cPanel and an Email for your Domain Name

Domain Name recap of Progress
O.K., for those who are still with me I want to simply summarise where you should be now and where this post may or could take you.

You should by this stage have selected a Domain Name, have the Domain Name hosted, and have WordPress or other platform building software installed on you Domain Name.  You may even have installed a few “plugins” if you are using WordPress.  Remember we are operating on a “shoestring budget” so the vast majority of tips to date are based on the need to minimise cost and provide a suitable final result.   Quite properly your main focus to date will have been “to get something up and working” and “build confidence” that you can actually do this.  If you are still struggling with the “how to” keep at it until you succeed.  DO NOT progress beyond this stage.  Remember, “Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.”

Domain Names - Inspiration

If you have achieved all the previously mentioned “goals” then I am going to provide you with a few other simple tasks it is possible to do using your cPanel.  As stated in a previous post I am not a cPanel expert but there is any amount of “Expert Free Advice” available on the Web and YouTube for technical aspects of the cPanel.

 

cPanel “aide-memoire”
I am not trying to be smart or cheeky.  However, there is so much to learn in Information Technology and there is so much information. You will likely be bombarded with over hyped offers thrown at you (they call this “Internet Marketing”).  You may begin to wonder what is a cPanel?  I have been there, so I know what happens when something is used as a “one off” to get things “up and going“.

cPanel Reminder

So, just to remind you “cPanel is a web based hosting control panel provided by many hosting providers to website owners allowing them to manage their websites from a web based interface.”  You will need your User Name and Password to access your cPanel.

 

cPanel for setting up Domain Name Email address
Do you think it would look very professional if you set up an email address that compliments your Domain Name?  Well that is possible.  For example this domain name is “myprodomain.com” and I have an email address “robert@myprodomain.com”.  You can now do the same for your Domain Name.

Lets help set up your email.  Login into your cPanel and scroll down to section titled “Email” and click on top left hand corner of section “Email Accounts”.

Email for Domain Name

 

When you click on this you will be taken to the following screen:-

Email Create

 

Click on “CREATE” button which will take you to the following screen:-

Email Creation 2

 

When you enter this screen there will be a heading “Domain” and if you click on down arrow it will give you a list of domains or if you have only 1 domain there will be no down arrow.  Click on the Domain Name you want to set up an email for.  In the nest box “USERNAME” you will be able to enter the desired prefix to the Domain Name selection made previously.  You may decide to enter your “name” or perhaps “customer service” or other relevant prefix.  Make sure your prefix is relevant to the Web Site you have set up.

Next Sub Heading is security.  I simply leave “Set Password Now” box ticked and the system generates a Password.  You do not need to note the password if you are not going to redirect (explanation below) the email, but if you are unsure copy the Password into “Note Pad” or similar system.  Hit “GENERATE” button and “hey presto” a Password is generated.

Below the Generate button there are a number of other boxes.  Leave them all in “Default mode” and Press “CREATE” button at the bottom of the page.  When you press “CREATE” button you will be taken to a screen similar to that below.

 

Webmail Application

Choose one of the Web Mail Applications – it does not matter which one you choose.  When you select your application you will be taken to your email screen.   Your email screen will be similar to the screen below.  You will notice that the Web Mail Application I choose was “roundcube”.

Email Application by Webmail

 

You can go back to you “Home Screen” on the cPanel; scroll down to Email section, click on “Email Accounts” and you will be taken to the screen below previously referred to for “Email Creation”.  However, in the bottom half of this screen there is a list of your email Account(s), Restrictions, Storage Used and buttons titled “CHECK EMAIL”, “MANAGE” and “CONNECT DEVICES”

Checking Email by domain Name

 

CHECK EMAIL button
When you click on this button it will take you to your email account.  You do not need a password to access this as long as you have signed into your cPanel.

 

MANAGE button
Clicking on this button results in a screen that lets you manage your email and at the bottom of the screen there is even an OPTION to let you DELETE your email.  You can have a look as you can do no harm by simply clicking the button.

 

CONNECT DEVICES button
You may enter this screen at no risk of upsetting anything you have previously done.  The main purpose of the screen is to let you redirect your Domain Name Email to other Email addresses from this screen.  The screen provides various protocols depending on which Email you want to redirect the Domain Name Email to and the type of operating software on your computer.

