So finally, you have decided to put up a website online. The two primary things you need to have is a domain name and a hosting account. A domain name is the address of your site and a hosting account is where you’ll store your files online to make your site available online.
This article is intended for those who just want to start building a website online and most is basic stuff. When I first started making sites online, I used Hostgator as my hosting since it has a cheap $0.99 plan for the first month of use. I have used it for more than a year and just recently transferred to Godaddy.
What hosting company to choose from?
I good hosting company is very important when starting a website. You can easily be back on scratch after years of work if you are in the wrong hands. Downtime, bandwidth, customer support and security are just some of the factors to be considered when choosing one. Web hosting companies have gimmicks to lure users like giving out a free domain, free addons and discount coupons. You should be careful with these kind of stuff because after the free period, the price of the items may skyrocket.
Common Types of Hosting Plans
- Free Hosting – There are sites that offer free hosting but I don’t recommend jumping into this. You don’t have much control over your site. Although you can use them for private blog or for testing purposes.
Shared Hosting – You host your site with other people on one server. This is good for starting websites with low traffic. This pretty much do the job for few number of small sites. Check out the prices below for shared hosting at Hostgator.
- VPS Hosting – Pretty much like the shared hosting but it is more for advanced users. It is more expensive and have lesser users within a server.
Dedicated Hosting – You get a dedicated server for yourself. Usually ranges above $100 per month. It is for websites with very large traffic and users have access to the full server.
Personally, I use a shared hosting and I’m planning to upgrade into a VPS hosting or a dedicated server if I will be needing it in the future.
After purchasing a web hosting plan, you will usually have a dashboard, and the common dashboard is cPanel. It is where you can manage files, web applications, security, domain management, emails and databases.
In the File Manager, you can edit the files of your website, like for example a WordPress website, you can easily open the file location in the file manager and do the changes you want. You can also see the backup option to backup your sites.
Web hosting panels usually have one click installation for web applications like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and phpBB. The domain management is where you can add additional domains, subdomains, redirects and manage DNS.
Hosting also provide email addresses and emailing tools. Depending on your hosting, you can have as much as many email addresses from your domain name. Like for example [email protected] and [email protected]
If you want a reliable hosting, I suggest you to use Hostgator or Godaddy since they are in the business for a very long time and I have used their services and didn’t had any problems. You should pick a hosting based on your needs. A shared hosting usually will do for staring out. It is not bad experimenting and see what works.