Once you have your domain name you will need to purchase hosting to get your website up and running. Choosing a host is important as you want one that is reliable so your website is does not see any down time and you want your site to load fast. You also want a host that has great customer service just in case you run into any of these issues.
We recommend starting with a basic package on HostGator. The basic package starts as low at $4.95/month. We also suggest purchasing hosting for extended periods of time because it saves you money!
Bluehost.com is another popular option where packages start at $6.95/month. HostMonster.com is also popular where packages start at $6.95/month.
Can I use a free web host?
There are a few free options out there to start and host your website, but you generally get what you pay for. Many free hosts have ads and GoDaddy will try to suck you in on a free month and then you’ll be stuck with their subpar hosting. These platforms are going to greatly limit your site and the flexibility you have on it. Most importantly no one will ever offer to buy your website if it’s hosted for free!
What is the difference between shared hosting and dedicated servers?
Shared hosting is the most common solution especially for new websites. Essentially it means you will be sharing space on the server with a handful of other websites. Each site gets a percentage of space and bandwidth to work with. Don’t think that this solution can’t handle high traffic numbers, even if you are getting 100,000 visitors a month your server should be able to handle it.
Dedicated servers means you own the whole server. This will only be necessary if you are getting 100,000s of visitors to your site and upwards. It is much more expensive and is rarely the way to go when first starting out.
What is disk space and bandwidth?
Disk space is simply how much space your website has to use. Just like a computer everything you upload takes up some space, be it 1 megabyte or 1 gigabyte. Each picture, word and application on your site is using some amount of space.
Bandwidth is the amount of data the server will let your website send in a month. Each time your site is viewed by a visitor data is sent to produce the site.
How do I Upload my site to my host?
Many hosts today will have easy installs for basic applications like wordpress, shopping carts, forums etc. This means that if you are planning on using wordpress it will take you a few clicks and about 5 minutes to have it up and running.
Otherwise you will probably find yourself using an FTP Client like FileZilla which is a free FTP solution. FTP clients simply make it easy for you to upload files to your web host such as the files you have for your website.
Can I buy my hosting at the same place I bought my domain name?
Yes, you usually can. For example if you bought your domain at GoDaddy you can also purchase your hosting there. We recommend HostGator because they are simply better at hosting while GoDaddy rocks for finding your domain name.
Once I choose a host can I change?
Yes, almost any host will be happy to assist you with the transfer. If you contact the host you want to switch to they will ask you for the information they need to transfer your site from your existing host.
How do I track visitors to my site?
Most hosts will give you something like Awstats to show your visitors. However we recommend using Google Analytics because it lets you see more details about visitors.
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