Connect Devices

This can be a complex area given the number of  Web Mail Application suppliers there are and the different operating systems on computers.  Therefore each reader will have to do their own research specific to their circumstances.   I would also advice a search on YouTube will reveal a wealth of specific information on this matter – most videos last approximately 10 minutes.

 

Connecting to your Domain Name Email from a Different Email
The previous paragraph gave outline advice on using the cPanel Email section to forward your Domain Name Email to a different (i.e. Desired Management Email) email.  It is possible using the set-up options in the Desired Management Email to reverse the process from cPanel forwarding to “Desired Management Email; to Desired Management Email to Domain Name Email on cPanel.

Reverse Order Domain Name Email Setup

As previously explained due to the number of Web Mail Application each supplier can have its own peculiarities.  Once again do a search on YouTube for the correct advice and solution to suit your circumstances.

Summary
A lot of the above may appear on first reading as “gobble gook”, but when you enter your cPanel and systematically work through items it will start to make sense.  Setting up emails on to correspond with your Domain Name is unlikely to be a high priority initially, but you should be aware of the facility.

Do Not Give Up

cPanel for Domain Name and Hosting

Where are you Now in respect of a “Domain Name” and “Hosting”?
O.K., by this stage if you have followed previous Blogs you will have purchased “Hosting” and a “Domain Name”.  By now you will have received a receipt from the supplier or suppliers of these services (plural if you purchased Hosting and Domain Name from separate sources).

Where are You Now?

In respect of “Hosting” one of the emails you will receive will be related to your Hosting Account to include a note or details on “cPanel Access”.  This detail on “cPanel” will include the “cPanel Username” and a supplier generated “cPanel Password”.  When you use these details to access the cPanel you will have the OPTION to change the Password to one of your choosing.

 

What is a “cPanel”.
I cannot do better than provide you with a text book definition prior to going into practical illustrative detail.

cPanel is a web based hosting control panel provided by many hosting providers to website owners.  This panel allows them to manage their websites from a web based interface. This program gives users a graphical interface from which they can control their portion of the Unix server”.

To provide you with an illustration of what a cPanel looks like an extract of the top section of a cPanel for a Namecheap site is produced below.

cPanel extract

The standard cPanel contains headings such as Files, Databases, SEO and Marketing Tools, Domains, Email, Metrics, Security, Software, Advanced, Preferences, Softaculous App Installer.

As by this stage you should have access to your own cPanel;  “Logon” to your cPanel and verify the layout given in the previous paragraph and become familiar with the order of layout.

 

cPanel Warning!
A practical note of warning is now appropriate.

Warning re cPanel

Few of you reading this Blog will need access to your cPanel on a regular basis.  The normal experience for most readers will be that they purchase a Domain Name and have it hosted on a Hosting Site.  The Hosting Site will have a cPanel.  The user may have a supplier who will automatically upload the Domain Name to the Hosting Site (if Domain Name and Hosting are from the same supplier)  i.e. Bluehost or if prompted Namecheap.  Therefore, if your Domain Name is active on the world wide web (www) you may see no need to go to your cPanel.  However, most of us even if the Domain Name is entered onto the Hosting Site go to the cPanel initially for other reasons which will be listed below and on subsequent blogs.

Occasionally

So what is the warning about.  The warning is about frequency and time.  The reality is that when you buy a Domain Name, have it Hosted and get things up and going you rarely go back to the cPanel until you buy another Domain Name or you want to change some settings (which usually is very seldom).

This means that while at one stage you had some familiarity with how the cPanel worked and how to “effect changes etc or new setups” because you generally speaking so seldom use the facility you end up forgetting how to do things.  This is a reality for most of us and it means when you need to use the cPanel if you are an infrequent user, you just need to use your suppliers help desk.  There is no shame in that and it is a fact of life in respect of any service which you do not use or need to be using on a regular basis.

cPanel a Tool

Remember, the cPanel is only a tool used to produce an “end result” (a Domain Name Web page) and there is no valid reason why you should be adjusting or tinkering with your cPanel on a regular basis if things are running smoothly for any given Domain Name.

