Everyone needs to have a website. No matter what they do. It’s a fact of life. If you don’t have a website, you don’t exist. It’s hard to figure out how to host your website, though. You’re saved! In this article, you’ll learn how to host a website in 5 easy steps and forget about this problem forever.
Table of Contents
Step 1: Research
Some research before you do anything is always an excellent idea. Thankfully, you took the first step by clicking on this tutorial.
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Even the most complicated websites work the same as the simplest ones you can find.
Imagine a house. It has a domain, a web address. This address tells the Internet where you want to go. It will be empty unless you fill the house with stuff.
This stuff is saved on servers. A server is a safe where you keep all your stuff. When you enter a domain into the address bar and press Enter, you knock on the safe door.
“Hey, I’d like to see the stuff, please,” you say.
Now, the server checks all the stuff sees how it’s supposed to be shown, and projects it inappropriate places. You can see all the stuff but you can’t adjust it. After all, it’s in the safe.
You can visit different rooms, pick up a projected vase, even doodle on a wall if you are know-how. But once you leave the room, it resets.
How to host a website? By buying a domain, server space and then placing all the stuff, or files, to fill up the house.
This is done by building the website, buying a domain, and setting up a hosting server. Hosting your website sounds complicated. It’s not unless you insist on doing it all from scratch.
Step 2: Pick a name and purpose
Your domain and the website’s purpose are extremely important. They have to match as much as possible. Picking the right domain for the website’s purpose is a huge part of making your website.
The address should say exactly what the website is all about. After all, it’s no use hosting your website if nobody relevant will find it.
For example, if you are making a website for your croissant shop, calling it mikeysautoparts.com is the wrong decision. If you call it that for a croissant shop, you may as well decide to not learn how to host your website in the first place. The result of your business will be the same in both cases.
Of course, these small parts of how to host a website are pretty much clear to everyone.
First, figure out what you want the website to be.
Will it be a personal website where you host your photography portfolio? A Hello Kitty fan blog? Your arts and crafts online store?
The answer to this question determines your next steps.
When you know what the website’s going to be, make a list of possible domains. Figure out the ones you like the most, order them from the most preferred to the one you like the least and check which ones are available for sale.
Yes, you have to buy a domain. It’s like picking a house in Beverly Hills even if it’s smaller than others because of the zip code, which will allow your child to attend a school in Beverly Hills.
You can use name.com or any other domain availability checker you find on the internet. Your hosting provider will also allow you to check and buy a domain.
OK, we now know how websites work and how to choose a domain. We’re well on our way to knowing how to host a website overall.
Step 3: Building Your Website
We know that a domain is your website’s address. Then, we know how to figure out a domain. We also know that your website’s files are stored on a server. Lastly, we know that the files are like the stuff and rooms found in houses.
There are two ways to fill up your website with stuff you can use to upload on a hosting server. The manual or automated way.
The Manual Way
The manual website building method is the best for big companies, complicated e-commerce projects, and visually exceptional pages.
You need a lot of technological knowledge for how to host a website completely from scratch.
If your web page is extremely simple, you can learn the HTML and CSS you need to make it from scratch by yourself and be well on your way to hosting your website. You would just need to get a domain, purchase hosting and then upload the website files to go live.
Nevertheless, we don’t recommend this option even for simple websites.
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The Smart Way
If the manual way was the only one available, setting up websites would be too complicated. Instead, there are WordPress and several great website building services.
Let’s talk about WordPress first.
WordPress is a content management system and the easiest answer to the “how to host a website” question. It’s also extremely popular. 59% of all websites found on the Internet are made using WordPress.
WordPress has a huge selection of free server-side plugins and themes.
The plugins enhance how your website works. They let you add functions for the user or SEO optimization tools for yourself. And you don’t have to write a single line of code.
Of course, that’s not all WordPress plugins can do.
Themes change how your website looks. You could have a simple blog with five articles and a contact page.
When you download and install a different theme, your page will look completely different. And the content itself will remain unchanged, ready for the next theme change.
WordPress also has a decent publishing platform. It allows you to publish new content quickly. If you tried figuring out how to host a website, you would have to code each new addition to the website from scratch.
Or code a whole content management system from scratch. You see the problem, right?
If you know what’s what, you could take a free WordPress theme. And then customize the hell out of it until it’s perfect for your needs.
There are also website builders like Wix and Squarespace.
Usually, web hosting providers like Hostinger offer the service and help you set up a WordPress site. Providers like Squarespace and Wix almost push that part of the business model to the background.
