Manually Create a MySQL Database in CPanel

In this tutorial we will show you how to manually create a database in CPanel. When you use an auto installer to setup ready to go applications like WordPress, Joomla, or Prestashop, the database is created for you. For applications such as CodeIgniter or CakePHP, a database is not created and must be done manually.

Creating a database in CPanel can be done two different ways. We will show you the easy method using the MySQL Database Wizard.

Step 1

Click the MySQL Database Wizard icon under the Databases section. Enter a database name. Most web hosts prepend your CPanel username to your database name. Hit Next Step.

Step 2

Enter a database username. Like the database name, most web hosts prepend your CPanel username to your database username.

Enter a password or use the Password Generator. Hit Create User.

Step 3

Select the privileges you would like your database user to have. Depending on your application, you may need to apply multiple or all privileges. When you are finished, click Next Step to end the process.

You have now created a MySQL database in CPanel, complete with a user account attached. You can now use phpMyAdmin to populate the database with your tables and data. You can access phpMyAdmin from the Databases section of CPanel.

For more tutorials on CPanel, WordPress, and other tools used by webmasters, visit us at Webmasternotebook.com and subscribe to our channel on Youtube.

How To Create an FTP Account in CPanel

In this tutorial we will show you how to create an FTP account in CPanel. While your CPanel username and password will automatically work as an FTP login, there are times when you need to create a separate FTP login. One of the most common reasons is to allow a developer access to your website files. Another is to provide access for a third party service such as 6Scan.

Setting up an FTP account in CPanel is very easy. It is a simple two step process which can be completed in less than a minute.

Step 1

Click FTP Accounts under the Files section of CPanel.

Step 2

Enter the information requested. Create a login name and a password. Choose the parent directory you would like to provide access to. Since you are starting from the base of your web hosting account, you will have to start by typing public_html for any publicly available directories. You may also limit the amount of disk space an FTP account can use.

[info color=”light” ]Note: Entering only public_html in the Directory option will provide access to all public files and directories.[/info]

Once you hit the Save button, the account will be created. The username will be appended to the domain name to appear in email address format. You will access the account using the same FTP URL and Port provided by your web host.

You’ve now learned how to quickly and easily set up an FTP account in CPanel. For more tutorials on CPanel, WordPress, and other tools used by webmasters, visit us at Webmasternotebook.com and subscribe to our channel on Youtube.

Tips for giving a developer access to your hosting account

If you need to hire a developer, designer or any other type of contractor, there will likely come a point where they need to access your hosting account. If you’re using a control panel that allows multiple account logins, you may be able to create a login with limited access for the contractor to use. If you’re using a control panel like CPanel, one which only provides a single sign on, things can get a little more complicated.

Providing a stranger with your account login has risks, especially when there is live data on the account. If the contractor is someone you’ve only recently met from a site like Elancer, Guru, or Freelancer, you should lean to the side of caution. This isn’t to say that these developers are bad (I myself can be found on each site). It’s more of a warning to be aware that some lack a moral compass. Doing something damaging to your existing data or outright stealing information is well within the realm of possibility.

So what can you do in order to provide a developer access to your CPanel account? Depending on what the developer needs to do, you may be able to grant access to specific functions.

Create an FTP Account

If the developer needs to access your file system, you can easily create an FTP account in CPanel. We provide a tutorial here which can guide you through the process. Once the account is created, it will provide the developer access to the chosen directory (and it’s subdirectories) so they can work with the files within. Often times, this is all that is needed.

Once the developer has finished their work, you can delete the FTP account to remove access.

Install the Application Yourself

If the developer will be using an off the shelf piece of software such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal or Prestashop, they would typically need access to your account in order to setup a database. To avoid giving them access for this task, you can install the software yourself. If you have Softaculous or Fantastico on your CPanel account, you can instantly install any of the applications I’ve mentioned, along with hundreds of others. It will create the file system, database and database user in about one minute.