 

Hosting your Domain Name.
I am not going to go into detailed instructions on “how to do this” but I want to simply repeat previous advice for your convenience and reassurance.

    1. Where you are purchasing the Domain Name and Hosting from the same supplier, the suppliers default position maybe to enter your Domain Name onto the hosting account, so no problem here.  Make sure you get an SSL certificate for the site (see my post Hosting a Domain Name), and ask the supplier to install this for you.  I have bought or agreed to Free SSL certificates in the past from my single Hosting and Domain Name supplier.  In each case despite trying to install them myself I have had to ask the supplier via their Help Desk to install them.  For some reason the installation of these certificates is unnecessarily complex or perhaps I am just stupid!

Ignorant

2. Purchasing the Domain Name and Hosting from separate suppliers is usually more complicated.  In this case you will need details from the Domain Supplier and Hosting provider to marry both to one another.  I am not going to attempt to go through the mechanics of this.  The Domain Name supplier and Hosting provider web sites  are likely to have videos outlining the process or detailed written instructions.  Even these can be hard to follow so as a fall back I suggest you also do a search on YouTube .

YouTube

 

Some Practical Advice 
Getting the Domain Name and Hosting put together can be challenging and at other times things go well and it seems to be straightforward.  My best advice to you is do not attempt it if you are in a hurry.  When you are doing complex things in a hurry “Murphy’s Law” has a habit of “clicking in”.  “Murphy’s Law states that if a thing can go wrong it will go wrong”.  If you are in a hurry and things go wrong you will become stressed and upset and get yourself into a mindset of failure.

Do Not Despair

Leave adequate time to “work on this process”.  Another method is to take a few steps at a time spread over a number of occasions.  Then when each step appears to be working finally bring the whole process together.  At this stage DO NOT GIVE UP, keep at it.

Do Not Give Up

Purchasing a Domain Name

Where to Purchase a Domain Name
At this stage if you have been following this blog you will be familiar with and aware of the following:-

  1. What is a Domain Name?
  2. Picking a Domain Name Extension
  3. Selection of a Domain Name

You should now have selected a Domain Name or Names which you know is/are available to purchase.  It is always wise to have a choice of more than 1 name.  The reason for having a number of options comes down to the purchase price of the Domain Name.  There can be a wide variation in the price of different Domain Names.  The impact of the price variation means that your number one Illustration of a Domain Name

choice which is available may be prohibitively expensive.  If you are starting out on your internet journey or are just buying an additional Domain Name, unless you are a very experienced online marketer you want to avoid  spending all of your monies on the purchase of a Domain Name.  It is normally possible to get a similar name at a reasonable price.

 

Domain Name Registrar
All Domain Names are held on a Registrar.  Therefore, when you attempt to purchase a Domain Name it must be purchased from a company accredited by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).  ICANN is a non profit organisation which  has been given the responsibility and authority to manage the Domain Name System.  It carries out this role by crediting “usually for profit organisations” with the “license or authority” to sell available Domain Names.

Register of Domain Names

When you attempt to buy a Domain Name you do not need to concern yourself that the selling organisation may not be registered with ICANN.  The larger well known companies will be registered and it is these organisations from which you should make your purchase.

Without the domain name system all we would have is confusing and hard-to-remember IP addresses (i.e a series of numbers), instead of the easy to use and remember domain names we have today.

Most domain name registrars today make it simple to purchase and renew your domain names. Nevertheless you need to choose wisely. Each register has their positives and negatives.  Later in this post a few of the positives and negatives will be highlighted.

 

Hosting
As  I provide analysis and advice below you will note the term “hosting” is referred to.  In writing a “blog” it is not always possible or advisable to put all the information in a single “blog” (information overload).  The other challenge is where two separate actions can take place concurrently.  This is a long way of saying that before you purchase your Domain Name from any Vendor you may be wise to read my next “blog” which deals with “Hosting a Domain Name”.

Hosting a Domain Name

 

How to Choose the Right Registrar
There are hundreds of domain name registrars to choose from.
Once you’ve found a domain name(s) that meets your requirements you need to consider a number of options when selecting a suitable registrar. Factors which you should take into account in your search are:-

 

1. Contract and Pricing
For most of us this will be our number 1 priority post selection of the Domain Name.  It is always prudent to review what is on offer from a selection of Domain Name registrars and start to get a “feel” of the various  pricing options.  Options are that you can usually register your domain for a period of one, three, five, or even ten years.

