WordPress Installation Files: A Glossary For Non-Techies

Need to know what WordPress installation folders and files in your server are used for? Here is a glossary of WordPress installation files for non-techies …

WordPress Installation Files: A Glossary For Non-TechiesWhen WordPress is installed on your domain, either by performing a manual WordPress installation or using a WordPress installation script like Softaculous or Fantastico, a number of folders and files get added to your server’s root directory.

Although these folders and files are mostly accessed by technical users like website developers, it’s good to know what these folders and files are used for, especially if you plan to build or manage your own WordPress site.

WordPress installation files

(WordPress installation files)

You can view these folders and files using an FTP application or cPanel’s File Manager. For help with this, see the tutorial below:

Knowing what WordPress installation folders and files do is also important for areas like:

WordPress Installation Files: A Glossary For Non-Techies

Your WordPress site is made up of your WordPress installation files and your WordPress database. These are responsible for creating, storing, and managing all of your site’s information, web pages, etc.

Below is a glossary of WordPress installation files for non-techies. The glossary includes non-technical explanations and descriptions with links to related tutorials.

If you need more technical information about the folders or files below, please refer to the official WordPress documentation here:

wp-admin

This folder contains all of the files that control your WordPress site’s installation, administration, and management functions …

WordPress wp-admin folder

(WordPress wp-admin folder)

wp-content

This folder holds all of the content supplied by users (e.g. images uploaded to the WordPress Media Library) and stores all of the WordPress Themes and WordPress Plugins installed on your site …

WordPress wp-content folder

(WordPress wp-content folder)

This folder is also used for things like:

wp-includes

This folder contains most of the technical files and instructions required for supporting WordPress functionality …

WordPress wp-includes folder

(WordPress wp-includes folder)

.htaccess

An .htaccess file is a configuration file used on web servers running the Apache Web Server software. It contains important server instructions …

WordPress .htaccess file

(WordPress .htaccess file)

The .htaccess file is used to enable/disable functionality, such as:

  • Enabling password protection on a directory
  • Enabling content protection
  • Denying visitors access to the website
  • Redirecting visitors to another page or a custom error or 404 page
  • Preventing images on your site from being hotlinked
  • Etc.

If you experience WordPress errors, it may be because your .htaccess file has become corrupted. If this happens, see this tutorial:

index.php

This is the core WordPress index file that instructs your WordPress theme and blog to load.

This file looks to see if you have set a home page in WordPress and displays that page to your visitors. If not, it displays a default blog page.

Basically, what the index.php file does, is show visitors a page like this when they visit your site …

This is what visitors see thanks to index.php

(This is what visitors see thanks to index.php)

Instead of a directory of internal files like this …

This is what visitors see if index.php file is removed

(This is what visitors see if index.php file is removed)

license.txt

This file contains the WordPress GPL license which states that WordPress is free software and can be redistributed and/or modified under the terms of the GNU General Public License.

readme.html

This file contains useful pre-installation information about WordPress …

WordPress ReadMe file

(WordPress ReadMe file)

wp-activate.php

This file confirms that the activation key sent in an email after a user signs up for a new site matches the key for that user and then displays confirmation.

wp-blog-header.php

This file decides what to display based on the parameters that are passed to the blog from any page that wants to display WordPress content and loads the WordPress environment and template.

wp-comments-post.php

This file receives posted comments and adds them to the WordPress database. It also prevents duplicate comment posting.

wp-config-sample.php

This is a sample of the wp-config.php file used to connect WordPress to your MySQL database. You can use this sample file to manually create the wp-config.php file (see below).

wp-config.php

The wp-config.php file is one of your most important WordPress installation files. The wp-config.php file is located in the root of your WordPress file directory and contains your website’s base configuration details, such as your database connection information (e.g. Database Name,  Database Username, Database Password, Database Host, etc.)

Here is some useful information about wp-config.php file:

  • The wp-config.php file isn’t included in the WordPress download files. It is created during the WordPress setup process based either on the information you provide during the manual installation process, or automatically, if you use a WordPress installation script (e.g. Softaculous, Fantastico, etc.)
  • A wp-config.php file can be created manually by editing the sample file (“wp-config-sample.php”), resaving it as wp-config.php and uploading this file to the root install directory.
  • The content of the wp-config.php file follow a specific order. Rearranging the order of this content may create errors on your website.
  • Editing WordPress files like wp-config.php should always be done using a plain text editor. Never use a word processor like Microsoft Word or Google Docs to edit WordPress files.

