How to buy web hosting
To build and run a website you will need three things:
- choose a website domain name guide for more details. You only lease the domain, that is you pay to register a domain for a set period of time, for which you will control it. A domain name – This is the address of your website and is how people will find you. Look at our how to
Why not take a look at our website hosting packages.
Web hosting – This is essentially some storage space on a web server which has additional tools for the management of your website server space and email accounts.
To see how we can help with your web design see our how to start a website page.
A website – This, at its most basic, is a series of HTML and CSS files that contains the information that is interpreted by a web browser and displayed to the user as a website.
Web hosting, as described above, is space on a web server where you keep your website’s files. When somebody enters your website domain in the address bar of their browser, the browser requests your website files on the web server and passes those files back to the browser. You don’t need to worry about the technicalities of the proccess. Web hosting is very easy to buy and set up, all you need to do is identify which web hosting package has the right features for your needs.
How to choose a website hosting package
Choosing a web hosting package can be quite straight forward. The main distinctions between packages are generally storage space and bandwidth. These two factors are not necessarily as important as they sound. Your website is not going to actually
use up a lot of space unless you are using lots of high resolution images and video etc… But, you need the files that your website uses to be as small as possible anyway. If you use large image files they take longer to download and so you website will be “slower”
to load, which nobody likes. So unless you have a very large website that needs access to lots of multimedia files space is not going to be a prime requirement. Bandwidth limits determine how much data your website can serve to users over the month. How much you need will depend on the size of each webpage served multiplied by the number of times they are served. e.g.
If your average web page size is 100kb then you can serve a 1000 web pages in 1 month if your bandwidth limit is 100MB. Likewise if you have a bandwidth limit of 10GB you can serve 100,000 web pages per month. So choosing your monthly bandwidth limit should be based
on your estimated number of visitors. Don’t waste money buying a package with unlimited bandwidth if you only have a couple of thousand page visits a month.
So the upshot is don’t get carried away with large storage capacity and high bandwidth limits as you will probably end up paying for resources that you are never going to use.
What you did want to consider when getting a website hosting package is all the extra goodies, things like: How many email accounts do you get?, do I get mailing list functionality?, can I add subdomains?, How many websites can I run from the same hosting account (addon domains), How do you manage the website (we offer CPanel which is by far the best)? There is a whole host of functions available through CPanel.
Why not compare our website hosting packages. A lot of the extra features that you get you will probably never use but email accounts, addon domains, MySQL databases and subdomains you will probably want to use at some point.
But remember before you go buying the all singing all dancing web hosting package, most web hosting companies like ourselves, allow users to upgrade their hosting package. So it is better to increase the size of your package as your business grows and your website’s needs expand.
How to buy web hosting
We are going to talk you through what happens when you buy website hosting from iDigLocal. Generally, the process is very similar for the majority of web hosting providers. We have put this section in so that if you are daunted by the unknown world of website hosting we can rid you of your fears. The actual process of ordering and setting up hosting is extremely simple. You do not need any great technical know-how.
The order process is as follows:
- buy a website domain name. You may also transfer an existing domain name or use an existing domain bought through another domain registrar. Pick a domain name – see our guide on how to
- Select a hosting package – Choose your hosting package based on the data, bandwidth limits and features you currently need for your website and click the button.
- Add the domain to your order – You will be asked what domain you wish to add to your order. With iDigLocal you will get your first years domain name registration for free.
- Enter your billing account details – You will need to create an account with iDigLocal, this is your billing account. The details will also be used to register your domain.
- Confirm and pay – You will be asked to confirm your order and then pay, either by credit/debit card or by PayPal.
That’s it really, the process from here on in is automated. Next you will receive a barrage of emails, 6 usually. This can be a bit confusing in that sometimes it is difficult to understand what each email is referring too. The emails refer to different aspects of the web hosting set-up and buying process.
As a summary, there are really three things going on: firstly the billing process, secondly the setting up of accounts and lastly the setting up of the hosting space on the server and the domain.
In the first instance you will be sent the logon details for your billing account with iDigLocal. If You logon to the billing account you can manage your invoices, domain nameservers and change hosting package. The Login is here.
You will be sent a number of emails related to the services that you have ordered, they are as follows: a confirmation email that telling you what you have ordered, how much each service has cost, what the VAT on the price is and what the cost of the service will be when it needs to be renewed; A notification of an invoice being generated; a notification that the invoice has been payed; an inotification email from the payment gateway.
Once the finances are sorted out the hosting account will be set up. You will receive an important email with all the details of your hosting account, including your cPanel login details. You need to keep this. If you have registered a Domain you will also receive an email telling you that the domain has been successfully registered. Domain registration is controlled by a central registration organisation, generally one for each domain ending (or TLD).
That’s it, you can now manage your website hosting through cPanel and upload your website files via FTP (see the important “account details”” email for the logon details). We are, when time permits, going to try and better organise all of these emails and perhaps skip some where we can. Now you have your web hosting you will need to design a website to upload to it. Take a look at how our team of Stroud based web designers can help you.