Contract and Pricing
If this is your first time registering a domain it is  recommended just registering a Domain Name for one year. You can usually turn on automatic renewal, which automatically renews your Domain Name at the end of the year.  My own preference is not to do this, as I like to keep control of my money.

You should also note that often the first years Domain Name fee can be very cheap with a large jump in the price of the Domain Name in subsequent years.  If you are not satisfied with the performance of your Domain Name registrar and you only sign up for a year you can always transfer the name elsewhere at the expiry of the year.

If possible be sure to investigate any costs in dealing with domain transfers, cost of renewal, and any additional fees that may be added at the renewal date.

 

2. Pricing Up sells and Pricing Add on’s
Many domain registrars will attempt to add on additional fees just as you’re about to purchase your domain name. The most common added fees are WHOIS (this provides your personal address if you are a private individual) and privacy protection. Frequently the  domain price being advertised is not always the final price.

Privacy Protection
Prior to completion of  your purchase make sure you’re not paying too much for your domain when compared to purchasing the same Domain Name from another registrar.  It does pay to “shop around”, and if possible try to ascertain a price for the second and subsequent years (it may not always be possible to do this).

Be particularly vigilant  to watch out for up sells that you might involuntarily add to your total.  Some examples of up sells are additional web hosting, multi-year domain registration, web site creation products and others.

Most registrars will offer additional web services above and beyond registering a domain name. Such services would be hosting, security certificates, web sites etc, etc.  These services will be discussed in detail on the next blog.

 

3. Customer Support
For almost all of us buying a Domain Name (including seasoned professionals); excellent and timely customer support is a must. Receiving an answer to a problem 3 days after the problem arises is just not acceptable.  As far as possible try to ensure support is responsive and helpful before you actually need it.

Do a google search on comments from customers on the various Domain Name registrars you are considering using.  This search should lead you to Blog Sites etc containing a wealth of information of the “pros and cons” of the registrar(s) under consideration.

Customer Support4. The User Experience
Once you have a domain name in your possession there are certain things you’re going to need to do to get your site up and running.  These things can all come under the heading of “Domain Name Hosting”  and will be addressed in detail in my next blog.

Hosting issues can be a nightmare if the hosting companies domain management systems are hard to use. If this is your first time purchasing a domain or even if you have previously purchased  a Domain Name , then be sure to choose a domain registrar that is user friendly.

User Friendly

 

Listing of 10 Domain Name Vendors?
A search on Google will provide you with an extensive list.  I have for your convenience listed out 10 Domain Name Registrars below (this is for information only and is not a recommendation of any of these vendors).  This listing is by no means an exhaustive list:-

  1. Google Domains
  2. 123Reg
  3. bluehost
  4. GoDaddy
  5. names.co.uk
  6. Easyspace
  7. Namecheap
  8. Domain.com
  9. one.com
  10. HostGator

 

A Brief Analysis/Comment  on Four Domain Vendors

Bluehost
Bluehost appears to be primarily interested in the provision of hosting.  They seek to sign the purchaser up to a monthly hosting plan and provide a free Domain Name.  There are bound to be restrictions on the selection of a Domain Name as depending on the “desirability”  of the Domain Names some names are much more expensive to purchase than others.

They have three different hosting plans all of which provide you with a single Domain Name.  Another feature which is not highlighted and which someone new to Domain Names would not be aware of, is that they automatically load your Domain Name onto the hosting platform and load WordPress Software onto your site.

Hosting a Domain Name

I have never used this company but it appears suitable for both novice and experienced users provided you can get the desired Domain Name as part of the monthly fee.  If you end up having to separately purchase the Domain Name then you need to consider the cost of monthly hosting and the cost of the Domain Name with other alternatives.

 

GoDaddy
GoDaddy has been in business for a considerable time.. They are both a domain registrar and a hosting company, so they can do a lot for your site without you having to turn elsewhere. They are the world’s biggest domain name registrar and they also sell a lot of other services to support larger sites, eCommerce sites, and much more.

