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About the Author
Alexandra Leslies interest in website administration was sparked in her teens, priming her for a fast-paced career in managing, building, and contributing to online brands, including HostingAdvice, Forbes, and the blogs of prominent hosting providers. She brings firsthand experience reviewing web hosts, perfecting website design, optimizing content, and walking site owners through the steps that add up to a successful online presence. Today, she combines her extensive writing experience with technical understanding to unpack some of the most complex topics that daunt novice website owners, as well as the subjects that excite veteran technologists within the HostingAdvice readership.
How To Host A Website: A Guide For Beginners
Creating a website and publishing it online may sound intimidating. Beginners often worry that they need a lot of technical know-how and a decent level of programming skills to get a website up and running. However, this hasnt been true for a long, long time.
Hosting a website of your own has never been easier: it can be as simple as creating an account on a social network. Still, there are several steps to the process which you need to grasp as we go along so that you can get it done right. These steps, give or take, include:
- choosing and purchasing a domain name,
- selecting a CMS ,
- finding the right web host,
- choosing the type of hosting you want,
- and getting your website to go live.
If any of this sounds too demanding, dont worry, it really isnt! Plus, well guide you through the entire process one step at a time. Well also break down all the terminology well come across terminology you may not be familiar with yet so that you can fully understand your actions and choices at every junction. Whether youre a newbie or simply need a refresher course, youre in good hands.
But before we get started, first things first:
Why You Shouldnt Register Domains With Your Web Host
There are a ton of options when it comes to domain registrars, resellers, and brokers. Trying to decide which one to use can be overwhelming, and it may seem natural to use your web host to keep everything in one place. However, registering domain with your host can be a horrible idea, for reasons Ill outline below.
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Best Value: Cheap Web Hosting With A Free Domain Name
Its certainly tough to argue with free hosting and subdomain, but here we go: registering a custom domain costs less than $5 per month and instantly gives your website tons more credibility. Clients, coworkers, vendors, and employers will take your resumé, portfolio, or messages more seriously, and potential customers will view you as significantly more trustworthy.
Plus, by investing just a few dollars per month, youll find much more reliable and speedy hosting infrastructure, hundreds of one-click software installations, and 24/7 customer support available through phone, chat, and email. By generating modest amounts of revenue, these hosting providers can offer a custom domain registration totally free of charge. There will likely be a renewal fee of roughly $10 to $15 per year after your first year of service, but hosts typically offer domain names for significantly cheaper than do free hosts and website builders.
That reliability and legitimacy go a long way in the stability of your website. Because of razor-thin margins and depleted revenues, free web hosting services regularly shut down with very little notice disappearing into the ether and taking users sites with them. When GeoCities ended its hosting service in 2009, for instance, roughly 38 million websites were lost for good. You wouldnt want that to happen to you, right? Then read through these reviews of our favorite hosts that combine ultimate affordability with a free domain name.
Move / Create Your Website To Server
Once your domain name and web hosting plan is ready its time for migration. Site migration can be complex, so if youre doing this for the first time, ask for help from your new host. Some hosting service providers offer .
If you have built your website locally then simply transfer our files onto your web server. To do this you can either make use of the File Manager in your web hosting control panel or make the transfer using an FTP client.
The process is similar to copying files from one place to another on your own computer.
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How To Host A Website For Beginners
Starting a new website requires a lot of decision-making, not the least of which concerns hosting. If youre new to website ownership, figuring out how to host a website can quickly become both confusing and overwhelming.
Fortunately, once you learn about the options available to you, determining what your site needs in terms of hosting is pretty straightforward. Figuring out the basics should set you up to make smart decisions and choose the type of hosting thats best for you and your audience.
This post will provide an overview of some web hosting basics, including an explanation of what it is and why its important.
Then well discuss the differences between local and external hosting and go over some important considerations for using each.
We have a lot to cover so lets get to it!
How To Evaluate A Hosting
A generous uptime guarantee backed by reasonable terms of service is a good indication of a hosting provider who will work hard to keep your website online.
Speed is everything! The faster the site, more traffic and conversions and more income to your business.
This is a very important factor! How fast is that support? Is it supported by SysAdmins or is it outsourced?
Some hosting promote their prices on 3-year plans and they look much cheaper, but on a year plan, it looks very different.
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Setting Up A Name Server
Once youve purchased a web hosting plan, your hosting provider will provide you with Name Servers, also known as Domain Name Servers or DNS. In order to publish your website, i.e. get it online, youll need to change the names of the Name Servers associated with your domain. This step connects your website to the global Domain Name System through the servers IP address. In other words, it puts your address on the internet map.
In general, this is how the process goes:
1. Go to the client area/control panel provided by your domain registration company .
2. Log in using your email and password.
3. Go to My Domains.
4. Select the domain of the website you want to take live.
5. Click on Nameservers from the menu on the left-hand side. Select Use custom nameserver and then change the existing names of the nameservers. Use the names that have been provided by your web host.
6. Click on Change Nameservers. You can see this process outlined below:
Thats all! Keep in mind that changes can take up to 24 hours to take effect.
