How to Host Your Own Website (It’s Simpler Than You Think)

ByJulija A.
June 10,2022

Having a company but not having your own website, in this day and age, is professional suicide. With around 252,000 new websites springing up each day, building a great business website is easier than ever. It’s worth every penny and a must-have for any company. 

So, how do you host your own website? Basically, there are two ways: the easy and the complicated.  

Self-Hosting a Website and Why It’s Not Such a Good Idea

To really host your own website, you need a server at your disposal. Only a couple of tech giants like Microsoft, Google, and Amazon host their own services and are actually the world’s top cloud service providers.

The alternative route is to host a website on your own machine (server). The idea may look appealing at first, but there are considerable risks involved. Your server needs to be up 24/7 with backups in place if you lose power or if your hardware dies. You also need to pay someone to maintain your server and your website, which is just the tip of the iceberg. It requires time, money, and skills to operate your own server. That’s why opting for a hosting provider instead is a much wiser choice.

Hosting via a Hosting Provider

The best way to host a website is to use a hosting provider instead of hosting a website on your own server. These providers offer the necessary infrastructure and vital tech support that you need for running and growing your business. They ensure that your website is up and running, with some offering a 99.9% uptime guarantee, which means your website can never be down for more than nine hours during an entire year. The only thing you need to do is pick a hosting plan that suits your business needs.

How to Host a Website via a Hosting Provider

The process of hosting a website can be broken down into three simple steps:

  1. Buy a domain name
  2. Select a hosting provider and a hosting plan
  3. Pick a hosting type

How to Host Your Own Website – Step by Step Instructions

The following sections outline in some detail how you should go about finding the right home for your website. 

1. Purchase a domain

Each website needs to have an address. In most cases, the address is the same or at least similar to the company's name if that name is not already taken. You can dig up information on the availability of domain names at online domain registers. Just remember that domain hosting isn’t the same as website hosting.

All the major hosting providers offer a plan that includes a domain as part of their package. If your web hosting provider lacks such a package, you can always purchase a domain name from another domain hosting provider. 

We would advise you to look for a web hosting provider that can provide you with both because it’s cheaper and drastically simplifies the customization process. 

2. Pick a hosting provider

When you pick out a domain name, the next step is to pick a reliable host provider and a hosting plan. The hosting provider gives your website a home on a server. You can host your own website by sharing space on a server with other websites or having an entire server to yourself. 

It’s not uncommon for hosting providers to offer domain names as well, allowing you to host your domain and your website with the same provider. Of course, you can always transfer your domain, website, or both to another host. 

With more than 330,000 web hosting providers, how do you pick the right one for your website? There are several key factors to consider when choosing the host of your own website and a hosting plan: 

  • Uptime guarantee
  • Redundancy
  • Backups
  • SSL certificates
  • Bandwidth
  • Database type 
  • Email service
  • Scalability
  • Accessibility
  • Customer service

Uptime Guarantee

Websites don’t have working hours, so naturally, you want them to be accessible round-the-clock. The last thing you want is for your website to experience upgrade or downtime complications. Therefore, the host of your website must offer an uptime guarantee of 99.5% or above. 

Redundancy

If you don’t want your business to suffer financial losses due to server-related issues, look for a hosting provider that offers redundancies. In this case, the redundancy offer refers to compensation for financial losses caused by a server-related issue. 

Backups

If you ask anyone who works in cybersecurity, they’ll tell you that having a backup is the best way to prevent data loss. The same goes for your website, but you don’t have to deal with it yourself. All the major web host providers offer 24-hour backup, which means that your host backups your website once every 24 hours. In the event of a cyber attack or catastrophic hardware failure, the host can bring your website back to life. 

SSL Certificates

Ensuring user privacy and safety is paramount when hosting your own website. Therefore, you want a website that has an SSL certificate. The SSL certificate will improve your Search Engine Optimization or SEO standing and encrypts data sent between the user and the website, which is crucial for securing online transactions. Some hosts provide them for free, and others are part of a paid hosting plan.