Many important modifications to WordPress can be done manually by adding lines of code to the wp-config.php file. Some of the features and functionality affected by the wp-config.php file, for example, include:

  • Adding WordPress Security Keys
  • WordPress Autosave And Post Revision (including changing the Autosave interval and disabling Post revisions)
  • Increasing PHP Memory Limit
  • Defining the ‘home’ URL of your WordPress site (i.e. the URL people type in to visit your site).
  • Moving folders (e.g. content, plugins, themes, uploads folder, etc.) to directories in your server other than their default location.
  • Enabling WordPress Multisite
  • Using WordPress In Other Languages
  • Disabling plugin and theme installation, updates, and edits
  • Disabling WordPress automatic and core updates
  • Blocking external URL requests
  • Forcing Admins and Logins to use SSL
  • Overriding default WordPress File Permissions
  • Changing WordPress Cron settings
  • Emptying the trash
  • Debugging WordPress (troubleshooting errors and making repairs)
  • Allowing WordPress users to optimize and repair the WordPress database
  • And so much more …

wp-cron.php

A CRON job is essentially an automated scheduled task. It’s like someone programming a robot to do XYZ at a specific time. If someone asks the robot “is it time to do XYZ yet?” the robot can then either say “no, it’s not time yet” or “yes, it’s time” and then automatically perform the task.

By default, WordPress calls up wp-cron.php whenever someone visits your WordPress site and a scheduled task is present. Also, hosting providers normally offer CRON. The wp-cron.php file provides a CRON function for hosts that do not offer CRON or where a CRON job has not been set up by software installed on your site.

The wp-cron.php file is used to perform virtual cron jobs (i.e. scheduled tasks) to automate things like publish scheduled posts, check for plugin or theme updates, send email notifications, etc.

wp-links-opml.php

This file converts links added to your site via the WordPress admin menu into a format called OPML (Outline Processor Markup Language).

OPML allows outlines and lists to be exchanged between different platforms, such as exchanging lists of RSS feeds between different feed aggregators.

Essentially, this file allows links to be exported from one WordPress site to another.

wp-load.php

In computing terms, bootstrapping is a technique for loading a program by means of a few initial instructions which then enable the rest of the program to be loaded from somewhere else.

The wp-load.php file is a bootstrap file that loads the wp-config.php file. The wp-config.php file then loads the wp-settings.php file, which then sets up the WordPress environment.

wp-login.php

This is the file that handles the WordPress login page for registered users, including user authentication, user registration, and resetting passwords.

wp-mail.php

WordPress uses this file to obtain blog posts submitted via email. The URL of this file is usually added to a CRON job so that it is regularly retrieved, enabling new email posts to be accepted.

wp-settings.php

This file performs various pre-execution routines and procedures, including checking for correct installation, including auxiliary functions, applying user plugins, initializing execution timers, etc.

wp-signup.php

WordPress uses this file to set up the area where users can sign up to your website or blog.

wp-trackback.php

This file handles incoming trackback requests to WordPress.

xmlrpc.php

This file provides XML-RPC protocol support for WordPress. This allows you to do things like post content to your site using programs and applications other than the built-in web-based administrative interface and for WordPress developers to extend WordPress functionality using plugins.

Additional Files

The additional files below aren’t part of the default WordPress installation but may be found in your server’s WordPress directory:

php.ini

A php.ini file is the default file for configuring and running applications that require PHP. The server looks for this file when PHP starts up for instructions on how to control variables such as upload sizes, file timeouts, and resource limits.

Server & Webhosting

Below are some useful terms to know when installing WordPress on your server:

DKIM

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Email) lets a domain associate its name with an email message by affixing a digital signature to it.

Verification is carried out using the signer’s public key published in the DNS. A valid signature guarantees that some parts of the email (possibly including attachments) have not been modified since the signature was affixed.

Usually, DKIM signatures are not visible to end-users, and are affixed or verified by the infrastructure rather than message’s authors and recipients.

(Source: Wikipedia)

SPF

SPF (Sender Policy Framework) is an email validation protocol designed to detect and block email spoofing by providing a mechanism to allow receiving mail exchangers to verify that incoming mail from a domain comes from an IP Address authorized by that domain’s administrators.

The list of authorized sending hosts and IP addresses for a domain is published in the Domain Name System (DNS) records for that domain in the form of a specially formatted TXT record. Email spam and phishing often use forged “from” addresses and domains, so publishing and checking SPF records is considered to be one of the most reliable and simple to use anti-spam techniques.

(Source: Wikipedia)

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We hope that you have found the above information useful.

