Updated: Apr 22
In order for your site to appear on the internet, you need to store it on a site that visitors around the world have access to. These sites are known as servers and can be rented, purchased through a free web hosting provider or built locally. Servers keep your website files safe under a unique address that allows web traffic to easily reach it.
For beginners, learning to host a website can feel like a daunting task, as it is easy to get lost among the technical terms and a seemingly endless list of options. This step-by-step guide breaks down the entire process into five digestible sections so you can find the best option for your web hosting needs.
How to host a website
Compare types of web hosting
Examine web hosting platforms
Choose a web hosting service provider
Choose a web hosting plan
Buy a domain name
01. Compare web hosting types
The first step in learning how to host a website is getting to know the different types of web hosting companies. Although you do not need to be an IT expert, you should get a general idea of what each platform offers.
There are three main types of web hosting:
Shared hosting allows website owners to share a server with others to minimize operating costs. Each user can easily manage their site through their own separate account, but can not access advanced controls. Furthermore, this type of web hosting has problems dealing with high traffic volumes. You can think of shared hosting as an apartment building where all tenants share a single structure. This is the most popular type of web hotel, and accounts for 37.64% of the revenue share in 2019.
VPS (virtual private server) hosting divides a server into different virtual rooms that can work independently. Each website is stored in one of these departments, giving owners a middle ground between the other two types of servers in terms of pricing and management capabilities. Cloud hosting falls into this category. If shared hosting is an apartment building, VPS hosting is a terraced house where the space is divided into separate, functional units.
Dedicated hosting is the most complex and expensive type of web hosting, since it provides an entire server for a single user. This type of web hosting is the best choice for large companies because it provides maximum customization, flexibility and security. When it comes to real estate, dedicated hosting is like a house where the owner controls all aspects of the room.
Alternatively, you can host your own site at the local level by using your computer as a server. This practice is highly discouraged, as it tends to give slow, unreliable results. In addition to having to learn to host your own website, you will also be fully responsible for maintenance, backup, updates and security.
02. Examine web hosting platforms
Once you know the type of web hosting you need, it's time to look at the various platforms available. Just like buying a house (or an apartment or townhouse), this decision is not something you should take lightly. After all, the web hosting platform you choose will play a big role in every aspect of your site, from the stability to the page's load speed.
With hundreds of web hosting providers out there, starting research from scratch can seem like a daunting task. As a beginner just learning to host a website, these are the best web hosting services you should look into:
Wix offers an all-in-one website building platform that includes free web hosting. In addition to automatic setup, which means that your web host is set up automatically when your site is published, all data on your site (including visitors) is protected by advanced site security monitoring and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).
Bluehost's bespoke solution for beginners makes them a solid choice for those just starting out in the web hosting world. Their prices are also among the most affordable in the industry, ranging from $ 9 to $ 120 a month, depending on the type of web host you choose.
Hosting is one of the most popular web hosting providers due to its very affordable rates, with plans starting at just $ 0.99 / month for single shared web hosting. If you are willing to pay a little more, while still staying below average industry cost, you will have access to unlimited bandwidth and databases.
03. Select a web hosting service provider
There are many factors to consider when choosing a web hosting provider. And contrary to what you might think, price is not the most important thing. Have you ever heard the saying "If you buy cheap, you pay dearly"? Risking your site's performance to save a few bucks a month is not something you want to consider.
To ensure that you choose the right web host for your website, there are several technical requirements you need to keep in mind:
Uptime is how long a web host is available to users over a given period of time. That is, how long the web pages stored on their server are up and running. When your website is live, there are several website analytics tools you can use to track your own uptime.
Bandwidth is the amount of data your site can transmit to visitors over a period of time. You can calculate your site's bandwidth requirements based on the amount of traffic you expect and the average size of your pages.
Customer support may not seem so crucial at this stage, but you will want the opportunity to reach your hosting service if something goes wrong. Ideally, your web hosting provider will offer an online help center, as well as offer callbacks and respond to social media.
Additional services such as being able to get a custom email address, integrate an online planning software or access advanced SEO features should also be considered. Since the technical specifications of different web hosting service providers may be quite similar, use these additional features as a tie-breaker.
04. Select a web hosting plan
Most web hosting platforms offer different plans to best suit customers' budgets and needs. Once you have chosen the service provider, it is time to take a look at the different plans they offer and see which one is best for your website.
At this point, you will be able to understand why there is no clear answer to the common question "how much does it cost to host a website?" It can range from a monthly cost of $ 3 for shared hosting to $ 25 for VPS hosting and over $ 150 for dedicated hosting. In fact, you may even host a website for free with certain service providers.
As part of learning how to host a website, you need to be able to calculate your budget and choose the plan that best suits your web needs. Although limited costs come with limited options, you can always upgrade to a higher plan later if you want additional features.
05. Buy a domain name
While some web hosting providers allow you to publish your site without doing so, registering a domain name can have a major impact on your site's perception and exposure. Most website hosting platforms offer domain registrars, which greatly simplifies the process. Many even offer free domains the first year, which means you do not have to worry about how much a domain name costs.
Ready to find the perfect URL? Take a look at this step-by-step guide on how to choose a domain name to ensure you come up with an address that combines professionalism, searchability and brand value.
Freddy Fix borrowed from Wix