Bandwidth

Bandwidth represents the amount of data your website traffic generates, and contrary to common misconceptions, it doesn’t have anything to do with speed. 

One of the more challenging questions when hosting a site is determining the amount of bandwidth your website needs. It mostly comes down to your expected web traffic and the type of website. If you plan on storing plenty of videos and images on the site, you’ll need more bandwidth. On the other hand, if the website is mainly text-based, you’ll need less. If you run out of bandwidth, your hosting provider may charge you extra, or the website could become inaccessible. 

Database Type

Different types of websites use different types of databases. The most common type of database is MySQL, but the one you choose will depend exclusively on your website. From there, find a host for your own website that offers the same database type as part of their hosting plan. 

Email Service

One of the advantages of hosting your own website is access to an email service from your provider. No longer will your email end with @gmail.com or @yahoo.com. Instead, you’ll have an email address ending with @yourdomainame.com. Most hosting providers offer unlimited accounts. 

Scalability

Business owners hope to see their ventures grow and expand. When that happens, your website needs to be able to accommodate an uptick in traffic and activity. You want to be sure that your web host offers a way for you to upgrade your hosting plan when need be.

Accessibility

The best part about web hosting providers is that they do all the heavy lifting of hosting your own website, but you should still retain a certain degree of control. That is where accessibility comes into play. Your host provider should give you access to your website's control panel, allowing you to easily manage and monitor your website.

Customer Service

Like any service provider, web hosting providers should have 24/7 customer service to help you with any technical problems you may face. The availability of technical support is a crucial consideration when picking a hosting provider and a hosting plan. 

3. Choose a suitable hosting plan

All that is left to do now is pick a hosting plan. There are five different types of web hosting options to choose from.

Types of hosting: 

  • Shared hosting
  • VPS hosting
  • Cloud hosting
  • Dedicated hosting
  • Managed WordPress hosting 

Shared Hosting

If you are starting and don’t expect a lot of traffic, then shared hosting is the way to go. As the name suggests, you share the server and its resources with other websites. It’s suitable for small businesses and blogs that aren’t video or image-heavy. 

Shared hosting doesn’t have enough resources to keep any medium-size or eCommerce business website running smoothly, which can lead to a bad user experience and a potential loss of customers.

Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting

VPS hosting is a step up from a shared server hosting plan. VPS hosting is still a shared server solution, but with far fewer websites hosted on the same server. Multiple websites share the same hardware, but each one runs on a virtual machine with its own allocated resources. 

Hosting your website on a VPS is the closest thing you can have to a dedicated server. It has fewer resources than a dedicated server, but it’s also more affordable. That is why VPS hosting is perfect for medium-size or eCommerce-oriented websites

Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting is the fastest-growing sector in the web hosting industry. It provides a reliable and scalable solution for any business. The top cloud hosting providers can keep your website online 24/7 thanks to cloud technology. 

Cloud works on a decentralized principle, while other types of hosting work on a centralized principle. With the centralized approach, your website is stored in a single data center. Since the cloud hosting is decentralized, your website is shared between several data centers that don’t even have to be on the same continent.

Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated server hosting is the favorite choice for businesses that cannot afford slow connection speeds and service disruptions. With a dedicated server, you don’t share any resources with anyone. The server is entirely yours, and you have complete control over it. 

If you are looking to get a dedicated server for your company, you have to be aware that there are two distinct types of hosting plans. One gives you complete control, and you have to manage everything. In most cases, companies hire a server administrator who handles such tasks. The second plan is a fully managed plan by the web hosting provider. Not all web hosting companies offer this type of plan, and even when they do, it costs extra. 

Managed WordPress Hosting

First of all, you can run WordPress on any type of hosting. But managed WordPress hosting is a specialized web hosting service for businesses that use WordPress for their content management system or CMS. The best web hosting companies offer fully managed hosting plans, which enables you to dedicate more time to growing your business.

4. Build a website and upload it to your hosting space

If you’re starting from scratch, you can turn to a website builder or a web hosting provider that offers website building services. Once you have a website, you’ll have to upload it to your hosting space. You should be able to do it from the web hosting control panel, customize the website, make the necessary adjustments, and go live. 

