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How to Host a Website [Step-by-Step Guide]

You might now be wondering how to host a website in a way that boosts your business and views. Hosting is the foundation on which you establish and maintain your website. All websites require hosting — a place where you can access your files anywhere and anytime. 

Good hosting makes websites more accessible and easier to navigate. In the world of low attention spans and hyper-competition, it’s essential to have scalable and affordable hosting for your website. 

This guide will help you learn all the basics and host your website. 

This review will cover:

  • What Is Web Hosting?
  • Buying a Domain
  • How to Choose a Website Host
  • The Best Website Hosting Providers
  • Selecting a Hosting Plan
  • How Much Does It Cost to Host a Website?
  • How to Host a Website for Free with a Domain Name
  • Pros and Cons of Hosting a Website on Your Computer
  • How to Host a Website on Your Computer

What Is Web Hosting?

Internet usage has been increasing drastically daily, and there were 4.66 billion internet users in January 2021. So more than half of the world is connected through the internet, making web hosting an integral part of any business. 

But what does hosting mean?

Web hosting allows individuals and organizations to post web pages or websites on the internet. A web hosting provider or web host is a service offering technologies that individuals and organizations need to establish and maintain their webpage or website online. 

Web hosting meaning isn’t complicated. It’s simply a service that allows you to run your website. Users can type in your domain name in their browser and connect with the server your website is hosted on.

Most web hosting providers offer different options:

  • Dedicated hosting
  • WordPress hosting
  • Cloud hosting
  • VPS hosting 
  • Shared hosting

It’s wiser to begin small and allow your website to get higher traffic before upgrading to advanced hosting.

Buying a Domain

The domain name is your website’s address that users enter in their browser to visit. It’s a human-friendly way of connecting to the website server of the domain through the user’s browser. You can select any available domain name you want. For instance, you can use your own name for a personal project or your business’ name if it’s a business website. 

Almost all web hosting providers offer domain name registration during the signup process. Some even include it as a free service, but you’ll have to pay a separate fee on most. Also, you can even buy your domain name from a domain registration website. You can check 101 domain names for more detailed information.

A computer display showing multiple images

How to Choose a Website Host

Here are some of the crucial factors to consider when selecting internet hosting:

Uptime

You want your website to have good uptime. Otherwise, users would get frustrated trying to visit it. Your web hosting provider must offer high-quality availability. For best results, the uptime should be as close to 100% as possible. 

Storage Availability 

Depending on your website’s purpose, you must check the offered storage amount. You don’t want to run out of memory, as that could cause delays and issues on your website. 

Loading Speed

Google prioritizes websites with a faster loading time as that provides the best user experience. Make sure your hosting offers a good loading speed.

Data Security 

According to hacking statistics, around 30,000 websites get hacked every day. Also, it takes about 280 days to even notice that there’s been a breach. So your data security should be among your top priorities. Make sure the hosting offers constant backups and protection against hackers. 

Customer Support

For web easy hosting, it’s essential that the hosting offers excellent customer support to assist you whenever you need it. 

The Best Website Hosting Providers

Here are the top three website hosting providers:

1. Bluehost

Bluehost is one of the most popular web-hosting providers, offering outstanding services. The company continuously provides high reliability, versatility, security, and speed at affordable prices even with high competition. 

2. Hostgator

Hostgator is the top choice for shared hosting services. It even offers excellent freebies, including SSL certificates and domain names, at reasonable rates.

3. Hostinger

Hostinger has the best cloud hosting services with advanced solutions. Even their cheapest plan offers up to 100 emails, 300 website hosting, and unlimited bandwidth — it’s certainly worth the price.

Selecting a Hosting Plan

When determining how to choose a website host, you must also ensure you purchase the right plan. Here’s what you should consider:

  • Start by determining the hosting type you want, depending on your needs and requirements. 
  • Next, examine the specifications you need to achieve your website goals. Some examples include disk storage, bandwidth, number of sites, and email accounts. 
  • Ensure the hosting offers more than 99% uptime.
  • Look for a plan that includes cybersecurity options and protection against Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks. 
  • Don’t forget SEO services. Various web hosts provide them as part of their plans, reducing the employment cost and giving you more control.
  • Always check the cost of the plan to ensure it meets your budget. Keep in mind that you’ll get what you pay for.