Some applications require you to manually create a database. Application frameworks like Codeigniter, CakePHP, and Laravel are pieces of code used to build on. There is no database until you create one. Fortunately, we also have a tutorial on manually creating a database in CPanel.

Reseller account

Having a new site developed when you have a reseller account is an easy process. Simply create a CPanel account for the developer to use. You can also limit the features of the account, such as removing Email or SSH. Instead of purchasing a domain, you can setup the account using a subdomain of an existing domain. For instance, if you have example.com on your reseller account, you can create this account using the domain dev.example.com.

Once the developer has completed their work, you will have a full working site in a real environment. From there you can backup the account and copy the files into your live location.

If you are a web developer, this is a great way to manage your own development. I make frequent use of creating under CPanel accounts because it allows me to work in a live environment without affecting the real website.

What to do after giving a developer your login

In some cases you may have to provide the master login for your account. If that’s the case, there are steps you must take in order to limit the various risks involved.

Make sure you have real contact information for the developer. Get as much information as you can. A single email address will not do it, especially if it’s a GMail, Yahoo! or other disposable address. At the very least, get a phone number.

Sign a contract. I myself have signed NDAs (non disclosure agreement) which are used to protect the client. I understand why they are necessary. Some developers like to show off their client list, which is fine. If you are OK with the developer doing so, put that in the NDA, but make sure there is information contained to prevent them from taking or utilizing your data without your consent.

Backup your data. CPanel makes this very easy. We have a tutorial which walks you through taking a full CPanel backup which automatically includes your files, email, database and more. If the developer breaks something that they can not fix, you will have a backup of your site.

Always change your password after you’ve allowed anyone into your control panel. Make sure it is a difficult password to guess. It’s also recommended to change the passwords on anything else you’ve given the developer access to, including databases, email, and content management systems.

Run a virus scan after they are finished. Part of my work has involved cleaning up after various developers. I could tell some very horrible stories of what I’ve found in customer accounts. The worst has been finding hacked files that were infected with malware. These files were likely from less than reputable sources, so the developer who installed them may not have been aware of their infections. The customer would pay the developer and soon after find their websites hacked or being used to blast out thousands of spam emails a day. This causes more headaches because a web host will often shut down a site if it is spamming, regardless of why it happened.

If you have an account with 6Scan or Sucuri, run it as well. If you do not have one, it’s recommend that you purchase one. Both companies make it their business to clean up hacked sites and prevent future issues. Even if you aren’t allowing a contractor into your site, either of these services are good to have to help prevent future issues.

Now that you have the tips to help you give a web developer access to your hosting account, you will have a much better chance of keeping your account safe. As a web developer and server technician, I know what can happen when bad developers get into your system. The information provided should help reduce the risk. If you have any additional tips, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

Answers to Five Common CPanel Questions

To help beginning webmasters with CPanel, we have compiled a list of five common CPanel questions, complete with answers.

Can I have more than one username?

Unfortunately for some, the answer is no. CPanel only allows one login per CPanel account. In most cases, this is not an issue. For others, they may need to provide access for a developer and do not want to give out their primary login. If you need to provide access for a developer, we have an article that will help you out.

The Service Status page shows my disk is almost full but I don’t have many files. What’s going on?

Some installations of CPanel provide a link to view the service status of the server. What you’re seeing on this page is not your account, but the server as a whole. This confuses people at times because it can appear that you are using a massive amount of resources when you aren’t.

On a shared hosting account, always remember that this service status page is reading the whole server, which includes a few hundred other accounts as well. If you do notice that the disk is beginning to fill up (in the upper 90s), let your web host know. They may already be aware of the situation, but it doesn’t hurt to make sure.

Why does CPanel show one version of PHP when I’m using a switcher to use a different one? Is it broken?

