Knowledgebase
Linux Hosting - Getting Started Guide
Posted by - NA - on 13 January 2011 09:41 PM
After you have completed (and paid for) your order, you'll soon receive your "hosting details" welcome email, which contains all the information you'll need to access your account. Please keep this email safe.

In this guide, we'll refer to "yourdomain.com" but please, when typing any of the links etc, substitute this for your own actual domain name!


Get to grips with Cpanel


The first thing that we'd recommend is logging into CPanel (the control panel) and having a look around. It may look daunting at first, but CPanel is very easy to use once you've gotten used to it, and for most clients, you'll only use a fraction of the powerful tools that it has available.

Login to CPanel at: http://www.yourdomain.com/cpanel using the username and password in you welcome email.

Spend some time browsing some of the Cpanel sections, and don't worry too much at this stage about "what does that do?"... You'll soon get to grips with the main thing syou need to know... If you're keen to know as much as possible, perhaps have a wee browse of the official CPanel Documentation.


Set up one (or more) email accounts


You'll probably want to start using your new domain for email asap, so that you can start promoting you@yourdomain.com (instead of you5298@hotmail.com!). To do this, you'll need to setup at least 1 "POP Email" account.

Setup your email account with Cpanel's "Email Accounts" link.
We recommend that you keep a note of the email address, and it's password for later use.


Start using your new email address


Once setup, you'll want to actually use the new account to send and receive email. There are essentially 2 ways to do this, via WEBMAIL, or via actual email software installed on your computer (like Microsoft Outlook).

Login to webmail at: http://www.yourdomain.com/webmail and make sure that you login with the actual email address (you@yourdomain.com) as the username, and the associated password for that account (which you chose when you created this email account).
For more help accessing your email account via webmail, take a look at the webmail tutorial.

Setting up an email client (like Outlook) takes a little more effort, but it's by far the most popular way of using email, and greatly beneficial in the long run. Setting up an email account is more or less the same on every application, and involves providing the software with your username (the email address itself - you@yourdomain.com), your password (for the email address), and the "incoming" and "outgoing" servers (or the "pop" and "smtp" servers). For both the server names - you can simply use yourdomain.com (or mail.yourdomain.com will also work fine). Finally, the one little tip to ensure that you don't get into problems when trying to send mail, is to ensure that the "smtp authentication" (sometimes called "my outgoing mail server requires me to login") setting is set to ON.

Click the following links for detailed help setting up Outlook Express (very common on Windows based systems), and Thunderbird (which is a popular "free" bit of software which you can download here).


Build a website


Before you can upload your website to the server, you'll need to have one! The 2 main choices are to build one yourself, or have one built by a professional web design company.

Unless you're a dab hand with HTML and CSS (amoth other things), if you're building a site yourself, you'll probably want to use some software to help you. There are too many choices of web building software to mention here, but we of course would recommend our own NSBuilder system. NSBuilder allows you to build and manage the site ON the server, with no need to work locally (on your own home/work computer) and then upload it to the live server. It also completely removes the need to know any sort of programming whatsoever, and still a produce professional quickly and easily.

If you're actually wanting the help of professionals, then we'd be delighted to work with you, and would urge you to take just a quick look at some of our previous web design work for clients large and small. By having NSDesign design and build the website, we'll also take care of actually getting it setup and working on the hosting for you.


Upload a website


Once you have your website (typically, this means you'll have a number of files that comprise the website located on your local computer), you'll need to upload it (ie: move the files) to the server, so that your website shows when somebody views www.yourdomain.com.

There are essentially 2 ways to upload your website to your new hosting account - via the CPanel, or using FTP.

It's fairly easy to upload files directly using the Cpanel, although for larger sites (with lots of files) it's not recommended. Login to Cpanel, and follow the detailed tutorial for using File Manager.

Using an FTP programme may seem the more difficult option for getting your files to the server, but there are many benefits once you start doing this on a regular basis. Again, there are many choices for FTP software (including an FTP client in windows), but we recommend the Filezilla client which is a free download. Please view the following 3 tutorials for help with FTP using Filezilla - Configuring your site, Managing your files and Transferring your files.


Get more Help


This article is intended as a quick "getting started" guide to your new Linux Hosting Account (and using Cpanel). Once you've mastered the basics, we urge you to spend some time having a browse round our Client Support Centre at www.nsdesign.info, which contains many more helpful tutorial videos and in-depth Knowledge base covering many more features available to you. It's also where you'll find the helpdesk where you should seek further support should you need it.
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