Every business owner sooner or later thinks about creating a website for brand promotion, product catalog placement, e-commerce. But in order for the site to appear online, it is not enough to write it. It is necessary to place the files on a server that has continuous access to the network. Such services for a monthly fee provide special companies, whose hardware is located in data-centers in Europe, North America and around the world. Providers guarantee certain resources, which the tenant receives in the use to ensure the operation of the site. And the tenant chooses the type of hosting, pricing plan and terms of interaction with the hoster.
Choosing a host
So, to move the site to the server, you need to decide which hosting to choose. And to determine this issue, the type of site will help. For static web resources, such as business sites, a general virtual hosting is suitable. Dynamic sites, managed by applications and using scripts, databases, will slow on a shared hosting. For them, as well as for gaming resources, e-commerce sites, information portals the best option is VPS hosting. For large online stores, government agencies, government services, banks, especially important is the safety of the stored data and guaranteed stability of the site. They should choose either a virtual private server or a dedicated server, depending on the daily traffic. To make it even clearer what the differences between the types of hosting, let’s talk about each option.
Three types of web hosting
Let’s look at hosting vehicles as an example. As in the case of hosting, all vehicles have their own features, the type of management, the price of service. And consumers, both in the first and in the second case choose the best option for themselves.
- Shared web hosting – a city bus. Shared hosting is hosting a website on a virtual server. One physical machine can host several dozens of sites of different clients. Disk space is offered with the existing disk environment – operating system, control panel. All resources are distributed among users, and not always evenly. Those sites that require more memory or power will take more resources. But the management of virtual hosting is very simple, does not require special knowledge. All maintenance is taken care of by the provider. It’s like riding a city bus. All passengers have paid a fare. But someone is sitting, and someone did not have enough seats. And the driver of the transportation company drives the whole company.
- VPS – a separate compartment on the train. You are not alone, but you are provided with convenience and security. This type of hosting provides for the allocation of limited disk space to the user with a specific amount of resources. The user themself installs the software, all the applications that are needed to run the site. If the resources – memory, power – become insufficient, you can switch to another pricing plan. And a virtual private server can be managed and unmanaged. In the first case, you pay for the maintenance and control of VPS provider, but free from all the hassle of management. In the second case, all technical issues related to the work of the site, operating system, control panel you will to solve by yourself.
- Dedicated web hosting can be compared to a personal car. You get at your disposal, albeit remotely, a server with all its features. This is the most expensive type of hosting with large resources – the most secure, and controlled. All the hassle of managing the server falls on the shoulders of the buyer.
Choose the best web hosting option for yourself should be based on the expected amount of traffic and the specific needs of the site.
Choose a plan
The next important step is choosing a plan. Most providers offer several options, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your specific needs. The key difference is the amount of resources available. Those are the processor (CPU), memory (RAM) and storage. There is also such a parameter as stability or performance. You should trust the provider who guarantees 99.8 percent or more of stable operation. Also pay attention to additional features such as free SSL, domain name, technical support.
Buying a domain
For the site to work, you need a domain name – a sequence of characters by which users will search for a resource on the web. It should be as unique as a person’s name. Examples of domain names: hostzealot.com, bloomberg.com, businessinsider.com. Many providers offer free domain names for their tenants. Clarify this when you sign a contract, as a separate purchase of a domain name will cost money.
Transferring a local site from a computer to a server
Once you have a domain name and decided on the type of hosting, with a rate plan, you can transfer the site. If you are doing it for the first time, if you do not have a system administrator in your staff, it is better to apply for the service to the hoster. Some providers provide services to migrate sites for free.
Simple static local sites created on your computer can be downloaded simply by transferring files to the server via SSH. Use the file manager on the control panel to do this. You can also transfer via Ftp client. You can verify the correctness of the transfer before you update DNS servers. To do that, you need to use the system hosts file. In Linux, the hosts is located in the etc. folder.
- Enter the command: sudo nano/etc/hosts
- Add an entry 111.222.333.444 XXX, where 111.222.333.444 is your IP address and XXX is the domain name.
This way you can open the site in the browser before the DNS servers are updated. Important: first clear the browser cache by pressing Ctrl+F5. If the site opens correctly, then you have done everything correctly. It remains only to wait until the DNS servers are updated by the hoster. Usually, it takes from a few minutes to 24 hours. If something went not as it is supposed to, please contact professionals, for example, the technical support service of the hoster. After loading the files and databases, its setting is performed on the server through the control panel. This is a topic for a separate article.
If you change your hosting type or plan, but stay with the same provider, have the experts handle the migration and scaling. Most hosts provide this service for free and quickly.