Using HostGator, instructions and review

Here you will find basic instructions on how to use HostGator with WordPress, using HostGator in general and a review about HostGator.

Chapter 1: Review and how to sign up (Read me!)
Chapter 2: Uploading to HostGator
2.1 Where to find the connection data (server settings)
2.2 Connect and upload to HostGator using Cyberduck (or any other FTP application)
2.3 What is the root?
Chapter 3: Domains
3.1 What happens if I have multiple domains?
3.2 How do I add another domain to my hosting account?
3.3 How can I have two domains pointing to the same site?
Chapter 4: E-mails
4.1 How can I have e-mails like me@mydomain.com?
4.2 How do I use e-mails like me@mydomain.com with Mail application, Outlook or on the iPhone?
4.3 How do I check my e-mails on the web?
Chapter 5: How can I have a custom "404 Error - Page not found" page on HostGator? And how do I create it?
Chapter 6: How can I password protect my site on HostGator?
Chapter 7: How to install WordPress blogs or a PhpBB Forum on HostGator
Chapter 8: An important note

Chapter 1: Why should you use HostGator? (Read me!)

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Since the beginning of 2012 most of my websites are located on HostGator servers. So far I'm very happy and pleased by HostGator's performance and the customer support they provide.

In addition to Phone, Tickets and Live Chat (which actually works and is actually helpful) they also offer a Forum where members of the staff and users answer the questions you post.

The forum is a great addition because users have a lot of knowledge themselves which they share with other users. At times forums can be of a higher quality and responsiveness than the company's support is. See the Apple Discussion Forums, the support provided by users is much better than Apple's support. So the Forums are a big PLUS for what concerns customer support.

HostGator currently offers the following hosting packages: Hatchling, Baby, Business, VPS.

Recommended for:

People who plan to build only ONE website.

Specifications:

- Toll free support
- Unlimited space
- Unlimited monthly datatransfer
- Unlimited MySQL
- 1 Domain allowed

and more...

Recommended for:

People who plan to build multiple websites.

Specifications:

- Toll free support
- Unlimited space
- Unlimited monthly datatransfer
- Unlimited MySQL
- Unlimited domains allowed

and more...

Recommended for:

People who plan to build multiple websites.

Specifications:

- Toll free support
- Unlimited space
- Unlimited monthly datatransfer
- Unlimited MySQL
- Unlimited domains allowed
- 1 dedicated IP address

and more...

All plans offer toll free customer support by Chat, Phone, Ticket and Forum.

Hatchling allows only one domain so it's only for people who want to build only one website. Baby allows unlimited domains hence unlimited websites. The Business Plan adds a dedicated IP address. A dedicated IP ensures faster response during periods of high traffic load and may also improve your website's ranking on search engines.

If you decide to use HostGator I would not recommend you to use the Hatchling plan unless you want to build only one website since otherwise it's way too limited. I would recommend you to at least use the Baby plan but better use the Business plan (which is the one I use). Of course you can upgrade your plan at any time.

If you plan having a lot of different websites or a website with a lot of traffic then you may want to have a look at VPS which offers more resources.

When you signup you can either choose a new domain or provide a domain you already own. You will also have to choose a username and a password. If you signup with an existing domain make sure to change the DNS Servers with the ones you will be provided by HostGator at your current registrar.

Here you will find some basic instructions and FAQs on using HostGator...

Chapter 2: Uploading to HostGator

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2.1 Where to find the connection data (server settings)

Once you signed up to HostGator there two different ways to connect to your server. Either using the IP Address or using your domain. For the latter one use:

Server address/Hostname: ftp.yourdomain.com
Username: Your username
Password: Your password

Where username is the username you did choose when you signed up and yourdomain.com is your main domain hence the one you used when you signed up.

2.2 Connect and upload to HostGator using Cyberduck (or any other FTP application)

Cyberduck is Freeware (or Donationware). It is very good, really easy to use and the one I like the most...

