This guide is an introduction to mastering the art of “How to host a website.” It provides easy to follow steps to host a website. What you will find in our Beginner’s Guide is a blueprint that takes you from learning the basics of business to becoming a knowledgeable guy. This guide has been designed to help you achieve those goals in an easy to read, step by step way.
Once you have mastered each chapter in our “How To Host A Website” guide, you will be well on your way to starting a business while should you need any help in starting a business, we will be happy to assist you for free.
The Beginner’s Guide To Successfully Host A Website
Chapter 1: Introduction
You might have just started off your new business or might be giving your family business a new direction altogether. Either ways in this age, where everybody turns to the internet for help, a website is a great place to tell your potential customers what you have to offer and also a good way to attract new customers. Designing website has become fairly simple thanks to the online website editors that require no prior knowledge of code. But getting yourself a website is not just about designing it and putting it up online. You need a good hosting service to ensure that your site is up and running when your customers come looking for you. That is why we wrote this guide to help you choose between the best options available and start on the right foot.
Chapter 2: Domain Name
Before you do anything else, you need to make for yourself an address on the internet, something that your visitors will know you by. This is called your domain name. It should be something that is easy to remember and something you can associate your product or service with. So, if you are a baker, your domain name could be freshcupcakes.com or if you are a tax consultant, it could your firm name such as johnsmithtaxconsultant.com.
Since, websites are not a rarity anymore, there is a good possibility that the domain name you are looking for is being used by someone else. In such a case, you can alter your preference with some additional info such as freshcupcakesflorida.com or chose a domain name by geographical location such taxconsultant.co.uk. However, you must exercise caution that you do not make your domain name too long or too complicated for people to type and look you up or end up with a domain name that harms your business interest.
You can purchase your domain name from various providers available around the world and use it for the licence period such as an year, 3 years, 5 years etc. you might have bought it for. This can be renewed any time, before it expires for another licence period of your choice by paying the required fee to the provider. Since the address of your website is sorted, you can look into how the website must look and how it should be hosted.
Chapter 3: Designing
A website can either be designed with the help of a professional or entirely by you, if you have the patience to do so. While professionals come with experience, they also demand a commensurate fee for their time. Designing the site can save you money but you need to spend some time on this. You may not necessarily require coding knowledge since there are a number of website editors available to help you design your site using the drag and drop method. It is here that you also decide whether your site will be static and display certain information permanently or whether you will be updating the site regularly with content such as blog posts or photos or videos etc.
Chapter 4: Hosting
Designing out of the way, comes the most important step, hosting the site. Even if you seek help from a professional to make your site, how you host the site is entirely your decision and depends on availability of resources and your requirements. Basically, there are fivetypes of hosting options available and we will go through each one of them, one by one.
The simplest of all, free hosting, as the name suggests lets you host your website for no charge what so ever. This hosting option is usually provided by Content Management Sites (CMS) such as Blogger and WordPress which encourage users to take up blogging and sharing content online. Often, you will find plenty of free themes in their stores that will take care of the designing part of your website, so all you need to do it look after the content. Since somebody has to bear the expenses for hosting the site, the CMS will often run ads on your blog, which might make it slow while loading. Free hosting is a good way to get started if you are looking at getting into the online world. However, these servers are usually busy with lots of new starters and may not work reliably at all times. So, do expect some turbulence if you choose this way but that’s the best you can get for being a freeloader!
This method of hosting the website is quite commonly used due to its cost effectiveness. For a few dollars a month, you can host your website which you are expecting to attract moderate traffic for. With such a hosting option, usually multiple (hundreds or even thousands) of websites are placed on a single server and resources of the server shared between them, hence the name. Since, everybody is sharing resources for hosting their websites, the cost of hosting is also shared, which makes it economically feasible for all. The problem with sharing resources in such a manner is that in case your site experiences a sudden surge in traffic, the server may not be in a position to handle the extra load. Similarly, if another site is experiencing a spike in traffic, the performance of your site may also be affected.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting
In a VPS hosting system, a server is divided virtually into different servers so that each website gets dedicated space for itself. However, resources from the server are still being shared by users and this is why performance of your site is not fully under your control. However, system administrators do prefer this type of hosting since it gives them root access to their webspace and allows them to secure their website better. If your website is doing well and you plan to shift to VPS hosting, then you should consider getting a skilled system administrator on your team or learn these skills yourself so that you can handle the website yourself. The advantage of using a VPS hosting service is that you get better control of your website but you need not spend as much as you would have to if you took a dedicated server.
Cloud computing is adding a new dimension to the way we know computers work. You can put something on the cloud and access it from any corner of the world without any issues, as long as you have an internet connection. When it comes to hosting, the cloud consists of multiple servers that all work together to host your and hundreds of other websites at the same time. The resources are shared between all the websites and this way, spikes in traffic also becomes easier to handle. The disadvantage with cloud hosting is that you do not get root access and is comparatively expensive. Nevertheless, it promises good security and superior performance when compared to a VPS or shared hosting system.
Dedicated Server Hosting
This is the ultimate server hosting capability available to humankind today and gives the administrator complete control of the website. Simply put, it is one server, one website and all the resources allocated to serve your website. Naturally, this is an expensive affair and you could end up spending hundreds of dollars every month just to stay alone on the server. Unless you are running the # 1 website of your country, we would not really recommend this, just because of the costs involved and the technical expertise required.
Chapter 5: Conclusion
So, now that you know what hosting options are available, it is time to choose which one suits you the best. Depending on the nature of the site, the traffic that you are expecting and the money that you are willing to spend, you can arrive at the nature of hosting service you prefer. Once that is decided a simple Google search will tell you the options available to you and prices that they offer the hosting services for. While it is tempting to go by the one that is the cheapest, you may also want to know why their rates are low.
There is a lot of jargon that comes along when you are looking through hosting providers but the two most important things to consider are the server uptime and mode of technical help. A server that fails to stay online is not bringing you any business rather is putting people off. Just like Apple iPhones are sold through resellers, hosting services are also available the same way. So, if you are signing up with a reseller make sure that he won’t leave you hanging mid-way when you really need technical help.
You can always check reviews online for the hosting providers you are considering but as always, take these reviews with a pinch of salt, you do not quite know who is writing them. Cheap may not be good or may not be bad at all but it is a decision you have to take. If you ask us, we would say, pay a little extra and get essential time-saving services such as server backup, malware scanning and security certifications to ensure that your website stays secure. But never take a hasty decision when it comes to hosting your website.