When you visit a web hosting website, you immediately see a variety of plans that you can choose from. So which is the most appropriate plan to sign up for? Here is a comprehensive guide that may help you.
Step 1: Defining your goals.
What type of site would you like to setup? Do you want a site with static HTML pages? Or you do want a site that is easy to maintain because you know there will be numerous changes down the road. In that case, you need to install a CMS so that you don’t have to hire someone every time you need some changes to be done.
Step 2: Getting a domain name.
You will need to get your own domain name before you sign up for a hosting plan. You can always point your domain to your new hosting account afterward. Your hosting Company will provide you with the nameservers together with your sign up information. Nameservers will look something like this:
Step 3: Deciding between Windows and Linux.
Different OS comes with different control panels. The leaders in the market are currently HELM (for Windows) and Cpanel (for Linux). Both are very easy to use, but each offers its own unique features.
For beginners looking to setup static HTML websites, both types of servers will do just fine. But if you are thinking of installing some software, you may need to stop for a while and think.
Windows servers are primarily meant to host .Net applications. Although it can also run PHP scripts, you are much better off having them on your Linux servers.
Step 4: Deciding on the actual hosting plan.
As a beginner, you should start from the lowest plan – and that’s a shared hosting plan. A shared hosting environment means that hundreds of sites can be hosted on a single server. The reason why this doesn’t overload the server is because these are mostly small sites and they take up minimal resources. So they can coexist on the same server without much problems.
However, sometimes, there may be individuals who abuse the servers by overloading the system with resource intensive scripts. This can happen due to inexperience or ignorance, and it can affect you. Professional hosting companies have learned to deal with this problem by suspending abusive accounts quickly. They have the right tools to do this.
There are, of course, other hosting plans such as reseller plans, VPS hosting, and dedicated server hosting. Unless you are developing your own software or running huge community sites, you probably don’t need VPS or dedicated hosting. You may, however, consider signing up for a reseller plan because such plans allocate more resources to a single account.
Step 5: Change your nameservers.
Usually, the activation is instant upon payment. Once you sign up with a web hosting company, you will receive the log in information from your web host via email. You may then login to the control panel to add your sites to the account. Remember to change your nameservers. Give the domain names up to 48 hours to propagate (it’s usually faster).