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How To Set Up Free Website Hosting On Siteground

How To Set Up Free Website Hosting On Siteground


arnold on Sep 01, 2018

***Updated 8/31/2020***

One of the better shared hosting services, Siteground, has a program where students can get free hosting for a semester to work on websites. This blog posts shows you how to sign up for the free hosting with your .edu email address and get it set up to host a WordPress website.

Setting Up Free Website Hosting For Students On Siteground

We are going to set up a place to host our website. A website is essentially a bunch of files and style sheets loaded from a database or server. When you create a website you want people to be able to visit it, so you have to store it on a web-server. There are many different places you can buy hosting for your website. The cost generally ranges from $1 for basic and slow hosting and goes up to around $30 a month for better WordPress hosting.

We are going to use one of the better options that is not too expensive. We will use Siteground which usually charges about $10 a month. However, they are donating 12 free months of hosting to CSU students.

To get this free hosting you need to go to the following link:

Themify Free Web hosting For Students

Clicking the link will bring you here. Make sure the price is $0. You may need to get rid of the .rams if you have a problem registering. Click “Pay Now” at the bottom once you confirm the price is $0.

Signing Up For Free Themify Hosting

If you see this screen:

Free Themify Hosting Email Error

Then drop the .rams from your email.

You should then see the following screen:

Order Successfully submitted on Themify

Wait About 5 minutes And Then Go Check You CSU Email Where You Can Click The Link To Access Your Account.

Themify Welcome Email

That link will take you here:

Enter Your Log-in Information:

Siteground Log In area

You will then see the following screen where you will click “Websites.”:

Siteground homepage

Click the Three Dots to open up more options as shown below:

Opening Up URL Options To Change Domain In Siteground

Then Click “Change Primary Domain“:

Change Your Primary Domain Option In Siteground

Then you need to enter your URL you obtained from Namecheap into the New Domain boxes.  This will be your url.  Once you enter that twice hit confirm.

Entering Your New Domain Twice To Confirm

You will get a confirmation and Siteground will list your DNS:

DNS for your siteground website

You now have your hosting set up! (Read the following paragraphs carefully. There are a few quiz questions in the content below):

We now need to let the Internet Service Providers (ISP) know where to find your websites when people type in your URL.  To do this you have to enter your DNS on your domain name registration site so the ISP’s know where to look.

DNS is short for Domain Name Server (or system) and DNS is essentially the address of where your website is being hosted. So we need to attach the address of where your website is hosted to your domain name (which is being managed by NameCheap) so that ISP’s (Comcast, Your Cell phone Internet provider, etc) know where to find your website.

The DNS for my server is shown in the image above. To be clear I will show them again below:

DNS Address

They are the numbers that start with ns1 and ns2 and end with .us.  My DNS address will be different than yours so make sure you copy your Account  DNS for the next step.

To enter our DNS we must go back to Namecheap and make sure we are logged in.

The first thing you will see once you are logged in is the following dashboard.

Namecheap Dashboard

Click the manage button next to your URL.

Next find the nameservers and select custom DNS

How to set up a custom DNS in Namecheap

Enter the nameservers that you got from SiteGround.  Yours will probably be different than mine. Make sure you copy these from your email. Then click the green checkmark to save as shown below.

Custom DNS in Namecheap

Now your nameservers are pointing at your new hosting.  However if you go to your URL once again there may be nothing new there.  The reason for this is that we need to wait for the DNS to propagate across all the ISP’s.  Essentially, your Internet Service Provider doesn’t have the resources to check the DNS every time someone types in a web address. So they store the addresses and only update their database every few hours.

Depending on who your ISP is, you may have to wait to see your website.  One thing you can do is to check your URL on your phone. Since your phone has a separate ISP and you probably never accessed your personal website from your phone before, then it will need to check the DNS before finding the website. You will be able to see your new website about 90% of the time this way.

If you did this assignment on a laptop or computer just wait a few hours and your site will show up if you did it correctly.

This is what you should see:

Setting Up Hosting On Siteground Confirmation Screen

Or you may see this…

An Awesome Website is coming soon message in Siteground

If you see either of these screens you can continue on to the next set of instructions where you will learn how to Set Up A WordPress Website With Themify.


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