This is part 2 of a video from WPCrafter that takes you by the hand and shows you how to build your own E-commerce store online.
We’ve split it up into handy bite-size pieces. In this post, we’ll be looking at web hosting, privacy, and security. We’ll also get WordPress installed.
So at this part of the tutorial, we’re going to talk about website hosting. Now, even if you’re familiar with website hosting (if you already have a website or you had a website in the past) I don’t want you to fast-forward through this section, because it’s going to be worth your time to listen to this part of the tutorial, about WordPress web hosting, and because, it’s the most important decision for any website.
It’s important to note that if you order Ecommerce Website Design from us, this is not something you need to concern yourself with. We’ll take care of this for you with excellent hosting. We’ll also alert you when your website reaches a stage that requires hosting upgrades.
If you choose the wrong Webhost you are in for a world of hurt and that’s why it’s so important to make the right decision with the web hosting company that you choose. Primarily you’re going to want to avoid certain companies and you basically want to avoid EIG and GoDaddy companies. EIG stands for Endurance International Group and they are a web hosting conglomerate. Some of the web hosting companies (I’ll list them here just to name a few that they own) they are really bad web hosts and the scary part is you actually hear a lot of people suggesting these web hosts and it’s probably because they don’t realize it or they’re being paid a lot of money to suggest these Web hosts and it actually saddens me because I know people that go there have bad experiences and the people that have used these services and said they had a great experience, then I asked the next question:
Are you monitoring the uptime, are you checking the speed of your Webhost and if you’re not monitoring uptime and if you’re not checking the speed of your website you really don’t know if your host is any good.
So, some of these companies are Hostgator, (I’m sure you’ve heard of Hostgator) Bluehost, and host monster and there’s a whole list of these EIG owned companies and you really want to avoid them if at all possible. They’re known for gobbling up web hosting companies, laying off the support staff and then consolidating everything. It then it all goes downhill from there. Also, GoDaddy I know a lot of people get their domain names at GoDaddy and they’re fine for that, (I personally prefer a different company) however their web hosting is bad. It is extremely bad. Their servers are overloaded and what that means is they have so many customers on a single Web server that it makes all of the websites slower. That’s what happens with GoDaddy.
Now, if you have used either of these and you feel like you had a good experience, I’m happy for you. But, I would question if you are monitoring the uptime of the websites and if you’re checking the website speed. So these are just the ones you want to avoid.
One of the biggest criteria in the web hosting company that you choose is they must support WordPress. Now when I say that I’m not saying that you are ‘allowed’ to use WordPress or it says WordPress someplace on their website. What I’m referring to is, if you are in a situation with your WordPress website and you need help, that you can go to their support and they’re not going to say “sorry that’s your deal, that’s not us. You’re going to have to figure that out on your own”. That is what I mean by they must support WordPress. Their support staff must know how to support and be willing to support you with your WordPress-based websites.
You’d be surprised but most hosts are not going to help support your WordPress based website now. A web hosting company is not liable for things that you do to massively break things, so for example if you set your WordPress password to the word “password” and then someone hacks into your account destroys your website, that’s not going to be their responsibility. That will be your responsibility.
But, if you need help (say your having some kind of a problem with a plug-in that you installed) you should be able to go to your web hosting company and they’ll manually go in there and remove that plugin or you’re having some kind of line of code that pops up and you don’t know what that is. Or you’re having trouble installing something, then you can go to them. That’s what I’m talking about. They must support WordPress and this is why I don’t recommend going with tiny little mom-and-pop neighbourhood web hosting companies. They simply don’t have the support staff to be able to invest the time in giving you proper support and they typically don’t have a proper infrastructure to keep your website secure, to keep your websites optimised.
The next requirement is they must offer free SSL certificates. I said in the tutorial overview you’ll learn how to use and install an SSL certificate on your website. Here’s the thing, if your web hosting company does not provide them for free, you’re probably going to pay anywhere between £30 and £100 per year per website for an SSL certificate. That’s money that you don’t have to spend if you choose the right web hosting company.
