How to Set Up Website Hosting (Easy to Follow Instructions)
Want to know how to set up website hosting?
There are several website and blogging platforms that are self-hosted, like WordPress, that give you complete control over the design and function of your website.
But, with that full control and ability to customize it how you wish, comes the need to host the website. Many people just starting out don’t know how to set up website hosting.
They assume that it requires a lot of technical know-how and experience, but that isn’t the case. It’s actually very simple.
So, whether you are starting a blog using WordPress or creating a built-from-scratch HTML website, you are going to need to host it.
You can set up website hosting within minutes. It’s very easy.
I’m going to show you how to set up website hosting step-by-step. Even if you have zero technical knowledge or experience, if you follow the instructions below you can host a website in a matter of minutes.
Along with beginner-friendly instructions that explain how to set up website hosting I will also help you understand how hosting works, giving you a better understanding of the entire process.
Are you ready to get started?
Let’s jump right into this and show you how to set up website hosting.
Join an online community for entrepreneurs, business owners and creative minds.FREE TO SIGN UP
How to Set Up Website Hosting Quickly (and cheap)
Before you learn how to set up website hosting it’s important that you understand why hosting is necessary and how it works.
A website consists of files that must be “hosted” in order to be accessed online. A web host provider has several servers, which are computers, that they store all of your files on, and once connected to your domain name, become publicly available on the internet.
These servers are housed in large climate-controlled warehouses, keeping them cool and online. There are systems and processes in place that monitor their health and performance. All of this is done to ensure your website is online and accessible at all times.
So, when someone enters your website URL into their browser or clicks on a link to your website, the server returns the files associated to that particular page, allowing the user to view the content on that particular page.
The majority of websites use a third-party web host. Only the largest companies in the world host their own sites, like Amazon, but they actually own a hosting company: AWS.
You would need an extremely large budget to hire the necessary staff and equip your office with the necessary resources to handle your own hosting.
Using a trusted third-party web host like HostGator allows you to quickly set up your website hosting, and not have to worry about the technical aspect. They handle all of that, and at a very affordable rate.
The large web hosts have hundreds of thousands of websites on their servers. It’s a volume play for them, which is how they are able to extend such affordable rates to you.
What is Required to Host a Website
There are two things you will need in order to host your website:
- A domain name (you can take advantage of HostGator’s free domain name with a hosting package by clicking here).
- A website hosting account (I explain the different types of hosting accounts down below).
Your domain name is your website’s address online. For example, when you type in hustleralliance.com into a web browser it takes you to this website.
There are several domain extensions available to pick from (.com, .net, .info, .org, etc.) but the .com extension is the most widely accepted. Many people automatically assume a website uses the dot-com extension, so using something else will take extra effort to educate your audience that you use an alternative domain extension.
Personally, I would pick a dot-com.
Common names are either registered already, or if they are for sale, will command a premium. Get creative and you will be able to lock down an appealing and brandable dot-com domain.
Once you have your domain name you will need to build your website, but before you start that process you need a hosting account set up, where you will be able to store all of your website files.
You cannot even select a platform to build your website on without a hosting account. For example, if you plan on building a WordPress website, you need a hosting account set up before you can install and set up WordPress.
There are several different website hosting options available. I’m going to explain them below. This will help you select the right web host plan for your website.
Website Hosting Options
Every website is going to have different needs when is comes to hosting.
A small blog with a few pages and very low traffic numbers needs far less resources than a large build with multiple components and pieces of software, like our business forum.
A small blog can use a low-cost shared host, while our website that runs a highly customized forum with thousands of pages being added on a regular basis, along with a blog and other features, requires a dedicated server.
All of the popular web hosting companies offer multiple packages designed for specific needs.
It’s important to remember that you can always upgrade at any time. You are not locked into a host plan. They will gladly upgrade you to meet your needs as your website grows.
Let’s take a look at the most common hosting options available.
1. WordPress Hosting
WordPress hosting is build specifically for WordPress-based websites. The servers that are used for WordPress hosting are optimized specifically for these sites, with speed and security measures in place.
