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If you are in search of a simple guide to help you learn the process of hosting, you are in good luck. This article will help you learn everything you need to know about hosting and will even guide you in the process of hosting your own website or blog.
What is hosting?
For those of you who aren't familiar with the term, hosting is the process of getting your website online for others to see. It's a service provided by companies known as hosting providers. You can pay and have your website hosted by them.
Let's get started with the steps involved in hosting.
Step 1 - Finding the Best Hosting Provider
Choosing your hosting provider is the first step to get started with hosting your website on the web. There are a plethora of options for hosts that vary in the cost and features it has to offer. There are hosts that provide even free hosting services as well. Having too many options can make it difficult for you to make the right choice especially if you are a beginner.
But it turns out that you can choose the right host without much brainstorming if you followed the below instructions. These are common characteristics or features of a good hosting company. If you choose a host that can offer you all or most of these features, you can make sure you are on the right path to hosting your website.
If you want your website to be available online 24/7 for your visitors, you need to make sure that your host provides you with a guaranteed uptime of 99.5% or above. Good uptime is especially important if you are running an eCommerce business or are planning to scale your website in the near future.
Good customer support is one of the best qualities of a host. Ensuring that your host will provide you with timely and professional support should be a major criterion for choosing your host.
Value for money
Better hosting services can be expensive. But not all hosting services provide value for the money you pay. Thus don't choose a host based on whether it is cheap or costly. Rather make sure they provide value for the money you pay.
Go for a host that offers a money-back guarantee. This will help you choose your host based on its actual performance rather than relying on what's been said about it on their website.
Hosting isn't a one time deal. You will have to keep paying them a renewal fee (on a monthly or yearly basis) as long as you want their service. But as part of their marketing strategy, certain hosts will offer their services at a cheaper initial price and high renewal rates.
Most beginners will fall for this trap thinking they got a great deal at a cheaper price and will only learn about their mistake around their first renewal time. Most of them will be forced to discontinue the service and to go for a cheaper plan suffering a loss of their money, effort, and time.
Scalability can be a deciding factor for your host if you are planning to grow your business or blog to the next level. If so choose a host that offers a variety of ways to upgrade, without having to pay any additional usage costs.
Performing regular backups is important to keep your website's data safe in the face of a hacker attack or a system malfunction. Certain hosting companies provide you with a regular automated backup of your website to ensure the safety of its data. Go for one such provider if you want to keep you out of these tasks.
Security measures are another important feature to look for in a hosting provider. Make sure your hosting provider gives importance to providing security for yours and your visitors' data.
Step 2 - Choose a Suitable Hosting Plan Offered by Your Host
Most hosting companies offer four different hosting plans to choose from.
- Shared hosting plan
- Virtual private server (VPS) hosting
- Dedicated hosting
- Cloud hosting
In shared hosting, one server is used to store multiple sites. This reduces the cost of hosting, thus making it a cost-effective hosting plan. Mostly beginners and small websites choose this plan as they don't need many resources and do not have any technical demands.
VPS hosting can be best explained as a combination of shared and dedicated hosting. One in which you have to share server space with other sites but has sole ownership of a portion of the server. It gives you more resources, flexibility, and scalability than you avail of shared hosting.
Thus, those who are in need of a slight upgrade on shared hosting can opt for VPS hosting.
Dedicated hosting is the biggest plan on the list. It allows a whole server for your website which in turn entitles you to plenty of resources. Being the biggest plan it is costly as well. This plan is most suited for complex heavy traffic websites.
With Cloud hosting your website will be powered by multiple servers. Thus if one server goes down, you will have another one to keep your website online. It copes well with sudden traffic surge thus making it a great option for all kinds of websites.
Step 3 - Registering Your Domain Name
The final step is to get a domain name for your website. Domain names are your site's address, it is the alphabetical equivalent of your IP address. People enter this name to the search bar to get to your website. Thus once you have found a perfect your domain name, you need to make it your own by registering it with a domain registrar.
Most hosts function as domain name registrars as well. Thus you can either buy it from your host or choose any other domain registrar to get your domain name. If you are unable to spend on domain names there are free and cheap domain providers as well.
Once you have finished these three steps you are done with hosting your website and it's ready to go live.
If you are a beginner at hosting with not much expertise, it is best recommended to go with a cheap hosting plan of a good host and gradually have it upgraded.