Reseller Startup Guide
Welcome to HostGator! Congratulations on signing up for a reseller hosting account with us.
Step 1: Determine Your Needs
Getting started with your web hosting account is not complicated. The first step is determine what you need to do.
- Do you already have a web site (or more than one) or are you starting from scratch? If you're starting from scratch, go to step 2 below.
- Do you need to transfer your web site(s) from a previous host? If so, HostGator can help you with that. Simply fill out the form at: http://www.hostgator.com/resellertransfer.php. Once the transfer process is completed, proceed to step 2. HostGator will transfer the files for up to 30 domains for free within 30 days of signing up.
Step 2: Change Your DNS
In order to get your web site working, you must change your name servers. This is an easy, but necessary step you must follow to get started.
- If you registered your domain name with HostGator during sign-up, we have taken care of this step for you.
- If you have registered your domain name with another company (e.g. GoDaddy, NameCheap, etc.), you must follow the steps outlined on this page (http://www.hostgator.com/dns).
- If you need to setup private name servers (i.e. ns1.yourdomain.com and ns2.yourdomain.com), please see this page (http://www.hostgator.com/privatenameservers)
Once your DNS changes have been made, it takes roughly 24-48 hours for your web site to start resolving to HostGator's servers. To avoid downtime during the move, please read our moving page. If it takes longer than two days for your web site to start working, please contact our support team.
Step 3: Create Packages
Your primary domain name comes pre-setup with almost no space and bandwidth. After you create your hosting packages, you MUST upgrade your site to one of your newly created packages.
We have developed a tutorial video which will walk you through this process. You can view the tutorial by clicking here.
To create a package, go to your WHM (see link in step 5) and click on Create Package on the left hand navigation bar. Once you have successfully created a package, go to Upgrade / Downgrade account and change the account accordingly.
Remember that 1 GB of space or bandwidth is equal to 1024 MB. Please remember to be fair when allotting space and bandwidth. A personal WordPress blog will need approximately 100 MB of bandwidth and 20 MB of space. If your clients are creating large sites, or multiple sites, they may desire more space and bandwidth.
Note: Never delete your main site with us. If you do, your reseller account will no longer work.
Step 4: Creating Your Client's Web Space (optional)
Once the package is created, click "Create an Account" under the Account Functions tab.
We do have a video tutorial which explains how to create an account located at the following URL:
When you have located and clicked on "Create a New Account," you will need to fill out several fields.
In this field, you must place the domain name which you are creating the cPanel for. If needed, you can create a cPanel account for a sub domain. You must not include www. in front of the domain which you are creating the cPanel for.
WHM will automatically suggest a username when you click this field. Usernames are limited to 8 characters and may not be any longer than that. You may not use hyphens ( - ), special characters or spaces in the username. Also, you cannot use the username of root as it is already taken by the server.
It is very important to use a unique, secure password when you create a cPanel account. The password should never contain the cPanel username in it. Never use your WHM password as the password for your customer's cPanel (not even as a default or temporary solution); doing so is a security risk. It is recommended to use the password generation tool. When you click on "Generate Password," a pop up box will appear that will allow you to choose what types of characters and how long the automatically generated password will be.
The email address is used by the WHM for automatic notification of issues with the account. If you want to receive these emails, simply enter your own email address instead of the account holder's email address. If you do so, WHM will automatically send an email to your primary domain's contact email address with the account information when any account is created. No notice will be sent to the account user.
Packages are a preset list of limits and settings that can be applied to the accounts you create. Packages created using a reseller account will be automatically prefixed with your reseller username and an underscore ( _ ). This is to prevent package name collisions with other users' packages on a server.
This setting has a check labeled, "Use the nameservers specified at the Domain's Registrar. ( Ignore locally specified nameservers. )" This field is to specify if the domain should use it's own private nameservers or if it should use the locally configured shared nameservers. If you have specified private nameservers for the domain of this new cPanel account and these private nameservers have already been configured at the registrar, check this option so that the WHM will set the DNS for the private nameservers in the zone correctly. Otherwise, leave this box unchecked to use the default nameservers configured in the server configuration.
Now click on the "Create" button to finish the account creation process.