If you choose a managed hosting solution, the provider takes care of all the maintenance, security, software updates, and data backups needed to keep your website operational. With an unmanaged solution, the business behind the website is responsible for all of the configurations. The unmanaged option is only suitable for businesses with efficient IT departments and experienced web developers.   

Conclusion

There is a lot that needs to be considered when picking the right web hosting provider, and we aren’t talking just about the technical side and web hosting pricing plans. Now that you know how to host your own website, it’s essential to evaluate what your business needs, and only then should you look for a hosting provider.

FAQ
Is Godaddy a Good Website Host?

Yes, GoDaddy is one of the leading domain and web hosting providers. It offers multiple types of hosting and hosting plans that can accommodate different needs. 

Can I Host My Website for Free?

Some companies offer free website hosting, but such offers are extremely limited and generally used for testing out the service or learning the basics. 

Is Google Web Hosting Free?

No, Google doesn’t provide a free hosting solution, but it does offer a free trial.

About the author

Julia A. is a writer at SmallBizGenius.net. With experience in both finance and marketing industries, she enjoys staying up to date with the current economic affairs and writing opinion pieces on the state of small businesses in America. As an avid reader, she spends most of her time poring over history books, fantasy novels, and old classics. Tech, finance, and marketing are her passions, and she’s a frequent contributor at various small business blogs.