WordPress Installation Files: A Glossary For Non-Techies

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"I was absolutely amazed at the scope and breadth of these tutorials! The most in-depth training I have ever received on any subject!" - Myke O'Neill, DailyGreenPost.com

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Benefits Of Managed WordPress Hosting For WordPress Website Owners

Learn about the benefits and advantages of choosing a managed WordPress hosting service to host and manage your WordPress site …

Benefits Of Managed WordPress Hosting For WordPress Website OwnersOur Introduction To WordPress tutorial series provides in-depth information about the benefits and advantages of choosing WordPress as the platform of choice for setting up a website or blog for business or personal use.

In our WordPress installation tutorials, we look at the basic components of a professional digital business presence: WordPress, a domain name, and reliable web hosting.

In this tutorial, we’ll explore the benefits and advantages of choosing a managed WordPress hosting service to host and run your WordPress site and then focus on the leading managed WordPress hosting service provider to illustrate the difference between using managed WP hosting and other hosting services.

Benefits Of Managed WordPress Hosting For WordPress Website Owners

Typically, when businesses choose the services of a website developer or web development agency to build their website, the website developer will look after areas like choosing the type of hosting and hosting provider to host their client’s site, so many website developers don’t see the point in educating their clients about different types of hosting services.

Since the focus of WPCompendium.org is to educate non-technical users and DIY WordPress beginners how to set up, manage and grow their own web presence, it’s important to understand the different options available for hosting your WordPress site.

What Is Managed WordPress Hosting?

Managed WordPress hosting is a specialized service where the hosting company manages all of the technical aspects of running your WordPress website, including management and maintenance tasks such as performing WordPress updates and daily backups, as well as taking care of important technical areas like site migration, security, speed, scalability, and uptime.

Managed WordPress hosting services developed as a result of the growth and popularity of WordPress. Since WordPress is the world’s leading CMS platform, a number of web hosting providers have decided to specialize and focus on servicing the WordPress industry.

While managed WordPress hosting providers take care of all technical areas of managing WordPress in order to free up website owners to focus more on their business, it’s important to distinguish between ‘true’ managed WordPress hosting service providers and ‘feature-rich’ hosting companies that often mimic the service but don’t offer the same level of specialization and expertise.

What Are Some Of The Main Features Of Managed WordPress Hosting?

Managed WordPress hosting companies focus on features that are designed specifically for a WordPress environment. This includes:

  • Automatic Updates – Because WordPress continually updates its software and plugins, in a managed hosting environment WordPress core and plugins should automatically update to their latest versions.
  • Daily Backups – Your hosting environment should provide daily website backups, one-click restores and restore points.
  • WordPress Specific Server Configuration – Your hosting environment should be configured for optimal efficiency, speed, scalability, and security of your WordPress site.
  • Caching & CDNs – Unlike shared hosting environments, with a managed hosting service third-party caching plugins are not required. In addition to caching, most managed WordPress hosting environments include the option to use a content delivery network (CDN) to improve website speed and reduce website loading times wherever visitors are located.
  • Staging – A staging environment allows web developers and web designers to implement and roll out changes to your website with just a few clicks. This includes testing or changing elements of a website’s design, database modifications, or new plugins in a safe environment before making the site with new changes live.
  • Site Migrations – Managed hosting companies make the process of moving websites from one host to another easy, simple, and quick.
  • WordPress Security – In addition to providing improved security features like custom firewalls, continuous malware scanning, strong password enforcement, IP blocking, etc., your managed WordPress hosting service provider should have total expertise in all areas and aspects of WordPress security.
  • WordPress Support – With managed WordPress hosting, your website should be looked after by WordPress experts with deep knowledge and experience of the platform and this expertise should reflect across all areas of WordPress hosting, from migration, to security, optimization, scalability, support, and more.

Do You Need Managed WordPress Hosting For Your WordPress Site?

The decision to use managed WordPress hosting or another reliable hosting service is entirely up to you. The main factors to consider when deciding whether or not to choose a managed WordPress hosting service come down to these:

  • Understanding the pros and cons of managed WordPress hosting
  • Understanding the costs of managed WordPress hosting

Let’s take a brief look at these factors:

Managed WordPress Hosting – Pros Vs Cons

Some of the advantages of managed WordPress hosting include:

  • WordPress Management – Having experienced and knowledgeable WordPress experts looking after your site is definitely an advantage, especially when it comes to performing management and maintenance tasks like migrating, updating, and backing up WordPress sites.
  • WordPress Security – WordPress has its own security requirements. Once again, this is where having the benefit of WordPress experts looking after your site becomes an advantage.
  • WordPress Optimization – Like security, WordPress has unique optimization features and requirements. Knowing how to optimize WordPress sites can lead to significant improvements in speed and performance, which can affect user experience and the revenue you generate from your site.
  • WordPress Scalability – As your site grows in traffic and functionality, it’s important to host with a company that understands scalability issues and how these affect your site’s speed, performance, and responsiveness.
  • WordPress Support – WordPress is a unique platform. Having the expertise to identify what’s going on when problems or errors occur and the knowledge to troubleshoot and fix things is essential.
  • WordPress Development Tools – For website developers, web designers and anyone who builds WordPress sites, having access to development tools such as staging area, version control, etc. is important.

