Firstly let’s discern these two terms: cPanel and WHM. Web Host Manager (WHM) is like administration panel of Your server. All global VPS changes and account creation is done specifically through WHM. cPanel on another hand is control panel of an actual account that you create via WHM. cPanel grants you access to features of your account, like email, data, redirect, backup management, etc.
Proper WHM setup is an essential step of preparing to host your websites on the VPS with cPanel. You will specify necessary details so your website could be accessed over the internet. In this tutorial, we will overview each step of Initial Setup Wizard which is the first thing that you see in freshly installed cPanel/WHM.
What you’ll need
Before you begin this guide you’ll need the following:
- Access to VPS with preinstalled cPanel/WHM
- VPS root login details
Step 1 — Accessing the WHM setup wizard
Usually, WHM is accessible via IP address of your VPS on 2086 or 2087 (https/SSL) ports. For example, let’s say your VPS IP is
220.127.116.11, in order to reach WHM you would have to use either one of these URLs in your browser: https://18.104.22.168:2087/ or http://22.214.171.124:2086/.
IMPORTANT! If you use https URL, you will get “Your connection is not secure” or similar warning. Please do not worry, this is expected behavior as WHM has only self-signed SSL certificate which is not recognized by your browser. You just need to add an exception by clicking on Advanced button:
After adding the exception you will be redirected to WHM login screen and prompted to provide your username and password.
Step 2 — Confirming License Agreement
The very first section of setup is license agreement, please review the license notes and click on I agree….
Step 3 — Configuring Network
Network setup is quite basic. In Contact Information field fill in the mandatory Server Contact Email Address field. All other fields and checkboxes are optional, therefore you can leave them as they are.
Next field is Hostname, here you must fill in the domain that you will point to your server later on. Proper hostname should have sub name, like
Going down you see a section called Resolvers, here you need to specify DNS resolvers which will be responsible for querying IPs of domain names. Here you can specify Google’s Public DNS servers or contact your VPS provider asking for any local DNS servers.
Google Public DNS servers are:
No changes should be done in Main Network field, except if you have several network interfaces and don’t want to use the default one, otherwise skip this section.
Once all is set, please click on Save and continue at the bottom.
Step 4 — Setting Up IP Addresses and Name Servers
Since in this scenario only one IP is available for your server, click Go to Step 4.
However, if it happens to be that multiple IPs are available, you should perform these steps:
- In IP Address(es) to Add field, enter your server’s IP addresses.
- In the Subnet Mask text box, enter the appropriate subnet mask for your range of IP addresses.
- Check to ensure that the displayed Network/Ethernet Device is correct (for example, eth0).
- Click Add IP(s) to continue.
Next section is nameserver configuration. You will have to choose the service which will manage all your DNS. A list of features is shown in the table, however, the most popular is BIND server which is recommended by us as well.
Once you scroll down a little bit you reach nameserver list. Input the name servers that you will create with your domain registrar. Usually, they are named like
ns2.yourdomain.com, where yourdomain.com is your actual domain name. Third and fourth nameservers are optional.
The last section of this step is Add A Entries for Nameservers & Hostname. Here you must input IPs for the nameservers. As your VPS will serve as the DNS server you need to specify your VPS dedicated IP near both nameservers, in this case, it is
126.96.36.199. Please contact your VPS provider for the actual IP address that you must use.
It is wise to add A records for your name servers as this would increase the chances of your websites accessibility, check the box near Add A Entries for all Nameservers and it will be done. A record for hostname is optional.
Click on Save & Go to Step 5 and proceed further.
Step 5 — Choosing Other Services
This section lets you to setup and configure the services that you and your clients use on the server. The default setup usually suits most of the clients, You can just click on Skip This Step and Use The Default Settings button.
If you want to customize the setup, in this page you are able to choose FTP daemon and mail service, configure cPHulk brute force protection module, install a common set of Perl modules.
Step 6 — Setting Up Quotas
And finally the last step – Setup Quotas. Leave the default setting as it is and click on Finish Setup Wizard button.
IMPORTANT! If you do not enable quotas, you cannot track disk space usage.
You have learned initial cPanel/WHM setup which is presented on each newly installed cPanel/WHM.
- Contact information was mandatory for cPanel services to know where to send all notifications.
- DNS resolver configuration gave your VPS the ability to resolve IPs of domain names.
- You have selected the service which will manage your DNS zones.
- By providing the nameservers you have specified which name servers you will use on your domains. This is required for your domains to work properly.