A2 Hosting

How to Setup Web Hosting and Domain Name

Last updated on September 19, 2020 by Janz Nordman

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Before you head to the signup process I would like to point out a couple of great technology features A2 Hosting provides to us. First, Turbo packages contain LiteSpeed web server technology that surpasses all the competitors. Second, A2 Hosting has built-in integration with the most secure and feature-rich CDN service provider Cloudflare. Even Thanos can’t wipe out so much awesomeness 🙂

A2 Hosting Setup – Signup

Please go to A2 Hosting Homepage and follow the instructions below.

Step 1 Choose WordPress Hosting Type

“Shared WordPress” hosting is the best option for starting sites.

A2 Hosting Signup Choose Shared or Managed

Step 2 Choose a WordPress Hosting Plan

You can start with the “StartUp” plan and upgrade any time when your website is ready for launch. Otherwise, recommending at least the “Turbo Boost” plan. Be aware that fast and reliable websites rank higher on Google Search!

A2 Hosting Signup Choose Plan

Step 3 Choose a Domain for Your Website

When you don’t have a domain yet then please choose an option of “Register a new domain”. You can click on the “Check” button to verify the availability of your desired domain name. Otherwise, you can either transfer the existing domain to A2 Hosting or update DNS records pointing to A2 Hosting servers.

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Awesome, but how should I name my website? I created a very good article to help you on How to Choose the Proper Domain Name. Therefore, I recommend you to take a peek before proceeding.

In case yours is taken, don’t worry too much about it. Do some brainstorming, perhaps visit Google for the extended inspiration, and sooner or later you’ll find the one.

A2 Hosting Signup Choose Domain

Step 4 When your domain is available you can choose any other TLDs when necessary. Otherwise, just click on “Continue”.

A2 Hosting Signup Domain Available

Step 5 Choose Hosting Features

Be aware that your hosting features and features listed here may vary based on your selected service. When you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me.

  • Billing Cycle – pick a monthly payment option to decrease initial cost.
  • Upgrade Your Hosting – you can do it anytime so skip for now.
  • Server Location – choose any web hosting center located closest to your website customers.
  • SSL Certificates – use Free SSL and upgrade to Cloudflare’s origin certificate later. Please contact me if you need any help.
  • Dedicated IP – uncheck this option. Required only in rare cases.
  • DropSuite Offsite Backups – definitely recommended when setting up an online store.
  • Barracuda Spam Firewall – you can skip it for now and reorder when starting receiving a significant amount of spam e-mails.
  • A2 Website Builder – you don’t need A2 Hosting’s website builder as we are going to use WordPress for this purpose.
  • Cloudflare Plan Basic – skip it for now. It is strongly recommended to directly sign up for Cloudflare and setting up DNS records as necessary. By the way, you can order “Basic” plan anytime when you have changed your mind.
  • Auto-Install Application – please choose WordPress without A2 optimization plugin bundled.

NB! Make sure to write down login credentials before clicking on the “Continue” button.

A2 Hosting Signup Hosting Features

Step 6 Choose Hosting Addons

Though ID Protection is not a mandatory addon, it’s still a recommended feature. This feature helps you hiding personal information collected by registrars when registering a new domain.

Clarification

When you check domain information by any of the WHOIS services, it should display as “Data Protected” or similar term. Keeping you away from annoying spammers, ID Protection is worthy of the extra investment.

A2 Hosting Signup Hosting Addons

Step 7 Review Your Cart

Please double check your cart content and make sure you have everything in there. Finally click on the “Checkout” button to proceed to the last step.

A2 Hosting Signup Review And Checkout

Step 8 Checkout

Please fill in your Personal Information, Billing Address, Domain Registrant Information (you in this case), Account Security, and Payment Details. Finally, check I have read and agree to the Terms and Service and click on the “Complete Order” button. After successful processing, you should receive a corresponding e-mails by A2 Hosting in your inbox.