First thing I have to do when I launch the application for the first time is configure it to allow it to access the server and retrieve/send data.

I click on Open Connection

Cyberduck - Open connection

and get a dialog window like this one:

FTP

This is the connection data you have to enter in Cyberduck (or any other FTP client) to connect to your server...

Server: ftp.yourdomain.com
Username: username@yourdomain.com
Password: Your password

Check the “Add to Keychain” checkbox for it to remember the password and hit “Connect”.

To make things easier Bookmark the location you upload your files to in Cyberduck.

Click on Cyber then Click on “+” at the bottom of the Bookmarks to add a Bookmark.

Next time you use Cyberduck simply go to

cyber2

click on the downward flash at the right and a tear down menu will appear from which you choose the bookmarked location on your server to connect to it.

Once you’re connected you will see a list of folders. One for each of your domains.

Drag&Drop the files needed for WordPress as per instructions from your computer into the public_html folder or the folder named after the appropriate domain of the website in the case of Addon Domains in Cyberduck.

2.3 What is the root?

If you upload a picture to the root of your server or website (let’s call it picture.jpg) the picture will show up if you enter http://yourdomain.com/picture.jpg in your browser (ex. Safari) (more info about the root here)

On HostGator the root of your main domain is the public_html folder.

Example: picture.jpg
dropped in public_html
will show up entering http://wpfaq.org/picture.jpg in the browser if wpfaq.org is my main domain.

Having multiple domains (see Chapter 3) public_html will remain the root of your main domain. Whereas for your additional domains it will be the domain's folder you find in the public_html folder.

Example: picture.jpg
dropped in the wpfaq.org folder you find in the public_html folder
will show up entering http://wpfaq.org/picture.jpg in the browser if wpfaq.org is an additional domain.

Chapter 3: Domains

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3.1 What happens if I have multiple domains?

If you will have multiple domains the server will still be the same but once you connect to the server in the public_html there will be another folder called yourdomain2.com to upload the files which go to that domain. It’s really easy.

When you’re using iWeb’s integrated FTP everything stays the same but under Directory/Path write
/public_html/yourdomain2.com/ (which stands for the additional domain)
instead of
/public_html/
all the other parameters will stay exactly the same as above.

3.2 How do I add another domain to my hosting account?

3.2.1 If you already own the domain

1) Change the DNS Servers at your current registrar to reflect the DNS Servers you were provided with by HostGator when you signed up
2) Login to your account's control panel by visiting http://yourdomain.com/cpanel
3) Under Domains choose Addon Domains. Under New Domain Name type the domain you want to add. Skip the next two boxes since they will be filled in automatically. Under Password and Password (Again) type your password and hit Add Domain.
4) Connecting to your server in the public_html folder you will now see a new folder named after domain you added. This is where you upload the files of the site which goes with that domain.

3.2.2 Registering a new domain

1) Login to your account's control panel by visiting http://yourdomain.com/cpanel
2) In the top-right corner under Register type the domain you'd like to register and click on Register and proceed to register the domain
3) Under Domains choose Addon Domains. If your new domain is not automatically added to the list add it. Under New Domain Name type the domain you want to add. Skip the next two boxes since they will be filled in automatically. Under Password and Password (Again) type your password and hit Add Domain.
4) Connecting to your server in the public_html folder you will now see a new folder named after domain you added. This is where you upload the files of the site which goes with that domain.

3.3 How can I have two domains pointing to the same site?

If you have a website under yourdomain.com and want to have another domain otherdomain.com pointing to it so people see the same website when entering either of the domains log into your control panel and add the new domain as previously seen. If you registered it with another registrar change the DNS Servers of the domain to your HostGator DNS Servers first.

When adding the domain under Addon Domains where it says Document Root type the same path as of the domain you want to display the content of.

Example:

Let's say you have a domain yourdomain.com pointing to
/public_html/yourdomain.com/
and you now want to have a yourdomain2.com pointing to the same website. When adding yourdomain2.com in Addon Domains you would type the same path for it as for yourdomain.com hence yourdomain2.com would also read
/public_html/yourdomain.com/
under Document Root.

