A Web Host for Your Website
Episode #4 of the course Build a website and online brand quickly and cheaply by Rob Cubbon
Now that we’ve decided on a domain name, there’s one more thing to do before the excitement starts and we can create a website. And that’s finding a web host.
Your web host serves your website on the world wide web.
Commercial web hosting is a highly competitive industry, and there are loads of big players who offer decent web hosting at reasonable prices.
The most basic form of hosting is shared hosting, which can be purchased for as little as $2 a month. The expression “you get what you pay for” may be accurate to explain web hosting prices.
A shared hosting plan means the website resides on a data server alongside hundreds or thousands of other websites. If one of the other websites on your server gets a spike in traffic, it can slow your site down.
You may want to shop around for a good deal with a reputable host. I used to recommend companies such as Bluehost, HostGator, or Justhost; they are all, in fact, part of the same company, the Endurance International Group. These types of hosts have suffered hacking attacks and offered poor support according to some users, so I no longer recommend them. I would consider Siteground, as they are not part of Endurance International Group and impressed me when I used them.
The cheapest shared hosting may be $2/month, and as discussed, you will share the server with hundreds of other sites.
With dedicated hosting, as you may have guessed, your website is sharing a web server with no one. Dedicated hosting is much more expensive and starts at around $100/month. I use LiquidWeb for my site RobCubbon.com.
A VPS (virtual private server) is a halfway house between shared and dedicated hosting. On a VPS, you are allotted resources that are not shared by everyone on the same server. The overall processing power is shared across all accounts on the machine, but at the same time, portions of resources are always dedicated to each account. I would recommend Siteground’s cloud hosting if you want a good VPS.
As I’ve mentioned before, it’s not the end of the world if you purchase the wrong hosting package, because you can always jump between hosts at a later date.
Setting up hosting
Now that you’ve got a domain name and hosting for your new baby, you need to put the two together. In order to do this, you need to change the NameServers at the domain name registrar.
Note: you will not have to do this is you’ve purchased both domain name registration and hosting from different companies—I like to keep them separate.
This will possibly be the trickiest technical thing you’ll do in your early online career, and it may take you all of two minutes.
It’s a matter of finding a link entitled something like “Change NameServers” or “Configure DNS” at your domain name registrar.
Here you should enter the NameServers that have been given to you by your host. If you’re not sure, you can just ask them, but these should be in an introductory email you received when you signed up with the host. They’ll look something like this:
When you’ve put your host’s NameServers in at the domain name registrar, you need to wait maybe a day (usually much less) for the change to percolate through the system.
Once you have connected your domain name to your web hosting, you are ready to start building your website.
Now the fun really begins
In the next lesson, we’ll be setting up WordPress to run at our new domain on our new web host’s server. So, next time, you’ll actually have a website up and running. How cool is that?
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