If you are not familiar with this topic, building a website may sound extremely complex at first. Well, I have good news! It’s not. You don’t need to use expensive services and hire developers, because now we have tools at our disposal that can help us do that quickly, without having any programming skills.
When you want to create a website, the very least you will need two things, a domain name and a web hosting service. Most of the time you can buy these at the same place so you don’t need to make two separate purchases. And these days these are very cheap as well.
WHAT IS A WEB HOSTING SERVICE?
A web hosting service provider allows us to store our website files and data on their special computers called servers. When a user/visitor wants to view your website, all they need to do is type your domain name into their browser. Their computer will then connect to our server and our website will be served to them through their browser.
Most hosting companies, like Hostinger, provide domain registration services as well so when you buy your hosting, you can register a domain name as well, sometimes free of charge.
You can buy your domain name and hosting service separately, but in that case some extra tweaking will be required. In a separate article I will show you that as well.
WHAT KIND OF HOSTING DO I NEED?
Basically there are two kinds of hosting you can choose from.
- Shared hosting
- VPS or cloud hosting
Shared hosting is a web hosting service where many websites are hosted on the same server. This is a cost-effective way to host a website, and is the most popular type of web hosting. If you are just starting out, 99% of the chance that shared hosting will be ok for you.
VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting is a type of web hosting that uses virtualization to provide a dedicated server within a shared server environment. VPS hosting provides a more isolated and secure environment for website owners and can be more easily customized to specific user needs than a shared hosting plan.
This option would require some extra knowledge about servers, and operating systems, especially Linux. This is also a little bit more expensive solution than the shared hosting. At first you will probably not need this, but as your website starts gaining more and more visitors and engagements, you’ll need to consider switching to this option.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
The hosting cost for a shared hosting plan may range anywhere from $60 – $300 a year. Of course you need to check what they offer, what kind of functionalities will be available for you. Sometimes the cheaper isn’t worth it.
A VPS hosting can be more expensive. But these days you probably hear about these as cloud hosting which is basically the same, but with a cloud hosting solution you pay for the resources that you actually use. The more you use (storage, bandwidth, CPU, memory etc.), the more you will pay.
WEBSITE BUILDING APP
Once you have your domain name and hosting sorted out, you need to create your website somehow, right? You need some kind of tool to do that. There are pre-made CMS (Content Management System) apps that we can use. Just to name a few, WordPress, Drupal or Joomla. Throughout our tutorials we are going to use WordPress because it is the most popular and the easiest to use.
These CMS apps are easy to set up. We just need to go through a few steps in the browser to install them, and in a couple of minutes we have a fully functional website that we just need to start customizing and filling up with content. No need to do any coding.
A FEW WORDS ABOUT CLOUD-BASED WEBSITE BUILDERS
You may have heard about Shopify, Wix or ClickFunnels. These are cloud-based website building solutions. The main advantage of them is that you don’t need to worry about hosting and servers, you just need a domain name. They also come with very good features and drag and drop site builders.
However, they tend to be quite expensive. But in my opinion the biggest disadvantage compared to self-hosted solutions, like WordPress, is that they give you less freedom when it comes to adding new functionalities and customizing your site. So it’s worth taking a little bit of extra time to learn the basics of hosting your own website, because it will pay off eventually.
If all the above sound a bit confusing right now, don’t worry. In the next articles and tutorials we’ll take one step at a time, and everything will be clear. So let’s go to the next step and learn how to get a domain name and a hosting account. And if you have any questions about this article, leave a comment below.