So that kind of piggybacks back, to avoid EIG and GoDaddy companies. With those companies, you’re going to be paying for SSL certificates and it’s going to get really expensive, really quick. So it’s better to choose a web hosting company that will give you a free SSL certificate because you have to have an SSL certificate you just have to these days. If you don’t have an SSL certificate on your website and someone uses the Google Chrome web browser, and they visit your website it will say in the top bar (where you put the website address), it will specifically state “Not Secure”! You don’t want someone visiting your website using that browser (which is the most popular web browser). That’s just stuff that you don’t need.
Next thing I want to talk about is shared hosting versus managed hosting versus a VPS.
Now, these are phrases that just get thrown out there and there’s a whole bunch of other phrases: cloud hosting, managed hosting, optimised hosting. All these different phrases now. I wish there was some standardisation with it. However, you’re going to have web hosts that throw out all kinds of fancy phrases. So, sometimes it might be hard to know what your purchasing.
Let me just try to sum it up in a nutshell:
Your shared hosting is your hosting account to be on a server with other people who have their web hosting accounts on the server and you guys all share resources. That’s why it’s called shared hosting. Now, good Web hosts don’t pack as many customers on a single server because if they do that, it’s going to affect everyone. So that’s your shared hosting. You are vulnerable. If some other web hosting account on the same server starts to have problems, it can cause problems for other people. However, a good Webhost will be monitoring everything on the server and they will stop problems before they happen.
Then you have this next level called managed hosting and this is a different hosting environment that is more optimised for WordPress. Sometimes they’ll also bundle in additional services like backups, staging servers, things like that. Automatic updates of your plug-ins and WordPress (core) and that’s your managed web hosting. It’s going to cost more money but for a lot of people, the performance gain will probably be worth it and also the managed environment of making sure everything’s updated, that might be worth it as well.
Next is a VPS which stands for Virtual Private Server. You don’t hear it referred to as that these days, you more often hear it referred to as cloud hosting or something along those lines. Some web hosting providers use that cloud word the wrong way but its cloud web hosting. A lot of times your cloud web hosting it’s going to be completely unmanaged, you’re completely on your own. You need to have a PhD in something called Linux in order to be able to make everything happen. It’s not that it’s impossible. It’s not that there are no tools out there to make it easier to manage, you are going to have higher performance, but if you are new to web hosts you do not want a VPS right now. That will be something when your website starts to get a ton of traffic and you need dedicated resources, you need ultra-high performance, and you have someone there to take care of it for you.
I have a special website set up called ordernewhosting.com and I want you to visit it. That is where I put together a list of Web hosts that meet these criteria and are also very reputable companies and almost universally regarded as the best web hosting companies that there are. They’re going to provide support for WordPress users, they’ll provide free SSL certificates are not going to overload their servers. Last (which is important), you can start out at the shared level of hosting when you’re just getting started. It’s less expensive and there’s an upgrade path you can go from shared to managed to VPS as your needs change.
So here’s what ‘ordernewhosting’ looks like. I’ve got these recommendations right here. My top recommendation is InMotion hosting. What’s nice about what I’ve set up on this page for you is I have a series of training courses. Now, these are paid training courses. Here’s some on various page builders, here’s some on some of the common things you’ll want to do with your website. And here’s my higher-end courses right here. I have a special package where if you order from the host that I recommend and then send me a copy of your receipt I’ll actually give you free access to these courses so that you have all the tools that you need in order to be successful with your WordPress based website.
So with InMotion hosting, you can see right here it’s the biggest offer you’re going to get. A page builder course and these three other courses. All-in-all it’s worth almost $500.
I’m also recommending A2Hosting and Siteground, and they’re all going to be on this page and over time I’ll probably expand on these recommended hosts as time goes on. So this page might look a little different when you come to it. Let’s take a look at these web hosting companies and order a web hosting account.
The first one we’re going to look at right now is a Siteground. Now, on Siteground’s website, we can scroll down and you can see right here they have ‘web hosting’ and I’m in a go ahead and click on where it says ‘learn more’. Let’s take a look at their plans right now.
