How to Host a Website Like You Buy Real Estate (2021)
Learning how to host a website can seem complicated,
I’d like to make it easier. So I came up with this 4200-word up-to-date and complete guide on how to host one using BlueHost as our example.
We’re in an era where it’s so much easier. You can set up your website in a few minutes. You don’t need to be a programmer or have coding skills to make it happen.
If you’re asking how this is possible, you’re in the right place.
What is a Website Host?
The concept of web hosting is straightforward.
In simple terms:
- Your domain address is like your home address
- Your website is like your apartment
- The server that hosts your site is like your apartment’s building
- The hosting fees are like your apartment’s rent
Your visitors who type your address in their browser are like people putting your home address in google maps to come visit.
Check out this infographic explaining everything in simple real estate terms:
Why do you need a Website Hosting?
After all, I can host my own website on my home computer.
Yes, Technically hosting it on your own computer is possible, but it’s like saying you don’t need an apartment, just a tent and a sleeping bag…
Your website will be slow, you’ll waste a lot of time doing software and hardware maintenance. To top it all, you’ll have to continually change your IP address, which sucks.
It’s for these reasons that Webhosting companies exist.
The global hosting market is growing exponentially. According to a study by hotScore, the industry has an annual growth of 13.25%, which will hit the $216 billion mark by 2025.
Without saying, you need a hosting provider as long as you’re an entrepreneur at this age. why?
It Keeps You In Charge
Do you know why I don’t prefer free platforms like Blogger and Tumblr? It’s like taking a risk. You have to agree to their terms and conditions to remain online. They are literally taking the meat from your mouth.
If you break their rules, you risk losing your websites even if your blog brings $100K every year.
Look, I know you’re serious about this blogging thing, and that’s why you’re here. Then this is a risk you can’t take.
Why don’t you invest in a paid hosting that gives you the freedom to operate your website the way you want?
Loads of Customization Options
Are you considering using free hostings? Indeed, you’ll save a few bucks, but you’ll have a big problem with co-branding. In short, your website will share branding with the free host.
Plus, you can’t expand your customization options when using a free hosting plan. You won’t have full access to plugins that affect the security of your website.
In the end, your credibility is affected, and you won’t get the many visitors you might have expected.
Secures your Website
The website’s safety is something newbie bloggers overlook. They come to know its importance when it’s too late.
Web hosting is like your home’s security alarm system that alerts you when something goes wrong on your website.
Still, It’s not that easy to get a complete fail-safe secure hosting. There are things you can do about it though.
For example, you can build safe walls on your website by using security plugins and keeping your software updated.
Big brands like Bluehost, Cloudways, Hostinger, get you the extra customer support needed when your site is in trouble.
To Keep Your Sales High
Did you know that the trajectory of your sales is affected whenever your site is offline?
For example, if your eCommerce store is making $500/ hour, every minute of downtime might be slicing your revenue at $8/hour. The figure will go down drastically if your site goes down during sales peak hours.
Let’s take a scenario when Amazon lost $99 million for a 63-minute downtime back in 2018.
Hosting providers attack the problem with uptime. This is when your website is operating without interference. The right host should have at least 99.9% uptime.
If the host you have chosen can’t put up, you better upgrade or make a complete overhaul.
What Are The Different Types of Web Hosting?
Not all the 2 billion sites on the web are at the same level. Some are huge websites commanding millions of visitors per month, while others barely get any traffic.
Therefore, each website needs different resources to operate effectively. More prominent sites might need intricate features to keep it running.
This is why hostings are divided into four types to meet the different needs. These are discussed below.
Shared hosting (most common) is perfect for small businesses or new bloggers who are venturing into the online world. Just like your first apartment is usually a small student studio in a big building.
In shared hosting, you share one server with other users. This also includes software applications inside the server, RAM, and the CPU.
The host puts many users on a single server, which means it can host hundreds of websites simultaneously.
The option is recommended when you don’t want to spend a lot of money on hosting. It’s kind of sharing the costs as many users share the same platform.
