Mostly all new website developers create their websites on local machines using localhosts if the websites require the use of the database. Once the website development is complete while on a local machine we decide to take the website online so that it can be visible to the world. At this time is when we think of how to host a website.
This article will focus on pre-requirements of website hosting, factors to consider before deciding on where to purchase your hosting space, and the steps you must not miss before you purchase your domain name and hosting space.
Website hosting involves putting your website files on a special computer called a server. This computer makes your website files publicly accessible on the internet, so anyone can visit it and the visitors are enabled to see your website files through special software called a web server whose main purpose is to receive incoming requests and respond by sending the requested page to the user’s browser.
To start on website hosting you should consider the following factors
- The type of website you have created, that is, either static or dynamic. Static websites are simple websites with one or more web pages that do not involve the user’s input or has no access to the database, they are only used to display information while dynamic websites are websites that interact with users and their information keeps on changing over time or depending on location or type of the user. These websites rely mostly on server-side scripts which involve the use of the database.
- The size of your website, that is, web hosting providers give hosting spaces depending on what you want. If your website has a lot of content, it means you need bigger hosting space. You cannot purchase a 1 GB space while the files on your website are more than 10 GB.
- The purpose of your website, meaning if your website is a commercial website that users rely on a daily basis to complete a specific task, for example, to pay for car parking fees, you should consider a dedicated web hosting other than a shared hosting space. This is because a shared hosting space limits you on the resources you should use or permits a certain number of users at a specific time, this will imply that users will find it inconvenient as it may be unavailable at times or takes forever to load. There is also VPS Hosting (Virtual Private Server Hosting) which ensures that every website is stored on a very powerful server that is divided into several virtual compartments which allow each component to run as an independent component and this guarantees uptime and can accommodate as many users as possible without slowing the request time or making resources unavailable.
- The budget you are working with, this helps you to choose from different hosting providers as the price varies from one company to another with the same provision of properties.
To host your website online, follow the following steps, please note that these are the most basic steps across a large percentage of hosting providers
- Decide on the hosting provider you will use
The hosting providers are very many currently, some are known globally while others are known in a country where you originate from. Some web hosting companies include, but are not limited to, Name cheap, blue host, Hostgator, in motion, and many more.
2. Choose the type of your hosting server, either Linux hosting or windows hosting.
Linux hosting allows running scripts written in PHP, Perl, Python, and other Unix-originated languages, and usually supports PostgreSQL and MySQL databases. Linux hosting is the most commonly used today. Windows hosting allows you to run ASP scripts that utilize .NET and other Microsoft technologies and supports Microsoft SQL Server and Access database. Windows hosting are more expensive as compared to Linux hosting. To sum it all, you should consider Linux hosting as your first priority which is supported by the hosting providers I have highlighted in number 1 above.
3. Choose a domain name.
Check for the name you want to register with which your website will be accessed. To choose a domain name that is efficient, consider using a name with characters that are not many and also a name that is not complex to write, i.e., has a name that is easy to remember.
One thing you need to understand so far is that there is a difference between a domain name and domain hosting. The domain name is the name that identifies your website on the internet while domain hosting is the space in the computer servers where your website files are stored. A domain name helps you to locate your website files. Please note you can have a domain name without web hosting.
Having laid out the foundation on the factors you must consider and the steps you will need to follow while deciding on how and where to host your website, we will now focus on the steps to follow while purchasing and uploading your website files in the server you will have bought in the next article.