Let’s learn how to host a website on your own if you are a newbie.
The first thing to consider when starting your website is to choose a web hosting provider (if you already have a web domain1). The web hosting provider provides the web space (i.e. special computers called web servers) where your website files are stored, as well as the technologies and services needed for your website to be viewed on the Internet.
Add-on services provided by a web hosting provider typically include data backup, firewall protection, technical support, email services, domain name registration, website building tools and applications.
Steps to Host a Website:
Step 1: Decide What Type of Website You Want
You will typically find 2 types of websites:
Static or Basic Websites: Static websites are simple websites with one or more web pages (called HTML pages). You can build them on your computer with software like Dreamweaver and then upload the pages to your host’s server using any FTP software (such as FileZilla or CoreFTP).
Whenever you need to make changes to your website, you’ll have to edit the pages on your computer and upload them again. Since they cannot be modified dynamically, such websites are called static websites.
Static websites are cheaper than dynamic websites but come with limited functionality and no option for e-commerce or interactivity.
Dynamic Websites: Dynamic websites contain information that changes, depending on the time of day, the viewer and other factors. They make use of both client-side and server-side scripts to create and update content.Client-side scripts, which run on a user’s computer, are mainly used for appearance and interaction purposes. Server-side scripts, which reside on a server and are extensively used by E-commerce and social networking sites, allow users to have individual accounts and provide a customized response for each user.Dynamic websites are CMS-driven, and allow you to directly add and edit content (i.e. text, design, photos and videos), as well as let your visitors leave comments and start discussions.
Dynamic websites are ideal for businesses and organizations. Examples of dynamic websites include blogs, forums, photo galleries and e-commerce sites.
Step 2: Choose Your Hosting Server
Unlike static HTML sites which can be hosted on most web servers, when it comes to web applications, there are basically two types of hosting platforms. Depending on your hosting needs and what you’re most comfortable with, you can choose from:
Linux Hosting, which allows running scripts written in PHP, Perl, Python and other Unix-originated languages, and usually supports PostgreSQL and MySQL databases. This is the most commonly used system today.
Windows Hosting, which allows running ASP scripts utilizing .NET and other Microsoft technologies, and supports Microsoft SQL Server and Access database.
Step 3: Select Your Web Hosting Plan
You will typically find a wide range of services in web hosting, such as:
Shared Hosting: In shared hosting, you get to share the physical server with other website owners. However, you will have your own separate account (secured with login credentials). Shared hosting is very affordable because the cost of operating the server is shared between you and the other website owners.
VPS Hosting (Virtual Private Server Hosting): In VPS hosting, every website is stored on a very powerful server that is divided into several virtual compartments. The server software is configured separately so that each unit can function independently. It should be your preferred option if you have high-security concerns but don’t want to invest in a faster (but costlier) dedicated server.
Dedicated Hosting: Dedicated hosting offers you an entire server for yourself, thereby making it faster, more secure…and costlier. It is the ideal solution for larger businesses and high-traffic websites because it allows for maximum customization, configuration, installation and flexibility.
Step 4: Change Your DNS Address
After you have purchased your web hosting, you will get Name Servers (also known as Domain Name Servers or DNS) – which is the Internet’s equivalent of a phone book that contains IP Addresses.
To get your website up and working, you will need to change the Name Servers of your domain. It’s a simple but mandatory step for you to get started.
Step 5: Upload Your Website
You can now upload your website to your account by connecting to the server using either cPanel’s File Manager or FTP Client (such as FileZilla or CoreFTP) – after which your website will go live.
How to Upload Your Website Using cPanel File Manager
Log in to your cPanel.
Click on the icon titled File Manager.
Select Web Root(public_html) and click on Go.
Add all the files and folders under public_html and their respective domain folder.
How to Upload Your Website Using FTP Client
You can connect to FTP via an FTP program such as FileZilla Client. It allows you to see the files and folders on our server like you’d see them on your computer. You can use it to drag and drop your website’s files into the /public_html/ folder.
To connect to your web server via FileZilla, follow these steps:
Install FileZilla and open it
From the File menu, select Site Manager
Click on New Site
Name the New Site – such as with your real domain name
Enter your website’s IP address in the field marked FTP Address
Enter the username and password you received in your welcome mail
Set the Port to 21 (FTP always runs on Port 21)
Once your FTP is connected, you will see the files and folders of your:
Local computer on the left
Web hosting service on the right
To upload files to your hosting service provider via FileZilla, follow these steps:
From the left-hand side of FileZilla, select the file(s) and folder(s) you want to upload.
Drag and drop the file(s) and folder(s) to the directory location on the right side of your web hosting service. FileZilla will now start uploading.
After the uploading is finished, FileZilla log will confirm success and your uploads will be visible on the right-hand side.