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How to Host a Website in 5 Steps

Learn how to host a website in 5 steps, as well as what you need to get started. Hosting a website is a key part of launching a website.

Every business needs a website that describes who they are and what they offer. Of course, websites differ depending on the type of business you run. While you may be excited to start designing and developing your website, there are a few things you must do first.

Before you can publish a website, you must have hosting. Unfortunately, hosting a website might sound difficult if you don’t know how or if you’ve never heard of it before. However, you must find website hosting before publishing your website, so doing research now can save you time later.

Without hosting, you can’t have a website or post any page online. You can host a website in a few different ways, including self-hosting or finding a website hosting provider to take care of it for you. There are many types of hosting providers, and finding the right one for you will take time, especially if the process of hosting a website is new to you.

Luckily, once you understand the different types of hosting available and find the right provider, you can easily access website hosting and start building your website.

What is website hosting?

Website hosting allows your website to go live online, making it accessible to the public. You can create a website for your business, but it can’t go live until you secure hosting. Ultimately, you can’t have a published website without it. When you host your website, you use space on a server to store all of the content, files, and data. Servers are computers that store and send data to website users.

Website hosting providers give you space on their servers, making the process easier if you don’t want to use your own server or don’t know how. The easiest way to make your website and its content live online is to use a hosting provider to ensure it is secure and handle any problems that arise. For example, website hosting providers offer maintenance, software updates, and security.

You also have the option of self-hosting, which is the best way to host your own website. However, self-hosting requires you to set up your own server and network. While there’s more control with self-hosting, it’s not the right option for all businesses, especially if you don’t have access to someone with technical skills who can manage the server.

Website hosting is a necessary part of the website development process. When a user types your website domain name in their address bar, the website host connects them to the server and displays your content. Your website content can’t be displayed without the server and the host, so finding hosting should be a top priority.

What you need to host a website

Before you can host a website, you must buy a domain name. Your domain name is the address of your business online, so it must be unique and easy to remember. Most businesses can make their business name their domain name because it’s easy to remember for their customers. You may also be able to find a free domain name depending on your needs or if you’re trying to experiment before publishing your website.

Once you have your domain name, you can start researching different providers to host your website. Key features to consider when looking for a way to host a website include:

  • Reliability: You don’t want your website going down in the middle of the day when your shoppers are most likely online. Instead, you need reliability that can improve your website’s performance.
  • Security: Your website must be secure, especially if you want customers to make purchases online. Look for hosting providers that offer updates, SSL certificates, and firewall protection.
  • Flexibility and scalability: A website host must offer comprehensive features that allow you to be flexible and make the right choices for your business. Additionally, as your business grows, you’ll need the ability to scale by increasing bandwidth.
  • Ease of use: If you’re new to web hosting, you must be able to easily use your web hosting tools without the need to call customer service for help. Instead, look for tools that offer a user-friendly design to make it easy to make changes to your website.
  • Customer support: Hosting can be confusing for first-time business owners with new websites, so you might need to contact customer support from time to time for help. A website host with comprehensive support options, including email, phone calls, and messaging, will make managing your website easier.

5 steps to hosting a website

To make a website, you must be able to host it and connect your visitors to a server where your content is stored and delivered. Luckily, anyone with any skill set can host a website, and you don’t need to be a development expert to do it.

1. Educate yourself

Before you choose 1 option over another, research the different ways to host a website to ensure you make the best decision for your business. Of course, self-hosting isn’t right for everyone, but you should also research the different types of hosting and providers available to you. In addition, hosting options vary from provider to provider, so it’s a good idea to understand their differences before you commit to 1 type over another.

The most common types of hosting offered by providers include:

  • Shared hosting: A good option for first-time website hosting, shared hosting stores your website on the same server as other websites. Ultimately, all the domains will share the same server and its resources, including bandwidth.
  • VPS hosting: Virtual private server (VPS) hosting gives website owners more control even though they won’t get a full server dedicated to their site. With VPS hosting, every website has its own space on a server, but it still shares space with other websites. However, VPS offers more customization and storage.
  • Dedicated hosting: If you expect a ton of web traffic and don’t want to share server space or resources with other websites, consider dedicated hosting. With dedicated hosting, website owners have ultimate control over the server because you have a dedicated server that’s for your use only.
  • Cloud hosting: One of the more scalable options for hosting a website, cloud hosting allows you to run multiple applications with combined resources through a network. Instead of having 1 server, you have access to multiple servers.
  • Managed hosting: Most hosting packages offer managed hosting that allows companies to provide more technical services and take care of the server on a daily basis. Any hosting provider can offer managed hosting with another type of hosting. Therefore, if you choose a VPN, you can still have it managed by a provider.

Depending on how you build your website, you may also choose WordPress hosting, which is only available for WordPress websites.

2. Choose a provider

With a basic understanding of the different types of hosting, you can start to research providers. There are many providers out there, but if you do your research, you can find the best one for your business. If you’re unsure which provider is right for you, narrow your search by a few and look for their reviews online. You can also contact their customer service to better understand the different types of plans they offer and help you determine which one is right for your website.

3. Pick your plan

After choosing a hosting provider, you can pick your plan by choosing the hosting plan you researched in step 1. Most hosting providers have a page on their website that describes and compares the different hosting plan options.

4. Enter your domain

Some hosting providers offer you the chance to create and purchase a new domain. However, you may already have a domain ready for use, so you just have to enter it when setting up your hosting account.

5. Choose your package

The longer you plan to use the website host, the more cost-effective your plan will be. Most providers allow you to pay at least once per year, but you can purchase the plan for more than that if you’re ready to commit. You may also purchase add-ons that come with the service, including security features like SSL certificates.

Get your website on the internet

The 1st step of any website project should be figuring out how you will host the website to ensure visitors can access your content. Knowing how to host a website is an important part of the process. While there are many different options available, it’s best to start small with a budget you’re comfortable with, especially if you’re just starting your business.

Mailchimp makes it easy to build your website and publish it online at no extra cost. With Mailchimp’s marketing plan, you can access the website builder and use Mailchimp-branded domains and hosting to get your business up and running in no time. Then, when you’re ready to scale your business, you can purchase your domain and scale your website.

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