OK, this is a total n00b question.
Which folder in CPanel should the index.html file be uploaded to when uploading your website for the first time? I uploaded it to my root folder but cannot see the page, only my parent directory page pops up.
Upload your index file to your public_html folder/directory in ASCII mode not BINARY.
This is the order in which the web server looks for a page to put up as the "home" page: default.htm -> index.phtml -> index.php -> index.cgi -> index.shtml -> index.html -> welcome.cgi -> welcome.html -> index.htm
THANK YOU SOOO MUCH!!! A question like this might seem trivial to others, but when you're starting out a simple thing like this can make a world of difference. I was breaking my head over this!