How to Host a Website
(Simple Guide for Beginners) in 2019 JULY 14 · PUBLIC
Do you want to learn how to host a
website? Self-hosted website builders like
WordPress offer you full freedom to build any kind of website.
The challenge is that most beginners don’t know the best way to host a website. Many even believe that it requires special technical skills to host their own websites.
That’s simply not true. If you choose the right approach, then you can easily host your own website within just a few minutes. In most cases, it is just as easy as creating a facebook account.
In this beginner’s guide, we’ll show you the exact steps on how to host a website without learning any technical skills.
We will also explain how it all works behind the scenes. This would help you gain a basic understanding of different ways to host a website.
Ready? Let’s get started.
Here is what you’ll learn in this guide.
What does it mean to host a website
What do you need to host a website
Different types of web hosting services
Choosing the right plan to host a website
How much it cost to host a site
How to host a website on your computer
Putting your local server website online
FAQs about hosting a website
What Does it Mean to Host a Website?
Hosting a website means that you put your website files on a special computer called server. This computer makes your website files publicly accessible on the internet, so anyone can visit it.
In order for other people around the world to see the website, these special computers have a particular set of software installed.
This software is called a web server. A web server’s basic job is to receive incoming requests and respond by sending the requested page to the user’s browser.
Now all of this may sound like bunch of technical jargon, and it is. However, you don’t need to learn how to do all these things in order to host your website. Luckily, there are thousands of companies that offer this as a service (at very low cost).
All websites on the internet use a web hosting company to host their websites. Even tech giants like Netflix (hosted on Amazon) and PayPal (hosted by Google Cloud hosting) use third-party service providers for their hosting. There are only a handful of companies like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon that completely host all their services on their own platforms.
They can do this because they have the technical and financial resources to take on such a huge task. All other businesses (including us) use a web hosting company to host their website.
What Do You Need to Host a Website
You will need the following two things to host a website. Web hosting service provider Domain name
Web hosting service providers offer you ready-to-use web servers to host your website. They take care of all the technical stuff and provide website owners with easy to use tools to manage their hosting.
Now, how do users reach your self-hosted website? This is where domain names come in.
A domain name is the address of your website that people type in the browser to visit your website. For example, patious.com will bring you to this website.
Basically, a domain name is a human-friendly way to connect user’s browsers to the website server associated with that domain name.
You can purchase a domain name from one of these top domain registrars. These are companies licensed to sell domain name registrations.
Note: later in this article, we will show you how to get a domain name for free.
But first, let’s take a look at different types of web hosting plans and evaluate which one would be the right fit to host your website.
Types of Website Hosting Services
Not all websites are the same. Some are smaller and have low traffic while others are larger with more content and visitors. A smaller website requires fewer resources. On the other hand, a larger and more popular website will need more resources to run efficiently.
Website hosting companies provide different types of hosting offers designed to address specific website needs. Here are
some of the most common hosting services.
1. Shared Hosting
A shared hosting service is suitable for small websites, blogs, and small businesses who are just starting out. They are able to keep their costs down by allowing multiple websites to share the same server resources. This makes hosting your website affordable. Pricing: Starting from 2.75 per month to $ 7.99 per month Suitable for: Starting a new blog, small business website
2. VPS Hosting
VPS hosting (Virtual Private Server hosting) is still a shared hosting environment. However, it offers a flexible set of resources to handle large traffic spikes. You get a partitioned of private server for your website that you can manage from
your hosting control panel. This gives you the best of both worlds, the low cost of shared hosting with the flexibility of dedicated resources.
Pricing: Starting from $29.99 / month
Suitable for: Medium-sized businesses,
popular blogs, and eCommerce stores.
3. Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed WordPress hosting is a specialized hosting service made specifically for WordPress. It is like a concierge service for your WordPress website. On a managed hosting platform, the hosting company takes care of updates, backups, and caching of your website. This allows you to focus on creating content and growing your business.
Pricing: Starting from $35.00 per month
Suitable for: Popular blogs, business
websites, membership websites
Our recommended managed WordPress hosting company: WP Engine
4. Dedicated Hosting
A dedicated server hosting gives you the entire server dedicated to your own website. You get all the resources of the server, advanced tools for server management, ability to install your own software and even your own operating system. You’ll be managing your own server which may require some technical skills. It is an advanced option for larger websites that need high-performance to tackle higher traffic volume.
Pricing: Starting from $79.99 month
Suitable for: Enterprise level businesses,
hugely popular websites, eCommerce stores
Choosing The Right Plan to Host a Website As you can see, all different hosting plans come with different server configuration and pricing. You’ll need to choose a plan that suits your needs and budget.
