A successful, well-managed website needs a reliable web host. Whether you know the ins and outs of building a website or have never even given it a thought until today, you can take care of web hosting yourself, right from your home computer.
You don’t have to be a tech-savvy computer nerd to set up your own web hosting from home. Below is all the information you need to build a website from the ground up, starting with setting up your own web hosting.
What is Web Hosting?
Let’s start from the beginning: what does it mean to host a website? Web hosting is when you put your website data on a server, which means those files are publicly accessible and anyone on the internet can visit it. The software, called a web server, is what allows other people around the world to see your website. The server is responsible for responding to incoming requests by sending the visitor to the requested page.
If very little of what you just read made sense to you, don’t fret. You don’t have to completely understand the ins and outs of web hosting to host your own website. There are plenty of reliable web hosting companies that have made all that technical jargon their responsibility. That makes it easy for you to set up web hosting from home.
What Do I Need to Host A Website?
There are really only two things you need to host a website: a web hosting service provider and a domain name.
Many companies offer web hosting services that are ready and easy to use and give out promos that allow you to try their service at a cheaper price. These providers give website owners like you all the tools you need to host your own website, without the headache.
Before you sign up for a hosting plan with a web hosting service provider, you will need a domain name. A domain name is what allows other users to visit your website. You can buy a domain name from one of several domain registrars, or you can sign up with a web hosting service provider that includes a free domain name in its hosting plans. We’ll talk more about domain names later in this article.
As for the available hosting services, there are a few different types of plans to choose from.
Types of Web Hosting Plans
When determining which hosting plan is right for you, you should consider the amount of traffic your website gets. A smaller website, with less content and fewer visitors, has different hosting requirements than a larger website with a lot of traffic. Fortunately, web hosting companies provide a few different types of hosting plans to make it easier for you to find one that is best suited for your website.
Shared hosting is designed for smaller websites and blogs that are just starting. A Shared hosting plan can accommodate as many as 20,000 visitors at a time. Shared hosting is the cheapest hosting solution because multiple websites share the same server. You can find Shared hosting for as little as $2.75 per month.
VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting is similar to shared hosting, except it includes additional tools to adequately manage large spikes in traffic. With VPS hosting, you get a portion of a private server that you can then manage from the provided control panel. Because you are given access to dedicated resources, the price of VPS hosting is slightly higher than that of shared hosting.
VPS hosting is best suited for medium-sized businesses, popular blogs, and eCommerce stores.
Managed WordPress Hosting
As its name suggests, managed WordPress hosting is a type of hosting service that is designed specifically for WordPress. With managed WordPress hosting, the hosting service provider is responsible for updates, caching, and backups for your website. With the hosting company taking care of a lot of the behind-the-scenes work, you can more easily focus on adding content to your website and expanding your online business.
With dedicated hosting, an entire server is dedicated to your website. Rather than sharing resources with other users, you have access to the full server and all the advanced tools that come with it.
If you sign up for dedicated hosting, you are responsible for managing your own server. You’ll be able to install your own software and operating system. This usually requires some technical skills, so it isn’t recommended for beginners. However, if you have a larger website that needs to perform optimally to adequately handle high volumes of traffic, dedicated hosting is the way to go.
Which Web Hosting Plan is Right for You?
You will need to decide which hosting plan meets the needs of your website as well as your budget. Typically, beginners start with shared hosting then upgrade as their website grows. This way you aren’t paying for services that you don’t need yet.
If you later realize that a different type of hosting would work better for your website, you can easily switch to a different plan. We typically recommend shared hosting for beginners, as it’s the most straightforward type of hosting, as well as the most affordable.
How to Set Up a Web Hosting Account
The best web hosting companies have managed to make setting up a web hosting account simple and stress-free in an effort to bring in the most customers. Most web hosts will have some sort of customer support available 24/7 to assist you, but the set-up process is simple enough to complete in just a few minutes.
When you visit the home page of your chosen web host, there should be a button that says “Get Started” or something similar. When you click the button to begin, you will be taken to a page that outlines the different hosting plans offered by that company. You can browse the hosting plans or packages to learn more about the features they include.
Select the hosting plan that best suits your needs. You will then be prompted to create an account with the web host. You will need to provide some personal information as well as your billing information. Most web hosts allow you to pay with a credit card or PayPal. Be aware that in most cases, you will be paying for the full plan up-front. Some web hosts will give you the option to pay for one month at a time, but to get the biggest discount and save the most money, you should pay for the longest-possible hosting plan.
During the registration process, be sure to deselect any default add-on services. Some web hosts will try to encourage new customers to buy additional services, but as a beginner, you shouldn’t need them.
Once you complete the registration, you should get an email that contains important information about your account, including login and account information. Be sure to keep this email in a safe place for future reference.
Register A Domain Name
Once you decide on the type of web hosting you want to use, you will need a way for people to find you online. This is where your domain name becomes important. Most hosting companies make it easy to reserve and register a domain name. Some companies will include this service at no extra charge.
The domain name you decide on is incredibly important. You want to choose a domain name that will quickly and easily let people know they are in the right place. Rather than trying to come up with a clever domain name, focus instead on picking one that very clearly shows what your website is all about. Avoid being too extravagant and aim for a domain name that is short and clear, yet still unique.
Focus on Website Design
After completing the registration process with your chosen web hosting service provider and setting up your domain name, you are ready to focus on what people see when they visit your website. Your domain is what brings people to your site, but the content and design are what ensure people spend time there.