How to Publish a Website and Choose a Web Hosting Server
This paper describes the steps that need to be performed in order to publish a website on a web hosting provider. It describes only the general steps for performing such, as the detailed steps vary, depending on the web authoring tool, web hosting server, and FTP client selected. Furthermore, the steps described are for the manual publishing of a website, that is, without using the web publishing feature of a web authoring tool.
In addition, this paper discusses a specific web hosting server, its features, and why a particular plan from the website hosting server would be ideal for the writer.
There are three main steps involved in the publishing of a website on a web hosting server. These are the following: 1) Create a website; 2) Get a web hosting plan; and 3) Upload the files to the web hosting server (“3 Steps,” 2008).
The first step is to create a website. There are different ways of developing a website, depending on the web developer’s level of knowledge. The programming can be done either manually using Notepad or EditPlus or by using web authoring tools such as Dreamweaver or Microsoft FrontPage. Be sure to name the first web page of your site as index.html. By default, this is the filename that web hosting servers identify as the first page of a website.
Aside from creating a website from scratch, there’s also the option of using open source tools that do not require programming knowledge. An example is Wordpress, which provides a lot of features and web design themes that can be used to easily create the web pages for a website (“3 Steps”).
The second step is to sign up for a hosting plan. A web hosting server must be selected, as this is where the web pages and other files for the website will be stored. A hosting plan includes a domain name registration and storage space. The choice of a web hosting plan would be based on the bandwidth, CPU, and storage space (“3 Steps”). Other considerations would include the time required for maintaining the servers where the website runs; the cost; and the purpose for the website (Kymin, n.d.).
Some options for web hosting providers are Internet Service Providers (ISP), free web hosting, and standard paid hosting (Kymin).
An ISP subscription usually comes with a small amount of free web space that can be used for quickly and easily creating web pages. This option is good for small websites that require low amounts of traffic such as a personal website. This option also usually comes with limited features and rate restrictions, making it unsuitable for businesses websites. However, it can be used for preparing and testing a business website.
There are also a lot of free web hosting services available. Many of them have advance capabilities such as SSI, PHP, shell access, and CGI. This option can be used for very small business websites and personal web pages. This type of hosting is supported by advertising; hence, is not suitable for serious businesses. It can, however, also be used for preparing and testing a website.
A standard paid hosting provider requires the payment of a monthly fee for the services and space on the web hosting provider’s site. The prices vary and are based on the services included. This is a good option for business websites. However, care should be taken in ensuring that the services required are included in the hosting plan and that not only the price is considered, as it is difficult and expensive to shift to another web hosting provider.
The third step in publishing a website is to upload the web pages and other files such as images to the web hosting provider. In particular, the files must be uploaded to the root directory of the purchased web space. This can be done by using the web hosting provider’s in-house file manager. This, however, is slow and poorly manages large volumes of files. A better option would be to use an FTP client. Instructions for uploading files via an FTP client are usually provided by the web hosting provider.
A web hosting provider that the writer would select is HostGator on http://www.hostgator.com. This provider has three web hosting plans, namely the Hatchling Plan at $3.96/month; the Baby Plan at $6.36/month; and the Business Plan at $10.36/month.
The writer would select the Baby Plan because it has most of the features of the Business Plan, yet has a little more features than the Hatchling Plan. Since it can support unlimited subdomains, the same Baby Plan can be used both for personal and business websites. A different domain hosting plan can just be obtained to give the subdomains their own domains. Now, should a website be used for business and the business grows and ends up requiring more services then it should be very easy to upgrade the account to a Business plan.
3 Steps in Publishing Your Website. (2008). Retrieved from http://www.webhostingsearch.com/articles/how-to-publish-your-website.php
HostGator. (2011). Compare plans. Retrieved from http://www.hostgator.com/shared.shtml
Kymin, J. (n.d.). Before you choose a web hosting service. Retrieved from http://webdesign.about.com/od/webhosting/bb/aabhosting.htm