Depending on how you choose to look at it, these are the disadvantages of managed WordPress hosting:

  • Cost – Compared to shared hosting, managed WordPress hosting is more expensive. Where a shared hosting plan can cost as little as $3 or $4 per month, a basic managed WordPress hosting plan can start from around $30 per month.
  • Limited Control – By definition, a managed hosting environment means that you are putting others in control of making technical decisions on your behalf. With a dedicated managed WordPress hosting service, this may include limitations on settings normally available through cPanel, like editing your .htaccess file, setting up Cron jobs, denying IP addresses, etc. and not being able to install certain WordPress plugins for technical or security reasons. If you’re not a technical expert, this should not be a big deal, however, as it lets you focus on your business while leaving experts in charge of your server management.

Is Managed WordPress Hosting Worth The Cost?

In our tutorial on how to set up web hosting for WordPress, we discuss what to look for when choosing a web hosting company.

If cost is your main priority, choose a shared or non-managed WordPress hosting provider, but keep in mind that going with the cheapest web host to run your WordPress sites can leave you vulnerable to hacking, running out of bandwidth, and possibly having your site shut off if you exceed your allotted quota.

If your business depends on your website staying up, running fast and efficiently, being able to handle large amounts of traffic, and getting any issues or problems taken care of fast, then the higher cost of managed WordPress hosting may be justified.

Another way of looking at the cost of managed WordPress hosting is that the service actually costs less than hiring a system administrator with technical expertise to look after the hosting and management of your website.

It may be worth paying a few extra dollars per month, therefore, to have someone else look after technical areas like security, upgrades, updates, maintenance, troubleshooting, and support, leaving you free to focus on important areas like content creation, online marketing, and growing your business.

To learn more about factors that justify paying more for managed WordPress hosting, see this article: How To Justify Costs Of Managed WordPress Hosting.

Is Managed WordPress Hosting Right For Your Business?

Ultimately, whether you decide to host your website with a managed WordPress hosting provider or not is up to you and your business needs.

If you’re just starting out, don’t have much money, little traffic, and your business doesn’t depend heavily on your digital presence yet, then hosting your WordPress site on a shared, VPS (Virtual Private Server), or dedicated server with a reliable host may be a better option.

If you lack technical skills, managing the growth of your web presence with regards to areas like hosting, server, and website security, speed and performance, upgrades, updates, uptime, etc. can be quite challenging. So, if your business is at the level where factors such as server reliability, security, speed, scalability, and customer service have become important and essential to your success, then switching to a managed WordPress hosting service provider may make more sense and the value and peace of mind may justify the cost.

Choosing A Managed WordPress Hosting Company

As your small business or digital presence grows into a high-traffic website, you may need to scale things up and this is where managed WordPress hosting for your WordPress site makes sense.

Scaling things to the next level, however, presents a number of challenges. For this reason, if you are ready to switch to managed WordPress hosting, we recommend choosing the leader in the managed WordPress hosting space.

WPEngine.com

WPEngine.com - The leader in managed WordPress hosting services

(WPEngine.com – The leader in managed WordPress hosting services)

WP Engine – Overview

WPEngine - Managed WordPress Hosting ProviderWP Engine is the industry leader in managed WordPress hosting. It is a “true” managed WordPress hosting company (as opposed to ‘feature-rich’ hosts), employing more than 150 full time WordPress support experts to help customers with their WordPress issues.

Dedicated WordPress engineers keep the hosting platform fast, scalable, and secure to ensure that WordPress sites run and perform optimally.

Additionally, the WP Engine team has spent years perfecting their WordPress hosting platform and adding features built specifically for WordPress users and provide support around the clock by phone, email or live chat.

WPEngine – Useful Information
  • WPEngine is up to 4x faster than the competition.
  • 5% of the online world visits at least one site hosted on WP Engine every day.
  • 3x Stevie Award winner for best customer service & support.
  • Over 2 million website attacks are blocked every day.
  • WPEngine operates in over 150 countries and is the preferred platform for hosting WordPress sites of various governments, Fortune 50 companies, and over 30,000 customers worldwide.