No, CPanel is not broken. What you’re seeing on the sidebar of CPanel is the default version of PHP that is loaded on the server. Some web hosts allow PHP version switching so you to run a different version of the popular scripting language. Since CPanel is reading the server version, it will not reflect the same version you are using if you’ve switched.

To determine which version you are using, as well as much more about it, follow this easy 4 step tutorial to get information on your version of PHP.

AWStats says “There are no domains which have awstats stats to display.” Why?

If AWStats has not yet been activated, or was activated within the last 48 hours, you will see this message when trying to view the statistics page. To enable AWStats, click the “Choose Log Programs” icon.

To enable AWStats for every domain CPanel is controlling (including addon domains and subdomains), click the checkbox next to the AWStats column title. To enable AWStats for individual domains, click the checkbox for that domain under the AWStats column.

You can also activate any other statistics programs that your web host offers. AWStats can take up to 48 hours to begin showing statistics. Other programs offered will likely have a similar wait time while information is being gathered.

How do I start over?

Unfortunately there is no simple one click “reinstall” option for a CPanel account. If you would like to start your CPanel account over, you will need to remove all data that you no longer want. Below is a list of ways to remove various information.

Softaculous Applications

  • Click the Softaculous icon in CPanel under the Software/Services section.
  • In the top right corner, click the All Installations icon (it looks like a filing box).
  • Under the Options column, put a checkmark in the box next to each entry.
  • At the bottom, select Remove in the select box and hit Go.
  • Hit OK on the warning popup box. Softaculous will now remove every installation that was checked. This includes any Softaculous created files, databases and database users.

Email

  • Click the Email Accounts icon under the Mail section.
  • Click Delete next to the email address you want to remove. Confirm that you want to remove the email account by clicking the Delete button that appears.
  • Repeat this for each address you want to remove. This will delete the address and all email for that address.

Databases

  • Click the MySQL Databases icon under the Databases section
  • Click the Delete Database link beneath Actions to remove a database.
  • Confirm that you want to remove the database. Repeat for each database you would like to remove.
  • Under Current Users, click the X icon under Delete for each user you would like to remove.

Files

  • Click File Manager under the Files section.
  • If the File Manager Directory Selection popup comes up, select Web Root and Show Hidden Files. Hit Go.
  • On the secondary navigation (below the primary navigation, such as New File through Compress, and above the main area of the File Manager), click Select All. This will highlight all files and directories in your public_html directory.
  • On the primary navigation, click Delete. Confirm that you want to remove the files and directories.

[box color=”light” ]This will remove every file and directory under public_html recursively, so any files and directories under directories in public_html will also be removed.[/box]

There are more features of CPanel and your hosting account that you can remove and reset, but these are the core parts that are typically needed to be reset. If you need to reset your DNS, you can do so under Advanced DNS Zone Editor. I caution you not to modify your DNS if you don’t know what you’re doing, as this can cause issues with incoming traffic.

Have a question about this list? Post it in the comments section below.

Find information on PHP in only 4 steps

There are times when you need to know basic information about the version of PHP that your web host is running. Some of the most common things you may need to know are the memory limit, maximum file size for uploads, the status of magic quotes, and the version of PHP. You can ask your host, but there is often a much faster way to find out.

Using a built in PHP function called phpinfo, you can discover a wealth of information about your PHP installation. To do this, follow the steps below.

Step 1

Create a file in your public_html directory called info.php .

Step 2

Open this file to edit. If you’re using CPanel’s file manager, right click on the file and choose Code Edit. Open using UTF-8.

Step 3

Since this is a brand new file, it is empty. Type the following into the file:

<?php phpinfo();

Save the file and close the window/tab.

Step 4

Load the page in your browser by going to yourdomain.com/info.php . Your see a tremendous amount of information about PHP. Most of this you will likely never need to look at or ever know, but some of these setting can be helpful. When you are finished with this file, delete it. You won’t want just anyone to be able to pull this file.

