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How To Host A Website: A Guide For Newbies

So – you’ve just started a business. You think a website is your first step to getting the reach you want for your products and services.

Alas! You don’t have a website – not yet anyway.

So you want to host a website, but you’re not sure where to start? Don’t worry – luckily for you, we’ve got you covered. In this blog post, we’ll give you all the information you need to get started:

By the end of this post, you’ll be ready to take your online presence to the next level!

Why Do You Need Website Hosting?

People need website hosting because it’s where a website lives. Just like you need a house to live in, websites need a home too. This is what website hosting provides. It’s a special place on the internet where people can go to visit your website.

And just like you’d want a nice house to live in with all the amenities, you want your website hosted on a good server with lots of features, especially if it’s your first time running or creating a website.

Hosting your website will allow people to find you or your business easily and enjoy using it.

As standard, a web hosting service worth its salt should have these features:

On top of these, you’ll also need a domain name. But don’t confuse web hosting with getting a domain name (which is an equally important step—more later). Think of it this way: a domain name is your home address, while web hosting is the block where your home is physically.

Web hosting is the service that provides the server, storage, and technology that enables your website to be seen on the internet. It’s like a landlord who rents out their space to host your website. When you purchase web hosting, you’re essentially buying the space required to store your website’s files.

So now you know why website hosting is necessary and what features you should look for when choosing a web host provider.

But what do you need to host a website?

What Do You Need to Host a Website?

Hosting a website can be a tricky undertaking, but there are two primary options available:

  1. Hosting your own website
  2. Getting a web host provider

Getting a web host provider is the easier option for most people. You won’t need to provide your own server or worry about setting up server connections, as the web host will take care of all that for you. It’s also generally more affordable, and most web hosts provide customer service to help with any technical issues.

On the other hand, hosting your own website requires you to have the technical knowledge and resources to provide the necessary infrastructure. This includes having access to a server with enough storage capacity, as well as reliable and secure connections to the internet.

This option can also sometimes be more expensive, so hosting on your own usually is best for those who have experience setting up a website.

So which is the better option, hosting with a provider or by yourself?

Option 1: How to Host a Website with a Provider

When it comes to hosting a website, using a provider is the easiest and most cost-effective option for most people. With a web host provider, you won’t need to provide your own server or worry about setting up server connections, as the web host will handle all of that for you. Plus, you’ll get access to customer support.

Think of hosting with a provider as setting up a billboard. You don’t have to worry about the design or execution, you just need to provide your content and pay for the spot. The provider will do the rest.

Don’t know where to begin? Here are the steps you need to start hosting with a provider:

Step 1: Decide on your website type and what it needs

Before you can choose the right web host, you need to first decide what type of website you’ll be hosting. Will it be a blog, an e-commerce site, or anywhere else in between? Knowing your website determines which features and services you need from a web host.

Step 2: Choose a web host provider

Now that you know what type of website you’ll be hosting and what features it needs, it’s time to start looking for a web host provider. Say you’re creating a website for selling model planes or tanks. You’d want to look for a provider that offers secure checkout, unlimited bandwidth and storage, and an easy-to-use control panel.

There are many providers available, so do your research and look at their features and prices before making your choice.

To help you out, here are some popular web hosts and what they can offer:

  1. Hostinger Affordable hosting plans, reliable uptime and security, and free SSL certificates.
  2. Bluehost Scalable hosting solutions for businesses of all sizes, excellent customer service.
  3. WP Engine Ideal for WordPress websites, fast loading speeds, and automated backups.

Still, the best web host for you depends on your website’s needs. E-commerce websites need reliable uptime and security, while blogs need fast loading speeds. So make sure to choose a host that meets your website’s needs.

In addition to selecting a web host, you need to pick a hosting option. One of the most popular is shared hosting, which allows multiple users to share resources on a single server.

Shared hosting is the gold standard used by small- to medium-sized businesses, as well as bloggers and personal websites. It allows multiple users to share resources on a single server, meaning that the cost of maintaining the server is distributed amongst all the users, making it more affordable than other types of hosting options. With shared hosting, you can expect reliable uptime and good levels of customer service.

Step 3: Get a domain name

A domain name is a unique address used to identify a website. It’s an essential part of having a successful website and can help visitors to find your site quickly and easily.

When deciding on a domain name, think of this mnemonic device:

A good domain is

Short,

Memorable, and

Relevant.

Or ASMR (but not really ASMR, or autonomous sensory meridian response.)

A short and memorable domain name makes it easier for visitors to remember and recognize your website, leading to an increase in traffic. A domain name that’s relevant to the content of your website makes it easier for search engine algorithms to find and index your website, boosting your visibility.

One great example of a memorable and relevant domain name is Amazon.com. As one of the world’s largest online retailers, this company needed a domain name that was easy to remember and related to their business. And “Amazon” does just that: it implies a large selection of products, making it an obvious choice for an e-commerce website.

Once you’ve decided on a domain name, you’ll need to register it with a web hosting provider. You can purchase it through a domain registrar such as Namecheap or GoDaddy. Prices vary depending on the provider and the extension of the domain (.com, .org, etc.).

Web hosts like Hostinger offer free domain registration as part of their premium packages. So make sure to check out plans from other web hosts if you don’t want a tricky process.

Step 4: Change your Domain Name System (DNS) address

Changing a DNS address is a crucial part of setting up a website. The DNS acts like a phonebook, translating human-readable domain names into their associated IP addresses so web browsers can access websites. Without changing the DNS address, visitors won’t find your website as they won’t know where to look for it.

To change your DNS address, log into your domain name’s hosting panel and find the “DNS Settings” section. Change the existing DNS address to point to your web host’s name server.

This bit ensures visitors can access your website when they type in the domain name you chose earlier.

Step 5: Upload your website

Last but not least in the process of setting up your website is uploading it. This step requires a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) client, which you can download for free from the web host’s control panel.

Think of an FTP client as a tool that lets you transfer files between your computer and the web host’s server. It’s an essential component as it allows you to upload all the files that make up your website and store them in the web host’s server.

Once you have an FTP client, connect it to the web host’s server, select the content you want to upload, and click “Upload.” Now your website is up and running. Congratulations!

Option 2: How to Host a Website Yourself

Now, be warned—hosting a website on your lonesome is not advised for total newbies. It’s a tricky process, and it requires you to have sound knowledge of various server-side technologies like FTP, TCP/IP, Apache, MySQL… pretty much a whole host of acronyms.

Undoubtedly, hosting a website yourself can offer some advantages, but also comes with drawbacks. On the plus side, you have complete control over how you set up your website and customize it to get exactly the look, feel, and performance you want. You’re not sharing resources or bandwidth with other users, so you don’t have to worry about your website’s performance being affected by others.

However, the downsides are that hosting a website yourself can be expensive. You have to invest in the necessary hardware and software and hire someone who has the technical skills to manage it all for you. It also requires a lot of maintenance work on your part, so make sure you have the time and energy to be dedicated to it.

If you decide hosting a website by yourself is for you, I doff my proverbial cap to you, good person!

Final Verdict: Go the Easy Way and Choose a Web Hosting Provider

Hosting a website can be daunting for the novice webmaster. The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to go it alone and host a website yourself. With the help of web hosting providers, getting a website online has never been easier or more affordable.

All you need to do is pick out the perfect domain name, change your DNS address, and upload your website. With the right web host, you can have a professional-looking website up and running in no time!

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