Lesson #6: The Basics of Web Hosting

You have reached a milestone in the our course. When you have completed lesson 6, we will be finished with the basic setup for your new web business. Just think of what we have accomplished already: you know how to choose a profitable niche, pick a great name, and now, we will learn how to set up your websiteʼs home on the internet (a web host). We are making a lot of progress!

So…What Exactly IS Web Hosting???

Web hosting is essentially the place “out there” where your website lives. When someone types in YourSite.com, your web host is what will make the website show up for them. Does that make sense?

Web hosting is a service offered by hosting companies. When a visitor types in your site, the host sends that page to their web browser. Obviously, this happens automatically and in a fraction of a second.

In the early days of the internet, hosting used to be a big deal. It would require $2,000 servers, expensive monthly fees and several Ph.D system admins. Now, however, thanks to the magic of the internet, the process is so streamlined that anyone with $5 can setup their own hosting account in 5 minutes. And that is what we will be going over in this short lesson.

Ordering Your Hosting Account

I said at the outset that the only cash you need is about $10 for a domain name (which should already be done) and $5 for a hosting account. Now we are going to sign up for that hosting account and get everything rolling.

I have always used a company called HostGator to host my websites. They have a $5 per month plan that has plenty of “power” to host the sites we are building and their support is top-notch. Plus, they have an $8 a month plan that allows you to host ALL of your websites. So if you choose to build 10 more, they can all be stored for $8 per month, which is an incredible benefit.

Iʼm going to walk you through this process of ordering your hosting account as painlessly as possible and with any luck, we should be out of here in 5 minutes. Letʼs go:

  1. Like with GoDaddy, I have a custom HostGator link that will give you the rate of about $5 per month, PLUS 20% off your first month. Visit that link here: http://tinyurl.com/zzz-hostgator
  2. Choose whichever plan you want. I recommend the $5 plan for now, and you can upgrade later to the $8 plan when you start making more websites. They give you that option.
  3. You MUST already have your domain name to continue. If you donʼt, go back to lesson 5 and order it! They will ask you to enter your existing domain now, enter that here.
  4. Now continue through the account creation process as normal and youʼre done! You should have an email or two when your account is all setup and ready. Make sure you save these, they will be important soon.

Seriously, thatʼs it. How hard was that?

Hosting and Your Domain Name

Okay, we are almost done with this lesson (I told you it was short). There is just one final step that we must take. It gets a little geeky, but please donʼt lose me, follow the instructions and again, we will be out of here in 5 minutes.

Basically what we need to do is get your new HostGator account to talk to your domain name over at GoDaddy. Without doing this, there is no way for your .com to know how it should connect to your new hosting account. This step will setup a connection between the two, so that when you visit YourSite.com, it will know that this name is connected with your hosting account. You donʼt really need to understand the details of this, just follow the instructions below.

You should have received an email from HostGator that included something called “Nameservers”. Go look through your emails and find that now. There should be two of them, something like ns1295.hostgator.com. Copy these down. If you cannot find this for some reason, email HostGator. Reply to the welcome email and ask them for the nameservers associated with your account.

We are 50% done. Next, go to GoDaddy and login to your account, here, you will need to enter those two nameservers that you found above into your domain name. GoDaddy has itʼs own help file that explains this very well: http://help.godaddy.com/article/664. Simply follow their instruction steps 1-6. (NOTE: You will choose “I have specific nameservers for my domain” when asked). Once this is complete you will receive a conformation email and you will know everything is setup right when you visit YourSite.com and see the HostGator logo instead of the GoDaddy logo.

Once you see that logo (can take a few hours sometimes), you are done! Pat yourself on the back, you have completed the first major section of this course, we have made tons of progress towards our goal of $200/week. With a solid foundation underneath us, we are going to begin the actual process of building your website in the very next lesson.

Previous Lesson: How to Find A Good Domain

Next Lesson: Designing a Profitable Website

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