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What is Instant Activation Hosting?
When you need to get your website online as fast as possible, instant activation hosting is the way to go. When sifting through the laundry list of features offered by Web hosts, it's particularly important to consider how long activation is going to take.
Buried within your terms of service might be a promise to get your server set up within a few days, but what if you needed your website up yesterday?
Many basic shared hosting accounts are activated instantly, but if you're going with a more advanced or feature-rich hosting plan, you could find yourself waiting a while before you can start working on your website.
When it comes to dedicated server hosting, it's tough to find a hosting company that offers instant activation because they need time to set up a server for you. Standard setup time for a dedicated server can be from 24 hours up to days.
Same with managed hosting: oftentimes it takes a day or so to allocate resources for your account, even if it's VPS or shared hosting. And if you're getting a reseller hosting account set up, you may not be able to start activating your own clients' accounts right away.
Some hosts will even wait to verify all new customers via phone before they open your account. While that policy protects you from fraud and identity theft, it also prevents you from setting up your website quickly.
Enter "instant activation": a valuable feature offered by some web hosts that will get your site up and running as soon as you complete your purchase.
How Does it Work?
The process of instant activation is automated, so as soon as you make your purchase, your hosting account will automatically be live. No matter what time of day, even on holidays, you'll be able to log into your account and set up a site quickly.
Hosting plans with instant activation will often provide other features to make setting up your website quick and easy, such as one-click software installations, simple site builders, and free themes and templates to choose from.
Ensure Your Domain Is Ready to Go
Even if your chosen host provides instant activation, transferring your domain can be a bit of a hassle. Per the Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy, you have to wait 60 days after purchasing a domain before you can transfer it to another registrar. Then, once the 60 days are up, it takes a bit of back-and-forth between registrars changing settings and approving each step in the process before the transfer can be completed.
The easiest way (though admittedly not always possible) is to register your new domain at the same time you're purchasing hosting. Luckily, domain registration is frequently offered during the checkout process when purchasing website hosting.
If you haven't already purchased your desired domain, check the domain availability first and be sure the domain you purchase is also instantly registered at the same time you buy hosting. By doing so, you'll avoid any delays in pointing your new domain to your new site.
Is Instant Activation Right For You?
Whether switching hosts for an existing site, or launching a new one, webmasters who must put a site up quickly will benefit from choosing a host who offers instant activation.
But it may not be the best option for everyone, since it often doesn't include technical support with setup. If you're not sure how to set up your website on your own, make sure your hosting plan also comes with technical support, or provides a service to set up your website for you.
Instant Activation Hosting Frequently Asked Questions
What is instant activation?
Instant activation simply means that your web hosting account will be immediately available to use when you purchase it.
What kinds of hosting plans usually come with instant activation?
Most shared hosting plans from bigger web hosting companies are immediately activated upon purchase.
Will my entire order be available instantly?
If instant activation is advertised, your hosting should be available right away. Extra services, like SSL certificates, may take longer to set up.
Can I access my control panel instantly?
Yes. If your host offers instant activation, they will send you your login details as soon as your payment is confirmed.
Will my website be published immediately?
Even if your web hosting account was activated instantly, you should wait 2-3 days before advertising the URL. Your website will only be available when you've uploaded or transferred your files, changed your name servers, and allowed 24-48 hours for the DNS change to propagate.
How do hosts activate accounts instantly?
Hosting providers set up templates that determine the server settings for a given package. As soon as your payment is confirmed, an automated script tells the template to create your account.
Why isn't instant activation offered on some plans?
Instant activation is usually limited to hosting accounts that follow simple, pre-defined sets of resources and features. For example, shared hosting accounts all tend to have the same disk space and RAM, so they can be set up right away. In contrast, a VPS or dedicated server may be too complex to set up instantly, particularly if it's a custom order.
Is it possible to get a dedicated server with instant activation?
Many hosts will activate your server instantly providing it's in stock. If instant activation is important to you, it's a good idea to contact the pre-sales team and ask which servers are ready for instant use.
What if I don't receive my login details?
Allow a few minutes for your confirmation email to arrive. Check your spam or junk folder. If you still can't find your account details, contact your host's technical support department.
If instant activation isn't offered, how long will I need to wait?
If you buy a VPS or dedicated server, you may have to wait a few hours. Policies differ, but most hosts set up new plans within 24 hours.
Why aren't domain transfers instant?
Domain transfers take time to be confirmed at the original registrar, and the new registrar. Additionally, you may need to wait a certain number of days after purchase before your domain can be transferred from one registrar to another.
Why does my host need to verify me?
Verification helps to curb fraud and prevent abuse. You may have been picked out because of a problem with your personal data, or because your IP address raised an alarm. If you use a VPN or proxy, disabling it before you purchase hosting can help your account to be approved more quickly.
Does verification slow down activation?
Yes, it does. Your host will email you and ask you to phone with your card details, or submit a form of identification. This will need to be checked manually.
What if I fail verification?
Providing you can offer legitimate proof of identity, you shouldn't fail identification. If you decide not to go ahead with verification, your order will be cancelled and you won’t be billed.
Can I get my money back if activation takes too long?
Providing your host has a money-back guarantee, you can ask for your money back. However, additional service and domain names will probably be non-refundable.