So they have three plans: Startup, GrowBig, GoGeek. They all have different prices and they all have different things included. Siteground is an excellent Webhost. It also is the only one that I recommend that has metered hosting. What metered hosting means is it’s going to be limited to the number of visitors per month depending on the plan that you go with. So that this plan right here for $3.95 per month is going to only be good for 10,000 visits monthly. So for me, I would definitely need this plan right here, which is for 100,000 visits per month. You would be able to come here and decide which one would fit for you, but you have to keep in mind that it’s metered web hosting. That isn’t so bad depending on how much traffic you anticipate getting on your website and that’s how they can make sure that their service is high-performance. But, it is definitely something to consider.
Next, we have A2Hosting right here and they have several different plans for you to choose from. Now, the higher-priced plans you’re typically going to want those types of plans for e-commerce websites or maybe a learning management website. Not your basic brochure website, but a site that you’re going to expect multiple people to be on and doing different things and staying on your website, rather than just reading. So you can choose one of these packages right here. What is nice about the turbo package is right here it says the turbo package is going to be faster. A lot of that is because it includes a plug-in for WordPress that’s going to make it run faster and then right here you can see they also have a managed web hosting plan. This is going to give you a little bit more service with your website.
For you next, is a web hosting company that works and actually set up in this tutorial video and that is InMotion hosting. I have lined up a 57% discount on these web hosting plans down here and this is also the web hosting company where I’m going to be giving you the biggest or largest bonus right here of free courses.
So here we are. They have these three plans and you could see that the lowest you can get this launch plan for his £2.95. Now when you hover over the order button it reveals how much it costs. So if you only wanted to get service for one year it’s going to be £4.49 X 12. If you wanted it for two years or three years you can just as easily do the math. You would just select the one that you wanted.
So the launch plan is going to be good for one website (actually here let me scroll down). Okay, see I get some information wrong sometimes. Right here it says on the launch plan you can host two websites, on the power plan; six websites. and on the pro plan, you can host unlimited websites. These are the three plans that you can choose from.
Now they also do some really nice things. If you have a website someplace else they’ll migrate it for you. They also have all US-based support which is very nice. They also have something very interesting…
If you’re on this page and you go to web hosting, you can click ‘WordPress hosting’. Now, this is something that they launched in 2017 so these are fairly new offerings (at the time of creating this video) for them.
This is ‘WordPress optimize’, specific hosting. Your WordPress-based website is going to run faster on this WordPress optimised hosting and you can see the various plans that they have available here. These plans also are metered, however, it says “suitable” it’s not a hard-capped requirement. So they’re not going to be tracking how much traffic you get and telling you, you have to upgrade. So with of these plans, you can see some of the differences there.
Now, what I like about InMotion hosting and all of these hosts is you can start small and work your way up. So for this tutorial, I’ll go ahead and start small, because I know I can work my way up as soon as I start getting traction. I’ll start on the launch plan and then work my way up to the power plan and then the pro plan or just go straight for the managed WordPress hosting. Everybody’s different, so if you’re not price-sensitive you might want to start out with some of the managed WordPress hosting options right here.
But if you want to just start someplace you can go ahead and start with the launch plan. I will say, if you get the pro plan, it does come with additional resources for your web hosting account, but for this tutorial, we’re going to choose the launch plan.
I’m going to go ahead to “Order Now” and choose the 3-year option. That’s going to get me the largest discount. Let’s go ahead and click on that. It will open up in a new tab and take me straight to the shopping cart. During the checkout process, there might be some incentive to upgrade to one of the other plans. You can choose that if you want, or just click on “No Thanks”.
Let’s go through the order process really quick. First thing is, we’re going to choose a data center. If you are in Europe or Asia you’d probably want to choose Washington and if you’re in the United States or Central or South America you might want to choose Los Angeles. Honestly, it doesn’t really matter as much as it would have maybe 10 years ago. However, if you’re really concerned about this and some people are you might want to check out A2Hosting which is the second host that I was talking about. However, you’re going to most likely be perfectly fine with Washington or Los Angeles right here. Mine is currently in the Los Angeles data centre.
