Web hosting account signup tutorial
Now that you have found and registered a domain name, you will have to find a home for it so that you can build your very first web site. In other words, you will have to find a good hosting company. In this tutorial I will walk you through the different steps of this web hosting account signup and recommend you some reliable hosting companies
And what exactly are the characteristics of a “reliable” web host?
Well, first off, they should have an excellent uptime. It doesn’t make much sense to sign up for a certain web host, just to find out that your site is down
on numerous occasions. To find out a bit more about the uptime of a given host, just check Google for opinions from other users. Anyway, further down I will recommend you a couple of hosting companies that have an excellent record when it comes to uptime.
The next important thing to consider is customer support. Your hosting company is supposed to manage all the technical stuff, so that you can focus on setting up and running your blog. But, especially when you have just started, you will have some questions or issues. And that is where support comes in. Most hosting companies have a support ticket system to take care of their customers. And here it is important how fast they are replying to support tickets and if they are really solving the problem you have submitted.
And, finally, you should also consider the price-quality relation of a hosting company. This means more or less that they should offer you a decent amount of features at a reasonable rate. What kind of features are we talking about? Well, that could be e.g. an easy to use control panel, free web templates, free scripts or 1-click script installations.
OK, what are those hosting companies that offer all of the above (excellent uptime, top-notch customer support and good price-quality relation)? To be honest, there are quite some good companies around, but, personally, I could recommend you the following 2 companies, because they have an excellent track record: HostGator and BlueHost.
Both hosting companies offer some very good services, but unfortunately I have to pick one for this tutorial. So, from now on, I will continue with HostGator and show you how to sign up for your account and set up your blog once that is done.
Ok, so let’s move on to the HostGator’s web site, and once there, you click one the yellow “Get Started Now!” button. This will lead you to another page where you find a pricing table with the following options:
I would recommend you to choose the one in the middle, the Baby Plan, because it provides the possibility to set up unlimited domains and has unmetered bandwidth.
You then click on the “Sign Up Now!” button that will forward you to the sign up page. And here I have to explain a couple of things:
1. Choose a domain: Since you have already registered a domain, you select that option and enter “yourdomainname.com”. NEVER register a domain name with a hosting company (not even a free one), because the odds are that you might lose the domain if you decide to change to another host in the future!
2. Choose a Hosting Plan: You will notice that the Baby Plan is already selected, but I would like you to pay attention to the price. It is indeed $5.95/month, but only if you pay for 36 months (3 years) in advance. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but I would just like to point it out to you. So, make sure that you are planning to dedicate at least some time to this in the next couple of years. If you are not sure, I would recommend to sign up for 12 months. Once you have selected your that, you will be asked to choose a user name and a security pin (which is needed to verify account ownership when contacting Customer Support).
3. Enter Your Billing Info: This is pretty straightforward. Just enter your personal details and your billing information. As you can see, HostGator accepts all major credit cards, as well as PayPal, to pay for their hosting services.
4. Add Additional Services: My personal recommendation is to UNCHECK all those options because you either don’t need them or can set them up for free later on by means of wordpress plugins (I am referring to both site backups and protection).
5. Enter a Coupon Code: You might notice that (at least at the time I wrote this post) there is already a coupon code with the name of FREEUPGRADE2 entered in this field. This code is good for a discount of 20% of your order. But what if I told you that you could get a discount of a whopping 50%? Just try to enter the coupon code “CHEAP” and hit the Validate button. Nice, huh?
6. Review Order Details: Well, just that… Review everything, check the box where you are asked to agree with their terms, and hit the “Checkout Now!” button.
Once you have completed and submitted your order, you will receive a first confirmation email from HostGator. And within the next 24 hours you will receive another email to communicate that your hosting account has been configured. This email contains some very important information like the login for your control panel, FTP access or the name servers. I’d recommend you to print this out and save it.
To wrap this web hosting account signup tutorial up, it is important that you now log in at the registrar where you have registered your domain name, and update its name servers with the ones provided by HostGator in their welcome email. This will be something like ns1.hostgaor.com and ns2.hostgator.com. Please, note that it can take some hours for the new name servers to propagate after you have made this change at your registrar. So, be patient 🙂
I hope that this web hosting account signup tutorial has been of some use to you, but if you still have any questions or doubts, feel free to use the comments down here… Ah, and if you are curious about the signup at BlueHost, I can tell you that it is quite similar to this one. Even their services and rates are very similar. Just take a minute to compare both of them, and you will see…
The next tutorial will be dealing with the setup of your new blog on your hosting account.