Congratulations and thank you for setting up your new web hosting account with Web Assist. This guide is designed to point you in the right direction as you set up your new web hosting account.
We know everyone has a different level of experience when it comes to getting started with web hosting. To make things easier for you, we’ve split this guide up into several sections – so you can quickly find what you’re looking for.
To get started using your web hosting account this guide will show you how to transfer your domain name, set up and access your email accounts, and build your own website.
Step 1: A Domain Name
To get started with your hosting package, you will need a domain name.
What is a domain name?
A domain name is the technical term for your website address. For example redhippohosting.com is our domain name. To be accurate, there are two parts to a domain name, the first part, the name e.g. “redhippo” and extension e.g. “.co.za”.
There’s a large range of different extensions when it comes to domains, for example:
- Also hundreds more new domains have been launched
- and many more
Some of these have a specific target audience, for example .mobi domains are aimed at sites designed to be viewed on a mobile phone. If you’re starting your own site, you might prefer to have a .com TLD, such as .org or .uk or one of the brand new TLD’s e.g. .guru, .company .plumbing etc. – but this is up to you.
Anyone can register their own domain name, and Web Assist provide a wide range of TLDs you can choose from with the most competitive prices.
How can I pick my domain name and register it?
We make it really simple to get a great domain name. Simply use the Domain Name Checker Tool on the front page of our website type in the domain you’re interested in. It doesn’t matter if you’re not sure what TLD you want yet – we’ll give you a list of all the available domains.
I already have a domain name with somebody else
If you’ve already registered your domain with another hosting company, don’t worry: it’s simple to move the domain to Web Assist. The process varies depending on which domain extensions you’d like e.g.:
co.oza .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz, .name domains
- Unlock the domain and obtain the authorisation code. This is something your current hosting company would do for you.
- Follow the instructions under the Transfer a Domain tool to move it over.
For other domains, simply go to the Transfer a Domain tool, enter the domain and follow the instructions.
What do I do if I don’t want to transfer my domain to Web Assist?
It is NOT required to transfer your domain’s registration to the Web Assist registrar however we do always recommend customers transfer their domains into Web Assist. This allows renewal and billing to be handled all in one place – making life easier and reducing the chance that you might lose your domain. You will also benefit from our competitive prices upon renewal.
You may host any domain with us by simply contacting your current registrar and pointing the name servers to us. Pointing the name servers to us will NOT automatically transfer the domain’s registration.
The Web Assist nameservers are:
- Primary Server Hostname: ns1.webassist.africa
- Secondary Server Hostname: ns2.webassist.africa
- Your current registration company can help you do this.
Once you have made this change, allow 24-48 hours for the changes to update across DNS resolvers worldwide, and your domain will be pointed to us.
Note: We highly recommend pointing the name servers to us before initiating a registration transfer. Transfers can take 3-10 days to complete; during this time the name servers cannot be modified. If you point the name servers to us before starting a transfer, your domain will be pointed to us during the duration of the transfer and your site will show what is on Web Assist’s servers.
Step 2: a Hosting Account
When ordering a domain you are presented with an option to add hosting to your domain, a hosting account is the place on an internet web server where your domain name, website and emails reside. You can add a hosting account to your domain when ordering.
Once you have completed your order and payment a few emails will be sent to you including your “New Account Information” email. Please read it carefully as it contains instructions on how to proceed including how to login to your cPanel control panel.
Accessing cPanel to manage your hosting
Remember, it takes up to 24 hours for a new domain to be visible on the internet (a process called propagation) but don’t stress, we provide you with immediate access to your cPanel control panel and website with a temporary URL (address) until propagations is complete.
Login to cPanel using this guide.
cPanel really simple to use but extremely powerful with a host of features to help you manage your hosting account. Down the right-hand side, you’ll see a quick summary of current statistics, such as bandwidth, disk space, mailbox usage.
Step 3: Creating Email Accounts
Once you have your domain name with hosting account you can start creating your online identity and the first step to creating your brand identity on the internet is setting up your email addresses. All of our hosting packages come with a generous allowance of email addresses, so you can send and receive emails from firstname.lastname@example.org!
Let’s get started and set up a sales address for your new business. Of course, this could also be a personal email address – or whatever you choose.
Creating a mailbox
- Login to the cPanel Control Panel using the instructions sent to you in your ‘New Account Info‘ email.
- Create a new mailbox in cPanel using this guide.
Accessing the mailbox
Your new mailbox will be fully active within 1 hour. You can either access your mailbox by:
- Login to your mailbox via webmail using your browser, type in webmail.yourdomain.co.za replacing “yourdomain.co.za” with your domain name. Enter your email address and password to view your webmail.
- Configure your computer’s mail client (Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Live Mail, MacMail, etc) to access it. (For further help doing this, please have a search through the Help Centre for step by step instructions for your mail client.)
Step 4: Creating Your Website
Okay, so you’ve got your hosting account, domain name and email address. But http://www.yourdomain.com/ is showing a blank page! Time to get creative. There’s a number of ways to get your website created and online, we give you some software to help you do this free of charge and the one we will focus on is WordPress. You can also upload an existing website via FTP, please search the Help Centre for a how to guide for this.
Create your website using WordPress, Joomla, Drupal or a host of other free scripts included with your account!
All our hosting accounts come with a variety of different templates, scripts and free software supplied as part of the account. All of these are available via the various options inside your cPanel Control Panel. For each option, you’ll also find on-screen instructions on how to use it.
- Joomla CMS
- Drupal CMS
- Concrete5 CMS
- phpBB Forum, bbPress etc.
- Many e-Commerce Platforms like Prestashop, OpenCart, ZenCart, osCommerce etc.
- and many hundreds more…
How to install one of the website creation scripts like WordPress etc.?
Some of our hosting packages include WordPress, Joomla or Drupal already installed, if you didn’t purchase one of these it’s a breeze to 1-click install, follow the instructions below:
Here’s a guide on how to easily install WordPress in cPanel.
If you have further questions or need help, please contact support, we’ll be happy to help.