Next, you have the option of paying for a dedicated IP address. This isn’t so needed these days. You can get it if you want if you’re going to have a website where you want a high-end paid SSL certificate. There are certain certificates, (for example you can see right now with InMotion hosting on their website you see right where the URL is, it says InMotion hosting, that’s usually an indication of a more premium SSL certificate), that’s usually around £300 per year. It’s called an EV certificate and you would need a dedicated IP address for that. So if you’re not a bank then you probably don’t need a dedicated IP address. So we’ll leave that at no thank you.
Then right here where it says content management system auto-installer, let’s go ahead and choose WordPress. What this means is, after you order it’s automatically going to install WordPress for you it’s just one less step that you’re going to have to do. Let’s go ahead and click on continue.
This is where you would either order a new domain name or you would connect a domain name that you already have someplace else. So if you’ve already registered a domain name at GoDaddy or Namecheap for example, you would just go ahead and click right here where it says “I already own this domain” and you would enter your domain name, then click on continue.
What ends up happening, is you order the hosting account and then there are some instructions on how to point your domain name from wherever it is to your new web hosting account. Or you can just check right here and purchase a new domain now with InMotion hosting. These are the only extensions that they support – .com, .net, .org, .biz, .info, .us. So if you’re in the UK and you wanted.eu or you want one that’s not on this list, I recommend going to NameCheap.com to register your domain name. That being said, I recommend if at all possible to go with a .com domain name. I know nowadays there’s .io and .co and all these things, but I think nothing will ever be as good is a .com domain name. Go ahead and enter a domain name now.
After you enter, it’s good to see if it’s available and if it is it will let you proceed. If it’s not available it will let you know that so that you can choose a different domain name. so I’ve gone ahead and entered showthedemo1.com. I know that that’s available and the actual domain name I’m going to use for this tutorial is showthedemo. So then I want to go ahead and click on ‘search’ and it’s going to check the availability and this is when it lets me know that it’s available and then all I have to do is click on ‘add to cart’ right here and you could see right here it added the domain name and the domain name is actually going to be free of charge. It’s normally £15 per year but it’s going to give it to you for free. It also added domain privacy and it’s up to you whether you want domain name privacy or not.
Essentially whenever you register a domain name you have to have a valid name, address, and email address. Contact information tied to that domain name and its public. Anyone can go and see that information or you can get domain privacy and its kind of like your info’ is just unlisted and there’s the domain privacy company’s information there instead. You’re not totally private. It’s private from public eyes. However, if there’s a legal situation or anything like that it is very easy and possible to send some important documents to the domain privacy company and they will immediately give up your information. So it’s more just to protect you from the casual person. If you do want that you can just click on continue, if you don’t you can just click on the X and it will remove that and take your balance down to whatever it is.
Now let’s click on continue and in this step (because I removed the domain privacy) it’s just asking me one more time (that’s okay, persistence is actually a good thing), I’ll go ahead and click on continue. Now it’s going to take me to the billing section and so what you want to do is enter in your email address here, so I’ve gone ahead and entered an email address. I’m going to click on continue and it will take me off to the next step.
O.K, so this is the step where you’re going to enter in all your billing information. There’s one important part to this and that’s right here where it says ‘referred by’. It is optional but I’m asking you if you would enter WPCrafter. Now typically when you order you it will automatically know that you came through from my websites and when you do get your receipt you can send it to me and I’ll get you access to those courses that I promised you. However, sometimes it’s just safer to put WPCrafter in here as well. That way there’ll be written information there so they know that you came from my website. You’ll just go ahead and fill this out and scroll down.
Right, here is the option to choose your payment method. You can put in a credit card or a debit card. There’s one glaring thing missing and that is that they don’t have a PayPal option, but if your only way to pay for this web hosting account is via PayPal it’s actually still okay. You can pick up the phone and call them or you can contact their live support. They have live chat on the website, you can say hey I want to order new web hosting account but I can only pay through PayPal and they will set you up. When you do it on the phone or you do it that way just let them know that they have to put the order with WPCrafter and you’ll be fine.