You’ve now learned how to quickly and easily load a list of PHP settings and information. For more tutorials on CPanel, WordPress, and other tools used by webmasters, visit us at Webmasternotebook.com and subscribe to our channel on Youtube.

Get Help with Color Picking from these Five Websites

Coming up with color choices for a website can be difficult. If you’ve ever worked on a project (for yourself or a customer), you’ve probably found yourself spending a lot of time on the color scheme. We’ve compiled a list of 5 web sites to help break through the creative block and pick colors that not only work well, but work together.

Adobe Kuler

Adobe’s Color Wheel is one of our favorite tools. You are provided a color wheel with several swatches. Each one can be dragged around the wheel to different shares of colors. As you do this, other color swatches will move around the wheel to the colors that best match the one being moved, based on a color rule you select. If you prefer not to have your colors automatically adjust, you can set the color rule to Custom. This will prevent the other swatches from moving.

Each color is presented in RGBA and HEX, for use in Photoshop or CSS using the method you choose.

Color Schemer

Color Schemer is not just a website with color pallets that members share, but is also a full application that allows you to select and build your color pallet. The application is $49.99 but the gallery of pallets created is free to browse. Since each color in the pallet displays itself as two shades, you are presented a nice range of colors. The gallery is a great place to find inspiration, with over 6,000 member generated color schemes.

Color Scheme Designer

Color Scheme Designer is much like Adobe’s Color Wheel. It features a large draggable wheel and “color rules” at the top which change how your complementing colors are chosen. It builds the colors for you in a large square to the right, but breaks up sections of this square to show you how the colors visually work together in close proximity. This can be especially useful when using background color on website body and div backgrounds that may touch or overlap.

Colourlovers

At first glance, Colourlovers is similar to Color Schemer. Members create color pallets, share, comment on and rate them. When Colourlovers differs by offering color inspiration and sharing in more than just a simple pallet. The site focuses on colors, palettes, and patterns. It provides links to various tools (including Color Schemer) to allow you to generate your ideas. It also features images to help show how websites and other products are using color. With over 3 million color pallets, Colourlovers provides a large library of inspiration.

HGTV

Sometimes you have to leave the regular spots to find what you’re looking for. When it comes to visually appealing, HGTV does it best. Using their website, you can find enough inspiration to last a life time. They offer everything from paint colors to furniture to layout ideas. It’s certainly worth taking the time to see what their creative minds have put together. It may spark a few ideas in yours.

Do you know of a site that offers a great way to find color inspiration? Let us know in the comments below!

The Trouble With Addon Domains

Many web hosts offer a feature called addon domains. This feature allows you to use more than one domain on a single hosting account, essentially providing hosting for multiple websites. While this may sound like a great idea, it can quickly become a nightmare.

Addon domains are added to your web hosting control panel. They tell the web server where to send traffic from that domain. When someone visits that domain, the web server directs the person to your account. Your account sends them to the directory you’ve created for your addon domain. As far as the visitor knows, the domain they are visiting is being hosted on it’s own account.

httpMany people use addon domains to avoid paying for additional hosting accounts or a reseller account. It’s easy to see why when your account allows you to freely add additional domains with no additional cost. So where do the problems come in?

Imagine you have ten websites that you would like to host. For our example, we’ll break them down further. In this example, you have:

2 storefronts using Prestashop
4 community forums using phpBB
3 business websites using Drupal
1 marketing blog using WordPress

Each website is running under the same control panel. This makes it easy to access them all because they are in the same general area. However, the hidden problems and dangers will soon creep up.

The Pool is Only So Big

Your web host provides a set allotment of server resources beyond the storage and data transfer rate that you focused on when signing up. You also have a set amount of CPU, RAM, Entry Processes, I/O, and Inode count. This allotment is the same for every account on the server, regardless of how many addon domains are being used.

