Do you want to learn how to host a website? Self-hosted website builders like iOS.Ng offer you full freedom to build eCommerce or Corporate websites
The challenge is that most beginners don’t know the best way to host a website. Many even believe that it requires special technical skills to host their own websites. That’s simply not true. If you choose the right approach, then you can easily host your own website within just a few minutes. In most cases, it is just as easy as creating a facebook account. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll show you the exact steps on how to host a website without learning any technical skills.We will also explain how it all works behind the scenes. This would help you gain a basic understanding of different ways to host a website.
Ready? Let’s get started.
What Does it Mean to Host a Website?
Hosting a website means that you put your website files on a special computer called server. This computer makes your website files publicly accessible on the internet, so anyone can visit it. In order for other people around the world to see the website, these special computers have a particular set of software installed. This software is called a web server. A web server’s basic job is to receive incoming requests and respond by sending the requested page to the user’s browser.
Now all of this may sound like bunch of technical jargon, and it is. However, you don’t need to learn how to do all these things in order to host your website. Luckily, there are thousands of companies that offer this as a service (at very low cost). All websites on the internet use a web hosting company to host their websites. Even tech giants like Netflix (hosted on Amazon) and PayPal (hosted by Google Cloud hosting) use third-party service providers for their hosting. There are only a handful of companies like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon that completely host all their services on their own platforms. They can do this because they have the technical and financial resources to take on such a huge task. All other businesses (including us) use a web hosting company to host their website.
You will need the following two things to host a website.
Web hosting service providers offer you ready-to-use web servers to host your website. They take care of all the technical stuff and provide website owners with easy to use tools to manage their hosting. Now, how do users reach your self-hosted website? This is where domain names come in. A domain name is the address of your website that people type in the browser to visit your website. For example, ios.ng will bring you to this website. Basically, a domain name is a human-friendly way to connect user’s browsers to the website server associated with that domain name. To learn more, see our guide on what is a domain name and how do domains work.
You can purchase a domain name from one of these top domain registrars. These are companies licensed to sell domain name registrations. To understand the relationship between hosting and domains, see our guide on the difference between web hosting and domain name.
Types of Website Hosting Services
Not all websites are the same. Some are smaller and have low traffic while others are larger with more content and visitors. A smaller website requires fewer resources. On the other hand, a larger and more popular website will need more resources to run efficiently. Website hosting companies provide different types of hosting offers designed to address specific website needs. Here are some of the most common hosting services.
1. Shared Hosting
A shared hosting service is suitable for small websites, blogs, and small businesses who are just starting out. They are able to keep their costs down by allowing multiple websites to share the same server resources. This makes hosting your website affordable.
Pricing: Starting from 2.75 per month to $7.99 per month
Suitable for: Starting a new blog, small business website
Our recommended shared hosting provider: Bluehost
2. VPS Hosting
VPS hosting (Virtual Private Server hosting) is still a shared hosting environment. However, it offers a flexible set of resources to handle large traffic spikes. You get a partitioned of private server for your website that you can manage from your hosting control panel. This gives you the best of both worlds, the low cost of shared hosting with the flexibility of dedicated resources.
Pricing: Starting from $29.99 / month
Suitable for: Medium-sized businesses, popular blogs, and eCommerce stores.
Our recommended VPS hosting company: HostGator
3. Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed WordPress hosting is a specialized hosting service made specifically for WordPress. It is like a concierge service for your WordPress website. On a managed hosting platform, the hosting company takes care of updates, backups, and caching of your website. This allows you to focus on creating content and growing your business. However, building on iOS platform is a kind of simple experience with our simple interface, you need no technical skills
4. Dedicated Hosting
A dedicated server hosting gives you the entire server dedicated to your own website. You get all the resources of the server, advanced tools for server management, ability to install your own software and even your own operating system. You’ll be managing your own server which may require some technical skills. It is an advanced option for larger websites that need high-performance to tackle higher traffic volume.
To host a website on iOS is free but in case you intend to move your website to another platform or your own private hosting. A simple hosting of about $20 per year is sufficient for your website no matter how
We are often asked by our users if they can host a website on their own computer.
Yes, you can.
