You gotta start somewhere and when you compare all of the features, speed, support and everything Hostwinds can offer you, we are consistently at the top of the list of choices. There are many benefits to having your own domain name, email address and website for business or personal use, and Hostwinds helps you get started very quickly and easily. As you grow and continue to have a successful website, we are here to help you every step of the way with your web hosting services. This article’s intent is to provide an overview to a brand new client of Hostwinds or perspective client who is completely new to hosting with a guide and the steps to take to get started.
Quick Start Steps
- Register A Domain
- Purchase Hosting
- Set up nameservers for your domain to use your hosting (propagation)
- Build Your Website and Publish To The Internet
How Do I Get Started?
Register Your Domain Name
- If you do not own a domain name yet, it would be advised to check availability and pricing first. You can register a domain with Hostwinds here.
Choose a Web Hosting Service
- If you own a domain, or just purchased one, the next step is choosing a hosting plan for your website. Take a moment to ask yourself:
- What is my website is going to do?
- How many domains do I need to have web hosting services for?
- Is it going to be a static web-page (1 page) or have multiple pages and links?
- Do I need root access to the server?
- Will I be streaming videos and/or uploading videos?
- Do I need a web management tool to help manage my website like cPanel?
These are few of many beginning questions to ask yourself before getting started to determine what hosting package is best for you.
- The majority of beginners will select between our shared or business hosting plans and they are recommended for anyone who is new. Both of these services come with cPanel, along with Softaculous, allowing many popular applications such as WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal to name only a few to be installed with a few clicks.
- It is wise to pick a package that will fit your needs right away, avoiding down-time from possible transitioning into another plan. However, if an upgrade is needed, Hostwinds will gladly help with migrating over to a different plan upon purchasing and requesting.
Helpful Articles To Review When Determining A Hosting Plan:
I Own a Domain Name and Hosting, Now What?
Once you purchase a hosting package, your registered email on file with Hostwinds will receive your hosting information. This will generally include the following:
- Server URL
- Dedicated IP
- Log in details associated with the service, like cPanel
- Nameservers to use to point your hosting services to your Hostwinds account
It is important to hold onto this information, but it can be sent to the registered email at anytime upon request and viewed from within the Client Area at any time.
Updating any owned domain(s) nameservers should be the first step after receiving your welcome email from Hostwinds. If your registered domain is with Hostwinds, you can set up your nameservers by following these directions. If your domain(s) are owned from another registrar, you will need to proceed there to manage them. Setting up your nameservers basically tells the world, when they navigate to yourdomain.com, direct traffic to the server that is hosting the files that makes up the website. (This article, “Differences Between A Domain and Hosting“, helps illustrate the process)
Anytime nameservers are updated, propagation takes place. This is common among any update with any host and typically will take 24-48 hours to complete. You can use tools like whatsmydns.com to check propagation.
While propagation takes place, you can proceed into your cPanel account to install WordPress, or any other plug-ins available to get started. Please note, your website may not display on the internet right away if you just updated your nameservers. If you would like to see what your directory will currently display without propagation completing, you can type “serverhostname/~cpanelusername” in your URL.
Helpful Getting Started Articles:
- How To Log In to cPanel
- How Do I Find My Nameservers?
- What Is Propagation And How Long Will It Take?
- Shared and Business Quick Start Guide
- Introduction to WordPress