Web Hosting – How does that work?
Now that I’ve registered my domain names, I need to get them hosted. A hosting account is like the house you live in. You are not your house, but you live at that address. Web hosting is not your website, but hosting your domain name allows you to tell people where your website lives. My business lives at http://www.SavvyCleaner.com that is the hosted address. There are literally hundreds of resellers for web hosting accounts and the one I went with is HostGator.com
Instead of designing a website from scratch, which would be tough for me since I don’t know HTML, XHTML, Java, PHP or CSS code, I decided to go with one that is WordPress friendly.
WordPress is an online, open source website creation tool written in PHP. What that means is that it is the latest technology – without you having to know how to make it work.
There are also thousands of plug-ins created for WordPress that allow you to add all kinds of magical elements to your websites. A plug-in is like an extra feature on a car, say power windows that go up and down with the push of a button instead of rolling them up and down. Or a rear view camera that shows what is behind you when you are backing up. The plugs-ins make your website work better and easier. Many of the apps and plug-ins are free and available right from the HostGator dashboard. WOOHOO!
The important thing to me about creating a website is that with WordPress on HostGator, I was able to find some themes that were responsive. A responsive theme means I can dabble around on my desktop computer decorating my website, but when I hit publish – it shrinks my website to the right size for a laptop, an iPad or a cell phone. I don’t have to create different versions of my website for the different devices that will view my sites.
Having a responsive website is an absolute MUST! Everybody it seems is viewing websites on their smart phones.
WordPress offers a free account – where I guess you could write a blog or something, but without a hosted account, you don’t have your own name or business name address. Your blog or website would live somewhere in WordPress outer space. That is fine if you’re just screwing around on the internet – but if you are running a business, register a domain name and host it.
So back to the hosting, Hostgator.com offered an amazing package where I could host 5 business accounts for $31.95 a month. That sounds like a lot of money – but it is a non-negotiable business cost. While I was cleaning houses, I spent $31.95 a month on bonding and insurance. It was a non-negotiable expense. Every business has these mandatory expenses and this is one of them. If you have a business – you need a website. All real businesses have a website with their own address. Check out Hostgator.com to see if they are offering discounts. They have lots of ongoing promotions.
Your website is a hub where you connect people to your social media accounts, your blogs, your podcasts, your news, your updates, your discounts, your events and so on.
HostGator has an easy control panel (with a demo tutorial helpful for startup folks like me). They have 1-Click installs, 4,500 free website templates 99.9% uptime guarantee a 45 day money back guarantee and 24/7/365 technical support…and they didn’t even pay me to tell you all that.
The set up (connecting my domain name to a hosting account) was really easy. I followed the directions and when it didn’t work – I called tech support at HostGator, they were super kind, and told me that when entering my domain name I had to use lowercase letters and not capital ones. The call to tech support was free (or rather included in my monthly investment.)
Problem solved and I’m up and running. The WordPress install from the HostGator portal was literally 1 click. I didn’t have to upload anything. Easy peasy.
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