Please note that it is generally not recommended to point two domains to the same website since in Google Search Results the site could show up with the less preferred domain.

Chapter 4: E-mails

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4.1 How can I have e-mails like me@mydomain.com?

1) Login to your account's control panel by visiting http://yourdomain.com/cpanel
2) Under Mail choose Email Accounts
3) Configure the E-Mail Address you want

Email: type_your_name_or_nickname @ choose the domain name
Example: username@yourdomain.com

Password and Password (again): type the password you want to use for the mail account

Mailbox Quota: Either define a max. quota or choose unlimited

4) Once you're done click on Create Account.

Usually people also make an e-mail address like
webmaster@mydomain.com which is a good idea.

4.2 How do I use e-mails like me@mydomain.com with Mail application, Outlook or on the iPhone?

Go to Mail=>Preferences=>Accounts and hit the “+” at the bottom of it.

The data to enter in the fields is:

Full Name: Your Name (this will display in the From part when people get an e-mail from you)
Email Address: me@mydomain.com
Password: The password you choose for your e-mail address
=>Click on Continue
Account Type: POP
Description: enter your e-mail address
Incoming Mail Server: mail.yourdomain.com
User Name: me@mydomain.com
Password: The password you choose for your e-mail address
=>Click Continue (if it says there has been a problem ignore it and continue)
Incoming Mail Security: uncheck SSL and choose Authentication: Password
=>Click Continue
Outgoing Mail Server (smtp): will be the same as your incoming Mail Server, thus mail.yourdomain.com
Use Authentication: check Use Authentication
User Name: me@mydomain.com
Password: The password you choose for your e-mail address
=>Click Continue (if it says there has been a problem ignore it and continue)
outgoing Mail Security: uncheck SSL and choose Authentication: Password
After you clicked Continue, check Take account online, Create

4.3 How do I check my e-mails on the web?

All you need to do is enter http://webmail.yourdomain.com in your browser (where yourdomain.com is your main domain even if you want to check e-mails of an Addon Domain) and you will be forwarded to a page with login boxes.

Username: me@mydomain.com (thus your e-mail address)
Password: the password you choose when you set up the e-mail

Type the e-mail you want to check. You can then choose whether you want to use Horde, RoundCube, SquirrelMail to read your e-mails. Choose the one you like the most.

Chapter 5: How can I have a custom "404 Error - Page not found" page on HostGator? And how do I create it?

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Add a new page and build your 404 page. I would recommend you to have a redirect on it (with time delay if you want) leading to your website's main page.
It's a good idea to add Statcounter on that page. This way you see where people getting to the error page come from. If they come from one of your pages you know that there's a wrong link on that page and you should fix it. In Statcounter add a extra project only for the Not found page.

1) Connect to your server using your FTP application (Cyberduck)
2) Navigate to the public_html folder (or your Addon Domain folder)
3) In the .htaccess folder enter

ErrorDocument 404 /notfound.html

Replacing /notfound.html with the path to the Not Found page.

If there is no .htaccess file on place yet using Cyberduck ctrl+click (right-click), select New File, name the file .htaccess and open it in TextWrangler to add the above line.

Chapter 6: How can I password protect my site on HostGator?

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1) Login to your account's control panel by visiting http://yourdomain.com/cpanel
2) Under Security choose Password Protect Directories, navigate to the location of the folder you want to password protect (to open folders click the icons). Once you found the folder click the folder's name.
3) You will now see the following page:

4) Under Security Settings choose Password protect this directory. Under Name the protected directory I'd recommend you to type the directory's name. Hit Save.
5) Under Create User you can create users who are allowed to access this directory. Type a username, a password and hit Add/Modify authorized user.