However, the only reason you should host a website on your computer is when you want to test a site locally before putting it on the internet.
A lot of beginners find it useful to learn web development, WordPress, and coding by installing a local server on their computer.
This will allow you to install a local server without making it publicly available.
We don’t recommend using a local server to host a website and make it publicly available. However, we will show you how to do that for users who are feeling adventurous.
Once you host a website on your local server, it will only be available to you. You’ll need to change its settings to put your website on the internet.
First, locate your web server software’s configuration file called httpd.conf.
If you are using WAMP on Windows, then you’ll find it under C:\wamp\bin\apache\apache[version#]\conf] folder.
MAMP users on Mac will find it inside /Applications/MAMP/conf/apache/ folder.
You can open this file using a plain text editor like Notepad or TextEdit. After that, you need to find the line that begins with
You need to replace it with your IP address and port number. You can find your IP address by simply Googling ‘what is my ip address’ it will show you a numeric string separated by dots. Here’s an example of what that code should look like with your IP:
Next, you need to find the following line:
Go ahead and change it by replacing localhost:80 with your IP address.
Next, you need to find the following line for WAMP:
If you are using MAMP, then look for the following line:
Below this line you’ll see the access permissions, which you need to replace with the following:
Allow from all
You can now save your configuration file and restart your local server with the new permissions.
Now anyone can use your IP address to access your website instead of localhost. This is not an ideal situation as it would be hard for your users to remember the IP address.
That’s where domain names come in handy.
Pointing Your Domain Name to a Locally Hosted Website
Pointing your domain name to a website that you are hosting on your own computer will allow users to access it as they would do with any other site.
First, you need to edit your domain name’s DNS settings.
After that, you need to edit the A name record with @ sign as the Name. If you don’t have one, then click on Add new record button to proceed.
In the value field, you need to enter your computer’s IP address and click on the Update DNS button to save your changes.
If the computer with your local server is connected to the internet directly, then you are all done.
However, if your computer is connected to the internet via router then you need to forward ports. To do that, you need to login to your router’s admin interface by entering the router’s IP address in your browser address bar.
Depending on the manufacturer, your router interface may look slightly different. You will need to find the option labeled port forwarding, virtual server, or NAT.
Next, you need to forward web or HTTP traffic to port 80. In the IP address field, you need to enter the IP address of your computer on the local network. This IP address is the internal address that identifies your computer on the local network.
After that, you need to apply the changes and restart your router.
Disadvantages of Hosting a Website by Yourself
Hosting your website on a local computer is a bad idea. This is why even the tech giants with enough resources, skills, and know-how prefer to go with a hosting service provider.
Following are just a few disadvantages of hosting a website on local computer.
Doing all this will require a lot of time, effort, and technical skills. This is why it is a bad idea to host your website on a local computer by yourself.
Having helped thousands of beginners start their own websites, we have heard every possible question. Following are some of the most commonly asked questions from people who want to host a website.
1. Why do I need a hosting provider to host a website?
Hosting service providers specialize in maintaining a platform to serve websites. They have engineers and system administrators in their staff that monitor their servers 24/7.
This allows you to focus on building your website and growing your business instead of managing server software.
2. Can I buy a domain name and hosting from two companies?
Yes, you can. However, buying them from the same company allows you to manage both of them under the same dashboard. Also some providers like Bluehost even offer a free domain as an incentive to use their service.
3. Can I buy a domain name and host my website later?
Yes, you can buy a domain name alone. However, it will not be pointing to your website until you choose a hosting provider.
We recommend Domain.com for registering a domain name. They offer beginner friendly domain management tools, which will make it easy to connect your domain to any hosting provider later.
4. Can I host my website on my local computer and later move it to a hosting provider?
Yes, you can do that. However, if you are serious about making a website, then it is better to start with a hosting provider.
5. Can I host a website with one provider and then change it to another provider?
Yes, you can move your website to any other hosting company at any time. See our article on how to move your website to a new host for detailed instructions.
6. Where do I host my website?
There are so many hosting companies out there, that it becomes difficult for beginners to make the right choice.
Over the years, we have worked with all the top hosting companies on the market. This has given us insights into what makes a good hosting platform.
For starter websites, we recommend Bluehost. or domainking