Hosting your website
So far so good! You have read about domains in the series Taking your business online. Now, to the part where you actually host a website. There are a lot of hosting providers which specialise in hosting for WordPress. WordPress itself recommends a few. Here is a link on WordPress that points to a few good hosting providers. I usually select any one of these or go for Hosting packages from Godaddy.com.
A real challenge is to understand the control panel provided by these hosting providers. Once you purchase the hosting, you will have to understand a few basic things in the control panel. Every control panel will come with a ton of things to click upon. But fret not! You don’t need to scratch your head wondering where to click. All CPanel (Control Panels, in short) will come with a default option called as Softaculous. Softaculous is basically a collection of “click-to-install” scripts. Search for WordPress or any other content management solution like Drupal, Joomla, etc. within the Softaculous control panel. The installation is usually pretty simple and all you have to do is to enter relevant details like database, user, administrator username and password. Most of the details would have been auto-populated so there is nothing much to worry about.
Agreed! You need to be slightly technical here. But then it is a question of selecting the right choice to create your website! It is best to have a technical guy around who can help you.
OTHER HOSTING OPTIONS
The Hosting panel provides a lot of other important options like Email, FTP, File Manager, SSL, etc.
By Clicking on “Email” or “Email Accounts”, you can create email accounts for yourself that look something like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. There you can allocate the size of the mailbox depending upon your requirement.
In “File Manager”, you can choose to do file level operations. Whether it is creating folders, uploading files, creating and downloading zip files, File Manager helps you to do it all.
Using FTP, you can create File Transfer accounts that can be used using software like FileZilla or CuteFTP to transfer files to/from your computer. Not that File Manager doesn’t do it. Just that, this is a faster way of doing it. You will have to create a FTP account and a password for it. Store it some place important. Use software like FileZilla or CuteFTP to connect to the website and transfer the files. Here the username and password will be very handy.
You can choose to host your website over SSL(https://) instead of plain http://. This gives your audience a sense of security that they are viewing a secure website. Usually I do recommend people to install an SSL certificate. The annual cost of a standard SSL certificate is not too high. It is very important that you have this certificate especially if your website is an E-Commerce website.
The Hosting control panel will contain a lot more options. You can comfortably navigate through them. But it is very important that you have a technology guy close to you when you do that since whatever you do on these control panels can make or break your website.