A2 Hosting Signup Checkout

Congratulations! Please find instructions in the e-mail how to access your WordPress control panel and proceed with further steps below.

Quick Access

You can access your WordPress control panel through the following URL https://yourdomainname.com/wp-admin/. Please replace yourdomainname.com part with your domain.

[Next Steps] Quick Website Setup

A2 Hosting Setup – Client Area

Log in to your A2 Hosting account, and you’ll land on the dashboard where you can check out consolidated information regarding services, domains, tickets, billing, and support.

On behalf of BestCloudTools, I can assure you that this is the main and the most crucial page of the A2 Hosting account. There you can access different environments, which I strongly recommend you to surf and learn the insights of A2 Hosting client area and understand where the information lies.

A2 Hosting Client Dashboard

Hope you are doing great so far! In the following steps, I’ll walk you through an overview of every detail about what are truly essential things that you should implement from the start. Hang on to something because this ride begins now!

You can work it out with the following topics:

  • Register a New Domain
  • Transfer a New Domain
  • Pointing Existing Domain to A2 Hosting
  • Setting up Staging for WordPress
  • Granting A2 Hosting Access to Developer
  • Setting up FTP and WordPress Users for Staging
  • Granting Remote Database Access to Developer

Registering a New Domain Client Area

When you have an existing A2 Hosting account then it’s very easy to add another new domain name for you. Please navigate to DOMAINS > REGISTER A NEW DOMAIN on the main menu and/or follow the steps below.

Step 1 Use Domain Registration Panel on Dashboard

Fill in your domain name and click on “Register” button.

NB! You may be forced to repeat that process on different screen. Weird I would say.

NB! In case you used the main menu navigation please continue from here.

So fill in your domain name once again and hit “Search” and A2 Hosting will check if your domain name is available.

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Maybe you still need some help on How to Choose the Proper Domain Name. Therefore, I recommend you to take a peek before proceeding.

In case yours is taken, don’t worry too much about it. Do some brainstorming, perhaps visit Google for the extended inspiration, and sooner or later you’ll find the one.

A2 Hosting Domain Registration Panel

Step 2 Optionally Choose Additional TLDs

The path of buying a domain name is very similar to online shopping. Choose your preferred domains and click “Add to Cart”. When this is done you can explore web hosting packages by clicking on “Explore packages now” button.

A2 Hosting Client Domain Registration Availability

Step 3 Add Web Hosting

You can start with the “StartUp” plan and upgrade any time when your website is ready for launch. Otherwise, recommending at least the “Turbo Boost” plan. Be aware that fast and reliable websites rank higher on Google Search!

General Recommendation

I suggest you review each option to find the one that fits best to your needs. Every category has different options to choose from that you can upgrade or (if you’re up for an adventure) change to new services at any time. I sincerely think you should start low and grow along with your hosting needs.

When you are confident enough and made your choice please click on the “Order Now” button.

A2 Hosting Client Domain Registration Add Web Hosting

Please proceed HERE!

Transfer a New Domain to A2 Hosting Client Area

When you have an existing A2 Hosting account then it’s very easy to transfer a domain. Bear in mind that you cannot transfer a domain you do not own. Therefore, don’t try to take Facebook away from Zuckerberg even if it’s the best idea you ever come up with. After you transfer the domain, its billing and administration options will also move to A2 Hosting. Please navigate to DOMAINS > TRANSFER DOMAINS TO US on the main menu. Fill in your domain name and the authorization code, that you get as soon as you unlock the domain from your current registrar. Get in touch with the domain’s current registrar if you’re having some trouble with the unlocking process.

A2 Hosting Client Transfer Domain

Sometimes, the authorization code is called EPP (Extensible Provisioning Protocol) code. Usually, either this code, used to verify your domain transfer through global registries, will be sent to you by e-mail.

Each domain is like a snowflake with its own, unique authorization code, but enough about it. I’m sure you got the point. Now let’s move on to “Add to Cart”!

