How to host a website (Simple guide for beginners) in 2023
Are you interested in learning how to host your website? You have full control over the design and development of any website with self-hosted website builders such as WordPress.
Most beginners don’t know how to host a website. Some people even believe it takes special technical skills to host a website.
If you follow the right approach, you can host your website in a matter of minutes. It is usually as simple as creating a Facebook account.
This beginner’s guide will show you exactly how to create a website, without any technical knowledge.
We’ll also show you how it all works behind the scenes. This will help you understand the different options for hosting a website.
What does it mean to host a website?
Hosting a website is putting your website files on a special computer known as a server. Your website files are made publicly available on the internet by this computer, so anyone can access them.
These computers are equipped with a specific set of software to allow others to view the website. This software is known as a web server.
Every website on the internet uses a web host company to host its websites. Third-party service providers are used by tech giants such as Netflix (hosted at Amazon) or PayPal (hosted at Google Cloud hosting).
Only a few companies, such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, host their entire services entirely on their own platforms.
Because they have the financial and technical resources to tackle such a large task, they can do it. Web hosting companies are used by all other businesses, including us, to host our website.
What do you need to host a website?
Hosting service providers provide ready-to-use web servers that can host your website. They handle all technical issues and offer website owners easy-to-use tools to manage their hosting.
How do people find your self-hosted site? Domain names are where you come in.
Domain names are the URL of your website. This is what people use to find your site when they go online. This will take you to wpbeginner.com, for example.
A domain name is simply a human-friendly way for users to connect to the website server associated to that domain name. Learn more about domain names and how they work.
These top domain registries can help you purchase a domain name. These companies are licensed to sell domain names.
Our guide to the differences between web hosting and domain names will help you understand the relationship between your domain and web host.
We will be showing you how to get your domain name free later in this article.
Let’s first look at the different web hosting plans available and determine which one is best for your site.
Different types of website hosting services
Websites are not all created equal. Some websites are smaller with low traffic and more content, while others have higher traffic and more visitors.
A smaller website will require fewer resources such as bandwidth and disk space. A larger, more popular website will require more resources to function efficiently.
Hosting companies offer a variety of hosting options to meet specific needs. These are the most popular hosting options.
Shared hosting is ideal for blogs and websites that are small or even just beginning businesses.
This allows multiple websites to use the same server resources, which helps them to save money. Hosting your website is now affordable.
This is suitable for: Starting a blog or small business website.
Bluehost is our recommended shared hosting provider
For more information, visit our guide to the truth about shared web hosting.
VPS hosting (Virtual Private Server Hosting) is still shared hosting. It offers flexibility to deal with large traffic spikes.
A private server is a separate, partitioned server that your website can access from your control panel. You get the best of both worlds: the low-cost shared hosting and the flexibility of dedicated resources.
This product is suitable for medium-sized businesses, popular blogs, and eCommerce shops.
HostGator is our recommended VPS hosting provider
Learn more in our article on when VPS hosting is needed for your website.
Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed WordPress Hosting is a special hosting service that’s made for WordPress. It’s like a concierge for your WordPress website.
A managed hosting platform provides updates, backups, and caching for your website. This allows you to concentrate on content creation and expanding your business.
This is suitable for: Popular blogs, business websites, and member websites.
WPEngine is our recommended WordPress hosting company.
You can read our article to learn more about when managed WordPress hosting is necessary.
Hosting dedicated to your needs
Hosting on a dedicated server gives you access to the entire server for your website. All the resources, advanced tools for managing the server, and the ability to install your software are available.
This will be your first time managing your own server. It may require some technical skills. This is an option for large websites requiring high performance to handle higher traffic volumes.
This product suits eCommerce stores, large-scale businesses, highly popular websites, and enterprise-level businesses.
Our preferred dedicated hosting company: WebGround or Hostinggator.
Notice: The WPBeginner website is hosted on SiteGround dedicated servers.
We have created an infographic to help you choose the right type of web hosting.
How to Choose the Right Plan for Hosting a Website
You can see that all hosting plans have different pricing and server configurations. It is important to select a plan that meets your needs and fits within your budget.
WPBeginner recommends that users start with a shared hosting plan, and then upgrade to meet their needs. This will allow you to save money while only paying for what you use.
Shared hosting plans start at $7.99 per Month (paid annually), and $14.99 for domain names.
This is a good investment if you’re just starting out.
Bluehost is happy to offer a discount for hosting and a free domain. You can get started starting at $2.75 per Month.
They are an officially recommended WordPress web hosting provider and one of the biggest hosting companies in the globe. They provide a free SSL certificate as well as excellent customer service.