Hosting your website simply means “finding” a home for your site to make it accessible on the internet. You can think of it as renting virtual premises for your website.
If you are not tech-savvy, web hosting may sound complicated, but it is not. This guide will help you host your site if you are in the process of building a website or you already have one.
Step 1: Choose your preferred host
The market is awash with website hosting providers. However, the suitability of each provider will vary based on what you need in terms of speed, response time, support, hosting options available, and budget.
Therefore, it is important to exercise due diligence when shopping for a hosting service provider. If you are unsure about the best provider, this BuyersGuide.org comparison of the leading web hosting providers can help you make an informed decision before parting with your money.
Step 2: Pick a hosting plan
Once you pick your preferred host platform, you will need to choose a plan that best suits your business. There are four main hosting types: Shared, cloud, virtual private server (VPS), and dedicated servers. Your choice may be determined by the size of your website and the level of security you desire.
If all you need is a standard website, the best place to start is always on the shared option and upgrade as your business needs increase. Many service providers allow for plan upgrades when you feel that your website has outgrown your current plan.
Step 3: Get a domain name
Having a hosting provider is more like having a piece of internet property. However, without an address, no one can find your site. That’s where your domain name comes in. It is a unique digital address to your internet property.
Most web hosting providers include domain name registration in the sign-up process. Sometimes you may have to pay for it separately, or it may come included as a freebie in your preferred plan.
Alternatively, you can choose to buy one from another domain name registrar and link it to your hosting service provider. Whatever option works for you, make sure that you pick a domain name that fits your brand and is easy to remember.
Step 4: Migrate your website to the server
Once you get your web hosting plan and domain ready, the final step will be moving your site to the server. You will need an expert’s help when doing this, especially for the first time. Some host service providers offer this service for free, so you can check with your provider if they offer the service.
Hosting your website locally
Another option for hosting your website is building your server. This option is ideal if you are looking to have more control of your website hosting infrastructure or if you intend to build large website applications.
This typically involves purchasing a space at a co-location center to house your built servers and then connect them to a specialized internet connection. In most cases, internet providers do not allow hosting websites on a personal computer, so it is almost always required to have a specialized hosting center when self-hosting a website. This option can be expensive and is only viable for large businesses.
Whether you choose to host your website locally or get a provider, hosting your site shouldn’t be difficult, even without much technical know-how. If you don’t feel up to the task, however, the best thing to do is look for a skilled web developer willing to handle both web design and hosting.