1. Register Your Domain
If this is your first time building a website, then you require a domain. If you already have a domain, you can skip to the next item on the checklist. A domain name is your website name e.g., cloudways.icu. It is the address of your website that people type in the browser to visit your website.
How to Buy a Domain?
You can use any domain registrar to register your domain. The popular domain registrars are GoDaddy, NameCheap, and DreamHost.
2. Launch Your Application and Server
Next, you need to launch your application and a server at Cloudways Platform if you haven’t yet. You can launch an application and host it either on a new server or on an existing server. Learn which web applications you can host at Cloudways.
Cloudways offers world-class and top-notch cloud providers. Learn which cloud infrastructure provider you should choose.
If you are going to migrate your website to Cloudways, you can request managed application migration where our cloud experts do the heavy lifting and move your website in one piece. You can also migrate your WordPress website on your own using a free migrator plugin.
After launching your application, feel free to test your site and explore the functionality. Once you are ready to take your site live with your own domain, proceed to the next item.
3. Map Your Domain & Manage DNS Records
Now, it’s time to take your site live with your own domain. This involves two simple steps:
Adding your domain(s) at the Cloudways Platform.
Pointing your domain to Cloudways using the DNS records.
We have created a video tutorial on how you can perform both steps easily.
In our video tutorial, we cover this operation by using Namecheap to manage our DNS records. You can also use any DNS registrar of your choice, but the process should be identical. We have also created a guide about creating A records.
If you don’t wish to manage your DNS records on your own, you can also opt for the DNS Made Easy add-on, where we manage your DNS records.
4. Secure Your Site Using HTTPS
This is an important step in your journey to build your website; an unsecured website is very vulnerable and can be risky for your customers and online activity. Learn what SSL/TLS is and why you should use it.
Cloudways Platform offers an out-of-the-box Free Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate to you for all your applications, so you are secured from day one. Let’s Encrypt Certificates are free and get automatically renewed upon expiry. Alternatively, you can also use your Custom SSL certificate, which would need to be bought from any Certificate Authority (CA) or certificate vendor.
We have created video tutorials on how you can enable HTTPS on single and multiple domains.
Once your SSL certificate is configured, you need to make sure HTTPS redirection is in place. Cloudways Platform will prompt you to do this right after installing the SSL certificate, or you can manually force HTTPS redirection through application settings later.
5. Configure Email Add-ons
Transactional emails refer to automated emails triggered by your application, including shipping confirmation, password reset links, notifications, and updates. These emails require a gateway from where to be sent; else, they will be sent directly from your server, which is not a recommended method and mostly risks being tagged as spam.
If you send emails from your server (1-3000 emails/month), you can use free services like Gmail SMTP; however, if you continuously need to send numerous emails per month, we recommend you using our inexpensive ElasticEmail add-on or other alternate services like Sendgrid, Mailgun, or any Custom SMTP Add-on.
How to Set up Personal Mailbox
If you need a mailbox for your domain (e.g., email@example.com) to send and receive emails, we have partnered with Rackspace to offer you their reliable mailboxes at great discounts. You can configure your Rackspace Email Add-on using the Cloudways Platform. The best part about the Rackspace mailbox is that you can easily configure it with your favorite mail clients to send and receive emails.
6. Set up CloudwaysCDN (Optional)
CloudwaysCDN is a powerful, easy-to-use, and pocket-friendly CDN solution starting from as low as $1. To maximize your reach to a wider audience, you need superior performance, and CloudwaysCDN delivers top-of-the-chart global response times and is fully compatible with your web applications.
CloudwaysCDN helps reduce the load time, minimize your bandwidth cost, and improve your website’s overall experience. Check out how to set up CloudwaysCDN on your website.