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It’s hard to imagine the modern world without barcodes. They are on almost every product we buy, from food to clothes to electronics. We tend to take it for granted that this technology will be there to make our lives easier.  But have you ever wondered about the history of barcode technology and barcode scanners? Have you asked yourself: When was the barcode invented, and how did it become so ubiquitous? In this article, we’ll answer those questions and take a brief look at the history of this fascinating technology. What Is a Barcode? Let’s start by explaining what a barcode is. A barcode (often spelled as two words, ‘bar code’) is a machine-readable representation of data typically used to track inventory or products. Barcodes can be found on almost any consumer product today, from food items in the grocery store to books at the library.  Barcodes work by encoding data in a series of parallel lines of varying widths. 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The First Barcode We’ll take you back to 1948, the year when the first barcode was invented and created by Bernard Silver, a graduate student at Drexel Institute of Technology in Philadelphia, and Norman Woodland, an inventor and a Drexel alumnus.  The two men came up with the idea while working on a project for a local supermarket chain, whose owner asked the institute for help in developing a way to read product information automatically during checkout. The barcode history timeline continues with Silver and Woodland realizing that a system of lines and spaces could be used to encode information that a machine could read. They got the idea from Morse code, which uses a series of dots and dashes to represent letters and numbers. The initial barcode was designed as a “bull’s eye” made up of a series of concentric circles. Silver and Woodland filed a patent for their invention in October 1949, but it was in 1952 that it was patented. 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A photoelectric sensor was used to read the stripes and could automatically identify a particular car as it went by.  Collins’s system is yet another piece of the puzzle that answers the question, “When was the barcode invented?” It was a much more efficient and upgraded version of the original Woodland-Silver barcode.  The new method soon became widely accepted and was set as the US standard in 1968. However, it was abandoned in the late 1970s due to technical difficulties, high costs, and poor read accuracy. A Gamechanger - The Introduction of Lasers Collins formed the Computer Identics Corporation in search of a new market for his barcode technology. This time he turned to helium-neon lasers, which were invented in 1960 by Theodore Maiman.  Lasers are, obviously, more precise than the 500-watt incandescent bulbs Silver and Woodland were using and can be focused into a very fine beam of light. This made them ideal for reading barcodes. Much before the first barcode scanner was invented, Collins incorporated a mirror that enabled the code to be reached from multiple angles, making things much easier and more reliable.  Collins and his Computer Identics Corporation installed the new barcode scanning system at a General Motors factory in Flint, Michigan, in 1969 to monitor the production of car axles. This marked the start of barcodes’ commercial journey. UPC Is Born After the successful installation at General Motors, the next step was to develop a system to be used on all products in a store. In 1966, the National Association of Food Chains (NAFC) formed a committee to develop such a system. RCA Corporation was among the committee’s members, and as it purchased the rights to the Woodland-Silver patent, it became one of the main players in the history of the barcode. 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QR stands for “quick response,” and these two-dimensional barcodes can store more information than traditional barcodes.  They contain the finder, alignment, and timing patterns that serve to determine the code’s orientation, distortion, and coordination.  When was the matrix barcode invented, then? The QR code history started with the Japanese corporation Denso Wave in 1994 when they were developed to track vehicles during the car manufacturing process at Toyota. In the beginning, they were simple 2D codes, but they continued to develop until the Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) registered QR codes in 1999.  Later, new forms of the code were developed: In 2004, the world welcomed the first micro QR code that could be printed in a small space. Four years later, the iQR code enabled rectangular code modules and boasted 80% higher data capacity. Finally, FrameQR was developed in 2014 and brought a “canvas area” to the code. This allowed companies to add branding and design elements to their codes more freely. Thanks to those who invented the barcode, we can now use QR technology to store website URLs, contact information, and small amounts of text. It can also be used to trigger actions, such as opening a URL in your browser or adding a contact to your address book.  The Future of Barcodes As barcodes continue to evolve, we can expect to see even more uses for them in our everyday lives. Now that we know the answer to the “How long have barcodes been around?” question, we can only imagine what the future holds for this technology.  With the advent of cloud-based inventory management software, barcodes are becoming even more important for managing products and tracking inventory in real time, no matter where you are.  We are also likely to see more uses for QR codes as they become more widely adopted. 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By Danica Djokic · November 22,2022
Do you ever wonder how those little black-on-white lines can hold so much information? Or how do barcodes work, and why are they so important to businesses? In this article, we will explore the world of barcodes and learn how these simple markings can do so much. Stay tuned for an in-depth look at one of the essential pieces of technology in the modern world. What Is a Barcode? A barcode is a machine-readable code in the form of numbers and parallel lines printed on product packaging. Barcodes were first developed in the 1970s from an earlier idea based on Morse code. They have since become an essential tool for businesses of all sizes. Barcodes can be printed on labels or directly onto products and are read by scanners that are connected to a computer system. Barcodes are used extensively in retail and have helped streamline the checkout process. In addition, barcode technology can be used to track inventory levels and product movement throughout the supply chain. As barcodes become more ubiquitous, they are also being used in other industries, such as health care and manufacturing. How Does a Barcode Work? Barcodes are read by optical scanners that use a beam of light to scan the code. The scanner converts the light reflections into electrical impulses sent to a computer system. The computer system then decodes the impulses and translates them into the product information stored in the barcode.  