The next step to building your website is buying web hosting for your domain. what is web hosting? Web hosting or server is the storage space that we rent out to have your business in. If you could think of the domain name as the address, then the web hosting is the house. The house does not include furniture so we have to add pieces here and there to fill up the space.
Luckily, in the web hosting world, an interior designer is provided by your hosting account. This interior designer is the many framework applications that can be install through the cPanel QuickInstall icon. These framework applications include WordPress, Joomla, etc. WordPress, Joomla and many other framework applications are also known as content management systems. We will go over these more in detail in another blog post.
Without the hosting services, the interior designer wouldn’t have a place to place the furniture. The furniture are the site files (webpages, audio, images, etc.). So when someone visits our domain name, they will come to a empty house or no house at all, even.
In this blog post, we will go over the process of buying web hosting for our domain name. In the last post, we used HostGator to register and purchase our domain name. We will be doing the same with the purchasing the web hosting account. Also, we will also go over the main features of the web hosting account.
Step #1: Determine Your Needs
There are quite of few factors when determining web hosting needs such as storage space, security, bandwidth, skill requirements and control.
Using the house analogy again, when you are picking out a home for your family of 5 kids and three of them being girls, you need the right amount space. You are going make sure you have 5 bathrooms and 5 bedrooms. Because they are girls in your family, they are going need their own rooms and bathrooms; the boys can share. The same goes for a website.
Next, we will need the take security in to consideration. You have your house with all this personal information visitors leave when they visit; you could be the plug for freshly baked chocolate chip cookies at your house. Are you going guard it with super soakers or autonomous mini-gun turrets and vicious guard gods? Depending if your site is for personal reasons or e-commerce, security has its different levels for all your sensitive information needs.
We got the security and space for the family, now we need the internet connection. Your kids aren’t in the stone age anymore. They are using social media, learning online, searching the web, and downloading and streaming music and movies. We going need the right internet provider to handle the amount of data transfer going back and forward from your home. The bandwidth all depends on what are you streaming on your site such as audio, videos, game program, etc. It also depends on how many visitors come to your site daily.
Furthermore, we need to take in consideration of skill level needed to run the web hosting server. Are you going to be doing all the repairs, upkeep with server updates, maintenance and backups? Your house can be really demanding. The paint sheds every 4 to 7 years; you need to replace the AC unit every 15 to 20 years to a more energy efficient one; you get the point, it’s a lot work. This all depends on what type of web hosting account we choose.
Do you really wear the pants in the house? How much control do you really have over the web hosting server? Just like the skill requirements, this all depends on what type of web hosting account we choose.
Step #2: Pick a Plan
There a so many types of web hosting accounts. Most of the time, people start off with the shared web hosting account. It is easier to maintain, you can enhance the security of the website fairly easily, it doesn’t require too much technical knowledge to get started and many other cool things. Shared web hosting is one of them and there are also VPS (Virtual Private Server), Dedicated Server Hosting and Cloud Hosting.
HostGator provides the following web hosting accounts:
- Shared hosting
- VPS hosting
- Dedicated hosting
- Cloud hosting
- WordPress hosting
In this post, we will be purchasing a shared web hosting plan.
Step #3: Welcome to cPanel
After purchasing the web hosting plan, HostGator will send you to a screen saying “Get Ready! We’re Setting Up Your Account.”
Then, it will send you to a page, after awhile, saying “Thank You For Your Order.”
Click on the “Hosting” tab then scroll down to see a icon labeled “Launch Quickinstall.”
Now, we are at the cPanel part of the site. We control everything from installing WordPress applications to domains to updating PHP versions here.
Since we brought our domain name and web hosting plan, the next thing is to start building our site. The next blog post will discuss installing a WordPress application to our domain.