Hosting for Your Site

So now you’ve registered your domain and you’re wondering if you’re ready to post on your blog? No, almost but not quite. After you register your domain name, you need website hosting, that’s the next step.

So what is website hosting? Hosting is the account you get with a web hosting company. It’s where your website and email live online on a  server and all of the services that support that. Your web hosting company will make sure your site stays up and that it can be accessed by your readers. There are a lot of different types of hosting accounts out there. To start with you’ll probably want a shared hosting account, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get started, and you can always upgrade later as needed.

Here’s what you want to look for in your hosting account:

Shared Hosting for one domain on a cPanel host. This should include: email, MySQL database, and if possible, a way to one-click install WordPress. Most shared accounts come with what you need and can be had for around $10/month.

Some places to get started:

Liquid Web

HostGator

DreamHost

BlueHost

So I need to get these hosting and domain things, does it matter what order, can I do it all in one place?

Yes, you can do your domain registration and web hosting all in one place but there are some reasons to have them in separate accounts with different providers. If something happens to your host and you also have your domain registration with them, you could find yourself unable to access your account, and no way to move your site or access your email – it’s not the kind of thing that happens often, but it does happen, and keeping track of two accounts instead of one can save you if that comes up for your site. So if you can, do it separately with different companies.

Updating Nameservers

Now that you’ve got your domain name registered and have your hosting account, there’s one more step before we can install WordPress.

When you got your hosting account, they sent you a welcome email with some technical information in it. Locate that email, and find the part where it talks about the name servers for your site. Got it?

What are name servers?

Name servers act as the address book for the internet. Your name server at your web host talks to root name servers around the internet that keep track of what domain name goes to which IP address or server. So when someone types in your domain name, a reader ends up on your blog.

Did you locate the name server information? Good! Now head over to your domain registrar and you’ll want to edit the name servers (sometimes called DNS) for your domain.

Each registrar’s interface is a little different, but they all have help for the steps needed to make this change. Basically you’ll just cut and paste the information for name server one into the field and the same for name server two and click save.

Once this is done, give it a little time to take affect. This is called propagation. It used to take a day or two to happen, but now it usually happens in a few minutes or hours at most.

Now we’re ready to install WordPress, but that’s for next time!

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