New Customer Getting Started Guide

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Welcome to InMotion Hosting! Now that you have a new web hosting account, it’s time to achieve your web goals. Getting started is easy — even if you have never set up a website before. No matter your experience level or needs, the below guide will help you get started with your new web hosting account. For most users, this means setting up email addresses, creating a website or moving an existing website over to your new hosting account.

In this article, we’ll explore:

Step-by-Step Getting Started Guide

1. Choosing a Hosting Plan and Initial Account Setup

To get started with your InMotion Hosting account, you will first need to choose a hosting plan that is right for you. To help with this step, please review the following article that breaks down the various types of hosting available:

After deciding which hosting plan you wish to sign up for, you can find the plan on InMotionHosting.com and add it to your cart. Upon completing the checkout process, you will be sent an email containing information and instructions regarding the setup of your hosting plan and Account Management Panel (AMP) access. 

Your AMP account is how you access all of your billing and hosting information, so you will want to store the login information in a safe, accessible location. For instructions on using your AMP account please see the following articles:

Once you’ve accessed AMP, you can start registering your own domain names for use in web hosting. Registering a domain name can be done from AMP via the following instructions:

How to Login to AMP – InMotion Hosting’s Account Management Panel | Hosting Control Panel

2. Creating Your Website

After setting up your account you can start building your website immediately. While it is possible to build a custom website, many users opt for a Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress. These systems provide comprehensive software tools for website development. 

With preset themes, drag-and-drop interfaces, and thousands of optional software plugins, WordPress allows users to easily create responsive websites in relatively short order. For more information on building your site using WordPress, please see the following articles:

3. Transferring Your Website

If you already have a website, you may decide that you’d rather transfer the site to your new hosting account rather than starting over from scratch. Fortunately, it is possible to transfer website data from one hosting provider to another, depending on the type of software used and the level of access provided. 

While InMotion Hosting provides a Website Transfer service that will handle the migration of data for you, we have a number of articles that walk you through the various types of website transfers:

4. Creating Email Accounts

Another useful feature of your web hosting account is the ability to create email accounts using any domain name associated with your account. Since you can create multiple accounts, this feature is well-suited for businesses and other organizations that have multiple users. For more information on creating email accounts, please see the following article:

5. SSL Certificates and Security

Once your hosting account is set up and you can access your new server, one of the first things you will want to do is install an SSL. SSLs are digital certificates that allow websites to connect over the more secure HTTPS web server protocol, rather than HTTP. This security configuration encrypts all data as it is transferred from one computer to another, making it vital for web server security. Please see the following video for more information regarding SSLs:

4 Things You Need to Know About Installing An SSL

Another priority for your new server should be to set up email security measures such as DMARC and SPF to prevent email spoofing. Email spoofing usually involves the unauthorized use of a legitimate email address to “mask” the activities of an unauthorized email sender. For more information on DMARC and SPF, please see the following articles:

Through proactive use of security measures you can ensure that your new hosting account and your personal data remain secure.

6. Advanced Tasks and Configurations

Now that you have your web server setup and secured, you might be ready to take on more advanced tasks and configurations. For example, you may need to connect to your server via SSH to review error logs or check system resources. Users on VPS or Dedicated servers may decide to install a different version of MySQL to better accommodate their existing projects. For more information on these types of advanced tasks and configurations please see the following articles:

cPanel and AMP

cPanel and the Account Management Panel (AMP) allows you to control and manage your hosting account with us. cPanel is your hosting control panel and gives you the ability to make changes and customize your InMotion Hosting account. With cPanel, you’ll be able to create new email accounts, change email passwords, configure new domains, and more. 

AMP handles all billing related items associated with your hosting account. With AMP, you’ll be able to complete tasks like registering a new domain name or upgrading your hosting account. Overall, AMP helps you manage billing-related items on your account and cPanel helps you manage all other aspects of your hosting account. To get started with cPanel and AMP, check out our AMP vs. cPanel article.