A poorly optimized server setup can have a negative impact on your website’s performance, which not only delivers a poor user experience, but it can also harm your SEO.
Also, WordPress is the most-hacked platform, so extra security measures are put in place.
When you utilize WordPress-specific hosting it’s fully-managed, meaning all updates and website backups are handled automatically. You never have to worry about those details.
Many users forget to update WordPress, and if an update rolls out to patch a vulnerability, and you don’t update in time you become an easy target for hackers.
If you are starting a blog WordPress hosting is your best option. There is no other CMS you want to use (WordPress is the most user-friendly blogging platform) and using WordPress-specific hosting takes a lot of the stress and maintenance out of the equation. This allows you to focus on building your business.
WordPress hosting is very affordable, and we recommend HostGator’s WordPress hosting. You can see their most recent WordPress hosting discounts here:
2. Shared Web Hosting
Shared website hosting is the options many will get started with, due to the cost and the fact that it suites the needs of almost all new websites.
Many people often wonder why web hosts are able to offer it at such a low cost and it comes down to volume. Shared web host servers have thousands of websites sitting on them, sharing the same resources.
This is possible since the websites are smaller and require far less resources than larger builds. Shared web hosting costs less than a few dollars a month.
You can even host a WordPress website using a shared host — you don’t have to sign up for WordPress hosting. Yes, there are many advantages to using it, but if cost is an issue you can get up and running with shared hosting.
It’s the most affordable website hosting option available, and it works well for everything from starting an online business to launching a new blog. The majority of new websites can get started with a shared host.
Shared website hosting costs are very low. We recommend HostGator’s shared hosting plan. You can see their most recent shared hosting discounts here:
3. VPS Hosting
If you need a little more resources and experience spikes in traffic, then you might want to look into this other “shared” option.
A VPS (Virtual Private Server) gives you access to a server that you share with other websites — just far less than a traditional shared host.
You also receive access to the server’s control panel (cPanel).
I consider this to be a middle-ground option. You get to take advantage of the low cost associated with it being a shared option, but you also receive the benefits that come with a dedicated server (without the massive cost increase).
If you are running an e-commerce store and anticipate traffic spikes during certain times, like holidays and special offers, then you might want to consider a VPS host. (Note: this doesn’t apply to those starting a Shopify store because Shopify handles the hosting for its stores)
If a VPS will suit your needs check out HostGator’s VPS hosting. You can see their most recent VPS hosting discounts here:
4. Dedicated Server Hosting
A dedicated server gives you the most resources, customization ability, security, etc.
Why? Because you are the only website on the entire server. You control every aspect of the server settings and have full control over what software is installed.
You also don’t run the risk of encountering a “bad neighbor” as I like to call them. When you are on a shared host your website is sitting next to hundreds if not thousands of other websites.
You have no control over what they are hosting (gambling, adult content, etc.) or what they are doing (email spam, etc.). You are also sharing an IP address with them.
All it takes is one bad neighbor to run the resources down and cause your website to experience downtime. Also, with so many websites on one server a single DDoS attack (distributed denial-of-service) can cause your website to go down. This happens when multiple systems flood the bandwidth or resources of the targeted server.
So, a hacker might be targeting one website that just happens to sit on the same server as you, and because of that “bad neighbor” your website performance suffers.
If your website is growing at a fast rate and your traffic numbers are through the roof then you will want to upgrade to a dedicated server.
This website uses a HostGator dedicated server. I have used dedicated servers from them for over ten years, and have never had an issue. This is why I’m so confident recommending them as a web host provider.
If you need the power and space of a dedicated server we recommend HostGator. This website you are on right now sites on one of their dedicated servers. You can see their most recent dedicated server discounts here:
How to Choose a Website Hosting Plan
Ok, so now you know how to set up website hosting, but maybe you are still on the fence regarding what type of hosting plan to choose.
There are different options, all with different pricing and uses. You need to consider your website’s needs and your budget when choosing a web hosting plan.
Truthfully, most people just starting out can use a shared host — the lowest cost option available. Those that are using WordPress might want to consider starting with a WordPress hosting plan. The cost increase over a regular shares host is just a few dollars.
