Have you just bought a hosting package from SiteGround, but are a bit unsure of how to get around and if there are any configurations you should be aware of?
Then you’re in luck because this guide will show you exactly that.
Here you’ll have access to things like auto-installers for popular Content Management Systems like WordPress and Joomla, site stats, configurations that will make your site faster and more secure, and much more.
The first thing you need to know is how to get to your cPanel.
This is basically where you do all your “behind the scenes” configurations for your site.
You get there by going to the My Accounts tab, click “Manage Account” and then click the red button that says “Go to cPanel”.
Once you’re in the cPanel, you’ll have the possibility to install and activate the free SSL-certificate Let’s Encrypt for your site.
It will make your site URL appear as secure in the browser
Personally, I recommend using SSL-certificates regardless of the kind of website you’re making.
You can do that by scrolling down until you reach the Security section, and clicking Let’s Encrypt.
If the certificate isn’t already installed, click Install.
Once installed, you can switch the HTTPS Enforce button to “on”.
HTTPS Enforce will redirect any incoming request to the https version of your URL. So, if someone types thewebsiteroad.com, they will be redirected to https://thewebsiteroad.com.
External Links Rewrite will rewrite any external links that you might have on your site, to https.
Setting up an email account
Wouldn’t it look great if you could have an email that was like something@YourDomain.com?
That’s exactly what you get from SiteGround, and it’s completely free.
You can create as many accounts as you like, set up mail forwarding, auto-replies and much more.
Just scroll down in the cPanel until you get to the Mail section and click Email Accounts.
Fill in the required information and click Create Account.
Once created you can access it by selecting More->Access Webmail.
Here you’ll get an option to choose between three different Webmail services, Horde, Roundcube, and SquirrelMail. You can try them all to figure out which one you like the best.
Try sending an email to yourself, just to make sure everything works as it should.
Enabling GZIP compression
If you have a really slow loading website, most of your visitors will most likely leave before it’s even done loading.
One of the ways to reduce that load time is to enable GZIP compression for your website content. By doing so you will be able to reduce the overall size of your website, which again will reduce the time it takes for a visitor to load the website.
To enable GZIP compression, you will have to update your .htaccess file. That might sound difficult, but I’ll guide you through every step.
Scroll down until you come to the Files section and click File Manager.
When you get the “File Manger Directory Selection” make sure that Web Root and Show Hidden Files are checked and click Go.
This should open a file manager. Scroll down until you find a file called .htaccess, mark it, and click edit and edit.
Update your .htaccess file with the following code.
Important! Make sure you add the code below the existing content of the htaccess file.
Save the file and you will have enabled GZIP compression for the most common types that are worth compressing.
If you want to check if gzip is enabled, just enter your website into this gzip checker.