Hello, Arvixe readers! Did you know that Arvixe offers 3 months of free hosting for Students worldwide? I have found – in my experience – that many students are not actively looking for a web presence, and take on this free offer with vigor. But many are immediately turned off by a complicated registration process and lack of familiarity with the cPanel interface. Many don’t understand what to do with their new web space. This is one of many tutorials I plan to create that will walk beginners, students or otherwise, through the process and how to best use Arvixe Web Hosting. Click “Read more” to continue!
Note: All images are reduced to fit the page well, click them to enlarge.
First, navigate to http://www.arvixe.com/university .
Enter in your email address, and you will be redirected to the next step. In my case, I have used my Cal Poly San Luis Obispo email address, which redirects to a Cal Poly landing page. If your school is not featured, you will see a generic University landing page, which will operate identically. Email me here if you want your school added!
The next page is where we get some basic class information from you, and ask you to choose a domain name (free). Here, I have entered my class information and what software I would like preinstalled. Class information is not too important, you can just fill in your major and “100” if this is not for anything specific. If you aren’t sure about the software option, choose NONE. I explain here how to add one of hundreds of Arvixe software options in cPanel!
For the domain name, a good option is to try phychicwhois.com to see quickly what addresses are available. All you do is begin typing and it will autofill other options, telling you what is available. Remember not to continue the process – this website will charge you for the domain, while Arvixe will give it to you for free! This is only to find available options.
Okay, now we have our class info, software, and domain nailed down. If you don’t like your domain name in the future, a new one is only $10, so don’t worry!
The next page verifies domain name availability. Press Continue.
Next, we need your billing information. Notice that we do not ask for any credit card information! On the Arvixe side, your “billing account” and “hosting account” are in fact separate. This is because many users will have multiple websites (Hosting accounts), but want to pay for them all at the same time under one billing account. This is similar to having two checking accounts at the same bank. Also, the Account Information email address should be your PERSONAL email address, not necessarily your school email. We only need your school email in step one to verify that you are in fact a student. All other emails will go to the email address you enter here.
Finally, place your order! Notice the text at the bottom. After the three months are up, you will get a discounted option to pay for 6 month blocks of hosting for only $6/mo. If you wish to purchase yearly or two year options, it gets even cheaper. Contact our support department if you have questions or concerns. If you don’t wish to continue with Arvixe after your trial, your account will simply expire and disappear.
Now, open up your school email account. In my case, I have set it up to forward to my personal email account. You will get many emails at this point:
- Billing Setup: Your billing account information (safe to ignore)
- New Hosting Account order: Simply an FYI (safe to ignore)
- Your FREE Domain Order!: Simply an FYI (safe to ignore)
You will see an email titled “Email Address Verification”, open it and click the validation link. Your hosting account will now be set up.
Now Arvixe will begin creating your hosting space. You will get another series of emails. It may take up to ten minutes to arrive, depending on how busy our servers are. There is only one important one:
- Hosting Account Information: All information about your space (Very important!)
Click the below image and see the email contents (truncated) and explanations of each piece of information. In this case, the hosting information (address, etc) don’t match the previous images. Don’t worry about that, though.
Another thing to be aware of is “DNS resolution”. Your webspace is hosted on an Arvixe server, e.g.
Your free domain is controlled via the “Domain Name Service”, which tells your computer where to go when you type a website. This means, when someone types “MikeHoffmanEE.com”, it will point to the same exact website as my alternate address. Think of it as a mask that makes your domain address look pretty. Your website’s address may not work immediately, as this service only updates every hour or so. So, the “alternate address” will ALWAYS work, while the unique domain you created might only work after an hour or so. As noted below, you can access your control panel in the meantime with the alternate links. After your unique address begins working, you can forget about all of this anyways!
There you have it. Your web space is now up and ready to customize! Future articles will focus on how to install software on your space, and how to upload your personal files as well. Thanks for reading. If you have any questions, feedback, or improvements, please leave a comment below!
Happy hosting, -Mike