Once you’ve entered all your information, click on ‘review my order’ then you can complete the order and you’re going to get two emails from InMotion hosting. Let me go through those now…
So the first email you’re going to get is your receipt and this is what it looks like. I blurred out my information (I hope you don’t mind). This is what I need you to forward to me. I need you to forward this to me if you would like access to that bonus package of courses. just go ahead and send this off to me. What I do is verify that you did purchase it through the link on my website and then I’ll be able to go ahead and send you access to the courses. So this is the first email that you’re going to get and then you’re going to also get a second email.
Here is that second email. I will tell you that sometimes when you order a new web hosting account, the web hosting provider will want to call you before they create the account and verify that you actually did place this order. That happens and so that might happen when you order a new hosting account. If not, you’re going to get that receipt that I just showed you and you’re going to get this welcome email right here. Now, this welcome email has some important information in it. First, it’s going to give you your login ID which is really just the email address you used when you set up your account. But then you need to click this button that says “to get started set your password here”.
You need to click on that and what it’s going to do is take you over to InMotion hosting’s website and will allow you to create a password. Once you’ve created you’re going to be able to login. So I’ll go ahead and log into my account right now.
Here I am logged in. Now don’t get rid of that email that you just got from InMotion that had the link to create your password, because when you scroll down on that email it can actually have your WordPress login information. Now that you are logged in to your web hosting account, let me just let you know if you’re using a different Webhost. A lot of times they’re going to kind of look similar and I’ll get into that in a moment. You could still follow along.
The first thing we want to do when we log in is we want to go ahead and write off the bat, turn on that SSL certificate. So I need you to click on ‘manage free basic SSL certificate’. You click on this right here and then what we’re going to do (we just have to wait a sec’), it’s just analyzing your web hosting account to take a look at all the domain names on it, and then after a moment it’s you’ll see it lists out the domain name. I’m just going to read this one important bit right here. It says:
“If your new domain is less than four hours old or you have not pointed your existing domain’s DNS to the account, we can’t issue a free certificate”
So just keep in mind, if it’s a brand-new domain name you might need four hours to wait before this can be issued. All we need to do to turn on SSL is to click right here where it says ‘off’ and I’m going to do that and it’s going to turn on, and that’s all there is to it. Now an SSL certificate for free will be issued to you and you’ll be able to use that to start using your website in a secure environment.
Okay, so let me go back a bit here. Now that we did that it was actually so easy, it can be more complicated with other web hosts. Now I want to show you where the main meat and potatoes of this control panel is going to be. It’s going to be right here and will say cPanel.
cPanel is an industry-standard thing. Even though this is what InMotion’s looks like, you’re going to have the same thing with Siteground the same thing with A2Hosting, and the same thing with most of these shared web hosting providers. they’re all using cPanel. With InMotion if you chose the managed hosting it’s the same thing. It’s going to be in cPanel.
There are a couple of things I want to do before we log into WordPress for the first time. The first thing I want to do is modify the WordPress site so that it knows we only want to use HTTPS (The SSL certificate) for the website. So I’ll scroll down here and click where it says ‘WordPress’ and it’s going to pull this up right here. When you scroll down your going to see a list of all the WordPress installations that you have.
Here is the one that was automatically created when we signed up for our web hosting account. If you look at the URL right there it shows HTTP, not HTTPS, so we just want to change that. It’s really easy to do. All we need to do is click on this little ‘edit details’ icon right here. Let’s do that now and then it will pull up this screen right here. The second option is ‘URL’ and we can actually change this. So I can click here and put an S like this. So now it’s HTTPS and this is exactly what we wanted.
Now we can scroll down to the bottom of this page and save our details. Just click on the Big Blue button, “save installation details” like this, and now it says the installation details were edited successfully. That’s perfect!
