You’ve chosen a niche and created a domain name. Now you need to find web hosting so you’ll have a place to put your business.
There are a lot of options available for web hosting. Just like with buying a domain, there are cheap options, and there are good options.
Your web hosting service will determine if your business succeeds or fails. A hosting provider that can’t keep your website available at all times will be the end of your business.
So be careful when choosing a hosting service, and don’t let an attractive price be the reason you choose one over the other.
What Is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is basically your path to getting your website on the internet. Just like the host of a party gives people a place to get together, a web host gives your website a place to be and a way for people to access it.
The hosting provider stores your website’s files. Text, images, video, coding, script… Everything that goes into making your website a website gets stored on their servers.
Servers are really nothing more than giant hard drives. They hold massive amounts of data and allow anyone connected to the internet to access that date in the form of a website.
Have you ever heard of an IP address? It’s a series of numbers that identifies a computer’s location on the internet.
Well, domains are also IP addresses.
In our last lesson, Choose A Domain Name, I mentioned that whoever you buy your domain name from is a registrar, and they register your domain name. What that means is that they assign an IP address (a series of numbers to locate it in the internet) to your domain name (the URL of your website). Your domain and its corresponding IP address are entered into a domain name system (DNS).
The DNS is a database that stores all domains and corresponding IP addresses for a top-level domain (.com, .net, etc.).
When someone tries to access your website, their computer contacts the DNS. The DNS finds the IP address of your website and accesses the appropriate server. What gets sent back to that person’s computer is your website.
Starting to see how this all comes together? We’ll put it all together in the next lesson: Building A Website.
I mentioned that you can find cheap hosting, or good hosting.
Don’t take that the wrong way.
Cheap hosting can be good, depending on what your plans are.
If all you want to do is create a single blog-style website, cheap hosting can work for you. And you can find it for about $5 a month.
Great deal, right?
If you are reading about hosting on my website, your plans are probably to turn that website into a business.
And if you plan on building ONE business website, chances are good that you will build more in the future.
Well, cheap hosting isn’t so cheap for the business minded!
Eventually, you will run out of space on your cheap plan and need to upgrade.
A business website needs security features. With a cheap hosting plan, that’s going to be an additional service with an additional cost.
You are also going to want good server support so your website doesn’t go down. Not likely with a cheap host.
In the end your cheap host will be one thing and one thing only: A host. Nothing more than a place to put your website.
Hosting For The Future
Choosing a web hosting provider that will serve you for the long haul is a great idea. They will cost more, but they also provide more.
So what will a good web host provide besides a parking place for your website?
A good host will include security features in their hosting package. There is a lot of malware out there that can seriously harm your site, and your business. Add to that hackers, with intentions ranging from annoying to disastrous, and security becomes a big issue.
Malware and hackers destroyed your site? Well, if you have a backup, you can be back in business in no time. Find a web host that offers automatic backups, and you don’t have to worry about forgetting to back your site up yourself.
Lost your site and need to install the backup files? Can’t figure it out? Good web hosting support is a wonderful thing. Live chat or phone contact options so you can get the help you need are priceless.
Types Of Hosting
Don’t confuse this with good vs. bad. When I talk about types of hosting, I am talking about how and where your data is stored.
The different types of hosting will also affect the price, so that is something to consider when you are just getting started.
This is exactly what it sounds like. Web hosts store your website on servers. With shared hosting, your site is stored on a server that holds many other websites.
When you just start out this is fine. You site isn’t going to be huge and require a ton of memory. You also won’t have massive amounts of traffic that would slow down a shared server.
Because the servers are shared, web hosts can charge less. They only have to maintain a single server for multiple sites, so their labor savings get passed on to you in lower hosting costs.
The downside to shared hosting is that the servers are shared. Maybe your site doesn’t get a ton of traffic yet, but with 10, 20 or 100 sites all on the same server being accessed at the same time, things can get bogged down. Sometimes the traffic to these multiple sites can overwhelm the server and the server goes down. When the server is down, your site is down.
Shared hosting is okay to get started, but when you really get rolling and making money online, you are going to want something more reliable.
Virtual Private Server – VPS
Virtual private servers are the next step up from shared hosting.
Technically speaking, it is still shared hosting. Your site will still be stored on a server with other sites.
Unlike shared hosting, however, with a VPS a certain portion of the server’s resources are dedicated to each account. What that means is that your site will be allotted a certain amount of bandwidth (memory). There will be times when more is available to your site, but no matter what happens it will never be less.
What this means for you and your site is a lot less down time, and a guaranteed minimum operating speed. Other sites on the server can’t steal your memory or resources and slow you down.
This option is a little pricier than standard shared hosting. Depending on how many sites you run, and how much memory you need, you can find good plans starting around $25 a month. A really good plan for a decent number of sites will be around $50 a month. There are even bigger and pricier plans, but unless you have a ton of sites or make a business out of managing sites for others, you probably won’t need them.
Keep in mind, a VPS can still go down if it gets overloaded, but it is not nearly as common as with standard shared hosting.
Just as it sounds, these are servers that are all yours.
And you’ll pay for it!
Plans for dedicated servers tend to start around $150 a month.
You really don’t even need to consider a dedicated server right now. Until you are making massive sites or managing massive sites, just forget they even exist!
Where To Find Web Hosting
There are a lot of options here. I will cover a few of them, but this list is nowhere near exhaustive.