Please proceed HERE!

Pointing Domain Name to Another Hosting Client Area

There is also a third option, and it means that you don’t need to transfer the domain name at all. Instead, simply update the domain’s name server (DNS) settings to point to A2 Hosting. All you need to know is A2 Hosting DNS server addresses, which you can find along with nameservers and IP addresses at the dashboard, listed in the “Product Details” for each product.

Bear in mind that billing and domain administration services would remain with your current domain’s registrar and that you need to use the same server settings in it.

In most cases, all domain registrars offer some sort of control panel where you can manage a domain’s name serving settings and, if you have no idea how to do it, just contact the company and ask them how to change your domain’s name server and DNS settings. Please, be patient, as changes may take 24 to 48 hours to fully complete.

Staging Setup for WordPress

Nobody wants to accidentally reveal his or her spaceship when it’s no ready yet. Not even Elon Musk. You would like to properly adjust your prototype till launch day, right? A2 Hosting provides a staging tool for such purposes.

When you are setting up a site for the very first time, I recommend you to customize and polish every little detail from your staging environment first and then deploy it to production with just one click. Therefore, this is why I suggest you do it:

  • Try out different options without worrying about what the audience can or can’t see.
  • Delete the stating environment and build a new one from scratch if you feel you’ve messed up everything and have nothing to lose. Otherwise, make constant backups to restore some pieces of your environment.
  • Play with a variety of configuration options for staging tools to make sure that the real disposal will succeed and reduce the risk of breaking the production environment.
  • When you deploy to production, the site will perform an automatic backup for you.

Join me and let’s create our very first staging environment! Head to the A2 Hosting dashboard and click on the “cPanel” button and you’ll be redirected to the “cPanel” setting. A2 Hosting uses SSO (Single Sign-on) service, which means that you are automatically logged in. Feeling as it gets more complex? Never mind and move on. I’m here for you. Please proceed to How to Create a Subdomain in cPanel and come back here when done.

Now that we have a subdomain for our staging environment, we can proceed. Of course, you can choose whatever name you like. Now, let’s use the search box and try to find “Softaculous”.

A2 Hosting Search Softaculous

“Softaculous Apps Installer” appears in the search options, click on it and… wait a second! What is Softaculous Apps Installer?

It’s not. To keep it short, Softaculous automates the installation of website apps through predefined scripts. Fortunately the required application is already installed for us. Give a peek at “All Installations”, fourth icon on the right-top menu.

A2 Hosting Softaculous Menu Options

Click on it and you should see the following:

A2 Hosting Softaculous Installed Applications

Now, simply select the “Create Staging” icon in the options column, choose the domain and fill in database name and voilá. Since we are using sub-domain for our staging environment, we don’t need to fill in the directory name.

A2 Hosting Softaculous Create Staging

You should be looking at two links after clicking on “All Installations”.

A2 Hosting Softaculous Installed Applications with Staging

Congratulations! You have the staging environment now. Feel the rush for adventure and explore it together!

For the most part, three different environments belong to the development cycle: LIVE, PRE LIVE, DEVELOPMENT. There can be even more, but let’s stick to those three for the moment. Hence, I advise you to set up two extra environments instead of one.

  • LIVE –Also known as “production environment”, this is the one your audience will see and enjoy.
  • PRE LIVE – This is LIVE copy + new features. Our staging. Here you can test and verify everything before LIVE deployment.
  • DEVELOPMENT – This is PRE LIVE copy + experimental features. I like to call it a “polygon” environment where I can experiment with new things and blow stuff up with no risk—kind of like the desert.

We’ve reached the point where we can go back to our staging tool and see how the whole process should work now. After you are ready with your experiments and your new features are complete for testing, you can deploy the DEVELOPMENT environment to PRELIVE. Remember that our staging tool has different levers to pull. Hence, we can’t allow any risk and should test even our deployment step before LIVE deployment. Or do you want to take more risks? I suggest trying snowboard.