The crazy thing is that shared hostings are very cheap and can go as low as $0.90 per month. Plus, you can host up to 10 websites.
Do you need more power to keep up with traffic spikes? Virtual Private Server hosting (VPS) is your guy. It still uses the principle of shared hosting. But in this case, the single shared server acts like multiple separate servers.
Basically, it’s like you want to switch from an apartment in a building to living in a house but you’re not ready financially, so what do you do? You rent a room in a house, you’re not alone but you still get the perks of living in a house.
You can manage your server from your hosting control panel. So you get the best of both worlds. It’s not that expensive and you still get flexibility and power to keep your website performing.
On the flip side, VPS hosting only best fits someone who can manage his/her own platform and has access to technical resources. To get yourself the best VPS Hosting, be ready to pay at least $20 every month.
Dedicated Hosting is perfect for enterprises, ecommerce stores, and hugely populated websites.
It’s the most advanced website hosting option for sites in dire need for high performance to manage high traffic.
With dedicated hosting, you take the space of an entire server. This means that you have total control over the settings, which is to your advantage.
However, you need technical skills to tackle it. It’s for this reason that users hire extra technical experts for the task.
Dedicated hosting is finally being able to buy a house for yourself, no one else lives there, and you can do whatever you want inside.
Dedicated hosting isn’t cheap. You must have at least $50/month to start using one.
Last on the list is WordPress hosting made for WordPress users. It acts as a shared hosting that caters to a specialized clientele.
The advantage of WordPress hosting is that the company takes care of backups, updates, and your website’s cache.
WordPress hosting is like living in a hotel, everything is taken care of, perfect when you first arrive in a new city before renting or buying. The only problem is that you can’t change anything inside.
You get to enjoy faster load times, pre-installation, and security features compatible with WordPress.
How to Choose A Hosting Company for Your Website
The next step on how to host a website guide takes us to a dilemma many bloggers face.
We created a recommendation algorithm that will make this very easy,
Just answer the five questions in the widget below:
Here is the thing – there are hundreds of web hosting companies out there. I did a simple Google search for “web hosting service,” and the results are pretty shocking.
You can’t just walk into a real estate firm and purchase the first house they present to you (unless you’re stinking rich and wasting money isn’t a problem. You’ll first consider the price, investigate the area, and scrutinize it for hidden defects.
I’ll agree that searching for the best hosting service isn’t a walk in the park. There are many things to check which might confuse you.
Some providers will specialize in speed while others will prioritize customer service. How do you draw the line? What red flags should you check?
Here are some differentiators to consider in your research.
Ask Yourself the Type of Website you are Building
The first thing to know is that the traffic you expect and server load time affect your hosting plan. Similarly, the type of website you choose affects the features you get.
For example, if you want to open a simple blog, a WordPress web host like BlueHost would be a perfect fit.
As of today, WordPress serves 37% of all websites. It’s the ideal content management system for writers who want to share their thoughts.
On the other hand, E-commerce hosting services will work well with an online store. Such hosts take care of added security requirements that protect customer payment information.
I know I talked about this earlier, but it’s still something to consider since not all hosts are at the same security level.
A concierge, a digital code, a secure door are good ways to filter who gets inside your building.
Before you choose any hosting, first learn about its security features. You can check daily backups, firewalls, and if the user authentication is included.
Consider the Bandwidth
Bandwidth is an essential feature to check in your window shopping. Evaluate your bandwidth needs and disk space before you take off your wallet.
If you have two trucks full of furniture, don’t rent a small studio… If you’re a minimalist, don’t rent a castle!
If your site will be full of graphics and a high amount of traffic, decent bandwidth will do the work. On the other hand, simple blogs without much traffic can work with less space and bandwidth.
Imagine that your car breaks down in the middle of the road when you’re late for an urgent meeting.
You call your mechanic, but he tells you to check the car’s instructional manual instead of coming.