Each addon domain will pull from this resource pool. While this won’t be a problem for low traffic sites with sufficient optimization, it will become an issue when your viewership increases. As more people view your web sites and the complexity of them is put to the test, the resource pool will soon begin to dwindle away. Soon you will notice speed and loading issues for multiple sites. You new wave of visitors will be meet with slow loading pages and error messages stating “Resource Unavailable” or perhaps database connection error messages.

Security Issues

frustrated-surfing-smallerAddon domains can also present a major threat to all of the web sites on your account. Imagine that one of the web sites on your account has a security hole that has not yet been patched. Perhaps you’re running an outdated plugin or theme which has a vulnerability you are unaware of. This vulnerability can become the doorway to all of your websites.

If a malicious attacker is able to access the filesystem of one of your websites, they will potentially have access to the rest of your web sites. This will allow them to deface and destroy files for every website under your single account, possibly harming the reputation of your web sites in the process. They may also use your account to send spam from, which can get the web server blacklisted by email providers and affect everyone on the server.

To make matters worse, an attacker could use this intrusion to gain access to your database and leak the information within to the world. One hole can lead to a lot of damage and headache for you.

Tons of Clutter

As you add more addon domains, the filesystem can become cluttered. I’ve worked with accounts in which people have hosted 50 addon domains under a single CPanel account. This can be bothersome as it takes longer to find things if they aren’t properly organized. Even when you do have sites neatly placed in various directories, you still have to find what you’re looking for.

Additionally, you have to face another issue known as inode usage. Inodes are a way for the operating system to keep track of files and directories. Each inode represents a single file or directory. Your web host will have a limit on the number of files you can have on your hosting space, even if they say the storage space is unlimited. As you add more web sites to your account, you will naturally be reducing your available inodes. Once you hit your limit your account can no longer accept files, and this includes receiving email.

Addon Domains are NOT for Reselling Hosting

Some people will use the addon domain feature to run a hosting business. This is simply a terrible idea on every level. In the case of CPanel, there is no way to provide CPanel access for your customers without giving them the master account login. If you give them that, they have access to everything, including other web sites you host.

You are also exposing every customer’s web site to the issues above. One malicious attack on a security vulnerability in a customer’s web site can effectively bring an end to the web sites for each customer you have.

In short, don’t try to build a hosting business off of addon domains. It can quickly lead to headaches.

Host Multiple Domains the Correct Way

woman-small-businessThe best way to host multiple domains is by using a reseller hosting account. A reseller hosting account provides a way to create single hosting accounts which you can use for your additional domains. This means that each domain can have it’s own control panel and allotment of resources. No more sharing CPU and RAM since each domain will have it’s own to pull from.

Using a reseller account will also help prevent malicious attacks from spreading to your other domains. If one web site is defaced, the others won’t be in the same filesystem to be discovered and suffer the same fate. This can save you hours of times since you will only need to repair one site instead of ten.

Hosting multiple websites under a reseller account also makes it easier to move a popular website when it outgrows a shared environment. Since the website will be inside of it’s own control panel account, your web host will have an easier time migrating it to a Managed VPS or Managed Dedicated Server. If it was an addon domain, it would be more difficult to move. In some cases the move would be your responsibility since the host may not offer migration services for addon domains.

Avoiding the Headaches

freaking-outI understand why some people choose to use the addon domain option. When you’re unable to afford additional hosting accounts or your web host does not offer reseller hosting, using the addon domain feature is your only option. However, keep in mind the issues that can arise. I’ve seen first hand how multiple addon domains can dissolve a shared hosting account’s resources like they were water. I’ve also helped repair the damage done to the web sites of dozens of addon domains when a single web site in the group was hacked.

If you can avoid the headaches, do so. Go with a reseller hosting plan if you need to host multiple domains. If your web host does not offer a reseller plan, find one that does.

Deny Access to Your .htaccess File

There is a file inside your hosting account known as a .htaccess file. This file, which is named as an extension only (notice the dot before the name), can affect the way the web server handles your website. It can power webpage redirects and rewrites, password protected directories, IP address blocking, and much more.

