Getting a domain and hosting plan for your website

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In this tutorial we will learn how to get domain and hosting plan for your website.

In the previous tutorial on How to get free blog and website we explored the options to get started with different online platforms that provide services to create blogs and websites for FREE.

In this tutorial we are going to explore the PAID services.

Getting a domain

Our first task is to get a domain name for our website. A domain name is just a name like facebook.com or google.com or github.com which a user will type in the browser to reach the website.

So, it becomes very important that you pick a domain name that is short and easy to remember.

Getting a domain name involves registering the domain name with ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) through a registrar.

Some of the domain name registrars are listed below.

  • GoDaddy.com
  • BigRock.in
  • Domain.com

Click here to get the list of registrars accredited by ICANN.

Domain extensions

Domain names have extensions like .com, .org, .edu, .in etc. and the price of the domain name also depends on the extension.

Popular extenions are .com, .org, .gov, .edu.

Note! If you are creating a blog or personal website then go for .com domain name. If you don't get a .com domain then consider other options.

Government websites have .gov extension. Organisations have .org and educational sites have .edu extensions.

Cost of domain

It depends on the name of the domain you want for your website.

In the following images you can see the price of some of the domains from GoDaddy (India).



You can see that the price of the above domain (At the time of writing this tutorial) was INR 99.



This is a PREMIUM domain name and costs INR 1,92,307.69* (At the time of writing this tutorial) and you have to make offer to get this domain name.



This is another PREMIUM domain name costing INR 3,20,192.31* (At the time of writing this tutorial) and you have to make offer to get this domain name.

Choose a domain name that suits your need and is in your budget. Spending all your money on a domain name is not wise.

Once you have a domain name its time to get a hosting plan.

Domain name is like your name plate and hosting plan is the house where you stick your name plate.

We will learn to connect a domain name and hosting server in the coming tutorial.

You have to renew your domain name

Domain name is bought for a given time period. You can buy a domain for 1 year, 2 years, 5 years and so on. Domain price will vary depending on the number of years you want to keep it.

Once the expiry date arrives you have to renew the domain name by paying the required amount to the registrar. If you don't renew the domain name then, after the expiry date your website or blog will go offline and the domain will be taken by the registrar.

Don't forget to renew your domain names.

Buying a hosting plan

Alright! You have your domain name and now its time to buy a hosting plan.

A hosting plan is basically a server provided by a hosting company to you so that you can put your website code there and serve its content to your visitors when they come to your website by typing your domain name.

There are many hosting providers out there in the market and following are some of the well known.

  • HostGator
  • BlueHost
  • GoDaddy

Frequently asked questions when buying a hosting plan

  • Windows server or Linux server?
  • Languages supported?
  • WordPress?
  • Should I buy a shared hosting or dedicated hosting?
  • Single domain hosting or multiple domain hosting?
  • What is uptime?
  • What extra features/services am I getting?

Let's walk through the FAQs together.

Server type: Windows or Linux?

Linux is the most popular OS out there. Just Google it!

Of course, Windows has its own share of the market but Linux is the best. So, prefer using a Linux server.

Now, in case your backend code that is going to power your website is dependent on Windows for some technical reasons then go for Windows server. Otherwise, Linux!

I personally use Linux and have been using it since the start of my career. It is open source and has a big community and you will get a lot of help online. Trust me you won't be disappointed.

From price point Linux hosting is cheaper.

Languages supported?

When buying a hosting plan do check the list of server side languages included in the plan. If your backend server side code is written in lets say, PHP then do check if the hosting server supports PHP and also the PHP version your code requires.

Commonly used backend server side languages:

  • PHP
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • Java JSP
  • Microsoft ASP.NET

WordPress?

If you are going to just use WordPress for your blog or website then do check whether WordPress installation feature is provided by the hosting provider. Most providers will give easy to install and setup WordPress feature like Click-and-Install.

Shared hosting or dedicated hosting?

First, lets understand what is shared hosting?

Consider shared hosting as a house consisting of multiple rooms and multiple persons live in that same house. Now, everyone lives and keep their stuffs in their respective room. But they all share the same house.

Similarly, a shared hosting plan means you are going to share the server with other domains. And everyone sharing the server gets their respective space to live in.

Note! Your content remains under your control and other users sharing the same server never gets to access or modify your files.

Shared hosting is not very powerful but will get the job done. This is good if you want to host your blog or website and you expect to receive some 10 to 20 Million visitors annually.

Many blogs and websites are running on shared hosting plan so it is not that bad.

Shared hosting is cheaper.

Dedicated hosting, on the other hand, as the name suggests is dedicated for you i.e., you get the whole thing.

And since you are taking the whole server for your own use so the price is high. But you get awesome performance. So, if you want high performace and expect large number of visitors and requests to your website then dedicated server is the one you should consider.

Dedicated server is ideal for big projects and high traffic blogs and websites. So, if you are just starting out then dedicated server will be an overkill and a big burden on your wallet.

I have worked with both shared and dedicated servers. My suggestion is go for shared server and when you think that you are reaching the limits of the shared server then upgrade to dedicated server. This is ideal if you are planning for blog and personal website.

Cost of shared Windows hosting and Linux hosting

Considering a 1 year plan. Amount in INR (Indian Rupee).

Note! Average price was taken from HostGator, GoDaddy and BlueHost. Price keeps changing and this is just for reference purpose.

Linux Windows
Starter plan INR 3,600 INR 4,800
Intermediate plan INR 6,000 INR 7,200
Business plan INR 8,400 INR 12,000

Cost of dedicated Windows hosting and Linux hosting

Considering a 1 year plan. Amount in INR (Indian Rupee).

Note! Average price was taken from HostGator, GoDaddy and BlueHost. Price keeps changing and this is just for reference purpose.

Linux Windows
Starter plan INR 1,14,000 INR 1,15,000
Intermediate plan INR 1,32,000 INR 1,37,000
Business plan INR 1,95,000 INR 2,05,000

Single domain hosting or Multiple domain hosting?

Hosting companies provide plans that allows us to host single domain and multiple domains in a single hosting pack.

Single domain hosting means you can only add one domain name to your hosting plan. And if in future you buy a new domain then you have to either buy a new hosting plan or upgrade your existing plan.

Multiple domain hosting plan means you can connect multiple domain name to your hosting plan. So, you don't have to buy a new hosting plan if you plan to host your new domain name.

I personally use multiple domain hosting plan.

What is uptime?

Uptime is the measure of the time for which the server will remain operational and serve your website to your users.

Opposite of uptime is downtime which means the time for which the server goes offline. Which also means the time for which your website goes offline.

Now a days you are guaranteed to get 99.9% uptime by most of the service providers.

Extra features/services to consider

Following are some of the extra features that you can consider when selecting a hosting plan and the provider.

  • 24x7 customer support. This is a must.
  • Easy to use dashboard. If you are getting cPanel then awesome!
  • Free email service.
  • Unlimited storage (almost)
  • Unlimited bandwidth (1TB or more data download)
  • Ability to create Database and tables
  • Basic stats and analytics of your visitors

Dedicated IP address and SSL certificate

This is not required when starting. But if you are planning to keep user data or if you are planning to have transactions then it is better you get a dedicated IP address and SSL certificate to secure your website and encrypt the data sent and received from your website.

You can get dedicated IP address from your hosting company like HostGator or BlueHost. And for SSL certificate you can either get it from the hosting company if they provide it or from other company like GoDaddy.

Chances are your hosting provider will install SSL certificate for you as a paid service.

When you have SSL installed you will see a green lock next to your domain name like the following.