We recommend users to start with a low cost shared hosting plan and then upgrade as their business grows. This allows you to save money and only pay for the services that you actually need. Shared hosting plans start from $7.99 per month (paid annually) and $14.99 for a domain name.
Now if you are just starting out, then this is still a significant investment.
Once you have signed up for a hosting account, the next step is to create your website. For detailed instructions, see our guide on how to make a website.
How Much It Cost to Host a Website
So far we have covered the costs of web hosting companies. However, your costs of hosting a website may vary depending on several factors. The first thing is the hosting plan you choose. We recommend starting with smaller shared hosting plans and then upgrade as your business and website grows.
Once you start building a website, you may need to spend money on other things as well such as website templates, software extensions, and other services. Your goal would be to only buy what you actually need and use free tools whenever you can. On the other hand you can get discounts and save a hefty amount by shopping
WordPress premium themes and plugins from PATIOUS.
How to Host a Website on Your Computer
We are often asked by our users if they can host a website on their own computer.
Yes, you can.
However, the only reason you should host a website on your computer is when you want to test a site locally before putting it on the internet.
A lot of beginners find it useful to learn web development, WordPress, and coding by installing a local server on their computer.
This will allow you to install a local server without making it publicly available. We don’t recommend using a local server to host a website and make it publicly available. However, we will show you how to do that for users who are feeling adventurous.
Putting Your Local Host Server Online
Once you host a website on your local server, it will only be available to you. You’ll need to change its settings to put your website on the internet.
First, locate your web server software’s configuration file called httpd.conf. If you are using WAMP on Windows, then you’ll find it under C:\wamp\bin\apache \apache[version#]\conf] folder. MAMP users on Mac will find it inside / Applications/MAMP/conf/apache/ folder.
You can open this file using a plain text editor like Notepad or TextEdit. After that, you need to find the line that begins with Listen 80
You need to replace it with your IP address and port number. You can find your IP address by simply Googling ‘what is my ip address’ it will show you a numeric string separated by dots. Here’s an example of what that code should look like with your IP:
Next, you need to find the following line:
ServerName
localhost:80
Go ahead and change it by replacing
localhost:80 with your IP address.
ServerName
64.233.160.1
Next, you need to find the following line for
WAMP:
<Directory "c:/wamp/
www/">
If you are using MAMP, then look for the
following line:
<Directory "/
Applications/MAMP/
htdocs">
Below this line you’ll see the access permissions, which you need to replace with the following:
Order Allow,Deny
Allow from all You can now save your configuration file and restart your local server with the new permissions. Now anyone can use your IP address to access your website instead of localhost. This is not an ideal situation as it would be hard for your users to remember the IP address.
That’s where domain names come in handy.
Pointing Your Domain Name to a Locally Hosted Website
Pointing your domain name to a website that you are hosting on your own computer will allow users to access it as they would do with any other site.
First, you need to edit your domain name’s DNS settings. We’re using Domain.com in our screenshots below: After that, you need to edit the A name record with @ sign as the Name. If you don’t have one, then click on Add new record button to proceed. In the value field, you need to enter your computer’s IP address and click on the Update DNS button to save your changes.
If the computer with your local server is connected to the internet directly, then you are all done.
However, if your computer is connected to the internet via router then you need to forward ports. To do that, you need to login to your router’s admin interface by entering the router’s IP address in your browser address bar. Depending on the manufacturer, your router interface may look slightly different.
You will need to find the option labeled port forwarding, virtual server, or NAT.
Next, you need to forward web or HTTP traffic to port 80. In the IP address field, you need to enter the IP address of your computer on the local network. This IP address is the internal address that identifies your computer on the local network.
After that, you need to apply the changes and restart your router. Disadvantages of
Hosting a Website by Yourself
Hosting your website on a local computer is a bad idea. This is why even the tech giants with enough resources, skills, and know- how prefer to go with a hosting service provider.
Following are just a few disadvantages of hosting a website on local computer. In order to run a web server, you need to put it on a computer connected to a high speed internet connection 24 hours a day. You also need to install updates for the web server software, keep backups, plan on a backup server, and more. The computer hosting your website will also be open to hacking attempts, malware injection, and DDOS attacks.
This could also affect the security of all other computers on your network. You will need to purchase a static IP address from your internet service provider, which will cost you extra. Doing all this will require a lot of time, effort, and technical skills. This is why it is a bad idea to host your website on a local computer by yourself.

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