Some commands that are run in your .htaccess file use the absolute path to the file system of your account. That means that instead of using the relative path (your URL), it uses something like this:

/home/username/public_html/

That is the path on the server, to your account and files.

Some web server configurations will not deny access to this file. This can be a problem. If your .htaccess file is accessible to a browser, anyone can viewit. Depending on what you have in the file, you could be showing the world your control panel username, as well as paths leading to hidden files and directories. So how do you stop that from happening?

Protect Your .htaccess file

Open your .htaccess file. At the top of the file, add this code:

[box]<files .htaccess>
order allow,deny
deny from all
</files>[/box]

Save the file and you’re done.

The code you’ve added will prevent access to your .htaccess from anyone trying to view it. The server can still interpret the file as it normally would, but now the outside world is unable to view it. This is a good thing, as there is no reason for someone to need to view your .htaccess file.

If the file exists. Try loading it in your browser. If you can’t load it, you’re good to go. If you can load it, add the code above to stop access. You can also change the permissions of the file to 0644 to prevent anyone from writing over the file.

10 Hosting Terms You Should Know

If you are just getting started as a webmaster, there are a few terms you’ll come across that you may not understand. To make it easier for you, we’ve compiled a short list of 10 common web hosting terms that you should know.

Data Transfer (Bandwidth)

Each time a file is uploaded to or downloaded from your hosting account, you are using a resource called data transfer (some hosts refer to it as bandwidth). This transfer of data is often unlimited on shared hosting and may only count for outgoing traffic (downloading).

Storage

Each file of every website takes up space. The space used comes from an allotment of storage space on a disk drive on the host server. The amount of storage space is often unlimited on shared hosting, but this does not mean it is limitless.

Inode Count

One often overlooked limit in web hosting is the inode limit. Each file and directory represents one inode. If you have 20 files and 3 directories, you are using 23 inodes. The inode limit varies between web hosts, but it’s common to have a limit over 150,000. You should check with your web host to find out what your inode limit is.

CPanel

One of the most popular web hosting control panels is CPanel. It has been an industry leader for over a decade. This control panel provides a large list of features to manage nearly every aspect of your hosting environment. CPanel offers email setup, file management, DNS configuration, IP blocking, statistics software, error log viewing, easy redirects, and much more.

WHM

If you need more than one CPanel account, you need WHM. WHM (Web Host Manager) is a control panel that manages your web hosting environment. It provides many configuration options and makes it easy to create unlimited CPanel accounts. Many people use WHM to resell hosting services using the built in Package feature.

FTP

FTP is a method of transferring files from your computer to your web hosting account. Using software called an FTP Client, you can upload files to and download files from your web hosting account. You can also mass delete files and directories. For a list of FTP Clients, check out our article Getting Started with Building a Website.

SSH

If you need to interact with your hosting account and file system on a command line level, using SSH is the way to go. SSH creates a secure connection to the server so you can run various commands in the server shell.

Addon Domains, Sub Domains and Parked Domains

If you want to use multiple domains on the same hosting account, you will use the Addon Domain feature of your control panel. Each domain will appear to be on their own hosting account to anyone who views them, but they will each run from the same hosting account. Keep in mind that this means each domain will pull from the same pool of resources. You must own the additional domain that you would like to use as an addon.

If you would like to direct an additional domain to the same site the primary domain is showing, use the Parked Domain feature. You must own the additional domain to park it.

The easiest explanation for a sub domain is this: sub.domain.com. The domain itself is domain.com. The sub. is the sub domain. This feature is often used by web sites which want to separate areas of their website, such as blog.domain.com. Sub domains do not require additional domains to be purchased.

Softaculous

When you want to install a popular piece of web software, look into Softaculous. Softaculous is a one click installer that boasts a massive library of more than 300 applications and scripts. You can quickly install WordPressJoomlaPrestashopMagento, CodeIgniter, phpBB, Dolphin and many more.