If youre not using Domain Name Sanity and have your domains registered elsewhere, the process should be quite similar. Although the interface may be different, youll find the method to be more or less the same across domain registration companies.
The Domain Registration Dilemma
When you set up hosting for a website, you can also register your domain through your host . For a lot of people, keeping all your website stuff in the same place sounds like a good idea. You only have to keep up with one set of login information, and you know that your hosts technical support staff will make sure everything is configured correctly.
However, you also have the option to register your domain elsewhere and simply point it to your host. This is what I strongly recommend for a number of reasons.
Keep your domain in one place. If you ever get mad at your web host and decide to move your site, youll also probably want to transfer your domain if its registered with the old host. Domain transfers can be annoying, time-consuming, and confusing. But if youve registered the domain elsewhere, you dont have to do anything except update your DNS settings to point to the new host.
Register all your domains together. You might be thinking, But I only have one website! That may be true, but for many of us, websites are addicting. For example, I own 45 domains right now. If I need to manage them, like when I transferred all my files to my new servers, I can just go to my registrar and mass update the DNS settings.
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Which Domain Host Is The Best For Your Next Project
I hope you found the ideal hosting provider for your next project. Whether youre looking to sell online or share your own literary witticisms, I urge you to head on over to our domain hosting page for further guidance and information.
While .blog, .music, and .ninja domain extensions are currently trending, we recommend you choose a .com domain.
HostingAdvice.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site . HostingAdvice.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.
Our site is committed to publishing independent, accurate content guided by strict editorial guidelines. Before articles and reviews are published on our site, they undergo a thorough review process performed by a team of independent editors and subject-matter experts to ensure the contents accuracy, timeliness, and impartiality. Our editorial team is separate and independent of our sites advertisers, and the opinions they express on our site are their own. To read more about our team members and their editorial backgrounds, please visit our sites About page.
It’s More Expensive To Get It Free
I subtitled this article “The High Price of ‘Free’“because as you can see from above, it’s really more expensive in the long run not to get your own domain name. Domain name prices are cheap,at about $10 a year , so it’s really wiser to justbuy a domain for your site before you start out.Even if you really decide to abandon your website later, you’ll only have lost that $10 . But if your sitereally takes off, that paltry sum will become a worthwhile investment that pays off many times its original amount.
Copyright Â© 2009-2020 by Christopher Heng. All rights reserved.Get more free tips and articles like this,on web design, promotion, revenue and scripting, from .
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Create A Site Using A Local Web Stack
A local web stack, such as XAMPP, is software that provides several components needed for local development, including a web server. The main benefit of using this method is that it gives you the most control over your site:
Additionally, XAMPP keeps your local site completely private, and unavailable to other users. The downside is that its a bit difficult to set up. Youll need to install XAMPP and manually install WordPress in order to get it up and running.
Also, its important to note that, while you can use a WordPress site hosted via XAMPP to test drive plugins or practice coding, you cant use it to create a true staging site. Due to differences in hardware configuration, features that work on a XAMPP WordPress installation wont necessarily work on a live WordPress site.
Configuring The Domain For Your Self
Configuring your domain correctly will allow users to plug it into their browsers and have their request forwarded to your home . Take the following steps to get this first leg of the journey set up.
Get a domain name. For visitors to reach your site, in general it’s useful to have a domain name. This saves them from the burden of having to remember an IP address like 126.96.36.199 . You can check our guide to getting your own domain name, which is a relatively easy process.
Check how your Internet Service Provider assigns your IP address. As a consumer, they most likely give you a dynamic IP address, meaning it may change over time. If you’re fortunate enough to have a static IP address, you can skip to Step 4.
If you have dynamic IP, you will need to sign up for dynamic DNS service. This service will regularly update your domain name to point to whichever IP address your ISP assigns you. Take a look at this introduction to DDNS for more details.
Your DDNS provider may also be able to register you for a domain name. This is a convenient way to go, as you can be sure there won’t be any issue updating both DNS and IP among two different providers.
If you have static IP, you’ll just need to make sure your domain name points directly to your home’s IP address. You can usually do this in the control panel of the service which sold you your domain, by adding an “A record” to it’s settings. The process will be similar to .
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An Introduction To Website Hosting: What It Is And Why You Need It
In short, web hosting is a service that makes it possible to publish your site live on the Internet. A web host, also called a hosting provider, is a company that provides the tools you need to accomplish this.
Most notably, that includes a server. Servers store website files, and Internet browsers can communicate with them to deliver your sites pages to visitors. This is what makes hosting such a key element of setting up a website without it, you have no way to make your site public.
Its important to note that there are two ways to host a website: externally/publicly, and locally.
A locally-hosted website is stored on your own machine, while an externally-hosted site is stored on a providers server.
If you already know how you need to host your website, you can jump to more in-depth information now:
While you may wish to forgo external hosting to save money, hosting your own website locally isnt typically powerful enough for even a small website. Your users will experience extremely slow loading times, and your own resources will likely be stretched thin.
Instead, local sites are typically used for testing and development or staging and are only seen by the sites owner and/or developer. An externally-hosted copy of the site is then made public for users, backed by a hosting providers much more powerful server.