Once you register your domain name, the next thing you want to do is to host your blog or website. Web hosting simply means providing storage space for your website so that users can access it.
As we proceed with the internet marketing challenge, I would strongly advise that you get your hosting set up as you read this. Remember great people are made out of taking action, and not just reading great information.
What would you consider a top-notch web host?
An excellent web host will ensure that your site remains online most of the time (99.9% uptime) and it works seamlessly without unnecessary interruptions. You also need an excellent support team that can take good care of your property (website). Once your site starts earning good money, even 1 minute of downtime can result into significant losses.
Factors to consider when selecting the best web host
Do not just go for anyone advertising their hosting services. Go for the best. Below are some of the things to look out for:
- Price: Just like anything else in life, go for something you can afford.
- Uptime guarantee: Go for web hosts with 99.9% uptime guarantee. This means that your site will always be online and accessible.
- 24 hour, excellent support: This really comes in handy in case there is a site issue at any time of day. In fact make sure the support is active 24/7/365. Make sure your host has excellent support i.e sharp and accurate answers to your queries.
- Number of domains and subdomains hosted: All web hosts have different plans. If you’d want to have multiple sites hosted, choose a plan that will allow that.
- Storage: Web hosting will host your site files, just the same way your computer hosts your personal files (documents, images, program files etc). Therefore, select a service that allows maximum (or even unlimited) storage. Of course this depends on your budget.
- Bandwidth: Bandwidth is simply the amount of data you and your visitors are allowed to upload or download. If you have low bandwidth, you can only have a certain number of visitors in a month. Go for unlimited bandwidth.
- Emails: It feels great to have a customized email, e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org. To look professional, you may want to set up different email addresses e.g. email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. Just like the above, go for unlimited emails. You can even set up one for your wife. If she’s Alice and your site is africansuits.com, it will be great to have firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank me later :).
- An affiliate platform: This is not mandatory. However, if you want to earn some money recommending your web host to others, it’s best to look for a web hosting company that has an affiliate platform. That way, for every visitor who you recommend, and they pay and set up their sites, you earn a commission.
The above are the basics you’ll need. If you have a good budget you can also look for additional services such as daily site backup, security features etc.
For many years, I’ve been hosting my site with HostGator and it has been great to me. I have hardly had any issues and whenever they crop up, I get them sorted out real quick. Yes, I’m a proud HostGator affiliate and I’ll earn a commission if you use my link or coupon codes.
If you use my coupon codes shown on the screenshots below, you’ll get some awesome discounts and can even host your site with just $0.01 in your first month.
However, you’re free to use any other web host that meets the above criteria.
I had already registered my domain name, internetmarketinginafrica.com on my previous blog post, now let’s host it.
How to host your website
Here is how to host your site step by step. As stated above, I’ll use HostGator in my example but you are free to choose any other alternative. The process is similar for all web hosts therefore you should still be able to follow.
Step 1: Check out the plans
Head over to HostGator.com and click on “Get Started Now”.
Step 2: Choose a web hosting plan
Click on “Choose a Plan”
I recommend the “Baby” plan since it’s still affordable and allows you to host multiple websites. Note that the price they indicate there is for people who want to pay for 3 years at once.
If you want to pay monthly, you’ll pay a higher price than that. However, with my coupon code you’ll only pay $0.01 (approximately 1 KES) on your first month.
Note that HostGator has a money back guarantee. You can request to be given back your cash within the first 45 days if you don’t like their service. This makes it risk free for a starter.
Here is what you’ll see on the plans page. Choose your preferred plan then click on “Sign Up Now!”.
Step 3: Enter Your Domain Name
If you had already set up a domain name, click on “I Already Own This Domain” and enter the domain name there.
If you want to register a new domain, click on “Register A New Domain”. Remember I had previously recommended Namecheap as my preferred domain registrar but if you want to use HostGator you can still go ahead.
Step 4: Confirm your web hosting plan
Move over to the next step where you confirm your plan.
Step 5: Enter your billing info
Step 6: Select additional services (optional)
For my new site, I did not choose any additional service. Good thing is that I can choose them anytime. In case you want any of these other services, select them here.
Step 7: Enter coupon code, agree to terms and conditions then checkout (pay)
Note that if you use my coupon code freelancerkenya as below, you’ll only pay $0.01 on your first month of hosting.
If you are choosing a longer billing cycle, e.g. 1 year or 3 years. You can use my coupon code freelancekenya to get 25% off your total amount.
Once you’ve validated your coupon code. Go ahead and accept the terms and conditions then make the payment.
Step 8: Set up your nameservers
After a successful purchase you’ll receive an email that looks like this. Take note of the nameservers as below.
Head over to your domain registrar where you registered your domain name (assuming you didn’t use HostGator). Login and paste the domain nameserver (DNS) details there.
I used Namecheap for my domain registration. Once you log in, you should see your domain on the dashboard.
Click on “Manage”.
Select “Custom DNS” then paste the nameserver details you got from HostGator. After that click the small green tick on the right so that the details can be saved.
In a few minutes, your site will be live! (this can take up to 24 hours).
Yippee! Your site is live
Simply go to your browser and enter your domain then click enter. This is what I’m seeing after following the above process:
In the next post, we’ll set up WordPress on the site so that we can start adding content.
It feels great to have your first site online, doesn’t it? The world will soon be reading from you. You’ll soon be collecting lots of leads and making sales using your new website.
Hosting your website is not as hard as you may have imagined. Simply follow the above procedure and you’ll be done in a few clicks. Share this with all your friends and leave a comment below.