WP Engine is the preferred managed WordPress hosting choice for many leading companies

(WP Engine is the preferred managed WordPress hosting choice for many leading companies)

Jason Cohen, WP Engine’s founder and CTO launched the company in 2010 to address the needs of WordPress users in four key areas that were found to be lacking in other web hosting companies:

  • Security
  • Scalability
  • Speed
  • Service

Let’s take a look at each of these areas and how WP Engine addresses these:

Security

When your website is mostly unknown and getting very little traffic, you may think that security is not a big issue. Why would hackers care about your site when they have bigger sites they can target?

This is a widely-held belief with many businesses, but it’s a dangerous misconception. Hackers don’t care how big or small your site is. Most hackers are interested in gaining control of vulnerable and poorly-secured sites and servers so they can use it for various nefarious activities, such as spreading malware, sending spam email, or causing damage to other sites.

Hosting your website on a shared server creates an even bigger challenge, as the security of your website could be compromised if a hacker gains access to someone else’s site on your shared hosting environment.

Despite the best efforts of website owners to keep their sites secure, many security measures can only be implemented cost-effectively by companies of a certain size and scale.

WPEngine blocks millions of nefarious attacks everyday using complex and holistic security measures. This includes getting early access to information from security companies, proactively monitoring the network for suspicious patterns and behaviors, performing internal and external scans of all servers on a daily basis, and more.

Additionally, WP Engine is only one of a few hosting companies worldwide that guarantees to clean things up for you if your site does get hacked. This promise to assume responsibility keeps the company on its toes and continually vigilant about maintaining the highest level of security at all times, including investing in new security methods.

WP Engine proactively keeps web sites secure with automatic updates for security patches and WordPress core updates, as well as performing security and malware scans to ensure that sites are free from intrusions. Additionally, WP Engine’s technical support team will notify you if your site is impacted by a security risk.

Learn more about WP Engine’s Secure WordPress Hosting.

Speed

With the exponential growth of mobile devices and mobile search, having a fast site has become an important factor not just for ranking higher in search engines, but also for increasing revenue and reducing visitor bounce rates.

Speed in technology has to be ubiquitous, from fast networks and fast servers, to fast loading applications, fast processors, fast operating systems, fast security rules, and so on.

WP Engine employs over 70 engineers and uses state-of-the art technology to ensure that all sites hosted on their network enjoy the fastest loading speeds and performance possible at all times.

You can see how fast your website loads and get free suggestions for improving site speed performance by testing your website with WP Engine’s WordPress Speed Test

WordPress Speed Test

(WordPress Speed Test)

Learn more about the WP Engine Speed Test.

Scalability

Staying fast, up, and available during heavy server usage and traffic spikes (e.g. getting 10x, 20x, even 100x normal traffic) is another important area that WP Engine continuously focuses on improving. Even if your website isn’t getting a lot of traffic yet, sometimes an unpredictable event happens (e.g. your site gets picked up by the media or a post goes viral) and your site gets an unusual flood of traffic.

Traffic spikes can also occur if your site is the target of a brute force attack. Hackers may not get through your security fortress, but your traffic will definitely increase. These types of situations will test your site’s ability to handle high traffic the most. If your server can’t handle this, it could fall over and your site will end up going offline.

Speed and scalability are related. If, for example, your site can be served 4x faster, then your existing hardware can handle 4x the amount of normal traffic. WP Engine has developed a unique and proprietary scalable system that not only serves websites faster, but automatically and dynamically allocates more resources to websites when needed without having to change the configuration of the hosting server.

Service

As the saying goes, “technology is great when it works.” Every customer wants their sites to be up and running all the time and for their plugins and sites to work without issues. When things go wrong, however, as they will from time to time, having excellent and responsive customer support is essential.

It’s no different with WordPress. Sometimes things will go wrong.

WP Engine employs expert WordPress engineers to look after the WordPress hosting needs of their customers and has a dedicated team of over 150 technical support experts who provide support around the clock by phone, email or live chat and can help customers with questions about their websites and WordPress issues.

WP Engine provides world-class support to customers with a commitment to improve their service through customer feedback and by continually investing in training their service and support team. New staff must undergo intensive training before they can join the customer support team and receive ongoing on-the-job training. WP Engine also encourages their team members to develop their expertise in specialized areas, such as SSL, WordPress Multisite, etc.

In addition to technical support, other services WP Engine provides to help make maintaining a website as easy as possible include:

  • Customer Education: WP Engine’s “Support Garage” provides customers with a host of resources that are available on-demand like webinars, online documentation, ‘how-to’ videos and interactive tutorials, etc.
  • Proactive WordPress Management: This includes managing core WordPress upgrades to make sure that websites are running with the latest version of WordPress, installing maintenance updates, and informing customers of any detected vulnerabilities with recommended courses of action
  • Hacker Cleanup Guarantee: Should something go wrong with your website, WP Engine guarantees to fix it.

