Step 1: Hosting vs. Reseller vs. VPS vs. Dedicated ServerFirst off, you need to choose whether you’re buying a hosting account, a reseller account, a Virtual Private Server (VPS) account or a dedicated server. Here’s what all this means.
- Web Hosting – This means you want to host a website. This is probably the option you want to select.
- Reseller – This means you want to sell other people hosting and make money from it. This is a great option for web designers or for people who want to promote hosting services. It’s not necessary for the average webmaster.
- Virtual Private Server – This means HostGator takes a big server and segments it into smaller parts, then sells those parts to people. You get a lot more power and bandwidth with a VPS, though it’s not really necessary if you’re just starting a small website.
- Dedicated Servers – If you’re running a high traffic website, you’ll probably need a dedicated server. A dedicated server means they have a server running just for you.
Step 2: Choosing Your Hosting PlanNext you need to choose the plan itself. For our purposes, we’ll assume you’re buying a web hosting account. HostGator has three choices: Hatchling, Baby and Business.
Realistically speaking, unless you’re paying per year upfront, there’s no reason to choose the Hatchling plan over the Baby plan. If you need a toll free number, the Business plan can be a good choice. The Baby plan allows you to have unlimited domains for just $0.80 cents more a month than Hatchling. For most beginning blogger, that’s the plan that makes the most sense.
Step 3: Enter Your DomainYou can either choose to register a new domain with HostGator during the signup process, or you can use a domain name you already own. For our purposes we’ll assume you’re using a domain you already own.
Step 4: Create Your AccountDouble check your package type, then select your log in name as well as your PIN number.
Step 5: Enter Billing InformationEnter your billing information. HostGator allows you to pay a number of different ways, including PayPal and American Express. Step 6: Setup Complete That’s all there is to it! At this point, your HostGator account is setup and ready to go. The details of where to log into your account will be sent to you in an email. Your nameservers will also be sent to you in an email. You’ll need your nameservers to setup your domain name.
Until your nameservers propagate, you won’t be able to access your cPanel by going to your domain. Instead, you can just use the IP address provided in the email to access your cPanel.
Once you log into your cPanel, you’ll be able to change anything you want to change about your website. You’ll also be able to setup third party software, like WordPress, in your cPanel.
Step 7: Adding Another DomainIf you want to setup another domain, all you need to do is go to “Addon Domains” in your cPanel.
Enter the new domain name and enter a login password. Then forward the domain name’s nameservers to your HostGator nameservers. That’s all it takes to get an additional domain up and running.
Setting up a website with HostGator really is that simple. Just choose your plan, enter your existing domain name, setup your account and you’re good to go. Adding additional domains takes less than a minute. Remember: you need to forward your nameservers before anything will work.