Campbell Data Science

Setting up Your HTML Website Using cPanel

campbell data science cpanel logo

If you don’t have hosting yet and don’t know which host to go with, you can read my SiteGround review. Come back over to this page once you’re all set up.

Here is what I use for my website setup;

SiteGround for domain hosting

Namecheap for domain name registration

Before we get started, let’s go over some common questions that will help you understand what is happening here. If you want to get started right away, just skip ahead.

Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you if you decide to purchase something.

What is cPanel?

cPanel is a tool that makes web hosting more accessible. It takes some of the complexity out of web development. Through cPanel you get access to things like file browsers, databases and quick WordPress installation. All of this is presented as a graphical user interface, meaning you don’t have to type out code overtime you want to make some changes to your site.

cPanel is used by multiple web hosting platforms, not just SiteGround.

How to upload your site to the web?

There many ways to do this, let’s look at a few. One is to use a FTP (File Transfer Protocol). It involves using a client to publish your site. We realise this can be complicated and we like to keep things simple for our clients.

Another way is to manually upload the site using the file browser through cPanel. We will use this method below to upload your HTML file and more.

Lastly, you could install WordPress and build a your site using their tools. We recommend a combination of WordPress and coding your own pages. This is because WordPress has some great blogging tools and coding your own pages gives you the freedom to get really, really creative.

As a data scientist, it lets me create pages that use D3.js for complex visualisations and Chart.js for more simple visualisations. As a marketer, it allows me to create some amazing landing pages, single page sites and complete websites.

What is a Static Website?

A static site sounds much worse than it is. It is simply a site with no backend or server side code. It means, once you load the web page, all the functionality comes with it. You won’t be able to communicate with a server. Static sites are usually built with HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

The opposite to a static site is usually called a web application. Amazing websites have been built with both methods, whichever you choose depends on your needs.

What is a dynamic website?

A dynamic or responsive site is one that renders clearly on all standard display sizes. A page will look good on your phone screen and on your desktop computer screen.

Some companies with large budgets like Facebook actually code two separate websites. You can tell the mobile version by the “m” in the URL the browser displays.

Google makes it clear that it penalises sites that aren’t responsive. It is all about user experience and your site should display properly on all platforms. Luckily, we know how to do this with HTML and CSS. WordPress templates are also built with this in mind so you don’t have to worry about it.

What is the .htaccess file?

We will go over this one a bit later on. As an outline, the hypertext access file is a configuration file used by several web servers. It handles URL redirection, URL shortening, access control and much more.

We don’t need to go too in depth with this, just remember that it important for how the browser displays the URL for your web page. Also the ‘dot’ before the file name makes it a hidden file, we will reveal hidden files so don’t worry about this.

What is a URL?

A quick one, this is what is displayed in the web browser address bar.

What is the difference between http and https?

This is about security. Website owners can request an SSL certificate. It tells users that the site is secure and they can rest assured that they are protected against basic threats. This will not protect you against all threats so as usual, browse responsibly.

To be clear https is the secure one, if you use google chrome it will tell you. Don’t be completely put off sites that don’t have https although it is a sign that the developer wants to keep the user happy if they do have it.

If you have any more questions that will help you and others, let me know so I can update this page. Let’s get started….

Uploading Your HTML Site Using cPanel

campbell data science html code

log in to your site ground account.

go to the "my accounts" tab.

Select "Go to cPanel".

Scroll down to file manager and click it to open the file manager directory selection.

Select the document root for your site from the drop down and tick show hidden files.

Uploading Your Website

Make sure you are in public_html then the folder for your website. You will probably already have some folders in here.

Create a new folder. Give it the name you want the URL to be. e.g. if you want your page to be “” then give the folder the name “test”.

Select upload and tick all 3 boxes for execute. This will give you a permission code of 755 for each file. Then choose each file and upload it.

If you have files within folders, create the folder then upload the files into their respective folders. You want to replicate the folder structure you have on your computer within the file manager.

For larger folder structures you would upload a zip file and extract. Let’s keep it simple for now and not do this.

Once you are done, click “go back” and make sure you have uploaded each file. Compare the cPanel browser to the one on your computer.

Accessing Your Files

If you try to access any html file now, you will find that the browser displays the url with the file extension. e.g. “”… I don’t like this so here is what I do to fix it or get a cleaner URL “”;

As a note, I use index.html for the file I want the browser to read first when I access the folder. I believe this is industry standard.

for every folder with a html page the browser will display, create a new file called “.htaccess”. In the file I use the following code. As I described above, it tells the browser to display the page URL in a specific way.

Right click the new .htaccess file and click edit. The character encoding should be set to “uft-8”. Leave it and click edit.

Paste the following code and click save then close.


RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteRule ^([^.]+)$ $1.html [NC,L]

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} /([^.]+).html [NC]
RewriteRule ^ /%1 [NC,L,R]

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME}.html -f
RewriteRule ^ %{REQUEST_URI}.html [NC,L]


Good Job!

If all has gone to plan, you will be able to type your website URL followed by the file directory to access your web page.

I hope I have helped you out with this one. If you would prefer a more in depth guide with images or even a video just let me know. If you would rather not do this yourself and want some help setting up, get in touch. It’s what we do.

As a note, there are many ways to do the same thing in web development. This is the way I do it with static pages and just happens to also be one of the easiest I have come across.

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