In today’s tutorial I will show you how to set up web hosting account. You need to set one up for a self-hosted WordPress blog, a platform the majority of serious bloggers use. This is the most important step you need to take before you will install WordPress and before you can actually start blogging.
I will be demonstrating web hosting account set up using examples from my web host, Hostgator (affiliate link). There are many web hosts available online. As I explained in the previous tutorial, there are number of reasons why I use this web host.
If you have not yet read the web hosting overview, I urge you to read it. There you will not only get a feel of what is hosting and why you need it, but you will also get the list of features your host must offer.
Setting Up a Web Hosting Account
As I said, I am going to be using Hostagtor in this example, but the hosting setup is not very different with other hosts. When you are in doubt, always feel free to contact support. A good web host will have some sort of a live support 24/7/365.
Step 1. Visit Hostgator home page. Hostgator domain name is: http://hostgator.com. When you click on the link you will land on their home page.
Step 2. Click on the “Get Started Now” button, then click on “Choose Hosting Plan” to learn more about the hosting plans or packages they offer. Please note, that they often offer 20 – 25% off the price when you first sign up with them.
Step 3. Explore the web hosting plans and select the hosting plan that best suits you now (you can always seamlessly change your plan later).
As you can see, at this level they offer 3 plans, the Hatchling, Baby and Business plan. At this point forget about the Business Plan. The two plans you should explore are the Hatchling and the Baby plans.
The Hatchling is the least expensive plan but it only offers to host one site. If you are going to be a blogger that will only blog as a hobby, this plan is perfect.
The Baby plan offers to host unlimited number of your sites or blogs. This option is better one, if you are going to blog for business and hope to make money online. Most bloggers and internet marketers start with a Baby plan.
Choose whichever plan suits you and your budget best!
Step 4. Create your account.
Once you select the plan you want, you will be brought to Hostgator Customer Portal. There you will need to fill in some information.
Image 4. Creating Web Hosting Account
- Enter your domain name on top of this form. You have an option to enter your domain that you have purchased elsewhere (recommended) or you can purchase a domain name from Hostgator if you do not have a domain yet. I just need to warn you that if you purchase a domain name name from Hostgator, your account setup will take longer than if you purchase your domain at another registrar and then point the domain to Hostgator. (I know it sounds strange, but I double checked with Hostgator and it is so!). If you don’t have a domain name chosen yet, you can find available domains here…
- Select your plan (package type). Choose either Baby or Hatchling.
- Select the Billing cycle. In other words, choose whether you want to pay monthly, yearly, etc.
- Fill in your account information. Here you will need to select a secure user name and a password. You will be using these to enter the cPanel. After you set up your web hosting account, your host (in this case Hostgator) will email you your cPanel login and you can keep the email in a safe place.
- Scroll down to Billing information section
Step 5. Fill in Billing information
Image 5. Billing Information
Enter your information and select your payment option. You have a choice to pay with a credit card or Paypal. I prefer Paypal, but you choose whichever payment type suits you best.
Step 6. Remove default additional services
Image 6. Remove Default Additional Services
Hostgator or any other web hosting provider will try to entice you to purchase additional services. You don’t need them now! Make sure to untick them
Step 7. Add a coupon code, read Terms and Services and check out
As an affiliate I am able to offer you a coupon code which will reduce the cost by 25%. The code is BlogginSpree. Input this code into the Coupon field to receive the discount.
Image 7. Getting 25% Off With BloggingSpree Coupon Code and Checking Out
There are several important elements in this section.
- The coupon code. The coupon code will allow you a discount of 25%, as I mentioned above. Use a coupon code BloggingSpree to receive the discount, if you are purchasing through my link. The discount will be automatically included in the final Amount Due.
- Terms of Service – make sure to read the Terms and Service agreement and when you are done (and agree with the Terms) tick off the little box.
- Examine Amount Due. Make sure you are only charged what you choose to be charged for. If the bill is higher than you expect, you might have made a mistake somewhere. Go back and re-examine the form.
- Click Checkout when you are satisfied that everything is in order.
As soon as you click the Checkout button, your web hosting account will automatically be created. Check your email. You will receive important information about your account. You will receive:
- Your cPanel login
- NameServer designation
Save this information in a safe place as you will be referring to it numerous times throughout your blogging “career”.
►►►To access the cPanel, enter the URL your provider sent you. Usually it is http://yourdomain.com/cpanel. Please visit your cPanel and explore it. As a matter of fact, why don’t you forward your blog’s email address. In the Start A Blog tutorial, I am suggesting that you do that, so go for it! In case you need a refresher, here is the tutorial on cPanel and a tutorial on forwarding blog’s email (and why you need to do that).
►►►The Nameserver (Name Server) information is essential if you purchased a domain name at a registrar different from your web hosting provider (as is recommended). In the next tutorial I will show you how to point a domain from your registrar to your hosting account. Pointing has to be done in order to make your domain ready for the world!
Congratulations! Your web hosting account is set up! Shortly, I will show you how to install WordPress on your domain. But before I do that you need to point your domain to your web host (if your domain was purchased at a registrar other than your web host.) If you purchased your domain name at your web host, you may be ready to install WordPress.
To check if you are ready, enter your domain name (http://yourdomainname.com) in your browser’s address bar and if you see “some sort of an index notification” you are ready! Head over to the tutorial on how to install WordPress.
In my demo site case, the following message tells me that my domain is ready. Yours may be different, but as long as it is “Index”, you are good to go.
Image 8. Domain Is Ready To Accept WordPress
If you don’t see some sort of an Index page but you get an error message or some strange looking site, you need to wait until the web hosting account “acknowledges” your domain or it propagates it. It may take a few minutes or a few hours.
Next Tutorial: How To Point A Domain To Your Web Host