How To Host A Website

how to host a websiteYou may have your website ready, but before you can publish it online and make it available to all those searchers and shoppers circulating the internet, you must find a web hosting service. This host provider charges you for use of its server, the computer program that makes your website visible and usable online.Luckily, finding a host provider for your upcoming site is one of those easy website tasks. The most difficult part, which is not difficult at all, is shopping among popular providers and choosing the one that meets your hosting needs.Before you start your search though, skim over the 4 different types of hosting services offered and other should-knows to acquaint yourself with the verbiage you’ll find on most hosting sites and to make the right choice for you.

4 Types Of Hosting

Shared Web Hosting:
you are sharing your host’s servers and resources with others to save on cost, which average at $10 per month. You still have your own space on the server for your site and you don’t have to worry about server maintenance or updates, etc. The down side occurs when there’s not enough RAM, disk space or CPU to share, resulting in your site being down and inaccessible. Not good for business.  Also, because you are sharing, you are limited with how you can use the servers – a problem mostly for those with multiple sites and tons of activity and traffic.

Dedicated server (DS):
At the other end of the spectrum, you have a server completely dedicated to you and your needs. Depending on the host provider, you may need technical experience for this option.  And as you may have guessed, DS is expensive. Monthly prices range from around $150 into the $300s. Not for the beginner who is still struggling to build traffic and master basic internet marketing, but rather for large sites with huge databases and traffic.

Virtual Private Server is the happy medium (usually) between shared and dedicated servers. With VPS you get your own RAM and disk space; however you must share the processor, the part of the computer that receives data and instructions and generates the output to various devices like monitors, RAM, and hard drives. VPS would suit any site that’s grown beyond the shared hosting capacity, increasing in size and traffic, but not quite to the degree that justifies the cost of a DS service. As expected the price beats that of dedicated servers, ranging from approximately $40 to $100 monthly.

Reseller Hosting:
During your research, you will also come across reseller hosting. This service is for marketers who want to host other people’s websites. They purchase a reseller account where they get hosting at a discount, and then turnaround and offer it to others. If you are looking to simply host your new website, you won’t need this type of account.

Hosting Features You Should Consider

Usually, most beginner sites will opt for shared hosting. And in theory, shared hosting should meet their modest needs, but not all host providers are the same. In fact, many internet marketers claim it’s not the type of account (shared, VPS or DS), but the actual host provider that counts. Not only do they differ on extra services they include, but on dependability.  Areas that vary between providers include downtime, customer service, user-friendliness, loading speed – all issues that affect your website’s performance and therefore your online business.

Below are several factors you should investigate:

How do you know if a host provider is dependable? Research the host provider’s reputation.  Ask fellow marketers, visit internet marketing forums like Warrior Forum and find out which hosting is most recommended.  I perused many threads on Warrior Forum on this same topic. Hostgator won the popularity contest. I also found out how some host providers fell short of their promises. Good to know. Of course, you take these bad reviews with a grain of salt. But if the same problem with the same provider is reported over and over, it’s probably safe to expect the same problems.  (Researching Warrior Forum is how I chose Hostgator for two of my sites. I am extremely happy with their service so far.)

Also when researching, be wary of pages titled Top internet hosts. Most of these are affiliate sites. Not that there’s anything wrong with affiliate sites. I’m one after all. But some marketers will promote anything, even poor quality products or services.  My advice: stick to sites and marketers you trust.

Unlimited Web Hosting Extras
Many providers now offer unlimited bandwidth and disk space. Take advantage of this. How are these benefits important? Well, unlimited bandwidth assures speedy loading time (well, as fast as the bandwidth speed of whoever is accessing your website) and better handling of surges in traffic to your site (which we hope will happen from time to time).

Unlimited disk space provides whatever storage space you need for your site and its content.  This extra space becomes very handy when your business grows and your site increases in size with lots of content including images, digital downloads, videos, and more.

Many host providers also offer unlimited domains as part of their shared hosting packages.  You may only have one domain at the moment, but purchasing a package that allows more leaves the door open for future growth, which includes more websites. Doesn’t hurt.

Unlimited email accounts are another bonus feature that comes in handy.

Easy Web Hosting
Nowadays, anyone should be able to use a hosting service with ease. Most offer customers the use of a cPanel for free. As a control panel, cPanel allows website owners to handle website administration as easily as working with your MS Windows system on your PC or your email account. And to make the process even more painless, top host providers include tutorials or guides on how to use these cPanels. Make sure your host provider offers this bonus feature.

Host Compatibility
Making sure the host provider accommodates your website requirements is very important. Many, for instance will indicate whether they offer an easy install for your WordPress or Joomla site (see the Hostgator snapshot below).

You also have to consider applications you may be using on your site, like DLGuard, a download page protector, and sales and customer management tool that many internet marketers swear by.  Applications like these have requirements so that they perform correctly. Even WordPress has certain requirements (see  DLGuard & WordPress snapshot below). The hosting provider should lists its programming and database features somewhere on its site, whether on a sales page or in its FAQ. If you can’t locate them, simply email or call the provider’s customer service.

Snapshot DLGuard Requirements

Snapshot WP Requirements

So to keep things running smoothly, always check a product’s requirements before you install it on your site.

Top hosting companies will offer countless forms of web hosting support including tutorials, guides, webinars, online chatting with technicians, a customer service phone desk, forum, and help desk email. They will also hold great business hours throughout the week.  My provider, Hostgator, is available 24/7 via their chat line, a great safeguard and comfort should I need the help late at night. If that sounds awesome to you,  click on the image below.

You’ll see as you shop around, lots of other extra features are included and standard among most host providers. Just keep an eye out for the essential criteria mentioned above and you should find the right host for you. Once you do, you can sign-up online. Afterwards, you simply follow the tutorial for loading your website. If you run into any problems and you researched properly, your chosen host provider will be easy to reach and help you on the spot.

Now, if you haven’t already, you will need to purchase and register a domain for your website.

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