Web Hosting Guide
Having decided to make a website, your next step is to set its foundations. For the uninitiated, this can be murky territory. Everybody’s offering web packages these days: from your broadband provider and phone network to the dozens of flyers coming in after registering your business.
While it may be tempting (and indeed convenient) to go for these package deals, they can be problematic. Some badly limit what you can put online, with outdated technology and a sparse set of developer tools. The rule of thumb, as it should be with any trade, is to go for the specialists; you wouldn’t trust a carpenter to groom your dog, would you?
Web Hosting and Domain Names Explained
What you’re looking for are two things – web hosting and a domain name.
- Website hosting is the online storage shed that holds your content. I’m writing for you, shop owner, and generally speaking you won’t have to worry about filling it up. Beyond space and bandwidth, a good hosting provider equips the developer with essential tools such as phpMyAdmin and the latest MySQL, enabling more complex features such as WordPress installation and databases. You needn’t worry about these terms as they will come as standard with the right hosts.
- A domain name is the signpost that points your surfer towards the hosted content, which under the hood is a series of numbers (an IP address). Again, thousands of companies offer this service. They’re largely similar, but you don’t want to get caught out with a bum deal.
With the right hosts, you’re looking at between £15-40 a year, and domain names between £5 and £15. That’s just over £5 a month to give you a front door into the internet.
Given these terms, what we now want to do is get our hosting setup, and point our domain name towards it. Consider the two mutually dependant. Consider them web Lego.
What Hosting Provider Should I Use?
My personal recommendation is TSO Host, a company who’ve done me an outstanding service and happen to keep fair prices.
Why TSO Host? Their support second to none, their cpanel is sleek and their servers are super speedy. On top of that, email accounts come as standard with all their hosting packages. What’s more, TSO have excellent customer support, and I mean excellent.
Setting Up With TSO Host
- Visit www.tsohost.com and click Web Hosting > Cloud Hosting
- Select the left-hand Lite Package and add it to your basket.
- Type your domain name into their search bar and check it is available. Note that .uk domains are only available for those who already own the .co.uk counterpart.
- Fill in your details and pay. I don’t know who you are so I’ll not risk guessing. The coupon/code MPWLDWCJPU will get you a 10% discount.
Wrapping Up: Nameservers, Logins & Preparation
Now that’s all sorted, you will receive a welcome email complete with usernames, passwords and nameserver details. These are the keys to your website. Bookmark this and forward it to your developer. We’re very thankful when clients whip up the information at once, and this provides us with everything we need to get started on your website. I will explain in a future post just what’s happening behind the scenes and how you yourself can access this big online shed. For now, this is a fine start.
There. Hopefully that cleared a few things up and skipped some unnecessary tedium. Happy hosting.
Where next? Logically, your next step would be to prepare the website pages and photos for your developer.