Digital Marketing 101 – How to host your own website

I was actually thinking of posting articles regarding digital marketing only but then I received a question asking ‘How do I host my own website?’ – Since having or being able to host websites is somehow essential to successful digital marketing I thought I briefly cover this topic as well. So here we go. How to host your own website.

What do I need to host an own website?

There are a few crucial parts when it comes to hosting your website. Since you ask that question I simply assume that you are not a super IT geek and therefore won’t program and design your databases by yourself. Therefore the simplified answer is, you need two things.

1.)  Domain Name

The domain name, as you probably know, is the address of your website. For example www.sayfun.me or www.my-thai.org. Those are domain names. There are several ways of getting hold of your own domain. You can either check on namecheap.com (that’s what I do quite often, simply because it’s straight forward), godaddy (no, don’t use them, they are evil!) or other domain name registrars (yes, that’s what you google for).

When it comes to choosing the right domain name you might want to consider a few aspects that we will talk about in more detail during the upcoming digital marketing posts. Just to mention them already:

  1. Don’t make your name tooooo long wwww.super-mega-awesome-fantastic-pink-kitty-website-bangkok.com might be a bit too much.
  2. Use good keyword as domain name. www.sayfun.me is not a very good domain btw. digital-marketing-bangkok.com might have been better (depending on your purpose of course)
  3. Use a TLD (Top Level Domain – we’ll talk about that too)!
  4. Use common TLDs (.com .org etc.) over cheap ones (e.g. .info)
  5. Once you’re happy, check out!

how to set up a domain name

 

Now that we have our domain name (you’ll get a confirmation email with all details of course) we can move on to step number 2. Hosting.

2.) Website Hosting

The second thing you need is space to host your website. Storage space so to say. You won’t host it on your own computer but on a server that is accessible 24/7 and runs the appropriate programs. Enter: Hosting providers. Quite famous here is hostgator (for all kinds of websites) or siteground (especially for WordPress hosting) but, as with domain names, there are plenty more. Just google if you don’t like those suggestions here.

The cool thing about using those specialized hosts: They’ll get everything ready for you. Database setup, etc – all done via a few clicks. Yay. Once you’re all set (and you have payed) you will receive information that looks somehow similar to this:

dnssiteground

This is important information that you either write down or copy somewhere (or at least leave the tab open).

Putting things together for your own website hosting

So now that we set up hosting and the domain name it’s time to put things together. Here we, again, have a few different possibilities:

1.) If you decide to go with a dedicated service provider such as siteground and only host one single website with them, then you will simply tell them your website (domain!) name in the beginning and you will automatically be set once the set up process is done and you can skip to step 3.

2.) If you are hosting with hostgator or simply with a host that doesn’t offer such a dedicated hosting towards a single purpose like siteground you will have to work with something that is called cpanel. Cpanel is your command panel. Like the bridge in starship enterprise.  And it looks more or less like this:

hostgator

It looks a bit confusing at first but is actually quite straight forward, so don’t worry young digital padawan. We’ll make it work.

The most important menu point in the beginning would be “Addon Domains”. Locate it and then something that looks similar to this screen will come up:
cPanel_X

Here you will enter your domain name and the host will then create all necessary records to make it work. There are more options available like setting up your ftp or mail passwords and so on but I’m sure you will figure this out. For the time being we’re happy with creating our domain entry here. Save!

Lastly, if you want to run certain programs (like wordpress, joomla, etc.) on your fresh installation you click ‘home’ and then locate either the ‘quick install’ option or ‘softaculous’ (a quick installation program) just like seen below. Once you enter this option you will be presented with predefined software that can be installed via one click onto your account. As easy as 1,2,3.

HostGator_com_Control_Panel

Once you are done and happy continue with step 3.

3.) Now that we are all back together and that our backend is working we head back to our name registrar (remember? namecheap or any other provider)

Now all we have to do is to tell your domain name that it has to connect with your server where you host your website, right? That’s what we do here! So enter your customer area and locate the menu point that let’s you manage your domains.
namecheapsiteground

Here we click on ‘domain name server setup’ and now come back to where we started. If you remember the beginning (leave the tab open or write it down is what I told you!), you will now be able to look up the name severs (the address of your host). Simply copy those two records here and hit save!

Congratulations. You’re done! Now all you have to do is wait for a while until all name severs are being updated. That can last from 24 – 72 hours depending on the settings of those servers that store files all across the web.

So how do you fell now? You set up your own website. Yay!

Any questions so far? Feel free to shout out in the comments!