They tend to have a very varied pricing structure. However, the good news is they are forever running promotions where you can register a domain for as little as $0.99.  If you have a lot of patience and are very savvy you could end up with a very good offer for the first year.

Go Daddy Domain Name

GoDaddy  offers a great range of services, but I have often struggled with the layout of their site and what exactly I end up signing up for. In plain English I did not find their site intuitive. The site is very promotion and marketing driven and often they are so busy bombarding you with offers that it is difficult to see the “wood from the trees”.

Their support is adequate but in my opinion not “first class”.

My biggest hate about GoDaddy is the hard sell once you select your Domain Name. The extras that they try to add into your basket is way over the top.  In addition if you do purchase something and omit to tick the correct boxes you are subsequently bombarded to your email box with additional promotions and offers.  As I am a person who does not like to be intimated with offers and having used them once I never used them again for the reasons listed in this paragraph.

 

Namecheap
Namecheap has a site which is probably one of the most intuitive and easy to use in this business. Having stated this; even then, I get myself into confusion periodically but please read on. They offer reasonably priced domains (especially after the first year), and have a number of free services including SSL encryption which will be referred to in my next blog.

Registering a domain with Namecheap is relatively straightforward and there is no pressure to buy additional up sells.

Namecheap Domain Name

Where issues arise in setting up your domain they have numerous easy to follow tutorial videos.  However, they do only offer person to person phone support, so you won’t be able to speak to someone if the need arises. That being said, their online chat support is incredibly responsive, helpful and patient and is available 24/7.

As a user of this online chat support I have found it second to none even when they are dealing with what seems a routine query.  As a side issue, may I say there are no routine issues, all issues no matter how trivial are important.  The difference is some take longer than others to resolve.  Another issue of importance is that they are usually able to solve your issue on the online chat support within 24 hours.

 

HostGator
HostGator tends to have similarities with Bluehost.  Beyond registering domains they’re mostly known for their hosting. They offer low-priced hosting and free domain registration bundles plus Email for the first year.

Hosting a Domain Name
If you do purchase a bundle package and decide to get hosting as well, then you’ll be happy to hear that they have a 99.99% up time, meaning your website will very rarely, if ever, go offline.

HostGator provides a solid foundation for you to start your online journey  They are promotion and marketing driven but just not to the same level as GoDaddy.

 

Finally
This has been a long blog post, but I trust you have picked up many “nuggets of information”.

There are no perfect Domain Names, but applying the advice given in this post can help you strive towards a suitable Domain Name at a reasonable price with good support available when issues arise (which they will)!

Long Blog Post

Do not fall into the trap  of “Paralysis by analysis” which is the state of over-analysing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralysing the outcome.  At times you will just have to go forward on a best judgement.  Most expertise only comes through a degree of trial and error and with the passing of time.  They call this experience and there really is no substitute for experience.

On a personal note my recommended Domain Name registrar would be Namecheap, for reasons of ease of use, support 24/7 and also reasonable pricing especially when renewals are due.

Do not beat yourself up if your first efforts cause you problems.  We have all been there.  As long as you do not waste all your money on a single effort you will be able to try again.  A positive is, that it takes little money to purchase and host a Domain Name.

 

Do Not Give Up

What is a Domain Name?

Simple Answer to What is a Domain Name?
In its simplest terms a Domain Name is a “Website address”.  Well known examples of Domain Names are “google.com” ;  “bbc.co.uk” ; “youtube.com”; “amazon.com”.

Illustration of a Domain Name

 

Is a Domain Name a Big Deal?
Well to answer that question a little piece of history will be helpful.  In the United Kingdom the word  “Domain”  is used to refer to  “an area of territory owned or controlled by a particular ruler or government”.  A digital domain has similarities to this although there is no ownership of physical land or territory involved.

It is not unusual to hear  a “Domain Name” being referred to as being equivalent to “a piece of Digital Real Estate”.  This is a good  illustration of the potential and actual value of some “Domain Names” (please note these are the exception, not the rule – so do not get carried away!).

Image of a Physical Domain

 

What Exactly Does a Domain Name Do?
I am sure all of us who live in a house/property or static home of some type, receive post  or mail (for those of you in the U.S.A.), or more recently parcels of deliveries from Amazon etc.   To receive this post/mail and/or deliveries the deliverer of the items needs a reference to know where to leave the delivery.  This reference point will be known as the postal/mailing address of the recipient.