While a VPS or dedicated server will give you more options and space, it’s very unlikely you will need all of those resources in the beginning.
There is no need to spend money on a larger hosting plan than you need. Instead, use that money to improve your website and improve your online business.
Hopefully one day you will need to upgrade to VPS hosting or a dedicated server. If that is the case it means your website is successful and experiencing tremendous growth.
But, for those just starting out I would recommend signing up for a shared hosting plan to keep your initial costs down.
HostGator has extended a special offer to our community members and blog readers to make it even more affordable. Not only can you signup for shared hosting at a discounted rate, but they will also give you a free domain name as well.
HostGator is one of the most trusted web host companies. If that wasn’t the case I wouldn’t personally use them for all of my hosting needs (including this website).
Once you have a hosting account set up you can build your website. If WordPress is the platform you will be using, you can read this resource explaining how to start a blog. It explains how to to install WordPress through your cPanel.
How Much Does Website Hosting Cost?
First, it depends on what type of hosting plan you select. A shared hosting plan for a beginner website can be as low as a few dollars a month when you take advantage of the current promotions.
Larger websites that require more resources might opt for VPS hosting, which is a little more. A dedicated server, which offers the most customizability and access, is significantly more.
Start with one of those options to keep the initial cost as low as possible, which will allow you to buy the other things you might need, like a premium WordPress theme or premium plugins.
Take advantage of the low cost hosting specials HostGator has extended to our community members and blog readers. Then, as your website content increases and your traffic numbers spike you can look into upgrading.
But, in the beginning go with the shared or WordPress hosting offer — and don’t forget to take advantage of the free domain offer.
Your goal would be to only buy what you actually need and use free tools whenever you can.
How to Set Up Website Hosting FAQs
I’ve put together a list of the most commonly asked questions from those wanting to learn how to set up website hosting.
Can I host my website myself rather than going through a website hosting provider?
Technically speaking, yes, you could host your own website. But, that would require that you set up your own server, monitor it, update it, protect it from hacking attempts, etc.
The amount of work it would require to maintain your website would take the majority of your time away from actually working on your website and growing your business.
Hosting companies have server engineers and system specialists monitoring them 24/7, ensuring that they remain up, and your website is online and accessible at all times.
Can I buy a domain name now and then set up website hosting later?
You can buy a domain name at any time. It will just sit in your account until you set up hosting for it. Many people buy domains ahead of time for future projects as they don’t want to miss out on a name if it’s available.
You can buy a domain at anytime from HostGator. We have a special deal with them, which gets you a free domain when you set up your website hosting with them, so you also want to keep this in mind.
Do I have to buy my domain name and web hosting from the same company?
You can buy a domain from any registrar and connect it to your hosting account. But, I would suggest buying them from the same company for simplicity sake.
This allows you to manage both your domain and web hosting from the same account. Also, don’t forget that HostGator gives our community members and blog readers a free domain name when you set up your website hosting with them.
If my website outgrows its current hosting plan is it easy to change to another option?
Online businesses that experience massive growth and scale quickly on a VPS can then upgrade to their very own dedicated server.
All you have to do is call HostGator’s customer support team, which is available 24/7 and ask them to upgrade you. They will submit a ticket for their server engineers to make the switch. It’s a very simple process.
What is the Best Website Host Company?
There are several website hosting companies, and many of them are great, however the one that I am most comfortable recommending is HostGator.
I personally started hosting my websites with them more than ten years ago, and still do to this day. In fact, this website you are on right now is sitting on a HostGator dedicated server.
HostGator is a great host for all websites, and they have affordable options to meet all needs. Low prices aside, their customer service is top-notch and their customer dashboard is easy to navigate as well.
So if you are in need of website hosting, I suggest you give HostGator a try. They are offering all of our readers discounted rates on hosting packages as well as a free domain name. You can take advantage of that special offer by clicking here.
Now that you know how to set up website hosting you can get your new blog or website online.
What kind of website are you going to launch? Let me know in the comments below!