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).
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.
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.
A practical note of warning is now appropriate.
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.
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.
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.
- 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!
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 .
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.
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.