Shared Hosting – Cheap
Bluehost – They offer reasonably prices options starting at less than $5 a month for shared hosting. They also offer VPS and Dedicated Server plans, but I would stay away from those options. As a beginner in the make money online world, their shared hosting could be okay for your needs. However, as you get bigger and want to upgrade, Bluehost isn’t your best option. I’ve used them in the past, and their support is either slow in responding, or doesn’t respond at all. Further, their starting rate is for the first year. After that, the prices almost triple.
HostGator – Another reasonably prices starter option, but again prices about triple after the discounted term. I have never used them personally, but from what I’ve heard from friends who have is that their support is better than Bluehost (I cannot verify personally, so proceed at your own discretion).
Virtual Private Servers – Reasonable – Business Ready
They offer 7 levels of VPS hosting, starting at $25 a month for level 1. Level 2, which is a great starting point for getting started with affiliate marketing, is only $35 a month. Level 3, which you won’t need to go beyond unless you have a ridiculous number of sites, is $45 a month. I have never personally used them, but have only heard good things. Their support is said to be fast, friendly, and very knowledgeable.
UPDATE DEC 30, 2017: Knownhost has recently changed their offerings, removing the standard VPS hosting with 7 levels. They still provide managed VPS hosting at 4 different levels, and have reduced the prices. Level 1 of the managed VPS options is a close equivalent of the previously available Level 2, and is currently being offered at $28 a month.
Oh No! I Picked A Bad Host!
There may come a day when you realize that your web host just can’t offer what you need.
It happens. There can be a variety of reasons you may decide to change hosting companies.
Lack of support.
Whatever the reason, it’s not a big deal. You can move your site to a new host pretty easily.
And if you are moving to a good host, their support will be able to walk you through the whole process.
So, try to pick a web host you’ll be happy with for a long time, but don’t freak out if it turns out that you don’t like them.
Who Do I Host With?
Believe it or not, I have a shared hosting service. But not one of the cheap ones I mentioned earlier.
If you’ve been to other pages on my site, you’ve probably seen me talk about Wealthy Affiliate. They are an affiliate marketing training platform, and I will talk about them more throughout these lessons.
But they are more than just training.
As a premium member ($49/month as a monthly member, or $30/month if you pay yearly) you also get hosting for 25 sites on your own domains, and 25 sites on free SiteRubix domains.
Did I say shared hosting was no good for business sites? Well, generally that’s true. But these guys do things a little differently. They include:
- Site Security (up to $100/year elsewhere)
- Domain Privacy (up to $10/year elsewhere)
- Excellent support
- Automatic daily site backups
- Free website redundancy…
What is website redundancy?
You’ve seen the “WWW” in a URL, right? But not all sites have it. Because you don’t need it.
“WWW” is a sub domain.
That means the www.honestpassiveincomereviews.com is not the same as honestpassiveincomereviews.com.
But with hosting at Wealthy Affiliate, you get both, automatically, stored on different servers. That’s like getting two websites in one.
What that means is if the server that holds your primary website without the www goes down, it will automatically redirect traffic to the version with the www.
End result: No down time.
So even though it is a shared hosting service, you get the reliability of the pricier VPS option, with site security, domain privacy, and excellent support at no extra cost.
Where Should You Host?
The choice is really up to you, and largely depends on what you plans are.
If you are serious in your desire to make money online and work from home, I suggest Wealthy Affiliate. (Even if you don’t want to start an online business, but just want hosting that you can rely on with support you can depend on, I still recommend them)
Not only will you get a great hosting package with automatic redundancy and site security included, you will get the best internet marketing training in the industry, all for what you might pay for JUST the hosting elsewhere.
I offer some basic training and tips here, but I can’t come close to the training at Wealthy Affiliate. Take a look at my full review of the Wealthy Affiliate platform and see if it’s right for you.
Good Web Hosting – Let’s Review
There are some things that you want to make sure you get from a hosting provider other than a good price.
You want site security. This not only protects your site from malware and hackers, ti protects any personal information your visitors share with you. Site security and SSL certifications put the “S” in “HTTPS”, and if you do any business online you probably make sure that “S” is there before you give out any personal information. Your site’s visitors will, too.
Site backups can be lifesavers. They can be the difference between 10 minutes installing a backup file, or months rebuilding a lost site. Make sure your host offers unlimited backups. If they provide automatic daily backups, even better!
Support! Always look at web hosting support before you buy. Poor support is bad for you, bad for your site, and bad for your business. It’s just plain BAD! Make sure your web host offers fast, knowledgeable support. You may need it.
Standard shared hosting is okay when you’re just starting out. If you get going and need to rely on your site to make money you will want to upgrade to a virtual private server (VPS). Or take advantage of the redundancy available with Wealthy Affiliate shared hosting.
Whichever route you decide to take, we’ll look at how to put it all together in the next lesson: Building a Website.
It would be great if you could rate this article, and let me know what you thought in the comments below. Ask questions. Tell me what you would like to see added to the site!
As always, thanks for reading, and the best of luck on your journey to financial independence,
If you ever have any questions, you can contact me here.
P.S. With all of the hosting options out there, it can get a little confusing. So why not get your hosting and the best affiliate marketing training in the industry all in one place for about what you’d pay for just hosting elsewhere? Take at look at my Wealthy Affiliate Review to learn more. I’m an active member there. I love their hosting, and still learn new things every day. I really hope I see you there!