Web Publishing for Sandvox & A2 Hosting

   This won't work for everyone, but there's likely to be useful information in this post regardless of which software you use to publish your website, or which hosting company you use. I use Sandvox to build my sites and A2 Hosting to host them, and I register them on MyDomain.

   Wouldn't it be simpler to register and host with the same company? It would, but in any given year, I have 50-100 domains registered because whenever I think of a domain I might need, I register it just in case. And MyDomain is the "original discount domain registrar," in their words, so that saves a lot of money. But A2 Hosting has a special deal for Sandvox users, so I get more for my money there. But back to the task at hand… here are the details of how I have it set up:

Domain Registration

   Go to MyDomain. Click into the "enter a domain" box and type the one you'd like to register. MyDomain will let you know if it's available. Once you've registered the domain, you'll need to change some settings. Go to DomainCentral and click on your new domain… lets call it "yournewdomain.com" for the purposes of this discussion. It'll open the control panel where you'll see Overview, Pointers, Transfer, etc. tabs at the top. Click DNS. The DNS window has a pull-down menu where you should check the following settings:

   MX Record: there should be one record set as follows:

   Priority: 0 Host:@ Points To: yournewdomain.com

   One caveat on the MX Record: if you plan to set up a complex email system, the priority might should be set to another setting. But if it's complex enough to need different settings, you'd probably need an IT person to set it up for you. New Media for Designers + Builders is written for those of us who aren't IT pros, as you'll recall.

   CNAME (Alias): you'll need to create two records set as follows:

   Host: www Points To: yournewdomain.com

   Host: *.www Points To: yournewdomain.com

   NS Record: there should be two of them and they should already be set as follows:

   Host: yournewdomain.com Points To: ns1.yourhostingaccount.com

   Host: yournewdomain.com Points To: ns2.yourhostingaccount.com

   A Record: MyDomain creates a lot of A records on the assumption that you'll be hosting your site with them. But if you're hosting elsewhere, you won't be needing those records. Delete them all, then create two records set as follows:

   Host: yournewdomain.com Points To: <IP address… see discussion below>

   Host: * Points To: <IP address… see discussion below>

   If you have a dedicated IP address, use it here. If not, use A2 Hosting's address, which is You can leave everything else at the default settings.

Site Hosting

   If you don't already have an account with A2 Hosting, sign up now. They'll send you an email with all of your site settings. If you already have one site with them, you'll need to create the second site as an Addon Domain. Log into A2 Hosting's Control Panel and click Home icon. Down the page, there's an icon that says Addon Domains. Click that and enter the following: 

   New Domain Name: yournewdomain.com 

   Subdomain/FTP Username: yournewdomain

Set Up Facebook Comments

   Go to developers.facebook.com/apps. This should show all of your existing apps. Once you're there, do these steps: 

   a. Click Create New App. 

   b. It'll bring up a New App window where you have to name the app. I use the same name as the name of the website… in this case, Mouzon Design. 

   c. On the next page, set App Domain to mouzon.com. 

   d. Set the category. 

   e. Click Edit Icon and upload your favicon. 

   f. Click the larger graphic and upload your logo. 

   g. Under "Select how your app integrates with Facebook, click Website and enter http://www.mouzon.com. 

   h. Save Changes. 

   i. Under Settings in the upper left corner, click Advanced. 

   j. Under Description, enter "This app provides Facebook connectivity to the Mouzon Design website." 

   k. Under Privacy Policy URL, enter the URL of your privacy policy page on your website. In this case, http://www.mouzon.com/about/our-privacy-policy.html 

   l. Save Changes. 

   m. Go back to developers.facebook.com/apps and copy the App ID. 

   n. Go to Sandvox. 

   o. In the Page>Appearance Inspector, Click the Setup button beside Comments. 

   p. Select Facebook for the Comments Provider, enter the App ID, set the number of posts to 50, and click Done. 

   q. Turn on comments on all the pages you want them on. I have them almost everywhere, because I want to give people every chance to discuss our sites.

   Here's more on the benefits of Facebook Comments and how to use them.

Setup Host

   In Sandvox, click Setup Host in the toolbar and set your site to publish as follows: 

   URL Format: http://www.yournewdomain.com/

   Server: yournewdomain.com, which is the same as yourfirstdomain.com if this is your first site, or yourfirstdomain.com if this is an Addon Domain

   Protocol: SFTP

   Port: 7822

   Username: yourfirstdomainusername (your username that A2 assigned to you via email just after you first opened your account)

   Be sure to click "Remember in my keychain."

   Folder: /home/yourfirstdomainusername/public_html if this is your first site or /home/yourfirstdomainusername/public_html/yournewdomain.com if it's not.

   Please note that if you're moving a site from another platform, you'll need to do a few things a bit different and add a few steps. Here's a post on what's different when you move sites.


   Publish the site by clicking Publish in the toolbar. Note that Sandvox won't be able to confirm connectivity until the site has flipped over from MobileMe to A2 Hosting, which may take a few hours… so you might wait half a day or so between doing the items under Domain Registration above and attempting to publish the site for the first time. But I'd also suggest publishing your site long before you get it fully built, so you can see what it looks like in your browser as you progress. Don't worry about people seeing it incomplete… until you start promoting it, the chances of one of your clients stumbling across it are vanishingly small.

Set Up Google Tools

   a. In Sandvox, select File>Configure Google Tools. 

   b. In the Sitemap window, check Publish Google Sitemap.

   d. Click Add a Site, then enter yournewdomain.com.

   e. Google will take you to the site verification page. Click the Alternate Methods tab and select the HTML Tag option.

   f. Copy the code, go back to Sandvox, paste it into the window that should still be open, publish your site, go back to Google, and click Verify at the bottom of the page.

   g. Go back to Sandvox and copy the sitemap address in the dialog box, then click the Google Webmaster Tools link at the top.

   h. Click Manage Site, then click the Sitemaps button and follow the instructions to register your sitemap.

   i. In the Google Analytics window, follow the instructions for registering the site with Google Webmaster Tools and installing Analytics. It's quite self-explanatory.

   Here's more on Google Tools.

© 2012 The Guild Foundation Press