In addition to providing customers with a fully managed service and excellent support around the clock, clients on higher-level hosting plans (e.g. Premium or Enterprise) benefit from additional services, such as access to a consultative onboarding team, a premium technical support team and a strategic account management team.

WP Engine’s service guarantee, then, can be summed up as providing the right type of help, with the right level of expertise, when customers need it the most.

To learn more about WP Engine’s unique service, we recommend watching this free webinar: The Four Ss Of Managed WordPress Hosting

WP Engine – Testimonials

WP Engine customers love their hosting service and support. Here are just some of the testimonials we have found from happy WP Engine customers:

”I switched to WP Engine from a major hosting company over a year ago because I wanted dedicated WordPress support. My websites performance has improved massively and the best thing about WP Engine is the excellent support. Every technical support person I have chatted to is really on their game and knows WordPress inside out. It really does make us sleep easier at night knowing our website is in great hands and help is always available.” OSSIE HEFFELL, templateexpress.com

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”We moved inboxtranslation.com to WPEngine because of downtime/sluggish performance that we experienced with the previous hosting provider. Not only do we now have top notch performance, but Google DOUBLED crawl rate, instantly!” FLO BEJGU, inboxtranslation.com

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”After using upwards of 7 different hosting companies plus experiencing many other hosting environments with our clients I can say that for hosting WordPress websites, WP Engine is second to none. All the team are extremely passionate and they are doing amazing things, I’m really keep to see where they are headed.” LACHLAN MACPHERSON, sennza.com.au

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”Thanks for the turbo support! You guys are amazing!” BOB WALSH, 47hats.com

WP Engine – Choosing A Hosting Plan

WP Engine provides a number of managed WordPress hosting plans to suit your needs and budget …

WP Engine - Managed WordPress Hosting Plans

(WP Engine – Managed WordPress Hosting Plans)

For more information, go here: WP Engine – Managed WordPress Hosting Plans

Choosing a hosting plan and getting started with WP Engine is easy.

First, visit their site and select a hosting plan

Select A Hosting Plan

(Select a hosting plan)

Next, select options (e.g. annual or monthly hosting, extra site, speed boost) and enter your details …

Select options and enter your details

(Select options and enter your details)

Enter your billing info and click the ‘Create my site’ button to set up your account …

Enter billing info and set up your account

(Enter billing info and set up your account)

Once your account has been set up, you will have instant access to the WP Engine User Portal

WP Engine User Portal - Dashboard

(WP Engine User Portal – Dashboard)

The User Portal is a unique feature of WP Engine. Unlike other types of hosting control panels (e.g. cPanel), WP Engine’s User Portal was developed specifically for managing WordPress applications inside WP Engine’s hosting environment.

After logging into the User Portal, you will have access to all of the major features this service has to offer (note: some features like CDN [Content Delivery Network] and SSL [Secure Sockets Layer] are only available to specific hosting plans) …

(WP Engine User Portal – Installs screen)

WP Engine’s User Portal includes various sections like:

  • Dashboard: Get access to monthly reports, system status and useful information posted on WP Engine’s blog.
  • Installs: This screen lets you access vital information about your WordPress installation, such as server IP, number of visitors, bandwidth usage, storage, SFTP (Secure FTP) logins, domains, CDN, backups, redirect rules, logs, SSL, utilities, site migration tools, and more.
  • Page Performance: Run Page Performance tests for speed insights on your site and access helpful tips on how to optimize your site for optimal performance. You can also schedule recurring tests.
  • Users: This section displays all users with access to your WordPress installs, their email addresses and account access level.
  • My Account: See your account details, plan type, payment info, contact info, and invoices.
  • Help/Support: Contact support via their 24/7 live chat, create and view support tickets, access helpful articles and interactive walkthroughs, and more.

WP Engine – Additional Info

The video below contains additional info about WP Engine …

Getting Started With WP Engine

If you are still planning your WordPress website and haven’t decided on a hosting service yet,  we recommend getting started with one of WP Engine’s managed WordPress hosting plans.

If you already have an existing WordPress site hosted on a non-managed WordPress hosting environment and would like to move your hosting to WP Engine, the process is easy and can be done very quickly.

WP Engine not only has a custom site migration plugin and tutorials, they also offer assistance and support with your migration.

Learn how to move your site to WP Engine in less than 30 minutes.

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the benefits of choosing a managed WordPress hosting service to host and manage your WordPress website.

To learn more about WP Engine and get a special bonus discount on your hosting plans, go here: WP Engine – Managed WordPress Hosting (Special Discount Link).

"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)

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Using cPanel To Manage Your WordPress Hosting

This tutorial provides an overview of the benefits of using cPanel to manage your WordPress web hosting.

