How to Host a Website in 2021: A Basic Guide

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Introduction:

Now, you’ve built a website using your site-building platform of choice; now, how to host a website?

And more importantly – for those on a budget, how to host a website for free?

A good site host ensures that your website is visible, properly managed, and always online whenever customers come in to browse. We know the idea of a web hosting service can be intimidating – but we're here to simplify it.

In this article, we talk about what site hosting is, how to host a website, how to host a website for free, and how much to host a website?


For Starters, What Does Host a Website Mean?

Before we answer the question of how to host a website – let's define site hosting.

The term site hosting – or more distinctly website hosting service – refers to any type of online service that allows both individuals and companies to give access to their websites through the internet. Therefore – what does host a website mean? It means that companies provide spaces on an owned or leased server; these companies also provide internet connectivity via a data center.


How To Host a Website for Free?

How much to host a website – does it always entail cost? What if you're on a tight budget, or you want zero expenses – how to host a website for free?

This is possible since there are many free site hosting options out there like that with Hostinger.

hostinger-free-hosting-plan
hostinger-free-hosting-plan

However, as with anything free on this earth, resolving how to host a website for free comes with a catch.

Don't get me wrong. Hosting services require a lot of money – so when hosting providers allow you free services, they need to recoup their investment.

Usually, how to host a website for free comes with certain strings attached, such as annoying ads, limited bandwidth, limited traffic, no SSL, platform lock-ins, and constant upselling of their services.


What Forms of Web Hosting are Currently Available?

Depending on your site hosting service of choice, you may be offered any of the following options:

Shared Hosting:

What does host a website mean with shared hosting?

This type is often referred to as ‘entry-level hosting’ because it’s the easiest to use and the most affordable. In this set up, a client's website shares server space with several other websites. In shared hosting plans, all domains share server resources, including RAM and a central processing unit.

Going in for shared hosting is akin to renting a flat in an apartment block: you only get a certain amount of space online, but it comes with site maintenance features and a modicum of online security at a considerably low cost.

The best shared hosting company for most people is definitely Hostinger.

hostinger-home
hostinger-home

Managed Hosting (WordPress):

What does host a website mean when you choose managed hosting? It is the most common hosting package customers may encounter online. Here, companies provide hardware and software, including configuration and maintenance, technical support, updates and patching, monitoring, and even hardware replacement. It's also a stress-free solution as the service provider takes care of regular hardware management, operating systems, and shared application.

The best managed WordPress hosting company for most people is definitely WP Engine.

wpengine-home
wpengine-home

Virtual Private Server Hosting:

A service referred to as VPS and is the midpoint between shared hosting and dedicated server hosting. It is considered ideal for site owners who want more webspace but don’t, as yet, need the full commitment of getting their own server.

The best VPS hosting company for most people is definitely Hostgator.

hostgator-home
hostgator-home

Cloud Hosting:

What does host a website mean on the cloud?

This is the current trend. In this setup, numerous computers work together to run applications using shared resources. It works through a network that allows companies to use computing resources like a utility service. In which case, users can utilise as many resources as required without having to build their own infrastructure. Because these resources are spread across multiple servers, downtime is significantly reduced. It's also a highly scalable hosting solution that lets sites grow over time and owners pay only for what they need.

So how much to host a website using cloud servers? It's relatively cheaper than, say, dedicated server hosting, which I will discuss next.

The best cloud hosting company for most people is definitely Siteground.

siteground-home
siteground-home

Dedicated Server Hosting:

What does host a website mean using dedicated servers?

And, how much to host a website with this type of hosting?

A dedicated server hosting is a service that may be the most expensive option on this list. It could set you back an average of  $1,476.31 monthly. But it’s also the one that gives users maximum control. Users have full root and admin access to the server – and theirs is the only one in there; they may also determine what operating system to use and what management tools to use for maintenance.

The best dedicated hosting company for most people is definitely Bluehost.

bluehost-home-nov-20
bluehost-home

Hosting A Website: The Basic Steps

What does host a website mean, and what does it require you to do? And – how to host a website for free? Don't worry; we're breaking down the crucial steps.