A2 Hosting Softaculous Push to Live

Please, click on “Push to Live” icon to advance and you should see the following screen.

A2 Hosting Softaculous Push to Live Details

Remember that, by default, all the files and database will be overwritten, but this is something you may like to avoid when you have already deployed PRELIVE to LIVE. It might be that you would like to keep the LIVE state for some tables. Therefore, always consider this your options before going LIVE.

Also, keep your new feature changesets small and deploy as often as possible, since doing it with large changesets usually ends up in a big hassle. Try to avoid it.

A2 Hosting Developer Access

If your acquaintance Steve, a professional developer, has an A2 Hosting account and he is happy to help you, you can give him “Developer Access“. Open A2 Hosting client area page and navigate to “Account“ > “Developer Access” on the main menu. Here you can click on „Grant Access“ and fill in Steve’s e-mail address and he should have this blue arrow inside button on the same page to access your client area.

A2 Hosting Developer Access

If Steve recently canceled the A2 Hosting account, there’s a way to set up a new client area user account for him, but please make sure that Steve is a trustworthy guy as he gets full access to all of your places now. Navigate on the main menu to Account > Contacts/Sub-Accounts and select “Add New Contact”.

A2 Hosting Add New Contact

You can always change permissions afterward if there is a need.

There is another option, but it’s not that simple, as it requires more work from you. You can grant more restricted access to Steve when you are not comfortable with him looking around everywhere. Take a close look at the next section.

Setting up FTP and WordPress Users for Staging

Most developers need access to FTP to add or overwrite files for development purposes. You can peek here How to Add FTP Account in cPanel.

Now Steve gently asks a WordPress account for a staging environment from us. All right, Steve, you will get it. I’m not Jobs. We’ll have to log in to our staging URL https://staging.yourdomainname.com/bmug with „admin“ user credentials (A2 Hosting has previously sent you this information via e-mail).

In WordPress administration interface go to “Users” and select “Add New”.

A2 Hosting WordPress Add New User

Then, grant the „Administrator“ role to Steve as he’s probably begging for it anyway. After clicking “Add New User”, Steve will receive an e-mail from A2 Hosting with further details.

Remote Database Access with Developer Access

in this section, I will demonstrate how it is possible to connect remotely by using my favorite MySQL database client. My security delegate would like to see a new database user in the system because sometimes he seems to be very suspicious about new guys. Classic Sherlock. Please follow this tutorial of How to Assign User to Database in cPanel.

One last thing to do before we can tell Steve to take over. We need to allow remote host address to access our MySQL database, but how you should know which address. Please ask Steve to send you the correct host so you can allow him to access remotely. You can take a closer look at How to Allow Remote Access to MySQL in cPanel.

As for now, there should be a web address where Steve can connect remotely to, am I right? Yes, I am (#humble). We move on to A2 Hosting dashboard and find “Account Details“ button under Connection Details.

A2 Hosting Client Dashboard

Here we can look at many domain addresses. A hostname is the one we are interested in and everything else that is marked by SSH, such as port, username, and password. Copy this information to file, as Steve needs this in his next step. You can see the password by clicking on the eye of providence.

A2 Hosting Development Connection Details

Steve may use a different client, but I personally prefer “MySQL Workbench” to connect remotely. All that is left to do is create a new database connection. Let’s call it as accurate as possible so we know it’s for our staging environment. It’s very simple: fill in all the required fields and “Test Connection”. Whether you prefer storing passwords in a vault or like to insert them each time you connect, it’s all up to you.

A2 Hosting Development SQL Client Connection

Did you succeed? Awesome!

Oh, you did not? I’m sorry, but that’s okay. You will succeed because I’m here to help you.

Thanks for Reading and Good Luck on Your Journey! Need Some Help or Would Like to Ask Something about Current Content? Please Add a Comment 🙂

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