It sucks, right? Sadly, it’s the same way some customer support replies when your site gets a technical hitch.
20% of web hosting clients say that technical support is the most important thing when choosing a web hosting provider.
Even though a hosting solution may look perfect, realistically, something is bound to go wrong. In case it happens, you should be able to contact customer support immediately.
Consider a customer support team working 24/7 and can be reached via call or live chat (not chatbots).
Reputation and Customer Review
This is where your job will get a little bit harder. But it’ll pay off if you do it right.
When visiting a house or an apartment, it’s a good thing to ask neighbors what they think of the neighborhood!
Start by reading customer reviews of all the providers you have shortlisted on social media and individual websites. You can also check out articles reviewing the products. Here is an example.
Here is where you’ll find information like customer support response and how good they are at following up on an issue till they fix it.
It gives you an idea of how their current and former clients feel about the software. You can make credible judgments with the data.
Five of The Best Web Hosting Services
This is where it gets interesting on how to host a website.
To arrive at this Top 5, I checked their reliability, technological pros and cons , and of course, prices. Honestly – many didn’t make the cut. So let’s check them out.
I won’t talk much about Bluehost as I’ve tackled it extensively in the next chapter. I’ll just brush through the general features.
Bluehost isn’t one of the top names in the industry for nothing. The company started in 2007 and now hosts over 3 million websites. If you’re looking for a low cost and popular host, Bluehost should be your first stop.
The software provides all three types of hosting options with different pricing plans. This is suitable for different types of businesses.
It offers different features across different plans. The more costly the plan, the more features you get.
- Fast server speeds
- Beginner-friendly hosting
- Has a long track record
- Robust and responsive customer support
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- The renewal prices increase
- doesn’t have a free site migration
- Add-on features are expensive
Hostgator is a close competitor to Bluehost and one of the most popular web hosting services.
Hostgator cloud is an upgraded version of their shared option. This version is faster and more powerful.
The most amazing feature is the uptime which can hit 100% for 4 months. This is effective if you have a huge e-commerce website with high traffic. Moreover, it doesn’t compromise on speed and can provide a load speed of just 399ms.
you’ll also appreciate the fact that customer service is friendly with a quick response. The free site migration feature makes it the second hosting site I can recommend after BlueHost.
- Ideal for newbie website users due to the ease of navigation
- Has reliable customer service
- Has high performing uptime
- The hosting plans are packed with numerous features
- It doesn’t have windows-based VPS hosting.
Hostinger got into business in 2007 as a free web hosting provider. In 2011, it started afresh intending to be the most affordable hosting company on the internet. It’s for this reason that it has already bagged in 29 million users by 2017.
Hostinger has three pricing plans for the shared hosting option. It had an offer at the time of writing this article. Don’t be shocked by the low price. The pricing is subject to change.
The Starter Plan
The first plan goes for $0.99/month for the monthly plan and $2.15/month when you renew. In return, you get 20GB storage with weekly automated backups. You also get an unlimited monthly site, data hosting with a free SSL certificate.
The Premium Package
This package costs $2.89/month as a first-time offer and $3.49/month after renewing. The crazy thing is that you get double the starter plan’s storage at 40 GB.
Some of the fantastic features the plan comes with are daily backups and personal jetpack, DNS management, 100 subdomains, and LiteSpeed cache.
The Business Package
The business package is the last plan meant for high-value websites with high traffic. It goes for $3.99/month for first-timers and $7.95 after renewal.
You get royal features, including free domains, hosting an unlimited number of websites, daily backups, and Github integration.
In all the packages, Hostinger comes with a 99.95% uptime with 350 ms speed. The company has erected servers in the USA, Asia, and the UK, which connect to 1000 MBPS connections for fast loading.
- Hostinger has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Comes with a free domain name and website builder.
- The interface is easy to navigate.
- Very affordable hosting provider.
- You get unlimited features when you choose the premium and business package.
- doesn’t have phone support.
- Non-standard payment terms.
- Not every plan has a windows option.
