Starting a new website requires a lot of decision making, not the least of which is about hosting. If you are new to website ownership, figuring out how to host a website can quickly become overwhelming and confusing at the same time.
Fortunately, once you get a feel of the options available to you, deciding what your site needs in terms of hosting is pretty simple. Determining the basics should prepare you to make smart decisions and choose the type of hosting that is best for you and your audience.
This post will provide an overview of some of the basics of web hosting, including an explanation of what it is and why it’s important.
Introduction to Web Hosting Guide: What It Is and Why You Need It
In short, web hosting is a service that makes it possible to publish your site directly on the Internet. A web host, also called a hosting provider, is a company that provides the tools you need to make it happen.
Notably, this includes a server. Servers store website files, and Internet browsers can communicate with them to deliver your website pages to your visitors. This is what makes hosting an essential component of creating a website – without it, you would have no way of making your site public.
How to Host a Website (5 Key Considerations)
When hosting a website, it all boils down to one important decision: which provider to choose. Below, we’ve outlined five key aspects to consider when making this choice.
1. Determine the best type of hosting for your website
For WordPress users, there are 05 main types of hosting to consider:
- Virtual Private Server (VPS)
- Managed WordPress Hosting
2. Examine additional features available from different providers
In addition to hosting your website on one of its servers, many hosting providers – especially those with managed WordPress plans – offer useful features that you might want for your site. Some of the common types include:
- Domain name registration
- Content Delivery Network (CDN)
- SSL Certificates
- Security features such as the firewalls or regular scans
- Automated backup
- Externally hosted staging areas
- Email Services
WordPress hosting plans sometimes also provide access to premium themes, automatic WordPress updates, and WordPress-related customer support. It is definitely worth considering the additional features that you may need or want for your site.
3. Look at the customer support options of different service providers
Customer support is an essential component of any hosting service. Your relationship with your hosting provider is likely to be long-standing, so it is important that they are able to provide any assistance you may need regarding your account, your server, or even WordPress itself.
Self-service support options such as user forums, documentation, or even blog posts can help you get over obstacles quickly. The 24/7 availability is also useful to connect you with support quickly, and help you reach someone from the hosting company in case something goes wrong with the server.
4. Determine your hosting budget and find the price that suits you
Hosting is an ongoing account. Most providers require you to pay a monthly fee, although some offer annual plans. Either way, it’s important to think about what you can tolerate on a regular basis.
There are many affordable hosting options. However, as we touched on earlier, cheaper options sometimes come with other problems. Web hosting is often a case of “you get what you pay for”.
Each location’s budget varies, so we can’t say exactly what type of plan is best for you. Our top recommendation is to look for low-cost plans, while still providing a wide range of features and high performance scores.
5. Find out how to install WordPress on the provider’s server
Finally, it is always a good idea to think about how to install WordPress on your new hosting account. Although this may seem insignificant at first, your WordPress installation options can make a huge difference in how easy your website is to set up.
No matter which hosting provider you choose, you will always be able to install WordPress manually. This includes accessing your server via File Transfer Protocol (FTP), using a client such as FileZilla.
Some managed WordPress hosts also offer a one click installation option which enables you to quickly install the software on your account. There are even plans that come with WordPress preinstalled, which is the easiest solution.