In the second of my 101 articles, I discuss website hosting packages and things to consider.

Once you’ve purchased you domain, you need somewhere to put it. That’s where web hosting comes into play. You can host your website on your own server at home, but it’s is a laborious process and it will take you a long time to recover the outlay compared to buying a hosting package. So for me, host servers are the way to go.

The server is just like the hard drive on your home computer, only instead of it just being accessible by you, everyone can access it by typing your web address.

There are lots of companies offering to host your website for you, and any search will bring up a huge list. When it comes to hosting, cheapest is not always best. Once you’ve built your website, the server on which it is hosted needs to be safe and secure. You also need to remember one very key thing – if the host server is down, your website isn’t accessible. Reliability is one of, if not the number one thing to consider when buying server space. If the seller doesn’t tell you what their reliability stats are, I’d maybe look elsewhere.

All hosts offer a range of packages based on how many sites you want to host and whether you’re paying up front of monthly. You’ll also have to make a decision on how many sites you’ll want to host – often there’ll be a limit to the number of domains your server will let you have. Some hosts also base their prices on the size of your website, or the number of visitors. While this might not be an issue at the start, if you’re aiming to build a huge site with loads of visitors you may find the price rises as you become successful, and then you’l be faced with moving your site or coughing up the cash.

You’ll also have the option of a dedicated server. This means instead of sharing the hard drive with other websites, you get one all to yourself. I know quite a few website builders and none have them have a dedicated server. They are aimed at big businesses who maybe have huge databases which take up a lot of power to run commands. For Joe Public, shared server space is fine.

Once you’ve bought your server space, you’ll be given a server address to ‘point’ your domains to. To do this, you’ll need to go to the place you bought your domains, log into your account and select the domain you want to point. You then need to access the DNS settings and change the information there to the new information from your host. Depending on your host and your domain provider this should become active within a few hours and no more than a day or two. Once that’s all done, you’ll be ready to build your website. Check back soon for my article on getting you first website online.

Before I finish up, I thought I’d share who I use for hosting, which is Hostgator. They were recommended by a good friend of mine who has about a million websites on the go, and if it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for me. So far, so good – no down time, and a great control panel which is easy to use. The support is brilliant too – you can call them for free using Skype 24/7 so if you’re new to this game, it’s invaluable. Click on the ad in the resources section to have a look at the packages on offer.

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