Even if you know zilch about web hosting, imagine this for a moment. Imagine that you are a website hosting service provider. Just you, not your company. You host about a hundred websites on your server. Your "server" is your PC. Since all one hundred of your users need to be online round the clock, your PC has to be on for twenty-four hours, seven days a week. Crazy, right? That's the only way an individual or small company could host a website before commercial website hosting became a thing. Thankfully, commercial web hosting became a thing! All you have to worry about now is the right web host service providers around.
For every online business, building a website is an essential step in creating an online presence for your business or personal brand. However, once your website is built, it's not enough to simply have it sitting on your computer's hard drive. To make your website accessible to the world, you'll need to find a host for it. Website hosting is storing your website's files on a server connected to the internet, making it accessible to anyone with an internet connection.
In this article, we'll walk you through how to host a website, including the different types of hosting available, how to choose the right host for your needs, and what you need to know to get your website up and running.
The Nitty-gritty of Web Hosting
You need to host a website to be accessible to the public on the internet. A web hosting service provides the necessary technology and support for your website to be viewed by others. It stores the files that make up your website on a server and assigns it a unique IP address and domain name.
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That way, people can find and access your site using a web browser. Hosting services typically include email hosting, backups, security, and other features necessary for a website to function properly. Without hosting, your website will not be accessible and visible to the online world.
At Strikingly, all our website templates come with email campaign tools, top-notch security, and backup. Also, you get a website that is already pre-designed to be responsive. This means you don't have to worry about device compatibility. We handled that for you.
When you want to host a website, you must first consider the different types of website hosting. Then, choose the most suitable for you, depending on certain factors. Shortly, we will look at the factors to consider before you host a website with any service provider. Before then, let us look at the types of hosting.
Types of Web Hosting
- Shared Hosting
- VPS hosting
- Dedicated Hosting
- Cloud hosting
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- Shared Hosting
It is the most affordable option and is suitable for small personal or business websites. With shared hosting, you share a server with other websites, and the hosting provider manages the server and technical aspects. If you are a beginner looking to host a website, we recommend shared hosting,especially if you are on a tight budget. It is relatively cheap and easy to set up.
- VPS Hosting
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. It is a more powerful option than shared hosting. You get a virtual private server, which means you have your resources and can customize your server as needed. VPS is a good option for your websites if you receive a moderate amount of traffic or require more control over the server environment.
- Dedicated Hosting
Website owners love this one best - and rightly so. It is the most powerful option and is suitable for large websites with high traffic. You get a physical server that is dedicated to your website. However, it is also the most expensive, so it may not be the best if you work with a slim budget. When your budget can accommodate it, we recommend it. It provides the most control, performance, and security.
- Cloud Hosting
Now growing in popularity, cloud hosting is a relatively newer option. It uses a network of servers to host websites, which allows for scalability and flexibility. This is a good option for websites that experience fluctuations in traffic and need to be able to adjust their resources quickly.
When you have selected a website hosting service, the next step is to set up your account with the host and then upload your website files to the server. After you host a website service with a provider, you can then point your domain name to the web server and your website will be live on the internet.
Factors to Consider Before You Host a Website with a Service Provider
Before you choose a web host service provider, you need to find out if they can meet your peculiar needs. These needs can vary depending on what stage you are in your online presence, your budget, and a couple of other factors. However, here are some vital points anyone should consider before they host a website with any service provider.
- Server Uptime
It is the amount of time that a server is up and running. You must ensure that the provider you choose has a high uptime percentage (ideally 99.9%) to minimize the risk of your website being down. For any serious online business, that uptime percentage is not high at all. Do not host a website with any service provider with constant downtimes. It will affect your website's credibility.
- Bandwidth and Storage
Consider the amount of storage and bandwidth you will need for your website. If you expect a lot of traffic, ensure the provider offers sufficient resources to handle it.
- Technical Support
Good technical support is essential if you run into any problems with your website. Look for a provider that offers 24/7 support and has knowledgeable staff. A web hosting service with good technical support will be able to quickly and efficiently troubleshoot and resolve any issues that may arise with your websites, such as server downtime or technical difficulties with your website's code.
On the other hand, a web hosting service with poor technical support may leave you without a functioning website for extended periods. Additionally, having a good technical support team can help you with any technical question you may have while setting up your website and can give you valuable advice on maintaining your website.
A service provider must be able to handle an increase in the volume of traffic or data on your website. As your website grows, the number of visitors and amount of data being transferred may also increase, which can cause your website to slow down or become unavailable if the hosting service cannot handle the increased load. A web hosting service that is scalable will be able to handle an increase in traffic and data without any significant performance issues.
A secure web hosting service will protect your website and customer data from cyber attacks, hacking, and other security threats. This can include features such as regular backups, firewalls, and SSL/TLS encryption to secure data transfer.
A hosting provider that complies with industry-standard security protocols, such as PCI-DSS, SOC2, or ISO 27001, indicates that it takes security seriously. Also, it is important to look for a hosting service that offers regular security updates and patches to help prevent vulnerabilities in the software.
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There are many different web hosting options, with a wide range of prices. Find a service that fits within your budget and offers the features and support you need for your website.
Some web hosting services offer shared hosting plans that are relatively inexpensive, but these plans may have limitations on the amount of storage and bandwidth that you can use. On the other hand, VPS or dedicated hosting plans offer more resources but come with a higher price tag.
Also, look at the long-term costs of a web hosting service. Some services may offer a low initial price but charge extra for features like backups or SSL certificates. Others may require you to sign a long-term contract to get the best pricing, so read the fine print and ensure you understand the service's total cost over time.
Before you host a website with any service provider, check their credibility. A simple Google search can go a long way. Their reputation will indicate their level of reliability, customer support, and overall quality of service. A provider with a good reputation is likely to have a solid track record of uptime, fast load times, and responsive customer support. Also, check customer reviews and testimonials. They can help determine the reputation of a web hosting provider.
- Additional Features
Look for additional features like a control panel, email hosting, and website-building that may be useful for your website.
Ensure the provider supports the programming languages, databases, and other technologies used by your website. For example, if your website is built using PHP and MySQL, the hosting provider should support those technologies. Incompatible technology can result in website errors, slow loading times, and other issues. Also, checking compatibility with the CMS or framework you use would be a good idea.
How to Host a Website on Strikingly
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Strikingly is our top recommendation for web host service providers. Follow these steps to host a website on Strikingly.
Step 1: Go to the Strikingly website and sign up for an account.
Step 2: Select "Create a new website" and choose a template for your website.
Step 3: Customize the template to your liking by adding text, images, and other content to the various sections of your website.
Step 4: Preview your website to make sure it looks how you want it to.
Step 5: Select "Publish" to make your website live.
Step 6: You will have the option to connect your domain, or you can use the provided subdomain by Strikingly.
Step 7: Publish your website.
That's it! You can host a website with Strikingly anytime, whether you already have a domain or not. Don't forget, you can continue to edit and make changes to your website anytime by logging in to your Strikingly account.