Ok – so you have decided to move forward with setting up your own site and have decided to give Dreamhost a shot. Hopefully you are using one of the free money links from my last post, but just getting started is a big deal and I hope that you are excited.
So – how does signing up at Dreamhost work? I don’t know. I first signed up in Jan 2005 and I have slept since then. More than once. Therefore, I have no clue how setup works today. So lets figure it out together. First, I am using Chrome as my daily driver browser. I like chrome for a lot of reasons, fast, syncs between my work and home computer, extensions, etc. However, I have multiple browsers installed on my computer. This comes in handy for a lot of reasons. One of those reasons is to have a browser that does not contain all of the cookies and history that my daily driver does. This allows me to check out things with being tracked and see sites in their vanilla form. I am going to use this method to figure out how setting up a new Dreamhost account works.
First, if you are using Internet Explorer, *shudder*. IE is not a good browser for many reasons. Yes, you may have some toolbar that you can’t live without, but even Microsoft is dropping it. Please take a minute to go grab another one. I like Chrome and it can be downloaded here:
Chrome (link to Google's site. Also, not an affiliate link)
I also have a second Chrome browser installed called Chrome Canary. This is a developmental build browser with the latest and greatest. This also means that it can crash sometimes, but I am ok with that. I never log into anything with this browser and will use it for a dry run through the Dreamhost setup. You can find this here:
Chrome Canary (link to Google's site. Also, not an affiliate link)
FYI – I would not recommend trying to use Chrome Canary for your everyday browser. Also, there are a bunch of other good browsers out there. Firefox (I also have it installed), Opera (haven’t used it in years), Safari (great on a mac, so-so on a pc), and Microsoft Edge (replacement for IE, never tried it) are all different browsers that are out there, and I am sure that many others exist that I don’t have listed here.
Ok – so firing up Chrome Canary, navigate to the main Dreamhost (FYI, affiliate link) page:
To get started, I didn’t even scroll anywhere, I just clicked on the big blue button titled ‘Learn More about Out Website Hosting’. This took me to a second page with a big yellow button that said ‘Sign Up for Web Hosting Today’. Please note – I am writing this post in June of 2016. Whenever you read this, YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary), meaning that it could look very different by the time you see this. As of this writing, the signup page looks like this:
So normally, with pages like these I would not show screenshots, but as this site is dedicated to learning about setting up webpages, there is a lot to learn here. Without getting too deep into design, looking at the first page the blue button to move forward is basically the exact center of this page and is very visibly and grabs the attention. The second page is similar, but with an even catchier yellow button. Then – when we move forward to the account creation all of the other stuff is gone. Super clean, 5 clear and easy steps at the top, very straightforward. I really like this design. Informative, with an easy to follow path. At this point I am going to jump forward and assume that you can get through the following steps:
- Create your account – the page shown above
- Choose your Domain – YES you get a free domain name with this account.
- Choose your plan – I am on the monthly $10.95 plan
- Additional Options – not sure what is on here
- The money part – I am assuming this is where you set up your payments
Ok – now you have your account setup and we can move forward with setting up the site.