text, Perl is a useful language for web applications. Perl applications
are commonly found as
files and may require Perl modules. Perl modules can be installed within cPanel.
Perl Module: A piece of software written
in the Perl
language. Modules are common pieces of software that are reused often. For
example, rather than writing a set of functions to display calendars, you can
simply use a calendar module.
PHP: A computer scripting language in
which many web-based applications are written. PHP applications are commonly
found with the filename extensions
.php5. Some PHP applications require PEAR
packages, which can be installed in cPanel through the PHP PEAR
PHP Package: A piece of software
written in the PHP
phpMyAdmin: A graphical application
that allows you to manipulate and manage MySQL
databases. Full documentation for phpMyAdmin can be found at its creators’
POP3 (Post Office Protocol version
3): Along with IMAP,
one of the two most widely used email transfer methods. POP3 simply copies every
message in your email account to your local computer. No information is sent
back to your email account about message replies, forwarding, etc. If you use
multiple computers to check your email, it is advised that you use IMAP
instead of POP3.
POSIX (Portable Operating System
Interface): A standardized collection of commands for the Unix
A string of characters that a computer uses to encode or decode encrypted
messages it receives. Encryption schemes use a matching pair of keys (one
public, one private) to create a secret code so that anyone looking at messages
sent from or received by your computer will be unable to determine the contents
of those messages without access to the private key. A private key is integral
to protecting your confidential information and should be safeguarded
Proxy: In computing, a computer or
program that serves as an intermediary between two other entities. For instance,
a proxy server receives a request from a client, finds the requested resource,
and returns it to the client.
A string of characters that a computer uses to encode or decode encrypted
messages it receives. Typically, a public key will be placed on a server so that
you can established an encrypted connection to that server.
public_ftp: A subdirectory, located
inside your home directory, that contains files that are publicly accessible via
users may also upload files to this directory. This is the default directory
users will access when they connect to your site via anonymous FTP.
public_html: A subdirectory, located
inside your home directory, that contains files that are publicly accessible via
www directory is a link to
public_html. Any files
and folders inside of
public_html are visible over the Internet,
unless you specifically protect them with password protection or using the
Redirect: A feature that allows
you to send visitors who try to access one URL
to another URL.
cPanel allows you to set up either temporary or permanent redirects. Redirects
are useful when you change the URL
of a page on your website. You can put up a redirect at the old URL
to make sure your visitors are automatically sent to the new URL.
Referer: A web page which links to
your site; also called an “HTTP
referer.” This spelling is the industry standard term, though it is based on a
misspelling of “referrer.”
Release Tiers: These exist in four
types which are, in order from least to most stable, EDGE, CURRENT, RELEASE, and
STABLE. Please visit our documentation
on cPanel versions and the release process for an in-depth discussion of Release
Root: 1) Specific to Unix and
Unix-based systems, the system account, used by a system administrator, that
carries full privileges for configuring a computer system. Also called
“superuser.” 2) The highest level directory in a Unix or Unix-based system,
usually notated by a forward slash (
RSA: An algorithm for generating
public and private keys when sending encrypted data between a local machine and
a remote machine. The name of this method is not an abbreviation; it is named
after its three inventors.
SCP (Secure Copy Protocol): A method
of transferring encrypted files from one computer to another. This method
prevents data from being intercepted and read.
Shell: Software that allows you to
interact with a computer. Many Unix shells allow you to type commands, and are
often referred to as CLIs, or command line interfaces.
Shortcut: A link to an
application which allows you to access it from a convenient location, like your
SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol): The
standard method (protocol) that email clients use for sending messages. Email
clients use the POP3
protocols to receive mail from a server.
Spam: Chiefly, unsolicited email sent
in bulk, usually by an automated system. As spam is considered a costly nuisance
to the recipient, cPanel includes features like SpamAssassin
that can cut down on the amount of spam received.
