Many operations or tools which you may use frequently will require a way to locate your server in order to function. This includes, but is not limited to: FTP software, cPanel login URLs, webmail, and even software you host such as WordPress needs an address to locate your database.
You may see this referenced in many of our articles in many different ways, including the following:
- Server IP Address
- Server Address
- Control Panel IP Address
- domain.com, yourdomain.com, exampledomain.tld, etc.
The address you will need to use depends on whether you are trying to access your server externally (e.g. from your computer, from another server, or from your phone), or internally (e.g. WordPress plugin connecting to your email account or any software that needs to access a database on the same server), and whether or not a username and password are required.
When attempting to reach your server, the server needs to be able to identify the hosting account you are trying to access the content from. Either the server will identify your account based on the domain you use to access it, or by asking for a username and password.
If you are using a service that requires a username and password (such as FTP, logging into cPanel, etc), then you may usually use any address that is pointed to the same server as listed here interchangeably:
- Server IP Address: This is the IP address that is provided in your welcome email, and is the primary IP address for your server.
Note: This will often not be the same IP address your website uses, and should not ever be used for an A record when setting up DNS for a domain.
- Server Address: This is the fully qualified domain name of your server. Click on your server type to expand directions for how to get this address:
▷ OWP, Linux and Windows Shared, Cloud, and Reseller Accounts
▷ VPS and Dedicated Servers
- Control Panel IP Address: This is the IP address that is linked to your control panel or website. How you find it will depend on your control panel type:
▷ Optimized WordPress
▷ cPanel Accounts
▷ Windows Plesk Accounts
- domain.com, yourdomain.com, exampledomain.tld, etc.: These are example placeholders that indicate that any domain which you have installed to your control panel, and correctly pointed to your server by either using our name servers, or the site IP from above via third party DNS.
If you need to access content on the server via a method that does not use your username and password (Such as when simply viewing your website through a browser), you will usually need to use a domain that is both installed on your account and using DNS pointed to your control panel (e.g. yourdomain.com).
Any time you need to reference a tool or service on the same server, such as when configuring an SMTP plugin for WordPress, or configuring any CMS to connect to a database on the same server, you must use the server address "localhost".
This is a special address that always points to the same server you are on. It will allow your software or service to link to the software or service it needs to work with on the same server without using external DNS, and can prevent many issues.