What’s also important to note is that barcodes can store a large amount of information in a very small space. This means that businesses can track a variety of product data, such as price, color, and size. Types of Barcodes All barcodes can be split into two categories - linear and two-dimensional. Linear barcodes, also known as one-dimensional (1D) barcodes, are the most common type. They are composed of a series of parallel lines that represent numbers or other characters. Two-dimensional barcodes are less common but are becoming more popular due to their ability to store more information. These barcodes are composed of a series of dots or squares that can be read in two dimensions. Now, let’s take a closer look at the different barcode types. UPC The most common type of 1D barcode is the Universal Product Code (UPC). UPC barcodes are used extensively in the retail industry and can be found on nearly every product sold in a retail store.  The universal product code consists of 12 digits divided into two parts: The first six are the manufacturer’s identifier, and the last six are the product’s identifier. The UPC barcode is printed on every product sold in stores and is a vital part of the retail industry. Thanks to the UPC, retailers can efficiently track inventory and sales and ensure that customers get the right products. EAN Code The European Article Number (EAN) is another 1D barcode example used extensively in Europe. EANs are very similar to UPCs but have a few key differences.  EANs are composed of eight or 13 numbers depending on the product size. If the product is small, such as a book, it will have an 8-digit EAN. If the product is larger, such as a piece of furniture, it will have a 13-digit EAN. These numbers combine a country code, company code, and article number, while the last digit represents the check digit. EANs are often used on products sold internationally, as scanners in any country can read them. This makes them a vital part of the global supply chain. Data Matrix Code Data Matrix codes are 2D barcodes that can encode a large amount of data in a small space. They are made up of black and white squares that form a big square or rectangle and are used in industries where tracking and traceability are critical. These codes have a maximum encoding capacity of 3,116 numerical characters and 2,335 alphabetic characters. Each Data Matrix has its own perimeter finder and timing pattern, and they are made up of square or rectangular blocks of black and white cells. Data Matrix codes may store both large and small symbols. A barcode scanner can more easily read the code if there is a blank space around its perimeter. PDF417 Code PDF417 is a type of 2D barcode used to store information. The name stands for Portable Data File 417. PDF417 codes are used in various contexts, including but not limited to driver’s licenses, passports, and other identification documents.  The information stored in a PDF417 code can include text, numbers, and other data. These codes are read by scanning them with a barcode reader. The reader decodes the information, displays it on a screen, or prints it out.  PDF417 codes are also used in some financial transactions, such as mobile payments. In these cases, the code typically represents a unique identifier for the transaction. PDF417 codes have been used since the early 1990s and are now one of the most common barcode types. QR Code QR codes are becoming increasingly popular, especially as a way of sharing information or accessing content quickly and easily. But what exactly is a QR code? Simply put, a QR code is a two-dimensional barcode that can be read by a smartphone or other devices with a camera.  When scanned, the QR code will direct the device to a specific website or online content. QR codes can be used for various purposes, including sharing contact information, providing directions, or linking to a video or social media account.  Businesses have also begun using QR codes to offer customers special deals or promotions. While QR codes are most commonly used with phones, they can also be scanned with laptops and tablets. So, the next time you see a QR code, go ahead and give it a try. Benefits of Using Barcodes Barcodes have become essential to modern life, appearing on everything from groceries to library books. While they may seem like a simple way to handle inventory tracking, barcodes offer businesses various financial benefits. Here are some of the key benefits of using barcode systems: Improved accuracy: Barcodes can be read quickly and accurately, which reduces the chances of human error. This is especially important for businesses that need to track a large number of items. Reduced costs: Using barcodes can help businesses save money on labor costs associated with inventory management. Barcodes can also be used to automate the ordering process, which can lead to further cost savings. So if you’re unsure how to use a barcode system, consider hiring a professional to help get you started. Faster transactions: Barcodes can be read quickly, which helps speed up transactions. This is especially beneficial for businesses that experience high volumes of traffic, such as supermarkets and department stores. Improved customer service: Barcodes can help businesses keep track of sales data and customer purchase history. This information can be used to improve marketing efforts and customize the shopping experience for individual customers. Improved security: Barcodes can be used to track products and prevent theft. This is especially important for businesses that sell high-value items or handle sensitive information. As you can see, barcodes offer a variety of financial benefits for businesses, large and small. How Does a Barcode Scanner Work? A barcode scanner is a device that can read and interpret barcodes. It encodes the data from the barcode into a form that a computer can read. The computer then uses this data to look up information about the product, such as the price, in a database. Barcode scanners come in various shapes and sizes, but they all work using the same basic principle. So, how are barcodes read? A barcode scanner contains a light source, a photosensor, and an electronic decoder.  The light source is used to illuminate the barcode. The photosensor is used to detect the reflected light from the barcode. The electronic decoder is used to interpret the data encoded in the barcode. Barcode scanners can be handheld or fixed. Handheld barcode scanners are portable devices that can be held in one hand while scanning barcodes. Fixed barcode scanners are mounted on stands or other surfaces and are used to scan barcodes placed within the scanner’s range. Barcode scanners are commonly used in retail settings for pricing and inventory control. However, barcode scanners can also be used for other purposes, such as tracking assets or collecting data. Final Thoughts Barcodes are essential to many businesses, helping track inventory and product movement throughout the supply chain. By understanding how they work, you can ensure you’re making the most out of them. There are different barcode types, so choose the one that best suits your needs.
By Nikolina Cveticanin · November 21,2022

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