Okay, so you bought your domain name. You’re happy, you’re excited, you’re…. wait, well now what do you do with it? Now that you have a domain name you need to put it some place. Let me tell you where 😉
Buying a domain name does not automatically put your web site out there on the Internet. You can’t build your website, leave it on your computer in your house and think that other Internet users can get to it. It doesn’t work that way. Your website needs to be uploaded to a server that has special software on it and that is connected to the Internet. This is where a web server comes in.
A web server stores all the files that are necessary to display your website. These files include the pages of your site, graphic images, and any special scripts. You will create these files when you build your site—but don’t worry about that yet. Right now, you need to find a web host.
A Web host is in the business of providing web server space and Internet connection services for web sites. You give them the information on the domain name you purchased, upload the web site you’ve built to their server and they will direct the world, really the whole world, to your site. Okay, well anyone in the whole world who is looking for your site, that is.
How do you find a Web host you ask? Well, a lot of times the same company that you purchased your domain name through will also host your site. Or, you can do a search on the web for “web host”. You can ask a friend who their host is. You can look in the yellow pages in your local phonebook. Or, you can take hosting advice from a trusted website, ahem, for example we use Hard Hat Hosting.
If you are building a personal, hobby or a small business site then you will look for a Web Host that offers Virtual Hosting as opposed to a dedicated server.
Virtual Hosting means that your site will share the web services of that web host with a bunch of other small websites. A Dedicated server means that your site will be on a server all by itself.
Since Web Hosts charge a monthly fee, sharing a server with the Virtual Hosting option is a very cost-effective way to go. It’s literally the difference between about $10 a month for Virtual Hosting to about a $250 or more (possibly much more) a month for a dedicated server. So, unless you’re Daddy Warbucks, then look for the Virtual Hosting option. Besides, your little ole’ website doesn’t need a server all to itself anyway.