Get Thrive Leads for WordPress

Using cPanel To Manage Your WordPress HostingThis tutorial is part of our WordPress installation and WordPress configuration tutorials, where we show you how to install and configure a WordPress site or blog on your own domain with no coding skills required.

Whether you choose to host your website using a shared hosting account or to host on a dedicated server, you need some way to configure emails for your domain name, manage your server applications, and monitor your server’s resources. This is especially important if you lack the technical skills of a webmaster or IT manager.

This is where a web hosting application like cPanel can play a central role in helping you manage your web presence.

cPanel Overview For WordPress Users

cPanel is a powerful and simple-to-use web hosting management software application that gives website owners the ability to quickly and easily manage their servers and websites using a simple and intuitive dashboard.

cPanel

Having access to a hosting environment that offers cPanel will make managing your WordPress site a whole lot easier. cPanel lets you easily take care of certain things yourself without hiring technical experts (like setting up emails for your business). If you host with a good company, you can also ask for support and assistance with most things.

Important

cPanel typically comes with built-in get started help wizards and basic video tutorials on using cPanel that can be accessed directly from your web hosting account’s control area …

cPanel

(cPanel Video Tutorials)

Providing comprehensive training on using all the features of cPanel to easily manage your WordPress site’s web hosting is beyond the scope of our tutorials. For comprehensive step-by-step training on using cPanel, we recommend downloading these how to use cPanel video tutorials.

Tip

Once you are logged into your cPanel area, you can access help documentation by clicking on the ‘Help’ icon …

cPanel Help

(cPanel Help)

Additional cPanel Help & Support

For additional support and tutorials on using cPanel and managing your server, contact your web hosting company’s technical support department. To access the official cPanel documentation for website owners, visit the site below:

Important Info

Note: Newer versions of cPanel may look different than the version shown in these tutorials.

Choosing A Web Hosting Company That Offers cPanel

Choosing a reliable web hosting company that offers the cPanel application will help you manage your WordPress site more easily …

Using cPanel To Manage Your WordPress Site

(cPanel login)

For companies that provide reliable web hosting with cPanel access and great technical support, see the tutorial below:

cPanel Feature Glossary

Refer to the list below if you need help understanding some of the more commonly used features of cPanel:

Change cPanel Style

This feature lets you change the overall look and feel of cPanel to suit your personal taste. cPanel typically comes with several pre-installed styles you can choose from …

cPanel

(cPanel – Change Styles)

Email Accounts

This area lets you manage the email accounts associated with your domain(s) …

cPanel

(cPanel Email Accounts)

To learn more about the ‘Email Accounts’ section, watch the video below and see this tutorial:

Webmail

Webmail lets you check your email using a web browser (instead of a desktop mail application such as Outlook Express). This means that you can access your email online from any location using a web browser …

cPanel - Webmail

(cPanel webmail)

Note: If using webmail, make sure to log out after accessing your email on public computers to prevent other people reading your email.

SpamAssassin

SpamAssassin is an automated email filtering system that attempts to identify spam messages based on the content of the email’s headers and body …

cPanel - Spam Assassin

(cPanel Mail – SpamAssassin)

Email Forwarders

Forwarders let you to send a copy of all mail from one email address to another …

cPanel - Forwarders

(cPanel Mail Forwarding)

For example, if you have two different email accounts tim@yourdomain.com and timothy@yourdomain.com, you can set up email forwarding so that all mail sent to tim@yourdomain.com is automatically forwarded to timothy@yourdomain.com, saving you the time and hassle of having to check both accounts.

Alternatively, you can use email forwarding for different departments of your company. For example, you can set up email forwarding so that all mail sent to support@yourdomain.com goes to the personal email address of a staff member or outsourced customer support person. This way, if the person leaves, you can easily change the destination forwarding email without making changes to your website.

Email Auto Responders

Autoresponders can be used to automatically send a message or reply back to anyone who emails a certain account. This feature is useful if you are on vacation or unavailable, if you have a generic message that you would like to send out to anyone who emails your support email address, or even for sending out download or access links to PDF reports, bonuses, videos, price lists, etc.

cPanel - Autoresponders

(cPanel Autoresponders)

To learn how to use autoresponders for email marketing, newsletters, and list-building, see the tutorial below:

MX Entry Maintenance

An MX (mail exchanger) entry tells a client which server receives mail sent to a domain name. You can use the MX Entry Maintenance function to change where a domain’s email is delivered to. This lets you have email from one domain delivered to another domain.

cPanel - MX Entry

(cPanel MXEntry)

Note: Changing your MX entry changes your site’s DNS record for MX.

