Premium cPanel hosting, domains, design, consulting, certs and security since 2001

 

How Do I …?

Home > How Do I …?
 

Below are some common questions we receive on how to get started online.

If you have further questions, we’d love to assist! Please contact us for support.

It's never been easier to get your site online!

You essentially need two things to get started:
1. A domain name
2. A hosting account

The domain name is purchased through a company known as a "registrar" and they are responsible for keeping track of a domain's owner and where the domain should look for a hosting account.

The hosting account is basically a way to "rent" some space and usage on a computer that's connected to the Internet. That computer space is where your website files and email will be stored among other things.

When you order a hosting account, the host will provide you with "nameserver" information. This is typically in the form of two nameservers (for example, ns1.charlottezweb.com and ns2.charlottezweb.com). You can think of nameservers as being similar to a street address. They tell a computer accessing your domain where to look on the Internet to find your hosting account -- remember, the Internet is a pretty BIG place!

Once your host has provided you with the proper nameservers, you would then update your domain name information with your registrar to "point" your domain to those nameservers.

After this has been completed, you may need to wait up to *48 hours for the changes to be visible. At that time, when someone types in your website address on their computer, your domain name is looked up and based on the nameservers you've entered, that will tell that user's pc where to go to actually find your hosting account. 

Of course, that's a VERY simplified explanation of what's working behind the scenes.

*Brand-new domain registrations typically take less than 10 minutes to resolve.

It's never been easier to get your site online!
 
There are thousands of companies out there that will register a domain name on your behalf. Some of the larger ones you may have heard of are Godaddy, Register.com and Network Solutions just to name a few. Without going into the positives and negatives of each company, it's important to be aware that you have a choice.

If you plan to register and administer your domain name on your own, Charlottezweb recommends Godaddy.com. Their pricing is very friendly due to the number of domains they control and they have a simple interface for managing your domain.

Charlottezweb can also register domains for you if you would prefer to have someone handle the technical side for you. Many clients prefer to purchase both their domain and hosting through one provider so that they don't have to worry about the initial setup or maintaining separate accounts and billing.

If you are comfortable with managing your own domains, there is no reason why you can't register your domains through the provider of your choice -- independent of who provides your hosting.

So you've purchased hosting and a domain...what now?
 
Once your order has been cleared for fraud, your account will be setup -- typically within a few business hours. When that step is complete, an email will be sent to you with your login information as well as the nameservers you should use (if applicable) for your domain name.

If you are setting up a brand new site, you would want to update your nameservers with your registrar so that your domain will point to your new server account.

If you are moving your hosting here from another host, you have some other things to consider to ensure a smooth transition. In that case, you will likely be better off transferring your files and configuring your settings on the new server *before* you update your nameserver information. You don't want your domain to start resolving to an account with no files in it yet!

If you are currently with a cPanel-based host, feel free to contact us to do your transfer for you. There are ways to easily transfer files and settings using functionality built into cPanel.

If you are transferring a site that is database-driven, there are other concerns you'll want to consider to limit downtime and ensure you don't experience different posts to different databases. Feel free to contact us for personalized assistance with this.

As a responsible webmaster, every client should be accountable for regularly backing up their account data  regardless of who you use as a host. This is one of the practices everyone online should strive to follow. The same is also true before AND after you make any significant changes to your website. The one time you forget to backup and lose something valuable is typically all it takes to convince you that the extra time is worth its weight in gold!

That being said, Charlottezweb does offer you some insurance as a value-add. These are meant to be a "safety net" in case something goes wrong but should NOT be used in place of doing your own backups.

All server accounts are backed up daily to a secondary hard drive. These backups are stored in daily and weekly formats. In addition to this, a set of backups is transmitted to a backup server (independent of your actual account server) in the event of a catastrophic event to the server you're using.

Again, these backups are here as insurance but are NOT a substitute to you doing your own backups. There are automated ways within cPanel and using cron (automated) jobs to have this done for you with minimal to no effort required on your part after setup.

The other part of "protecting your site and data" is based upon your password security. You are responsible for your passwords and how difficult you make them. To get the most protection, you should always use complex passwords composed of a combination of the following:
 
uppercase and lowercase letters
numbers
symbols
Bad password example: password2
Better password example: ThisisMyPass2
Best password example: T7Xh$kI!mQ
 
Your cPanel account offers full access to the rest of your site. If you share your cPanel login details with another individual, realize that they will have full access to your account.