Now let’s click back to where it says cPanel and we’re going to do two more things in cPanel. First, I want you to just double check something. If you’re not using InMotion. If you’re using a different hosting account you’re going to want to do this as well. I want you to scroll down to where it says “PHP configuration” and click on this. With InMotion hosting, they started by default which is a good thing putting you on this thing called PHP 7. If you have an old web hosting account someplace, chances are you’re on an older PHP version and what you’re going to want to do is change this dropdown to PHP 7. As time goes by you might want to put it at PHP 7.1 or 7.2 but it’s safe to leave it on PHP 7.
Essentially this setting is going to make your website run a whole heck of a lot faster. However, a lot of old web hosting companies put you on an old 5.6 version and the reason they do that is for greater compatibility and fewer headaches for them. If you run into a problem, however, that is a very old version. If you just switch it to version 7 your websites going to load a lot quicker.
Okay, so now that we verified that we’re on PHP version 7, let’s go ahead and click on ‘home’. That will take us to the home of the cPanel. Now if you’re looking for something in cPanel you can just go ahead and enter it right here and it will pull it right up. This is pretty universal. What we want to do now is create an email account that we’re going to use later on the website. So let’s go ahead and click on “email accounts”. As I said, cPanel is industry-standard so if there is ever something that you wanted to learn how to do, you can do a search. For example, ‘how to create an email address in cPanel’ and if you entered in that search you will find instructions on how to do it. So just know that cPanel is what you have, it’s what most web hosting accounts are based on, and there are lots of resources out there available to you. Now let’s go ahead and create an email address.
This is good to be an email address that we’re going to configure inside of WordPress, so when WordPress is sending out any important emails this is the account that it’s going to use. You can make your email address whatever you want and get as many email addresses as you like. Let’s start filling this out. I’ve gone ahead and I’m going to create the email address. I popped in a password and here’s the quota (or you can make it unlimited or leave it at that) it’s not going to be really something where I’m leaving a lot of emails. Go ahead and click on the ‘create account’. So here you can see a list of my email addresses and it’s just this one right here, and what we can do if we want these settings for configuring this email account in an email program or maybe something on your smartphone, or maybe a program you might have on your computer, just click right here where it says ‘set up mail client’, like this. Then just choose which program we’re going to use. What I prefer to do is scroll down and just grab the settings right here. Now we’re going to use these settings later on so I suggest you just make a note of them. You already know the username, it will be your email address, you created the password, and then here is the incoming server and any kind of port information in the outgoing server. We’ll take this information later and plug this into our website so it uses this email address when it sends outbound emails.
Now we can just scroll up and click back onto cPanel and this is really where you’re going to configure everything related to your web hosting account. You’re most likely never going to use it though. You’ll maybe just create a new email account or something like that. There’s really not a ton that you’re going to do in here, so now let’s login to WordPress for the first time.
Remember I said to hold onto that email that you were sent by InMotion to create your password?
I want you to pull it up right now and I’m going to pull mine up. So now I’ll just scroll down a little bit and what this does, is it says right here “login to the administrative dashboard”. This is actually for your WordPress website. You can go ahead and click on the link that is there (where it says ‘Admin using your domain’ and it lists your email username and password). You’re going to use your email and this auto-generated password. This is your WordPress login. Don’t worry about your password, I know it looks crazy. We’ll change that password here in a moment, but this is going to be your login information.
I’ll go ahead and open up this domain name right here and start the login process. Now, what you’re going to do is copy it into your clipboard and then paste it in right here. The only difference is you see how it says HTTP? Well, we want to change that and make it HTTPS. So just go ahead and enter an ‘S’ right there and then hit ‘enter’ and it’s going to take you straight to the login page. So now you can enter in your email address that you used to create your hosting account and paste in that crazy password.
I’ll just go ahead and click on login and it will take me right in. So now I am logged into WordPress for the first time, I just wanted to stop for a moment and congratulate you. You are doing fantastic so far. You’ve accomplished so much!
You made a wise web hosting decision, you set up hosting, the domain name, and you set up an SSL certificate. That’s something that a lot of people have trouble with but you’ve already gone ahead and done that. And you have installed WordPress and you are ready for action. Great job!