In the computer age where almost every aspect of business and other activities are done online, it is important for everyone to have a web presence.
But reputable online presence doesn’t come from using free services, such as free web spaces and free email accounts, because free hosting shows lack of seriousness to the person you’re communicating with.
Studies prove that people tend to trust those who communicate with them from the comforts of their own websites on paid servers. But one cannot have a website without a domain name and web host. This tutorial is designed to help those new to web hosting to understand what it is, why they need it, the type of hosting that is best-suited for their needs, how to find the best web hosting services and how to set up a website after purchasing a hosting account.
Before you can operate a website, it definitely needs to have a unique name that would identify it with two or more IP addresses on the World Wide Web. For example, our domain name is bbcwebhosting.com, and people use it to access our website. So, your first step should be to coin out an interesting and short domain name, and get it ready before proceeding to look for a web host. I will explain to you later how to register the name with an accredited domain name registrar.
Web hosting means an Internet service that stores other people’s data, such as web pages, databases and emails, on their servers and make those data accessible to Internet users upon request. You most likely store a lot of photos, word processing files and other materials on your local personal computer, and you can access those files whenever you lay hands on the PC. The drawback of a PC is that only you can view those stored data, and that’s where web hosting comes in, because you apparently want everybody in the whole world to be able to access your website. The hardware capacities of personal computers are not strong enough to withstand the intense pressures of being online non-stop every day of each year. On the other hand, servers are strongly-built to withstand enormous pressure and resource demands. But purchasing a server is expensive, and so are maintenance and handling of security. That’s why you’ll need the web hosting service of a third-party provider, in order to lower the cost of operating your website. When an Internet user types your domain name or a particular web page into a web browser’s address bar, the browser will connect to your web host’s server on which the page resides and request for it. The server will immediately return the requested page to the Internet user’s browser.
You surely need web hosting so that other web users can visit your website. It is practically unrealistic to think that a website can be hosted on a local personal computer, which is inadequate to consistently serve web pages and other files. Another issue is that your ISP most likely uses dynamic IP addresses for connecting your local machine to the Internet. These dynamic IP addresses change every time you connect to the Internet. Websites use static IP addresses that do not change often; so you’ll need to host your site with a company that owns at least one web server, mail serve and FTP server. Such company will manage the server, make sure your website is online always throughout the year, make sure the server is not compromised by hackers and provide technical support for you 24/7/365.
Truthfully, you can buy your own server and related software, if you have the money to do so. But then, you need to understand all the technical aspects of server administration and security handling, to make it work. That’s why it is advisable to purchase a hosting package from an established, reputable company, and learn the technicalities from there. When you’ve learned everything, you can then start thinking about buying a server.
The type and size of your website determine the type of hosting service that is right for you. If you have a small website that contains a few web pages, a shared hosting environment will most likely serve your needs. With shared hosting, you share a server with other clients and will be assigned quotas of server resources like disk space and bandwidth, which your account is not allowed to exceed. However, since most accounts never exceed their resource quotas, shared web hosting is the best starting point for a newbie. We recommend you read our independent reviews and real customer ratings of various companies that provide shared web hosting services.
If you have a large website or feel you’ll be getting a large number of daily visitors, these will certainly consume a lot of disk space and bandwidth respectively, which may be insufficient in some shared environments. For those of you who want more control and flexibility than what shared hosting services offer, consider taking a closer look at our reviews of companies that offer VPS (virtual private server) hosting. VPS hosting service offers more features and server resources than shared hosting, but it’s generally more expensive. Even though a VPS client shares a single server with a few others, he/she enjoys a dedicated virtual environment – he/she has the right to install any software, including an operating system.
The third type is called dedicated server hosting service. This service allows you to rent a whole server from a hosting provider, so that only you will use it throughout the duration of your contract. If you own a large corporation that wants total control of a server, then, dedicated hosting is right for you. Even though you don’t own the server, you have the right to choose the type of hardware and software to be installed on it. We have done all the hard tasks for you – researching top-rated dedicated server providers and delivering our unbiased reviews on this site. Browse our dedicated server hosting section to read the reviews and ratings by their real clients.
That’s a good question! We created this website, Best Budget Cheap Web Hosting, to assist people like you to find quality web hosting service providers and hosting plans that are suitable for their needs. We have reviewed all the notable hosting companies and their ratings are provided by their past and present clients who have tested their services firsthand. So, start your search for the best web hosting service here – we have all of them well-covered.
Even though there are many server platforms, only UNIX/Linux and Windows are largely used by web hosting companies across the globe. If your website is designed using plain Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), then it can be comfortably hosted on either UNIX/Linux or Windows server platforms. If you used PHP server-side scripting language, UNIX/Linux environment is the best choice for you. On the other hand, if your site is designed using ASP server-side language or ASP.NET framework, then, Windows hosting is the right platform.
Here we’re going to discuss largely the necessary features of shared hosting plans.
Disk space – A disk space means the quota of a server’s hard disk drive that is assigned to each hosting account. Depending on the company you decide to sign up with, but for starters, it is important to make sure you don’t purchase any hosting package that offers less than 50MB of disk space. There are packages that offer up to 100MB or even 200MB. Moreover, top hosting providers like Hostgator and Bluehost offer unlimited disk space, as long as you don’t use their servers to store data that don’t have anything to your website.
Bandwidth – This means the maximum limit of the data transfer your hosting account can make in a month. All the top hosting companies displayed on our homepage (Hostgator, DreamHost, InMotion, GoDaddy, Bluehost, GreenGeeks, Justhost, FatCow, iPage and IX Web Hosting) offer unlimited bandwidth transfer to their shared hosting plans. But read their terms of service, to fully grasp the connotations placed on that term. However, all these companies are recommended by the clients who have used their services and those who are still using them.
Maximum number of email addresses – Most reputable companies allow up to 2,500 email accounts or more. So, anything less than that is not recommended. With companies like Dreamhost, Hostgator and Bluehost, amongst other, you will get the freedom to create unlimited email accounts.
Control panel – Web hosting control panel is very important when it comes to managing your website on the server. The most widely used control panels are cPanel and Plesk. We recommend cPanel because of its ease of use and great functionality. Bluehost has an online cPanel demo that will enlighten you on how to use the software.
WYSIWYG site builder – If you don’t have the budget to pay a web designer to create a website for you, you will surely need a WYSIWYG website builder and editor that will allow you to build and edit web pages without any programming skill. The best thing to do in this situation is to look for a host that has a good site builder, which you can test before signing up for hosting. Hostgator excels in this area, because it has a quality HTML site builder and its online demo is freely available for everyone to give it a test drive.
Almost all good web hosting companies offer domain name registration as value-added services. After selecting the hosting company to sign up with, and with the domain name you coined out earlier, it’s time to get down to business. Domain name registration costs approximately $10.00 or less. GoDaddy doubles as a web host and domain name registrar with worldwide reach. Registering your domain name with the company is very cheap. And GoDaddy is renowned for providing the most affordable domain registration throughout the globe.
After registering a domain name and contracting with a web host, you will have to use an FTP program to upload the files of your website to the host’s web server. When the FTP client prompts you for a username and password, use the login details supplied to you by the web host at the time you signed up with them. After uploading your website, type the domain name in your browser’s address bar and send the request to the server. Your website will be smiling back at you. Congratulations, you’ve gotten a website!
If you haven’t gotten your website designed, you can use the site builder provided by your host within your control panel to instantly create your site. In that case, after creating a web page and clicking the “Save” button; the page will be instantly visible to anyone who requests for it on the Internet. This doesn’t require the use of FTP software, since the predesigned website template used is already stored on the server.