Considering all this when looking for web hosting will help you find the one that fits your needs. 

How Much Does It Cost to Host a Website?

The cost depends on the type of hosting and services you need. It might range from $2.50 per month to up to $500 or more. Most hosting providers also offer a money-back guarantee that lasts 30–90 days, meaning you can try out their service before making a final decision. 

But how much to host a website? Here’s the average price range for different types of website hosting:

  • Dedicated Hosting: $80–$300 per month
  • WordPress Hosting: $4.99–$830 per month
  • Cloud Hosting: $4.50–$240 per month 
  • VPS Hosting: $20–$80 per month
  • Shared Hosting: $2.49–$15 per month

Keep in mind the cost would vary depending on the plan and services you select, as well as the website hosting provider. 

Expensive vs. Cheap Hosting

If you are concerned about the costs and wonder if a cheap web host in australia would be better than an expensive one, take a look at the differences:

Cheap Hosting
  • The unlimited bandwidth and storage aren’t dedicated but shared.
  • Most cheap hosting providers offer shared servers that could impact the traffic, performance, and speed of your website.
  • There’s a lack of security and protection, increasing the risk of your website getting hacked.
  • It only supports FTP for file transfers, which are problematic to manage, insecure, and slow. 
  • Cheap hosting can ultimately lead to you spending more money resolving issues.
Affordable or Expensive Hosting Website in Australia
  • It includes security updates to remove any vulnerabilities.
  • Your data is backed up and stored every day, which can be maintained for a week to up to 16 months.
  • In case of update errors, the website gets automatically restored to its original state without losing any data.
  • It has restricted server access, reducing the risk of data disclosure or vandalism on your website.
  • They offer complete technical support and assistance to resolve any issues with minimal delay efficiently.

Going with expensive hosting means, you’ll get all the services and features for your website to accommodate maximum traffic.

How to Host a Website for Free with a Domain Name

If you want to launch a website for free with your domain name, that’s also possible. But it would include the content management system name (e.g., WordPress) with your domain name. Bluehost is the most preferred WordPress hosting provider.  

But how to host a website for free?

Here are the steps:

  1. Start by signing up for the hosting account and selecting the plan that best meets your needs. 
  2. Once you’ve purchased a web hosting plan, you have to install WordPress. The system will give you guidelines and instructions.
  3. Set up the basic parameters and settings for your website.
  4. Next, select a template and customize it to your liking. You can choose one of the numerous free templates that are customizable. 
  5. Now, you can start installing plugins and widgets to meet your goals and website specialization. You’ll have a sea of paid and free options to choose from.
  6. Lastly, set up your Google Analytics to keep track of your website’s promotion and performance. 

That’s how to host a website easily. Once everything is set up, you can start posting, scheduling, and go live. 

How to Host a Website on GoDaddy

GoDaddy offers a range of services, from domains through hosting to the website builder. The ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) can help users create their websites. Here’s how you do that on GoDaddy:

  1. Start by selecting the type of your website.
  2. Begin your free trial.
  3. Select the website title and industry.
  4. Pick your theme and edit it.
  5. Include your own images and customize them.
  6. Start creating sections and pages.
  7. Manage your website settings.
  8. Start posting your content.
  9. Add advanced features, like social media widgets or appointments.
  10. Connect the website with your domain name. You can either create a new one or use your old one.
  11. Preview your website and make any changes or modifications needed.
  12. Publish your website and start promoting.

Pros and Cons of Hosting a Website on Your Computer

Before you decide to host your own website, consider all the advantages and drawbacks. Let’s have a look:

Pros of Hosting a Website on Your Computer

Here are some major reasons why you might choose to handle hosting yourself.

Enhanced Control and Flexibility

Online web hosting comes with its limitations. Plus, you can only use what your provider offers. For instance, if you want a different domain or need to make some technological upgrades, you can’t make that happen without contacting the provider. 

So you’re somewhat tied up when it comes to improving your website performance. But you don’t have to deal with any of this if you choose to do your own hosting. For example, you can make a small virtual server to offset your server expenses and sublet it to small local businesses.

Learning New Skills

If you’re interested in creating servers and websites from scratch, there’s no better way to learn than by experimenting on your own projects. You’ll pick up numerous tips and tricks along the way. Having complete control means it all depends on you and the skills you put into practice. 

