What Is a Website Hosting Provider?

A website hosting provider is a dedicated company that serves your website. Hosting providers have the resources to ensure your website is available for your users, rather than, say, hosting your website from your home where any disruption in internet service will take down your website.

Hosting Locally

Alternatively, you can also host a website locally on your computer. What you would need is what’s known as a LAMP stack (a bundle of Apache, MySQL, PHP). There is a variety of prepackaged software that can accomplish this such as XAMPP (my personal favorite).

If you’re new to all of this and want to host the website on your computer, I would recommend using XAMPP rather than setting up a LAMP stack yourself.

That said, if you’re ambitious, you can install and setup the LAMP stack manually. There are plenty of tutorials out there for how to install a LAMP stack manually.

What to Look for in a Hosting Provider

While it may be easy to pick the first hosting provider in the search results, this is a very bad idea. It’s important to find a website hosting provider that is reputable, reliable, and fast.

While I can’t recommend any specific hosting provider, I want to help point you in the right direction.

Here is what you need to look for in a hosting provider:

  • The company should not be EIG owned. EIG-owned companies are known for their poor support. Quality support is an absolute MUST.
  • The company hosts your website with SSD storage.
  • Starting out, shared hosting is fine. You do not need virtual private server (VPS) or “cloud” hosting starting out.

Connecting Your Domain

Once you have a hosting provider picked out, the next step is to connect your domain. There are two ways to connect your domain. You can either change what’s known as the nameserver record, or you can add what’s called an A record.

The main difference between these two methods is where you want to manage your domain’s domain name system (DNS) records. By changing the nameserver, you will no longer be managing your domain’s DNS records on the registrar’s end. Instead, you would manage records on the hosting provider’s end. Whereas with adding an A record, you would still manage DNS records on your domain registrar’s end.

No matter the domain registrar you are using, they should have a guide on how to connect your domain. Please lookup how to connect your domain for the specific domain registrar you’re using.

In Conclusion

If you’re like me, it may be such a struggle to find the perfect provider. In reality, I have found there is no “silver bullet” hosting provider. Every company has pros and cons, and it’s important to consider all of them. You can also look at recommendations from various Facebook groups such as the WordPress hosting group.