Here you can add/delete/edit usernames at any time

6) Now when someone tries accessing any file inside the protected folder he or she will have to type in the username and password to continue…

Chapter 7: How to install WordPress blogs or a PhpBB Forum on HostGator

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INSTRUCTIONS FOR HOSTGATOR WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON...

How to install a PhpBB Forum on HostGator is described on phpbbfaq.org here I will discuss only how to install WordPress.

To install WordPress there are three steps. First uploading the WordPress files to your server, second create the MySQL Database needed for the installation and third the actual installation process.

7.1 Uploading the files

How to connect to your server with an FTP application is described in Chapter 2.2 of this FAQ.

Go to wordpress.org and hit Download WordPress. You will get a folder called "wordpress".

Now you have to decide what you want the URL of the blog to look like

http://yourdomain.com/page-or-pagename/
or
http://yourdomain.com/name-of-a-folder/page-or-pagename/

The second one is recommended when you plan the have multiple blogs under one domain.

For the first one take only the content of the "wordpress" folder and upload it to the root of your website by putting them into the folder named after the domain where you want to install the WordPress blog.
For the second one rename the folder called "wordpress" to what you want to have appearing in the URL above instead of "name-of-a-folder". And then upload the whole folder (not only the content) to the root of your website by putting it into the folder named after the domain where you want to install the WordPress blog.

Now the second step is creating the MySQL Database which is one of the requirements to install a WordPress blog (or a PhpBB Forum as well).

7.2 Creating or adding a MySQL Database

To create the MySQL Database Login to your HE Account Control Panel (you should know what data you have to enter to login). Under Hosting Products hit Manage and a new window will popup. Under Databases hit MySQL Server

HostExcellence - Database

Then Add database by clicking the add icon
Enter a short name for the database and a description (for you to know what you're using the database for). Click Next.

The first time you create a Database you will have to create a user too.

Enter a user name, a password and confirm the password. Under user role select "dba". Once you added this information click on "Add user" and hit Finish. You're done.

The next time you create a new Database you can select the user you already created under "Pick user" on the right side of that window. User role select "dba", hit "Grant" then "Finish".

You will then be redirected to this page:

You now have all the needed information to install the WordPress blog:

Installing - 3

In the example:
- Database name: C22XYZ_blog
- Database username: C22XYZ_admin
- Database password: **********
- Database host: mysqlXYZ.hostexcellence.com (equals Host Name in the picture above)
(- Table prefix will be decided further on)

Keep that info reachable for the third and last step: the actual installation.

7.3 Installing WordPress

Go to the URL of your blog:

http://yourdomain.com/page-or-pagename/
or
http://yourdomain.com/name-of-a-folder/page-or-pagename/

Hit “Create a Configuration File” and you get forwarded to this window:

Installing - 2

Hit “Let’s go!”

Enter the required information:

Installing - 3

I would recommend you to change the Table Prefix. If you want to have multiple languages I would recommend you to take the short form of the language as prefix.

Hit Submit and it would be great if you would see the following message:

Installing - 4

It means that everything’s going fine. Hit Run the install.

Installing - 5

Enter a title for the blog and your e-mail address (a real one).

Hit Install WordPress and you will be showen a Username and a password to login to the WordPress Blog. You will be able to change the password after you logged in for the first time. This info will also be sent to you as e-mail to the previously specified address.

Installing - 6

Hit Login and login.

Installing - 7

Read Setting up WordPress.

Chapter 8: An important note

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In the folders which have the name of your personal domains you will find that there are already some folders called: cgi-bin; cp; webalizer. Never delete those folders (especially never delete the cgi-bin), simply ignore them.

Chapter 9: Signup

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www.hostgator.com

If you would like to know anything else or want me to add something to this FAQ please let me know...

This FAQ is also discussed in my WPFAQ.org E-Book (sample)

© WPFAQ.org - Tutorials, Tips & Tricks is made with WordPress and for WordPress.
It's an EBookStoretoday.com company. It’s presented by Cédric Giger and hosted by HostGator.com
Thank you for visiting and supporting my website,
- Cédric -

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