Disclaimer: The links in this article are affiliate links and if you end up purchasing a web hosting plan by following any of the links to A2 Hosting, I will earn a commission to no extra cost to you.
In this article, you will find a step-by-step guide on how to purchase shared web hosting for your website from A2 Hosting.
We will be purchasing the most sensible hosting plan for new websites. No unnecessary ‘bells and whistles’ that drive up the price, but don’t offer much to novice users.
Along the way, I will be taking screenshots and describing why I chose specific options.
I will also mention the options I skipped and why I skipped them.
By the way, I purchased this exact plan for my website and it serves me well.
What is shared web hosting?
Shared web hosting is a type of web hosting where many sites share the same hosting server.
It’s not as fast as dedicated web hosting, but it’s a lot more economical.
If you have a new website or one that still doesn’t get a ton of traffic, shared web hosting is all you need.
Note that you can always upgrade your hosting plan or move to an entirely new service whenever you want.
Just make sure to buy your domain on from a dedicated domain registry like Namecheap, to avoid any potential problems.
Read more on why buying a domain from a dedicated domain registry is a good idea in my “How Much Money Does It Cost To Start Your Affiliate Marketing Business” article.
Why should you spend money on shared web hosting for your website?
Ever heard of the expression “you get what you pay for?”
The same applies to web hosting.
Dedicated hosting is the best option, but it’s by far the most costly.
Shared hosting is the best “bang for the buck” option and it’s all most users will ever need.
Free web hosting is… free, but it comes with a slew of potential problems.
In my opinion, free costing is not worth it because site loading speed is a major Google ranking factor.
Another reason why it’s not worth it is because shared hosting is very affordable.
How much does shared web hosting typically cost?
Shared web hosting typically costs $3 to $7 per month.
There’s a lot of competition in the web hosting field so there’s plenty of companies to choose from.
I went with A2 Hosting and I’m happy with their services so far.
Here’s their pricing plan:
Step-by-step guide on how to purchase A2 shared web hosting
Step 1) Head over to a2hosting.com
Step 2) Pick “WordPress Hosting”
A2 Hosting offers many different hosting options.
We’re picking the “WordPress Hosting” option because it’s exactly what it says it is – a shared hosting plan that’s optimized for WordPress websites.
A2 Hosting will partition off a part of one of their servers and install WordPress on it for you.
This is all automatic and requires zero hassle on your part. That’s the beauty of it.
All you get is your log-in info and you’re ready to use your WordPress site.
But let’s not skip steps. More on that later.
Step 3) Click on the “Get Started” button
And this is where the meat and potatoes part begins.
You have a couple of options here regarding your domain.
If you do not have a domain yet, follow Step 4a. And if you do have a domain already, follow Step 4b.
Step 4a) Follow this step if you do not have a domain yet
If you do not have a domain yet, you can purchase it straight through A2Hosting. In other words, they will register a domain name for you.
In this case, you will be choosing the “Register a new domain” option.
Enter your domain name into this field and click the Check button to check availability.
Site note 1: Pick a .com domain simply because it’s universal and people are used to it.
There could be examples where another domain is more appropriate, but always have a good reason for picking anything but the .com domain.
Side note 2: It’s advisable to register your domain name separately from your web hosting service provider simply because you want to be 100% sure you own your domain.
There’s a high probability you will never have issues even if you do register your domain through a web hosting service, but you can never be too careful.
If you want to heed this advice, follow this guide on how to register your domain through Namecheap and follow Step 4b after that.
Namecheap is one of the trusted domain name registry services on the internet. Alternatively, pick a domain registry service of your choosing.
Let’s move on with the guide.
If you still wish to register your domain name through A2Hosting and your domain name of choice is available, you will see this message saying “Congratulations! your-domain-here is available!”
At this point, click on the “Continue” button and proceed to Step 5.
Step 4b) Follow this if you already have a domain
In the case where you already have a domain, pick the “I will use my existing domain and update my nameservers” and enter your domain name.
After that, hit the “Use” button.
The process of updating the nameservers is fast and simple. To avoid any confusion, contact the A2Hosting support and ask for their guide on how to do so.
Don’t worry, one of the reasons I’m recommending A2Hosting is their support team. They are excellent.
In this screen, you will be presented with a few options, as well as your Order Summary.
First, you have to decide on how long your Billing Cycle is going to be. I recommend the 12-month cycle because it offers a good deal without tying you up for more than a year.
Ultimately, pick anything that you’re comfortable with.
The next little tweak we’re going to do is turn on the Dedicated IP address.
It adds to the post, but this feature is recommended for the blog-type websites where you publish post after post after post.
A dedicated IP will ever so slightly increase your website loading speed which will positively affect your SEO in a roundabout way.
If you’re running on a tight budget, you can skip this option for now and turn it on later.
Next up, open the Notepad and copy/paste your login credentials. This is important because you will not be emailed this information.
Note: If you somehow lose this information, do not panic. You can change this password from within the cPanel of your future WordPress site.
After you’ve saved your login credentials, click on the “Continue” button and proceed to the next step.
In the next screen, you’re presented with the three options.
A2Hosting is giving the DNS Management and Email Forwarding for free for the first year.
You can choose to have these options for a year since they are free, but they’re not necessary by any means.
The third option, or the middle one on the screen, is useful.
It’s the option to hide your personal information that is tied to your website from all the databases that collect this kind of information.
It means you’ll be receiving less spam because no one will be able to get your contact information by plugging in your domain name into one of those databases.
This costs roughly $10 per year, but in my opinion, it’s well worth it.
Make a decision and click “Continue” to move on to the next step.
Step 7) Review & Checkout
All there is to do in this step is exactly what it says – Review and Checkout.
Make sure everything you want to include in your order is in there and take a look at the final price.
With the discount included, you should be set for well under $100. That’s pretty neat!
If everything is in order, hit that “Checkout” button and fill out your personal information to complete the order.
After you complete the order, make sure to leave your browser open and let the setup process do its thing.
It may appear as if something is “stuck” while loading, but that’s just the background process of setting up your WordPress website on the server.
This can take up to a few minutes.
When the process of setting up your WordPress site is over, you will get to the Order Confirmation screen.
At that point, it’s safe to proceed to Step 8.
Step 8) Verify your email!
Go to your email inbox and you will notice a bunch of emails from A2Hosting.
Open the one that says “IMMEDIATE VERIFICATION” and click on the link to verify that you used a real email in the registration process and that you’re a legitimate user.
Do not put this off, especially if you’re forgetful like I am.
This verification isn’t there only to prove that you’re a legitimate user to A2Hosting, but also to verify your domain name to the governing body of domain names.
That’s official business right there!
Step 9) Almost done!
Pretty much all there is to do at this point is copy/paste your WordPress Control Panel or cPanel URL to the same Notepad document where your WordPress login credentials are.
It’s good to have all that handy so you don’t have to look for it in the emails every time you need it.
So, open the email that came from “Softaculous” called “A2 Hosting:: Your WordPress – A2 Optimized installation details” and copy/paste your cPanel URL to the Notepad document.
You will notice that this email did not come from A2Hosting, but from Softaculous.
Don’t worry. Softaculous is just a company that A2Hosting partnered up with for WordPress optimization.
And that’s it.
Note that it may take up to 24 hours for your domain to become Internet-accessible.
It usually takes a lot less time than that, but don’t panic if it takes a bit.
Once your WordPress site is ready to use, you will see this screen when you visit the cPanel URL that you copied to your Notepad doc.
This is where you log in to your WordPress admin Dashboard and start building your site.
Congrats! You now have a fully functional WordPress site!