Step 5: Uploading Your Web Site
- If you are using an FTP client, put in your site's IP address under the "FTP address" field. Use the username and password sent to you in your welcome email. FTP always runs on Port 21.
- Once your FTP is connected, go into the "public_html" folder and begin uploading your site. To replace the default place holder page, you must upload an index.html in all lowercase lettering or delete the page and replace it with your own index page.
- Please note that by default, you and your clients do not have an email address setup with HostGator. You will need to configure this yourself in cPanel (see link below).
Step 6: Note These Useful Links
"Before propagation" as it is defined below is the point between when you sign up and when the changes to your name servers take effect (usually about 24 hours after you change your name servers).
- "After propagation" is once your site is up and running normally.
- During propagation, you should use the "Before propagation" format.
|Place:||Before Propagation:||After Propagation:|
Note About Demo Accounts: Never create your own demo account. They are insecure and can lead to server downtime. If you wish to use or link to a demo of cPanel, you are more than welcome to use our secure demo, which can be found here.
Step 7: Get More From Your Hosting Account
Now that you have a hosting account with HostGator, you have a variety of options:
- Request a web site builder with this form: http://hostgator.com/sitebuilder.php for SiteBuilder. You can see a demo of SiteBuilder here: http://sitebuilder.websitewelcome.com/Wizard
- Manage your accounts and billing using WHMCS or WHM AutoPilot. You may use either one; they are both free to HostGator customers. Go here to get WHMCS. http://www.whmcs.com/hostgator/ and here to get WHMAP https://secure.hostgator.com/autopilot.php.
- Use some of the free templates included with your account:
- HostGator resellers can request an Enom account (https://secure.hostgator.com/enom.php) to manage and sell domains.
- Taking payments online can be very confusing. We recommend you read our comparison page for both prices and information on the many different ways to collect payments online.
- Refer your friends to HostGator and get paid for it with our Hosting Affiliate Program.
Step 8: Get Help
HostGator is here 24/7/365 in case you ever have any questions. Our team of customer service representatives, server administrators, and sales professionals staff our Houston, Texas office at all times.
Looking for immediate answers? Check out our informative knowledge base. It has over 800 articles that address commonly asked questions and issues, including useful tutorials and video tours of some of our most popular features (http://support.hostgator.com/).
Want help from other HostGator customers? Our Hosting Forum is a great resource. With almost 38,000 members ready and willing to provide support and help on everything ranging from site promotion to Linux, the forum is a great resource (http://forums.hostgator.com/).
When to use chat support:
Chat is a great method to use if you're looking for quick answers to simple questions and problems. Our chat technicians are more than happy to help you troubleshoot and understand issues relating to email, your control panel, FTP, etc. They can also help you with many sales and billing questions and explain most HostGator policies and procedures.
When to use ticket support:
If you feel your issue is more complicated and more technical than an average question, we suggest that you email our support team at email@example.com.
Immediately after you email our support team, you will receive an email confirming we have received your email and that the issue has been placed in our 24/7 support queue. If you do not receive this email, we did not receive your support ticket.
Our best administrators work in our ticket system all the time. It is the best place to go to get your complicated issues resolved in a timely manner.
We do have suggestions for using our ticket system, though:
- Only submit one ticket per issue. If you submit multiple tickets for the same issue, it actually slows down the support process.
- Always be sure to include your primary domain name, username, and as much detail as possible. If a login or URL is needed to duplicate the problem, please include that as well. The more detail you provide to our administrators, the faster they can resolve your issue.
When to use phone support:
We are available 24/7/365 over the phone. Just like in chats, our phone support representatives can address most of your basic issues and concerns. The most complicated issues will require a support ticket to be submitted.
Step 9: Manage Your Billing
You will be billed automatically for your web hosting on the appropriate date after your purchase was completed (i.e. if you pay monthly, you will be billed monthly on the day of the month that you signed up). Please ensure that you have an updated credit card or PayPal subscription on file. If your bill is not paid in a timely manner, your service may be interrupted.
If you wish to cancel, upgrade, update information, get SSL certificates, IP addresses, or anything else related to billing, please go to our addons page. This web site lists all the information needed to proceed with those addons and steps.
To manage your billing, including to update your credit card, view invoices, change your primary email address, etc., please go to https://gbclient.hostgator.com/.