Web Site Hosting Explained (the Basics)


Before we get started on the advice we just wanted to explain that this is really, really basic advice for people totally and utterly brand new to anything related to owning and/or building websites.

So please do not expect in depth advice on various types of hosting package, content management system or web site builders, etc. We have provided more advanced hosting advice on this site and you will find links to this content at the bottom of this post and also in the side bar navigation links.

However if you are totally new to owning websites and hosting them this post is absolutely perfect for you. We will be covering:

  • What is a Domain?
  • What is Site Hosting?
  • How Do You Setup the Domain to the Hosting?
  • How Do You Build a Website on the Hosting?

What is a Domain?

So the very first thing you need if you want to host your own website is a domain, also know as a domain name. This name is what allows people to find your web site, either by typing it directly into the browser or from a link from some other site like Google, Twitter or Facebook.

Possibly the most famous of all domains is https://www.google.com. But every website has it’s own and there are literally millions if not billions and billions of different ones online today.

To get a domain name all you have to do is register one at a domain registrar such as Name Cheap. Make sure you think really, really carefully about it before choosing a name though. You want one you will be happy with for a long time and changing isn’t recommended unless absolutely necessary.

What is Site Hosting?

Site hosting is the place where you will store all the content of your website. Usually you will use part of a shared server. A server is just an online computer that you as the site owner and your site’s visitors (often called traffic) connect to via the domain name to load your website.

How Do You Setup the Domain to the Hosting?

Ok, so now you understand that you need both a website domain name and web site hosting on a shared server package for your site to be accessible online.

Let us assume you have registered your brand new domain name and you have signed up for a shared server hosting package with your new hosting company.

Now you need to connect the domain name to the hosting servers. Luckily for you this is a really easy job and once it is done you will be up and running in no time!

When you sign up for your hosting you will receive an email with the DNS information for your new server. DNS stands for Domain Name System and it is what connected domains to servers and web sites.

So your host will give you your two DNS values, lets call them DNS1 and DNS2. You need to copy and paste then into the DNS section of your domain settings page in which ever web site your registered the domain at.

Then you just have to be patient. It can take up to 48 hours for the changes to take place but usually it happens in well under thirty minutes or so.

How Do You Build a Website on the Hosting?

We are not going to go into full depth detail right here about how to build a website on hosting. But to give you a basic idea, websites mainly consist of files and folders. Just like the content on your computer.

Many people these days will use a content management system (also known as CMS) to help them build and manage their web site content and pages. The most popular is called WordPress. It is free to use, fairly easy to learn and there is a huge amount of free help available on blogs and sites like YouTube.

Still confused as what to do next?

Additional Resources for Beginners

This video is an excellent break down of how to set up a domain name and hosting. The whole video is only fifteen minutes long and by then end of it any questions you currently have or anything you still are confused about should be totally cleared up.

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