Account and Server Access

The first step of adding a new site, utility, or platform to your online workflow is figuring out how to consistently access it. Running a website requires you to keep track of many different passwords and logins. Buying a new account and setting up a WordPress site, you’ll need to keep track of: 

  • AMP for your billing, financial, and server info
  • cPanel to manage your account and create emails
  • Any email addresses you create on your account
  • WebHost Manager (WHM) if you have a Shared Reseller, VPS, VPS Reseller
  • The logins to site dashboards for WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, or other CMSs
  • Any SSH keys needed to directly connect to your site on the command line
  • Lastly, you will need to set up root access if you want it and it is available on your account (VPS, Dedicated)

First things first — change your cPanel password! By default, your AMP and cPanel will start with the same password on a newly created account. You should immediately change one of them to follow best practices.

AMP

cPanel

WHM

Email & Webmail

WordPress

SSH & SSH Keys

Root Access

Websites

After purchasing a new hosting plan, most users fall into two categories: users that need to create a new website, and users that need to migrate an existing website from their previous hosting company. No matter which category you fit into, you’ll want to review our New Customer Website Getting Started Guide which will walk you through creating a website and migrating a website from a previous host.

Backups

Start creating and saving secure, reliable backups from day one. Make backups a habit from the beginning and you’ll always have them if and when you need them. Check out how they work— maybe even create a test site just so you can restore it from a variety of backups. That way, if an emergency ever arises, you’ll know what to do ahead of time. 

Our Complete List of Backup Resources

InMotion Hosting’s Backup Manager

cPanel Backups

Scheduling cPanel Backups via WHM

WordPress Backups

Email

All of our hosting plans include email addresses. Whether you need [email protected] or [email protected], you’ll find that setting up email addresses is quite easy. No matter if you’re creating these email accounts for the first time or they currently exist on your previous host, you should start with our Email Getting Started Guide.

Product Guides

Product Guides are online manuals that help you learn more about the product and its main features and functions. They were created to help guide you through managing a dedicated server or becoming a reseller, for example. The guides answer common questions with the goal of making it easier for you to be successful. 

Website Transfer Requests

All new customers get at least one free website transfer, which can include either an entire cPanel or one website and database. Reseller, VPS, and Dedicated Hosting plans come with additional free cPanel to cPanel migration based on current promotions, with more website transfers available via Launch Assist (see below). Be sure to request this transfer early, so that there is plenty of time for the team to get the site up and running. This will let you point the domain and avoid any downtime.

If you’re comfortable transferring your own site, here are some guides on the practices and tools that make it easy!

Remember, you can check the performance and status of your site on InMotion Hosting even before you point your domain at our servers! See these articles on Hosts File Modification for more details. 

Launch Assist

There is more to transferring a website than simply copying and pasting site data! If you’re moving your business’s site and need help to get things up and running, Launch Assist is here for you. Use Launch Assist to configure your new server, optimize your site, and make sure everything is running smoothly. New VPS, Dedicated Server, and R-3000 Reseller plans will have a set amount of Launch Assist hours included by default, and any plan can purchase further help through our Managed Hosting team. 

Other Best Practices

Still getting started? Go ahead and enable your Free AutoSSL, the SSL that’s auto-enabled forever, right away. That way, they’ll be ready when you need them!

Education Channels

Education Channels are a repository of educational articles on software, topics, and trends for your additional learning. Take a deep dive into WordPress or learn about the eCommerce plugin WooCommerce. The education channels are a great resource to help you get the most out of your web hosting plan.

Getting Help

You’ve signed up with the right host! We understand that many people need web hosting and a website, but not everyone is an expert. We pride ourselves in offering excellent support and being available to you when you need us. If you need help, you can browse our extensive knowledge base, which includes WordPress Tutorials and Domain Name Setup Info. You can also view tutorials in our Education Channels or ask a question in our Community Support area. 

If you don’t find what you need, then call or chat with our live Technical Support team or Customer Service team. Both are available 24/7.

RH
Ronnie H Content Writer I

Ronnie is a technical writer and content specialist at InMotion Hosting.

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