Backups

Backups allow you to download (to your computer) a zipped copy of either your entire site (including your home directory, databases, email forwarders configuration, and email filters configuration) or one of the previously mentioned parts of your site …

cPanel - Backups

(cPanel Backups)

Note: These are not automatically scheduled backups. Automatically scheduled backups need to be enabled by the server owner/administrator.

To learn more about performing WordPress backups using cPanel, see the tutorial section below:

Disk Usage Viewer

The cPanel Disk Usage Viewer provides an overview of the disk space that your account is using. You can use the viewer to view all of the files in your site and find out how much space each file takes up. It shows disk usage totals for your account’s directories and all of its databases rather than for individual files or databases.

cPanel - Disk Space Usage

(cPanel Files – Disk Space Usage)

Note: Use the File Manager feature to see disk usage data for individual files, and the MySQL main page to see data for individual databases.

FTP Management

The FTP features of cPanel allow you to manage access to your web site’s files using FTP (File Transfer Protocol) …

cPanel - FTP Management

(cPanel FTP Management)

Note: You will need a third party FTP program to access your files.

To learn more about using FTP to transfer files to and from your computer and server, see the tutorial below:

Password Protect Directories

This option will allow you to require a username and password to access a folder or folders from the web. This can be very useful when you need to limit access to a certain part of your site …

cPanel - Password Protect Directories

(cPanel Security – Password Protect Directories)

To learn about protecting content inside posts and pages in WordPress, see the tutorial below:

IP Deny Manager

This feature will allow you to block a range of IP addresses to prevent them from accessing your site. You can also enter a fully qualified domain name, and the IP Deny Manager will attempt to resolve it to an IP address for you …

cPanel - IP Deny Manager

(cPanel Security – IP Deny Manager)

HotLink Protection

Hotlink protection prevents other websites from directly linking to files on your website. Other sites will still be able to link to any file type that you don’t specify (ie. HTML files) …

cPanel HotLink Protection

(cPanel Security – HotLink Protection)

An example of hotlinking would be using a <img> tag to display an image from your site from somewhere else on the net. The end result is that the other site is stealing your bandwidth.

Note: The system attempts to add all sites it knows you own to the list; however, you may need to add others.

Leech Protection

Leech Protect allows you to prevent your users from giving out or publicly posting their passwords to a restricted area of your site. This feature will redirect accounts which have been compromised to a URL of your choice (and suspend them, if you choose) …

cPanel - Leech Protect

(cPanel Security – Leech Protect)

To learn more about server security, see the tutorial below:

PHP Extensions and Applications Package Installer

PEAR packages are collections of functions that allow you to perform tasks in PHP …

cPanel - PHP PEAR Packages

(cPanel PHP PEAR Packages)

Note: You will need to install a PEAR package before you can use it inside a PHP program.

MySQL Management

MySQL manager allows you to create / drop databases, add / remove users …

cPanel - Databases

(cPanel Databases)

To learn more about MYSQL database management for WordPress, see the tutorial section below:

phpMyAdmin

phpMyAdmin is a popular open-source program used to manage MySQL databases …

cPanel - phpMyAdmin

(cPanel Databases – phpMyAdmin)

To learn more about using phpMyAdmin with WordPress, see the tutorial below:

Image Manager

The Image Manager allows you to view and modify images in your account. You can change the size of your images, convert their file types, or just view them …

cPanel - Image Manager

(cPanel Image Manager)

Index Manager

The Index Manager allows you to customize the way a directory will be viewed on the web. You can select between a default style, no indexes, or two types of indexing …

cPanel - Index Manager

(cPanel Index Manager)

Note: If you do not want people to be able to see the files in your directory, choose “No Indexing” when using this feature.

Cron Jobs

Cron jobs allow you to automate certain commands or scripts on your site. You can set a command or script to run at a specific time every day, week, etc. For example, you could set a cron job to delete temporary files every week so that your disk space is not being used up by those files …

cPanel - CronJobs

(cPanel Cron jobs)

Network Tools

Network Tools allow a user to find out information about any domain, or to trace the route from the server your site is on to the computer you are accessing cPanel from.

  • The Domain Lookup tool allows you to find out the IP address of any domain, as well as DNS information about that domain. This can be a very useful tool right after your site is set up or after DNS changes have been made to make sure your DNS is setup properly.
  • Trace Route allows you to trace the route from the computer you are accessing cPanel from to the server your site is on (i.e. the number of servers and what servers your data must pass through to get to your site) …

cPanel - Network Tools

(cPanel Network Tools)

Hopefully, the above information has given you enough of an overview of cPanel. For detailed video tutorials on using cPanel features, go here.

Overview Of cPanel For WordPress Users

(Easily manage your WordPress hosting with cPanel)

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"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)

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