Instead, they try to attract users by promising to help them build professional-looking customizable websites instead of coding from scratch or relying on WordPress.
These two website builders heavily rely on beautiful images in their designs. If you don’t have beautiful photos or drawings, consider other options.
Step 4: Figure out how to host a website on the Internet
OK, you have either coded the website yourself (way to go!), picked the theme you want for a WordPress site, or made something you like a lot on Squarespace or Wix.
Now, you need to learn how to pick and choose a hosting provider. If you picked Squarespace or Wix, you will have to host it on their service.
The process is simple but there are a lot of hosts claiming to be the best. Naturally, it can be hard to choose. Whoever said that having many choices is good for you…
There are several different hosting methods you should know before you can say you're informed about this important subject. It is one of the main points in the discussion on how to host a website.
You will choose according to what you need. Chances are that your website will be a small one, so Shared Hosting should do.
What is shared hosting? When you use shared hosting, you move into an apartment building. There is a big house (a server) with a lot of websites (apartments) inside.
They have their unique address but they share the water heater (bandwidth), heating boiler (processing power), and electricity (availability). If the server goes down, all websites hosted on it go down too.
Because multiple websites are hosted on the same server, it’s cheaper to run one. That’s why shared hosting is usually very cheap and a perfect way to start on getting into the details of how to host a website.
If your website is a bit bigger, you might want to choose VPS Hosting.
VPS hosting is similar to what happens in shared hosting, your website is still just an apartment but you have a dedicated infrastructure to support your website.
In a shared hosting situation, your website would get slower if other websites on the server got much more traffic than usual because the processing power would go to them. When you use VPS hosting, you have dedicated resources to help you.
If you’re ready to surge and want no downtime at all, you could consider Cloud Hosting.
This is the most secure solution because your website is hosted and kept updated on multiple servers in the cloud. If one of these servers goes down, another one gets turned on to keep the website online.
It’s like having several houses all over the world. When the tornado season begins and one of them comes to your house, you are automatically transported to another house on the other side of the world.
And you get to keep all your stuff because all of it’s identical in each house.
There is also a possibility of how to host a website by using a Dedicated Hosting Server.
It’s the best but also the most expensive option. When you host your website on a dedicated server, you rent everything that’s needed to run a server. It’s only going to be used for your website.
While it’s a great way to run a huge website or service that gets a lot of traffic, it’s also expensive. After all, the hosting provider wants to make money and has to dedicate a lot of resources to keep your website online.
It's like owning a fully-staffed fortress in the Swiss Alps.
Step 5: Get it done
Let’s say that you want to host your photography portfolio on the Internet to grow your profile as a freelance photographer.
How to host your website for your photography portfolio on the web?
First, understand that the website's purpose informs your domain choice, the type of hosting you pick, and the way you build the website itself.
What will you need to show off your skills in the best way possible? A professional-looking and beautifully designed website that handles images well.
You’re a photographer, not a web developer, so you will have to choose a way how to host a website with a little bit of automatization.
You consider WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix. You look at WordPress themes, find some you like. There are also Wix and Squarespace designs you like.
Eventually, you pick the one you like most, WordPress in this case because it will allow you to choose a hosting provider instead of buying into the Squarespace or Wix ecosystem.
Your website will be quite simple and small. You won’t need any fancy hosting features. You find a trusty hosting provider. BlueHost, Hostinger, GoDaddy, HostGator, or SiteGround will do.
Now, all you need to do is get your website off the ground.
You go to your hosting provider’s website, create a new account and pick a plan, one of the cheaper ones will do. You should expect to pay around $3-4 a month. Some hosting providers might help you how to host a website and may even give you the domain you want for free.
You request the domain you want, buy it if needed. The system works and creates your website. Look out, there should be an option to integrate it with WordPress easily.
Once that’s set up, you create an admin account for the WordPress admin panel. Now, you log in to WordPress. It’s overwhelming. Take a breath.
For now, there are two places you should worry about — content and appearance. You can take care of everything else later, once you get a better handle on how the WordPress admin panel works.
Check out the Posts and Appearance sections. There, you will make new posts and change how your website looks.
First, change the look. Go to themes and find the one you like. Remember, it’s going to be a photography portfolio website so it needs to look good. Apply the theme you want and your website will change to match. Magic!
Now, put up some content. Make some new posts with your photos, format them how you want, write some descriptions, just play around. Post and you’re done, your portfolio is now online. The mission of how to host a website is complete. Welcome to the Internet.