SpamAssassin: An application
which can filter suspected spam before you receive it. SpamAssassin
can be configured to filter spam more or less aggressively, according to your
needs. Learn more about SpamAssassin
at its website: http://spamassassin.apache.org/.
SPF (Sender Policy Framework): A
feature that allows a recipient server to verify that an email message has
really been sent from the domain specified in the From: field. Enabling
SPF can prevent your server from receiving replies to spam that has forged your
domain name as part of the sender’s address. SPF only works if both the sending
and receiving mail servers have SPF enabled.
Spoofing: In email, this term is
used to describe the forgery of a domain name as the sender in the header of an
email. Enabling SPF
makes it more difficult for spammers to spoof your domain.
SSH (Secure Shell
Handler): A network protocol that allows a user to log into a remote
machine user account securely. cPanel can create keys for authenticating your
identity during SSH login, and provides a Java
applet for accessing SSH through your web browser.
SSL Certificate: An electronic document
(using the filename extension .crt) which binds a public key to an identity
consisting of an email address, company, and location. This electronic document
is a key piece in an authentication process.
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)/TLS (Transport Layer
Security): TLS is simply the more recent version of SSL. Both are
cryptographic schemes that allow for secure interaction between a web browser
and a web server. All sensitive data (credit card numbers, login information,
etc) that is transmitted over the internet should be protected by SSL/TLS. You
can install an SSL certificate on your web site to allow your site to be
protected by SSL/TLS.
Subdomain: A subsection of your
website that exists as a subdirectory in your home folder. If your domain were
example.com, then the subdomain URL
would appear as
Tar: Originally derived from “Tape
Archive,”a program that collates files for transfer or distribution. Files
processed by this program are usually compressed, commonly called “tarballs,”
and use the filename extension
.tar. Due to the compression
.tar often precedes the
Tarball: A file collated by the
tar program, and usually compressed.
Telnet: A network protocol that
allows a user to log into a remote machine user account remotely. Telnet
is similar to SSH,
but less secure. Telnet
should not be used to connect to your web site except for testing purposes.
Login information is sent through Telnet
as plain text and can be easily intercepted.
Thumbnail: A version of an image
file that is reduced in size, allowing for easy viewing of multiple images.
cPanel includes a Thumbnailer
tool as part of its Image
Thumbnailer: A cPanel tool
that automatically sizes down all the images in a directory. The new thumbnails
are stored in a subdirectory named
*/Thumbnails, where * is meant
to represent the parent directory containing the original images.
URI (Universal Resource Identifier):
On the web, a URI
is a string of characters that identifies a website. URI
is often used synonymously with the terms “URL”
and “web address,” although there are technical differences among the three.
URL (Universal Resource Locator): On
the web, a URL is a string of characters that identifies the location of a
website. Since IP addresses are difficult to remember, URLs are used instead.
For example, it is much easier to remember to go to
is often used synonymously with the terms “URI”
and “web address,” although there are technical differences among the 3.
User: A person who uses a computer to
accomplish some purpose.
Visitor: A person who views your
Web Browser: An application used to
view and interact with sites and pages on the World Wide Web. Examples include
Firefox®, Internet Explorer®, and Safari®.
Web Disk: A feature of cPanel that lets
you manipulate your web files by dragging and dropping, just as you do on your
local computer’s operating system.
The top-most directory of your website (namely,
www), inside which all of the files and subdirectories for your
A program, such as Apache,
which receives requests from clients (web browsers), retrieves the requested web
pages, and “serves” them to the clients.
Webalizer, The: A program that
displays various statistics for your website using tables and graphs. Full
documentation for The Webalizer
can be found at its creators’ website: http://www.webalizer.com.
Webmail: Any application which allows
you to access your email through a web browser. The main advantage to webmail is
the ability to access your email account from any computer connected to the
Internet without having to install or configure a specific mail program.
WHM (WebHost Manager®): Companion
software to cPanel, designed for web hosts, resellers, and system
www: For the purposes of cPanel,
www is a link to the directory that holds the files that make up
your website (