The Domain Name is the electronic equivalent to a physical postal address in respect of finding a particular Web Site.  You cannot put a Web Site on the World Wide Web without a Domain Name.  The Domain Name is the Official Name or Address of your Web site.

Most references on computers take place with the use of numbers and no doubt numbers could have been used to identify Web Sites.  However,  just think about this for a moment.  What is easier to remember – a number perhaps running to 8 or 9 digits or if possible a short text?  Obviously most people find it easier to remember text, especially if the text has an underlying meaning.  Hence Domain Names are designated via text although you could use numbers, but using numbers is not recommended for the reasons previously stated.

The words used to identify a Web Site are known as the Domain Name or URL address.  URL is an abbreviation for “Universal Resource Locator” and the URL or Domain Name provides the address of a World Wide Web (WWW) site.

World Wide Web example

 

Selection of a Domain Name
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” (Quote from Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare – English Writer 1564-1616).

In respect of the selection of a Domain Name the name is extremely important, especially if you are seeking to promote a business and already have a known brand name or business name i.e. Coca Cola (www.coca-cola.co.uk).  You will note that the url address used by Coca Cola is the exact same as their product name.  This is despite the fact that the product name pre-dated the Internet age by at least a century (Coca Cola originated circa 1886).

Coca Cola

There can be occasions when the Domain Name has a lesser importance.  An example would be where perhaps you are involved in actively promoting a single product offer to an established mailing list or via social media.  In this case you are driving an offer using  a mailing list or social media and are asking/encouraging the recipient of the email/social media site to click on a link to get details of the product/service being offered.  You are not relying on “searches” by a potential customer via a search engine (i.e. google) to find your product/service.  This type of marketing is known as push marketing as opposed to pull marketing where you are trying to attract the customer to your Web Site.

Push Marketing

 

Matters to consider when choosing a Domain Name
A number of recommended best practices apply especially when you are seeking to attract traffic and therefore potential customers.  As stated above you are seeking to attract this traffic via  “pull marketing”.

Having to Choose

  1.  A Domain Name should be as short as possible and no more that 10 letters.
  2. The name should be related to the business.  Think of the name “coca-cola” and the web site which has the same name.  If you trade as “Joes Tyres” then you should be looking for a name that has the words “Joes Tyres”.  Someone looking for your Web Site will always be inclined (especially in local markets) to look for the Web site under the name of the business i.e. “Joes Tyres”.
  3. A “short name” will also mean if your decide to use social media such a Twitter that you will be able to get a Twitter Account.  If you are going to use Twitter check out your Web Site name with its availability on Twitter.
  4. A Domain Name should pass the phone test.  If you were to give the name over the phone would the person at the other end of the phone be able to “pick up” what you have said and remember it?
  5. The name should be “Memorable”.  I have touched indirectly on this in the points above but I am explicitly stating that you need a name that is memorable, even if initially until the name becomes known the name provides no suggestion of the product/service.  Such names would be Amazon or Skype.  Neither name suggests the actual service the organisation provides but through time and large marketing campaigns and budgets they have become world wide brands.
  6. Yes, I know item 5 tends to contradict items 2 and 3.  As most of you will be working with limited funds to start with; advice at 2 and 3 plus must be “memorable” must trump the total of comment at 5.  The latter part of comment 5 can only be achieved where there are large marketing budgets or significant time periods in order to build momentum.  However in the past time and  momentum has achieved this.  Who would ever have associated the name “Apple” with computers?

 

Summary & Conclusion

Common Sense

Perhaps at this stage you are thinking to yourself  – What is the point of all this advice?  Perhaps you are thinking I have learnt very little or even nothing.  Perhaps you say all this is common sense.

Well if the previous paragraph reflects your opinion then you must also ask the question:- Why do so many people make such a  “hash” when selecting a “Domain Name”?  You must also consider your context for the purpose of Name Selection.  Are you a “push marketer” or a “pull marketer” or a combination of both.

The application of the information provided above will greatly assist you in the avoidance of common errors and in the next post I will progress matters a little further into the next steps of the journey.

Do Not Give Up