Unlimited

Contrary to what it sounds like, this typically does not mean you have an endless amount of resources. Storage space, one of the primary unlimited features, has a limit. Disk drives only have so much space, and the more drives and files there are, the harder it is on the server. If you are considering a web host that offers unlimited resources, ask the host for more specific information. If you plan to host 50GB of content and serve it out to 30,000 people a month, make sure your host allows that on the plan you’re considering.

While this isn’t an exhaustive list of common terms, these are things you should get to know well. They will help you understand your hosting plan better and how to interact with it.

Getting Started with Building a Website

If you’re about to build your first web site, you may not know what to use. With so many ways to build a site, the possibilities may seem endless. This can be very overwhelming for some. Fortunately, there are several tools available for free to use.

Let’s assume you’ve already found a web host. If you are not sure what that is, take a look at this article first. It explains what a web host is and why you need one. We also cover the pros and cons of Free vs Paid web hosting.

We will also assume that you know what you want on your site, or at least have a good idea of what it will have. If not, start planning out what you’d like on your site. You don’t need to have the complete blueprints for the site, but a rough idea will help.

Get an Editor

To start with, get a code editor. There are plenty of free code editors around to provide an environment for you to write code in. Most of them offer many of the the same features, so you’ll want to find one that works best for you. Below is a short list of many free code editors available.

A code editor will allow you to write and edit popular web code, such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, JAVA and more. Many will have the ability to upload files directly to the server through FTP.

Get an FTP Client

Though your code editor may have an FTP client built into it, it’s a good idea to have a stand alone FTP client as well. An FTP client allows you to upload, download, rename, and delete files and directories. It also allows you to change file and directory permissions, something not commonly found in the built in FTP feature of code editors. Below is a short list of free FTP clients:

Using a stand alone FTP client makes it easy to upload, download and delete files in bulk. It’s a great tool to have.

Use a Content Management System

For those who are less code savvy or do not want to spend the time it takes to learn to write web code, using a content management system is the way to go. A content management system (CMS) provides a lightning fast method to have a website up and running in a matter of minutes. Typical features of a CMS include:

  • User Registration and Management
  • Pages and blog posts created in an administration dashboard
  • Plugins and modules to extend your website functions and features
  • High availability of Themes and Templates to change the look of your website immediately
  • Developer friendly with a large community of users

There are several content management systems to choose from. Below is a short list of some of the most popular free systems available today:

The choice is yours, depending on your website needs. The biggest three in the list are WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. Each one has a massive community behind them, but the others in the list are certainly worth the time it takes to look into them.

Sell Things Online

If your aim is to sell items or services online, there are several tools available to do so. If you are using a content management system, you may be able to find an ecommerce tool for your particular system. WooCommerce and MarketPress dominate in WordPress, while Virtuemart is often the tool of choice for Joomla webmasters who want to add ecommerce to their website.

In many cases, a stand alone ecommerce tool is best. Below is a list of very popular free ways to sell online:

Each shopping cart system offers many of the same key features, but what I’ve found most useful is how well the cart operates. Prestashop and Magento can quickly grow heavy for shared hosting, but both are highly useful and powerful systems. They also have large communities to back you up when you need help, so it’s easy to see why they come out on top for most online sellers.

Softaculous

If you would like to get a website online in less time than it took to read this article, Softaculous is the tool for you. It doesn’t let you build websites, but it contains a massive library of tools that make it possible. Many of the content management and ecommerce systems I mentioned above are found in Softaculous. Each one can be installed in less than a minute (two minutes if the network or server is slow). That means that with very little effort, you can rapidly get a website up and running.

Most web hosts that use CPanel will offer Softaculous for free (or very cheap if using a Managed VPS or Managed Dedicated Server). It is a tool that makes it easy to get your site up so you can focus on the content, management of the site and your business.
If you’ve had success with any of the tools listed above, or any that aren’t listed, let us know in the comments section below.