As advanced as it may initially seem, anyone can host their own website. This will not only save you money, but also give you more control. The good news is that the process of learning how to host your own website is quite simple, so you don’t need to be experienced in web development to host your own site. Follow us to learn how to connect your site to a web hosting provider in minutes.
1. Choose a content management system (CMS)
If you haven’t yet decided which platform you’re going to use to build your site, the first step is to choose a content management system (CMS). The reason for this is that how you host your site will depend on the platform your site is built on. For the average person building a site, the decision comes down to two main types of platforms: WordPress or an all-in-one website builder, such as Wix, Squarespace, or Shopify.
The main differences between WordPress and website builders are ease of use, customization capabilities, and cost. Although WordPress is a free and open source CMS, it requires third-party web hosting. It’s much more flexible, giving users the ability to create just about any type of site with just about any functionality. However, it is much more complicated to use and involves quite a steep learning curve. Whereas website builders are designed to make creating websites easier. They include web hosting, so there is no need to purchase and connect third-party web hosting.
2. Buy a web hosting service
If you opt for WordPress, the next step is to choose a web hosting service. There are a number of web hosting providers, such as Bluehost, DreamHost, Hostinger, and IONOS, all of which offer a similar but slightly different set of features (e.g. storage and bandwidth limits, uptime guarantees , speed, contract duration and price).
If you’re hosting a new website, it’s worth choosing a web hosting plan that includes features like a free domain name, free SSL certificate, and one-click WordPress installation, like Bluehost. Whereas, if you are hosting an existing site, it is worth finding a host that offers a free WordPress site migration service, such as Hostinger.
For additional information and help choosing the right hosting service, check out the best web hosting services.
3. Get a domain name
In case you don’t already have a domain name, get your domain directly from one of the best domain registrars, such as Namecheap, Domain.com, or Google Domains. Alternatively, you can register your domain name with any registrar, but your web hosting provider may provide you with a free domain name included in your account. This means that you do not have to pay registration fees for the first year of operation.
It’s generally a good idea to get your domain name from your web hosting provider, as this will save you time by not having to manually connect your domain to your web host. If you don’t know where to start, find out how to register a domain name.
4. Connect your domain to your host
The process of connecting your domain name to your host varies depending on where your domain name originated. For example, if you got a domain name through your web hosting provider, it will automatically connect to your web host. If you already have a domain name, you will need to manually connect your domain to your host.
To do this, go to the site where you purchased your domain name (for example, Namecheap or GoDaddy). From there, go to your domain name settings to point your domain to the hosting server. In your web hosting account, you should have been given nameservers, called domain name servers, or DNS. These addresses are where you point your domain name so that when people type in “www.yourdomain.com” they land on the content you host on your chosen server.
When you have located the nameservers, you need to log in to your domain name settings and click on the “DNS Settings” tab. You then simply replace the current domain name servers with those provided to you by your host. When you register this, your domain will start pointing to your host server within hours, but it can be quite instantaneous.
5. Install WordPress (or migrate an existing site)
The last step in the process is to install WordPress on your domain through your web hosting account. Most major web hosting providers offer free one-click WordPress installation, which allows users to connect their domain and web hosting plan to WordPress with just one click. How you access the one-click install feature depends on your chosen web hosting provider, however, it is usually accessible through your web hosting or cPanel account.
If you already have an existing WordPress website and are connecting to a new hosting provider, the easiest way to connect is to use a WordPress migration service. This is often available for free through your web hosting provider. However, some hosts charge extra for this migration service.