Hello everybody. I have completed my first website and now want to put it on the web. How do you reckon I go about it? I don't mind paying if I have to but if I can get it done for free, then why not go for it right? I have heard about websites like godaddy.com but I wanna know exactly how I need to go about it. Like do I have to purchase a domain name? and how do I get my newly acquired domain name to work?
I wanna thank ronpat, Paul O'B and everyone that answered my previous queries. All your info helped me build this thing.
To make your website live and accessible over the internet you will need a domain name and hosting package. The domain name can be registered with the web hosting service provider.Don't get into free hosting service. For better future of your website, you should consider paid hosting service. Sign up for a hosting package with domain name, upload your website data and update the DNS records and your website will be live on the internet. A managed web hosting provider will help you to make your website up and live.
MilesGeek gave good advice EXCEPT to combine your registrar with your host. That's led to years of horror stories in this forum so my advice is to NEVER use your host as your registrar.
Why? The stories go that the registrar/host owns the "free" (don't worry, you pay for the domain name's registration in the account's cost) domain name so you can NEVER move your domain to another host (whether you become dissatisfied with the services or just outgrow the account). Many small hosts (which try to act as your registrar, too) also go out of business. Imagine losing both your domain name and website!
I'd posted a checklist for selecting a host before but here it goes again:
[indent]I offer my standard advice:
Establish your requirements, i.e., Linux, Apache 2.4+, PHP 5.2+, MySQL 5+, the preferred control panel (e.g., cPanel) and storage and bandwidth requirements. Remember to allocate for log files, databases, e-mail (attachments) and growth.
If you're looking for a VPS or dedicated server, remember to ask what the host's managed services provide. Remember, a non-managed host must be monitored by you 24/7/365¼!
Know what control panels you are willing to use, i.e., WHM/cPanel. cPanel is the standard bearer for Linux systems and Plesk for Windows systems. Customized control panels may or may not be satisfactory.
Know how much CPU time/RAM you need. If you need a lot of processing power (like WordPress and other CMS's), this will be a major factor. These, however, are usually specified only for VPS/dedicated accounts and automatically throttled for shared/reseller accounts. Note: WebHostingBuzz does have "Specialized Hosting" accounts for these memory hogs like WP, Joomla, Drupal, etc.
Know your target (the Internet is fast but some latency could hurt so the closer your server to your target audience the better) location and try to host as close to your target as possible.
SEARCH (using the above parameters) recording each feasible host as well how well it satisfies your requirements and budget. Spreadsheets are good for this as you can assign weighting to the different requirements and how well they were met to generate numerical scores.
Create a shortlist based on the database you've created in step 5 then SEARCH for comments about the host (avoiding obvious shills and websites which advertise for that host).
(from EastCoast) "Eliminate anonymous companies - if a hosting company doesn't have a full office address and company registration details visible on their site, it's often down to the amateur status of the operator, which is unlikely to be consistent with longevity and reliability."
(from EastCoast) "Eliminate new companies - hosting has a very high fail rate because of the low barriers to entry. If a company makes it through it's first 5 years then it's likely it's jumped a few hurdles and knows what it's doing sufficiently to have made a viable business. Not all new companies are cowboys, but the percentage is high enough that it's not worth the risk of being the one to find out the hard way, when there are plenty other options."
Eliminate companies which do not tell you exactly what you're getting for your money, i.e., the Control Panel, the storage, the bandwidth (traffic), the versions of the main daemons (Apache, PHP and MySQL), the SSL and dedicated IP charges, etc. That's where knowing your requirements comes in strongly! Hosts like WebHostingBuzz upgrade their daemons when new versions come out but ensure that they are not "bleeding edge" updates. Ask your shortlist about their upgrade process.
The last step (other than selection) is to contact each shortlisted host with a question (I've used .htaccess and mod_rewrite availability, which services are managed by the host, the availability of IP addresses - you will require one for each SSL you use - or ask to test proprietary control panels - they may make life too difficult for you) and record the response time and your level of satisfaction with the response.
Finally, you'll have enough information to make an intelligent selection: "Just Do It!"
I have been there, done that (all too frequently in the past).[/indent]
Another thing is do not sign up for a year until you have tried them; it may work out cheaper if you stay the year but if you do not you will not get your money back. If you are happy after a few months you can usually change to a yearly billing package.
Changing hosts is not to hard if you are unhappy with the one you have picked; but as stated by dklynn it is a lot simpler if your domain name is at an independent registrar.
You do not need to pay a fortune for hosting but I would not go with a free package. I put a site on a £3.65/ year hosting package and after a year they wanted something like £12/month; I have another couple of sites on a £3.00/month package without any problems.
The hosts do not need to be in your country but the site is supposed to load quicker if they are. I think for most sites a few microseconds delay is acceptable.
LAMP (Linux Apache MySQL PHP) hosts are very common and not overly expensive.
IMHO if you are planning on having only a smallish sized site with limited traffic (i.e. local audience), then such a host will probably be good enough, even if you do use a bloated CMS.
If you don't understand things in my post, please ask in the forum OR PM me with your questions. I don't bite (at least not very often).
If you pick a reputable host then there's no issue in having your domain with your hosting - if you're a non-technical user then it often makes things a lot easier. Any reputable host should be registering the domain in your name, in which case there's very little risk of you using it should they go out of business as you'll be able to prove your ID and regain control of it. Every ICANN accredited registrar will have processes in place for if one of their resellers goes out of business, and there are procedures if an ICANN accredited registrar goes out of business. Other ccTLDs have processes in place as well, I know Nominet do for UK domains.
What it boils down to, is if you think having your domain and hosting with the same company is going to cause problems, then you've picked the wrong company in the first place!
Definitely it is better to go with a paid service rather than something free. With a paid service there is a certain level of accountability. With a free host your site could go offline at anytime and there would be nothing you could do about it. Also, free hosts usually do not have much available in terms of support. You pay for what you get.
There are quite a few quality providers available that provide great starter solutions for under $10/month, many often will include a 30 day satisfaction guarantee.
Go on shared web hosting, not free one. Why? Beacause with free hosting you don't have any kind of guarantees, your site will go down often and you'll be crazy in little time.
So, search for cheap shared hosting, paying about $5/month. Before buying it, read recent real user reviews to understand what kind of service you'll have.
At the moment, Arvixe, myHosting and Inmotion hosting has good reviews at good price, do your homework
In regards to your question, if you are looking for assistance and tips on the "process" of looking for a host, you might want to check out the following pdf which is entitled "Five Steps to Find a Great Host." The pdf file origination is from the Tutorials & Hosting Documentation sticky thread.
In addition, just as other have posted you can find a decent hosting provider for the cost of around 4 to 5 dollars month. Most hosting providers will provide support and help out by providing documentation with the basic dns changes of pointing your domain to your hosting provider. In most cases you will end up either changing your domain names name servers to your hosting providers default hosting name servers or sometimes they will simply provide you an ip address so that you can change your domain's A Record.
Thanks all! I have finally decided to go for a free hosting service for a month. I have bought the domain name with bigrock and all of the technical lingo regarding servers was too much for me to handle. I figured I'd go in for a free service for the first time as I'd get to learn how it is done instead of paying for something and getting stuck there not knowing exactly what I'm doing for anything between 3-12 months. Once I have a better understanding of things I'll probably go in for a paid service with one of the sites you have mentioned here. Currently trying out free hosting with www.000webhost.com and from what I understand, I think all I have to do is change the nameservers on my domain name registrar to what's suitable for my new host for the paid hosting at a later stage.
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