You can say many good things about SiteGround, but what keeps it at the top of the game is the ever-responsive support team available 24/7.
Siteground also has a pretty amazing load time with uptime of up to 99.99%. The ability to operate at a speed of 673 ms makes it to be among the top 10 strong hosts.
Like most hostings, SiteGround comes in three pricing plans. These include;
- The Startup package for $14.99/ month.
- Growbig package for $24.99/month.
- GoGeek for $39.99/month.
The packages have different features and add-ons as you climb up the rank. Similar features across the three pricing plans include:
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Unlimited email accounts
- 2- hour phone and chat support
The shared hosting plans can adjust to any user unless you have a big website with high monthly traffic.
- Excellent uptime.
- The interface is easy and intuitive to use.
- Loads of advanced features.
- You can collaborate with different users.
- Knowledgeable and responsive support.
- Not the cheapest hosting in the market
- Professional migrations will cost you extra $30
- Payment is set on a monthly basis
Which is the fastest hosting between A2Hosting and Siteground? This debate has been there for long. You’ll get the answer in a moment.
A2Hosting is one of the oldest hosting providers. Its story began in 2001 when it was initially called iniquinet. The name was changed to A2Hosting in 2003. For the time it has been on service, 97% of their customers are satisfied with their services.
The first thing to appreciate about A2Hosting is its speed, which stands at 317 ms load time.
In most cases, speed and security never go in hand. The reason is that the extra scanning, layers, firewalls will always slow down a website.
This is a different story with A2 hosting as Hackscan protects the servers. The software offers a 24/7 monitoring service that scans malware to keep your site secure.
- It keeps seven copies of your site as a ready back up.
- Unmetered storage and bandwidth
- Windows-based hostings are available
- Free site migrations, but which depend on your plans
- It works seamlessly with content management systems and website builders.
- The uptime is a bit less when compared to its competitors
- On demand-back ups are paid for separately
- The renewal rates are high
Step By Step Process on How to Host a Website with BlueHost
Are you still with me? Perfect. We’ve just come to the most interesting part.
There are hundreds of hosting providers but we’ve only reviewed five of the best today. Now that you have settled, let’s go to the next step of learning how to host a website.
I recommend BlueHost because it’s one of the biggest and cheapest provider to start with. In this section, we’ll see how to host a website using BlueHost as our example.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
BlueHost General Features
BlueHost isn’t a new name in the hosting industry. It’s the most preferred hosting provider for huge and small websites.
The US-based hosting company comes with numerous features with different hosting-related products. These include;
You now know how uptime is critical when choosing a website host. BlueHost knows this well and has given its best shot here. It has an uptime of 99.99% uptime with a load speed of 405 ms.
I’ll agree that this isn’t the best out there but is still strong enough to keep your website moving. You get the gist.
What will blow your mind is BlueHost insanely low prices for shared hosting. I mean, the low introductory price goes for $2.95/ month.
This is a pretty good deal considering that they took it down from $7.99/ month a while back.
It comes with four plans.
I. Basic Plan
As hinted above, this is the lowest plan going for $2.95/month for first term prices. The renewal price goes for $8.99/ month.
The package gives you 50 GB storage, which is pretty big when compared to the competitors. However, the database is 20 with a maximum DB size of 20 GB. This plan is perfect if you have one website.
II. Plus Package
The package goes for $5.45/ month for a first-timer and $12.99 as the renewal price. You get unlimited storage with maximum files of up to 200,000. It means that you can have as many websites as possible.
III. Choice Plus
If you go with the choice plus, you have access to extra features like free domain privacy and better backup options. you’ll pay $5.45/ month for a first-timer and pay $16.99/month as the renewal price.
IV. Pro Plan
The big dog in the house is a top tier plan suitable for business looking for insanely high performance.
The maximum files stand at 300,000 with a maximum DB size of 5 GB. It uses an advanced backup. But all these royal features don’t come on a silver platter. The plan goes for $13.95/ month with $25.99 as the renewal price.