1. Choose a domain name before anything else.

First things first on how to host a website – select a domain name. Your domain name essentially serves as your website’s identifier – and it’s what you’ll be showing in your URL – so it’s best to check through an online domain registry like Godaddy if it’s available or if you need to amend the suffix (the .com or .org at the end of the URL) to register.

Many site hosting providers actually offer domain names along with their hosting packages, saving you the trouble of having to check with a separate registry.

2. Determine what sort of website you want to build.

The next step in how to host a website is defining what type of website you're creating.

There are actually two common types: static which is as basic as it gets, and dynamic which has all the bells and whistles that can heighten user engagement. Static websites are normally built using an HTML framework and can be easily done through most site-building platforms or basic web creation programmes; these are also more reasonably priced in terms of creation and development.

On the other hand, dynamic websites involve data that changes regularly as in the case of ecommerce sites where transaction data is constantly changing throughout the day.

3. Select a server that suits the type of site you have.

While static websites can be hosted on even the simplest server setups, dynamic sites call for more robust storage and deployment platform. Linux hosting is the most commonly used server type these days, allowing users to run scripts like Perl, Python, PHP, and other Unix-centric programming languages and support PostgreSQL and MySQL databases.

4. Select your hosting plan.

How much to host a website? It depends. The plan you choose depends on what sort of hosting service you will be subscribing to. (Refer to the list shown in the previous section.) Be sure to read through the features offered for each hosting type; also, take note that features may differ depending on the hosting service.

So – answering the question “how much to host a website” depends on the plan and the service provider.

Different service providers may offer different features for the same hosting type, so it’s best to check and consider all your options. Also, pay attention to the cost of how much to host a website. Go always for overall value for money. Sometimes, users just select the lowest price and end up paying more in the long run for additional features.

But how to host a website for free? Just select a free site hosting option such as Weebly or Wix – but brace yourself for ads!

5. Change your DNS address.

Where to host a website?

Once you’ve settled on a hosting plan, you’re ready to set up shop. Go to the control panel of your hosting platform of choice; go to the Settings section and select the relevant option for changing your DNS address. Once there, replace the default servers with the ones provided by your hosting service.

6. Upload your website.

When you’ve changed your DNS, you may now upload your site via your platform’s file manager or FTP. Note that, in the case of hybrid services (site builders that offer shared hosting for clients using their platform), this is often unnecessary as you can simply click a button to publish your site when you’re done creating or editing it.


How Do You Choose a Hosting Provider?

There are several points to consider and they all have something to do with how easily you can use the service, how much it will cost you, and how well it can serve you in the long run.

  • Ease of Use – Can you log into it easily? Does it offer a walkthrough before you get on board? Knowing how easily you can get into a hosting platform and start working is a critical aspect of the selection process.
  • Features – What exactly does your provider offer in the way of features and functionality? Key points include the number of domain names and websites you can have; the number of databases; storage capacity; bandwidth, and separate email hosting or a dedicated number of email addresses on the domain. I
  • Applications and Integrations – Check if your hosting service can work with some of the more commonly used software programmes and apps available online.
  • Pricing – Not all hosting plans are made equal, so be sure to shop through with different providers before deciding. As stated previously in this article, different providers may offer different prices and features for the same hosting type.

Conclusion

To wrap this guide up, we hope you've understood what does host a website means and how much to host a website.

Hosting is an important part of your site building process and it never pays to choose one that may compromise the quality and security of your content and the integrity of your business. In which case, the steps and measures we have stated in this article can help you make better-informed choices when choosing a hosting service.


FAQs:

I'm on a tight budget. How to host a website for free with domain name?

What does host a website mean if you're trying to save money? It means going for a free hosting service that also provides a free domain. However, domain names usually come with the format subdomain of NameofHosting.com, e.g. Weebly.com.

How much to host a website UK?

Pricing is dependent on the features and services hosting providers bundle along with the basic package. A plan that offers more functionality can easily command a premium price, but be sure to read through the inclusions before making a decision.


That’s all for now:

Thanks for reading our Hostinger review and don’t forget to keep an eye out for our ever-growing blog of review and comparison articles. Check out related reliable web hosting, website builder, and eCommerce platform review and comparison articles such as;

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