Web Hosting Getting Started Guide

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In this Article

  1. Domain name
  2. Hosting account
  3. Creating email accounts
  4. Creating your website

Congratulations and thank you for setting up your new web hosting account with Red Hippo. This guide is designed to point you in the right direction as you set up your new web hosting account.

We know everyone has a different level of experience when it comes to getting started with web hosting. To make things easier for you, we’ve split this guide up into several sections – so you can quickly find what you’re looking for.

To get started using your web hosting account this guide will show you how to transfer your domain name, set up and access your email accounts, and build your own website.

Step 1: A Domain Name

To get started with your hosting package, you will need a domain name.

What is a domain name?

A domain name is the technical term for your website address. For example redhippohosting.com is our domain name. To be accurate, there are two parts to a domain name, the first part – redhippohosting and the top-level domain (TLD) – .com

There’s a large range of different TLDs, for example:

  • .com
  • .net
  • .co.uk
  • .mobi
  • .tel
  • Also hundreds more new domains have been launched
  • and many more

Some of these have a specific target audience, for example .mobi domains are aimed at sites designed to be viewed on a mobile phone. If you’re starting your own site, you might prefer to have a .com TLD, such as .org or.co.uk or one of the brand new TLD’s e.g. .guru, .company .plumbing etc. – but this is up to you.

Anyone can register their own domain name, and Red Hippo provide a wide range of TLDs you can choose from with the most competitive prices.

How can I pick my domain name and register it?

We make it really simple to get a great domain name. Simply use the Domain Name Checker Tool on the front page of our website type in the domain you’re interested in. It doesn’t matter if you’re not sure what TLD you want yet – we’ll give you a list of all the available domains.

I already have a domain name with somebody else

If you’ve already registered your domain with another hosting company, don’t worry: it’s simple to move the domain to Red Hippo. The process varies depending on which TLD the domain has.

.com, .net, .org, .info, .biz, .name domains

  • Unlock the domain and obtain the authorisation code. This is something your current hosting company would do for you.
  • Follow the instructions under the Transfer a Domain tool to move it over.

For other domains, simply go to the Transfer a Domain tool, enter the domain and follow the instructions.

What do I do if I don’t want to transfer my domain to Red Hippo?

It is NOT required to transfer your domain’s registration to the Red Hippo registrar however we do always recommend customers transfer their domains into Red Hippo. This allows renewal and billing to be handled all in one place – making life easier and reducing the chance that you might lose your domain. You will also benefit from our competitive prices upon renewal.

You may host any domain with us by simply contacting your current registrar and pointing the name servers to us. Pointing the name servers to us will NOT automatically transfer the domain’s registration.

The Red Hippo nameservers are:

  • Primary Server Hostname: ns.mainnameserver.com (
  • Secondary Server Hostname: ns2.mainnameserver.com (
  • Your current registration company can help you do this.

Once you have made this change, allow 24-48 hours for the changes to update across DNS resolvers worldwide, and your domain will be pointed to us.

Note: We highly recommend pointing the name servers to us before initiating a registration transfer. Transfers can take 3-10 days to complete; during this time the name servers cannot be modified. If you point the name servers to us before starting a transfer, your domain will be pointed to us during the duration of the transfer and your site will show what is on Red Hippo’s servers.

 Step 2: a Hosting Account

When ordering a domain you are presented with an option to add hosting to your domain, a hosting account is the place on an internet web server where your domain name, website and emails reside. You can add a hosting account to your domain when ordering.

Once you have completed your order and payment a few emails will be sent to you including your “New Account Information” email. Please read it carefully as it contains instructions on how to proceed including how to login to your maXpanel control panel.

Accessing maXpanel to manage your hosting

Remember, it takes up to 24 hours for a new domain to be visible on the internet (a process called propagation) but don’t stress, we provide you with immediate access to your maXpanel control panel and website with a temporary URL (address) until propagations is complete.

Temporary URL (until propagation is complete):


Permanent URL (once propagation is complete):

  • From your Red Hippo client area and click ‘Manage‘ under Account Statistics Tab, then click your new product name, then ‘Login to Control Panel‘.
  • http://controlpanel.your-domain.com (substituting your-domain with your own domain name)

Understanding maXpanel


We’ve aimed to make maXpanel really simple for you to get to the features you need.

Down the right-hand side, you’ll see a quick summary of current statistics, such as bandwidth, disk space, mailbox usage.

In the main area, are several configurable boxes containing installable scripts and configurable features, such as email, site map generation and so on. We’ll cover setting up an email account here, but there are many more features you can learn about through our knowledgebase – or just exploring. (and don’t forget there’s an amazing Help section build right into maXpanel – access it by clicking the ‘Help‘ button at the top right of the maXpanel Screen)

If you get lost in maXpanel and need to find a particular icon, there’s a handy search option at the bottom of the right-hand menu.

 Step 3: Creating Email Accounts

Once you have your domain name with hosting account you can start creating your online identity and the first step to creating your brand identity on the internet is setting up your email addresses. All of our hosting packages come with a generous allowance of email addresses, so you can send and receive emails from myname@mydomain.com!

Let’s get started and set up a sales address for your new business. Of course, this could also be a personal email address – or whatever you choose.

Creating a mailbox

  • Login to the maXpanel Control Panel using the instructions sent to you in your ‘new account info‘ email.
  • Find and click the Mail Boxes icon in the Email section of the main area.
  • From here, adding a new mailbox is simple. Just enter the first part of the address under Add a new Mail Box – e.g. sales. This is the name that will come before “@[yourdomain]”. In the right hand box, pick a memorable password.
  • Click Create!

Accessing the mailbox

Your new mailbox will be fully active within 1 hour. You can either access your mailbox by:

  • Webmail (just click ‘Login to WebMail‘ within maXpanel), or
  • Configure your computer’s mail client (Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Live Mail, MacMail, etc) to access it. (For further help doing this, please have a search through the Help Centre for step by step instructions for your mail client.)

 Step 4: Creating Your Website

Okay, so you’ve got your hosting account, domain name and email address. But http://www.yourdomain.com/ is showing a blank page! Time to get creative. There’s a number of ways to get your website created and online, we give you some software to help you do this free of charge and the one we will focus on is WordPress. You can also upload an existing website via FTP, please search the Knowledgebase for a how to guide for this.

Create your website using WordPress, Joomla, Drupal or a host of other free scripts included with your account!

All our hosting accounts come with a variety of different templates, scripts and free software supplied as part of the account. All of these are available via the various options inside your maXpanel Control Panel. For each option, you’ll also find on-screen instructions on how to use it.

These include:

How to install one of the website creation scripts like WordPress etc.?

Some of our hosting packages include WordPress, Joomla or Drupal already installed, if you didn’t purchase one of these it’s a breeze to 1-click install, follow the instructions below:

How to install WordPress from maXpanel.

We can’t cover each piece of software in detail here, but check the support database and the directory you installed the script in for more information. We aim to make it as simple as possible for you to get started.

Please note that the Starter Pro account is limited in the number of databases supplied (it comes with 1 database included), many more are available on the higher accounts and so you may need to upgrade if you will be using mulitple MySQL databases.

Customers who wish to take advantage of added functionality of multiple databases will need to upgrade their hosting accounts accordingly. Details of all our hosting packages are available on our website here should you wish to consider upgrading.

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