Better Accessibility

Learning how to host a website on your own gives you more accessibility. If you can find any good hosting providers near you, you have to use hosting from a different place or country. 

Another aspect that might prevent you from getting a reliable hosting company overseas includes limited online payment access and currency options. Hosting on your computer helps you overcome such obstacles. 

Cons of Hosting a Website on Your Computer

Here are some main downsides you should be aware of.

Lack of Extra Services

Online web hosting usually ensures a robust infrastructure with more space and bandwidth. Hosting on your own means giving up on essential features like tech support, backups, load balancing, and database management services. All of this doesn’t come cheap, so you’ll probably have to abandon these extras. 

Security Issues

Installing your web server on your computer leaves you vulnerable. Internet users will have access to it, exposing you to hackers and malware that wreak havoc on your data. Signing up with a hosting provider eliminates this lack of security since most offer software patches and firewalls to protect your files.

Insufficient Scalability

Setting up a web server on your computer means that you’ll struggle with the traffic if your website grows in visitors. To manage it all efficiently, you’ll need more bandwidth, storage, cooling systems, and power.

Increased Cost

If you thought that hosting your website on your computer would be inexpensive, think again. To set up a reliable website, you’ll have to buy all sorts of equipment, including a backup system, UPS, software patching, and maintenance services.

a hand pressing a touchpad on a laptop

How to Host a Website on Your Computer

If you still haven’t given up on the idea, doing your hosting can be a valuable learning experience.

So, how to host a local website? 

Here are the steps you have to follow:

1. How to Make Your Own Server — Windows vs. Linux Server

The first step would be to choose the operating system. The decision here is between Linux and Windows. 

Due to the cost and easy customization, most servers run on Linux. But if you’ve chosen Windows, remember that you’ll need a license. That’s another advantage of Linux, which is free and open-source. Plus, it comes with more security options, so it’ll significantly decrease your chances of getting hacked. 

2. Install WAMP software 

Now, let’s install the WAMP software. There’s a 32 and 64-bit version depending on your OS. In any case, you’ll get the latest version of Apache, MySQL, and PHP. 

Go to the WAMP website and download one of two server options. Next, click on the .exe file you received to install it. If you’re not sure what to adjust, leave the default values as they are. 

When you finish setting up a web server, click on the “Start WampServer 2 now”. 

3. Navigate the Server 

There’s a www directory that will be automatically created during the installation process on your local C disk. From there, you can change the server displayed pages or make more subdirectories for your HTML and PHP files. 

4. Create a PHP or HTML page 

It’s time to test your server with a simple PHP or HTML page. You can use Notepad++ for this. Next, save your file with the appropriate extension (e.g., file.php). Finally, set the file destination to your www directory. To update your changes, go to the web server and click Refresh.

For the actual test, go to your preferred browser and type http://localhost/file.php. Your server should be started, so you can see the newly created page of your website. You’ve almost learned how to host a website.

5. Start MySQL Configuring 

Once that’s done, you’ll need to set up your MySQL database. That’s done from the menu where you’ll find the phpMyAdmin panel. From here, you’ll need to add in the password when you open a new browser window. Either make one or let it remain blank for now. 

You can create more than one database and adjust them all to your goals. If you have a CMS, you already have a default database.

6. Set the Website to Public Visibility and Go Live

At this point, your website isn’t online yet, so you can perfect all your pages and options before you go live. So that’s how to host a website from home in no time. When you’re ready with all the fine-tuning, you can make it public, so everyone can access it. 

Let’s do that by choosing the “Put Online” menu option. But you’ll have to write a bit of code since the Apache settings won’t allow access to people who aren’t local hosts.

Go to the Apache folder and click on the httpd.conf file. Next, scroll until you find this code:

Order Deny, Allow

Deny from all

Delete this and write:

Order Allow, Deny

Allow from all

As soon as you restart the services from the menu, all internet users will be able to visit your website.

Conclusion

Getting the right web hosting provider is an essential step for creating your website. Remember to determine the services you’ll need to ensure maximum performance. Some include domain name registration, web building tools, tech support, firewall, emails services, and data backups. Hopefully, our guide has helped you understand how to build and host a website effectively.

Keep in mind that the overall website performance depends on your web hosting provider. So carefully consider every step to make the right choice. Now that you know how to host a website, you can get started with your successful business or personal project.

About the author

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Emma Miles

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