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11/23/2012 – File Management with cPanel

Posted by Jamison on 23 11 2012.

Another task that all webmasters must be able to perform is file management. When we think of file management, we may think of how our files system is structured either at home or work. Yet, the file system on a server works similarly to the file system on our computers. The system is organized and structured in such a way that the operating system (OS) is able to locate quickly each file or group of files. The same can be said of the file structure on a server. The OS must be able to locate the files when a web browser submits a request. However, that is just a small part of how file management functions.


File management for your clients is typically provided in the form of the following cPanel functions:


  • Backups
  • Backup wizard
  • File manager
  • Legacy file manager
  • Web disk
  • Disk space usage
  • FTP accounts
  • FTP session control


Although most servers have backup systems that include regularly scheduled server wide backups, it is always a good idea to make a backup of your website. We recommend scheduling a backup at regular intervals. Webmasters can set these up through the cPanel Backup interface, or you can use the cPanel Backup Wizard to guide you through the process. This will enable a seamless restoration process should your clients’ website(s) be taken offline due to a power or some other disruption of service.


Accessing the cPanel File Manager is as simple as a click of a button. Once your clients have selected which directory they want to access, they are presented with a complete file list of their sites. This allows them to perform any file operation including add/delete, moving, editing, changing permissions, and many more. A word of caution should be extended to the uninitiated, however. Deleting a file is permanent; so unless your client has a backup of the file they delete, it is gone.


You may notice there is a Legacy File Manager in the cPanel Files section. This is a carryover from previous cPanel versions, and is left for those who are more used to using that interface. The primary difference between the two variations is the Legacy File Manager does not display a directory tree in the left column. It only displays the files and directories.


Web disks allow your clients to work directly from their desktop and perform the same file management functions as if they were logged into their cPanel account. It works as though it is a locally mounted drive, which allows for drag and drop functionality. Web disks support Windows, Apple, and Linux or BSD operating systems.


The FTP Accounts section of the File Management section allows your clients to set up FTP access, control upload and download authorizations, change passwords, establish quotas, and more. Your clients can also see who is using the FTP features through the FTP Session Control feature, and disconnect any users who may be abusing their system.