How to Build a Website With BlueHost
Now that you’ve settled on the best Webhosting provider, it’s time to know how to host a website using BlueHost.
I assume that you’re using WordPress as it’s the website builder that BlueHost recommends.
Besides, WordPress is the most used and affordable website builder to start your online venture.
- Choosing Your Plan
The first step is choosing the hosting plan that meets your needs and budget. If you’re unsure what plan to start with, I recommend the cheap hosting plan going for $2.95/month.
Although it’s a shared hosting plan, it can still meet a simple website’s needs.
As said earlier, BlueHost has special deals when starting, but once the period ends, you’ll go back to the regular rate. Visit Bluehoast registration page to sign up.
- Creating a new Domain
Note that you get a free domain name for all the plans.
To proceed, you’ll see the image below after choosing your hosting plan.
Enter your domain if you have already registered. If not, you can create a new one, whether it ends with a .com, org, .info, .uk, etc. As advised, choose the option that best suits your business.
- Fill BlueHost Account Details
Next, BlueHost will present you with an Account information page similar to the image below.
Fill it carefully, or you can sign in with Google to speed up the process. Under the account information, you’ll see another image for the package information, which you should double-check.
For a beginner, you don’t need to worry about the extra features. You can add them later when you need them.
However, these features are pretty solid for a website on the rise.
For instance, the BlueHost SEO tool is an add-on that will give you marketing reports every now and then. With the data, you can optimize your site so that your site ranks high on search engines.
The tool can be a massive help as you’re focusing on being relevant to the search engines when starting.
The other add-on that might be of help is siteLock. This feature protects your website and business from hackers who use malware, SQL injection, and cross-site scripting to steal your customer data.
What’s more? You get up to 80% off of the retail price for SiteLock as a BlueHost customer.
- Complete Sign Up
The next step on how to host a website with BlueHost is setting your payment information. When through, ensure that you agree with the terms and conditions. You can now click the green “SUBMIT” button on the bottom left.
BlueHost will send you an email with your login information. One email will ask you to verify your domain name.
The next step will be creating your password. As recommended, use a strong password to secure your website.
Now you’re through with our how to host a website with BlueHost guide. The final step will be to install WordPress with BlueHost.
This is another process on its own which I might tackle some other day. Check out this video to get an idea.
Just know that you’ve taken a vital step in creating your website that will go a long way in keeping your website active.
FAQs on How to Host a website with BlueHost
What is the Best Type of Hosting?
Shared hosting is perfect for entry-level website hosting. Apart from being affordable, they are intuitive and easy to navigate. As always, an advanced website might not be compatible with shared hosting but would consider VPS or dedicated hosting.
Can you Host your own domain?
Yes, you can host your own domain. You don’t have to open one with the hosting provider you’re using. Besides, not all hosting companies offer free domains. To do this, you should have registered the domain to host it. The next step is becoming a domain authority and adding your DNS servers to the internet root DNS servers.
Can you Purchase a GoDaddy domain and host it on BlueHost?
Yes, it’s possible. And not necessarily GoDaddy. There are better options than Godaddy compatible with Bluehost.
Can I host my domain using Google?
Yes. Google offers different options for managing and creating your presence on the web. Use your domain name as a custom domain name for Google sites or Google App Engine. you’ll also need to use the Webhosting feature of a third-party hosting provider to direct traffic to your domain to a site.
What is the best domain name to start with?
.com seems to be the most used domain name. It was the best domain extension in 2019. .co is the second most preferred domain name. If you’re starting a new website, it’s thoughtful to begin with, .com, but it also depends on the type of website.
Phew! that was pretty long read, wasn’t it? Glad that you finished it.
I’ll agree that hosting a website isn’t a walk in the park. The good thing is that different hosting companies have tried to make the process as easy as possible.
Besides, if you have a technical side, giving Webhosting a spin will be effortless. If you’re completely new to this, tell us in the comments where you got stuck.