How to host a website

If you are trying to host your website you have come to the right site. How to host a website is a complete web hosting resource guide that will assist you in hosting your website. Although web hosting can be very technical we promise to take a straight forward approach that simplifies the process. We explain the key question of how to host a website in 7 easy steps.

Step 1) Domain Registration and Branding
One of the most important steps on how to host a website is selecting and purchasing your domain name. This is known as domain registration and it allows you to purchase the sole right to use a domain name. Domain registration is purchased annually and you can purchase your domain for a period of 1-10 years. Your domain name is the website address that you share with people so they can easily access your website. An example domain would be: howtohostawebsite.com
Some key factors that you should keep in mind when you select your domain name:
Is your domain easy to spell? Try to avoid the “-” character or weird spellings that substitute various letters.
Does your domain include your company name? If possible you should have your company name included in your domain name so it’s easy for visitors to remember

Step 2) Creating Your Website
This step requires a lot of thought and effort to produce the perfect website for your company. There are 3 possible options and I will explain them in detail.  This article is strictly for regular web hosting, however the steps are similar for Mobile website hosting.  Get pricing information on GoMobi Pricing.
Option 1 – Develop the website on your own. This can be done using a variety of web design tools or most hosting accounts come with a free website builder. Website builders are great, however it’s often hard to get the exact look and feel that you want using a website builder.
Option 2 – Build your website based on a regular website template that you select. There are a ton of website template sites online to include: templatemonster.com, themeforest.net, and many more. You can select a template from their site and they’re usually priced under $50. Once you select a template you have a few choices to make. The template includes all of the core pieces for designing the site, however if you’re not very technical you will need a design company to assist you in uploading your template and finalizing your site. Web design can be expensive, however by selecting a template to base your site on you should save about 75%.
Option 3 – Have a custom site designed using a design company. This is the most expensive option as custom designed sites usually range from $500-$2500. However, it guarantees that your site will be custom or unique.
Option 4 – My Personal Favorite – Similar to option 2 you can purchase a website template. However, instead of purchasing a regular website template purchase a WordPress website template. WordPress is a content management system and by purchasing a WordPress ready template you will save yourself a lot of time and money. A WordPress template takes minutes to install the WordPress application or backend is then used to easily manager, update, or create your website.
… more information on web hosting using WordPress

Step 3) Finding a Fast and Reliable Web Hosting Company

Finding a great web hosting company is definitely the easiest task. We stand behind a number of online hosts and we have ranked some of them as Best Hosting Companies. A web hosting review was completed based on the following factors: speed, reliability, US or English Support, 24/7 telephone support, these are just a few of the factors that were taken into consideration. You should also select a web hosting provider that provides unlimited disk space and transfer (visitors) to ensure your website has the room to grow. Our top web hosting company for multiple categories to include WordPress Hosting and Dedicated Serves was ITX Design.  For a full web hosting rankings and analysis view our Best Web Hosting Companies top 10 rankings page.
Step 4) Uploading Your Website
To upload your website you will have to FTP or publish the site to your new hosting account. In order to complete this step you must have a hosting account as outlined in Step 3 – Web Hosting Reviews: Best Hosting Companies. Once your new account is in place you should receive a welcome letter from your web hosting provider. This welcome letter should include your website root folder or default directory. This is usually called your public_html folder. This is your website home folder and it’s where you should publish your website to. For more information or detailed instructions on this step please view How To Upload My Website.

Step 5) Pointing Your Domain Name To Your Website
This is done by modifying your domain’s DNS (Domain Name Servers) information. Acronyms often make things difficult, however this is a pretty simple step. The best way to explain it is to compare DNS to traffic cops. On the internet traffic cops are required for each domain and when someone enters the domain into their browser it checks with the traffic cops to determine where your website is physically located on the internet. This step requires at least two nameservers and you should receive these details in your web hosting welcome letter. Here’s an example of what they should look like: ns.howtohostawebsite.com and ns2.howtohostawebsite.com. In order to point your domain name to your new hosting account or website you must copy these nameservers that are provided in your welcome letter. Then login to your domain registration account – the company that you used to register or purchase your domain name. Once you’re logged in select your domain name and there should be an area entitled DNS or Domain Name Server Management. By default there will already be at least two nameservers on file. Copy the nameservers that appear in your new welcome letter for your web hosting account and replace the nameservers. Then submit the DNS change and wait about 24 hours. Within 24-48 hours your domain name will be pointed to your new web hosting account or website.
* Note – You may be able to skip this step if you purchased your domain name from the same company that you purchase your hosting account from. By default most hosting companies will automatically point your domain name to your hosting account if you purchase your domain name and hosting through them. If you’re unsure a quick call to your web hosting company’s technical support line should help you in verifying your settings.

Step 6) Testing Your Website
Once your website is online you should test it thoroughly. I would suggest testing it from multiple computers and browsers. Website visitors are able to pick various browsers to include Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Mozilla FireFox. Web traffic is pretty evenly distributed across these browsers so you should test your site from all three. Another common browser that you may want to test your website with is Safari. To complete a test simply install each of these browsers. Once the browsers are installed visit your website with each browser to ensure it looks the same. Keep an eye out for images that don’t line up correctly or text that appears different in various browsers. Each browser processes html differently so you may have to make adjustments to your website in order for it to display properly in each browser.

Step 7) Monitoring Your Website Traffic Or Visitors
Google Analytics is the best tool that you can use to monitor your website traffic. Most web hosting packages include a free website statistics application which you can use by logging into your web hosting control panel – as outlined in your web hosting welcome letter. However, for the best in real time statistics monitoring you should setup Google Analytics on your website.

 


Disclosure: We are a professional review site that receives compensation from the companies whose products we review. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own. Please contact us if you would like your web hosting company considered for a web hosting and support review.
Back to top Copyright 2012 © How To Host A Website, An OS Hosting, LLC Company