Hosting can get really complicated. So lets start with the important stuff.

Step 1. Buy some cheap WordPress hosting and stick with the default settings. You do not have to get real technical. Most hosting companies will have everything you need setup as default. But if you want to better understand what hosting is, I wrote this:

The steps that are taken to build and launch a website can be overwhelming to someone without the experience. Just type into Google “How to build and launch a website”, and it comes back with 71,600,000 results. Better yet, a search of “Website hosting” shows 16,600,000 results. Where do we begin?

Before we venture into what website hosting is, let’s backtrack and go over some website basics. This will lead us into what hosting is and put it into its proper context. Let’s assume for the moment that you have already made a decision to build and launch a website. You have a clear focus on the subject matter and the focus of attention. This is the cement of your foundation.

Next comes the features of the site itself. What are you looking to have? Is this site going to require some form of a “shopping cart”? Will it require login credentials to access certain portions?

Following this you will want to draw out the “organizational chart” of your site. Many website builders suggest actually drawing it on paper first, that is how the site will be organized. Now we can begin the discussion of hosting.

Some people wait until the end of the website building process to find a host. However, the domain name should be all over your site, especially if it is a source of revenue. Most hosting companies offer their clients a domain name service, so that is why it is at this stage that we begin to look at what hosts are and what they offer.

Hosting is where the server is located to make the website available on the internet for viewing. The host has a server where the website is, and once someone types the address into their browser it connects to this server and the site loads onto their computer.

Hosts typically provide a domain name service (DNS). The domain name is a unique set of numbers (IP address) that is converted to letters for ease of remembering. The computer recognizes the numbers, while we recognize the letters. Just like each computer is assigned a unique IP address, each domain name is as well.

So, in your search for a hosting company, be certain that they offer a domain name service. Then, you can solidify the name of your website. However, there is much more to consider when deciding on a host. Here are a few of the questions you will want to ask:

* Is there 24/7 customer support?
* Are the connections fast and secure?
* Do they have an online support feature? Is it in the form of chat, a forum?
* What specifics will my website design require in terms of space? Bandwidth?
* Is there any back-up available in the case of a power outage?
* Is scripting support available depending on my site requirements?
* How many email accounts will be required? Are they offered?

This list of questions is not fully inclusive, yet it will be a good barometer as you move forward in your search for a host. Left out intentionally till now is the matter of available financial resources. Your budget will be a key ingredient to what direction you head with all the hosting options available. In line with the budget question, now is the perfect time to look at the two particular types of hosting services.

If you know your website will see large volumes of traffic, say it will be for a medium sized business and up, then you should investigate the possibility of getting a dedicated host. In common everyday language, what this means is that your site will be the only one hosted on the server. Therefore, space and bandwidth will not be a concern. Your site will not be sharing the server with any others as it is dedicated to your site.

Then we have the shared hosting. As the name indicates, this is a server that your site will be using with others. Most bloggers, small businesses, and lower volume sites use a shared hosting service. Many web hosting companies advertise “unlimited space” in their shared hosting promotions. Be cautious of this misleading advertisement. It is typically an allocation over a period of time.

When it comes to security, a dedicated host is unparalleled. No other traffic on your server virtually eliminates any unforeseen issues creeping into your site. A shared host is less secure, and more prone to downtime.

Once you have put some careful thought and consideration into your hosting options, you can then take the final steps to launching your site. Now that you have a domain name, it can be integrated into your website design. The fun has only begun as you write the content and look at graphics options.

Hosting companies are aplenty for you to browse as you prepare to launch your own website. With proper planning in the early stages your site can be launched without a hitch.

But like I said in the beginning, just go ahead and buy the hosting package. It will be real simple. Don’t let anyone scare you into needing a really expensive hosting package. More likely that not, you will not need it.

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