So what is website hosting? Imagine for a minute that you want to bake a cake. You have all of the ingredients but you need to put them all together and put them into a baking tin for them to become a cake right? Same goes for a website, you have all of the ingredients which in this case are files and you need to put them onto a hosting server to create the website.
At present there are over 330,000 web hosting providers throughout the world. Most web hosting companies will have different levels of hosting services available to you. Depending on your website type you will need to select the right hosting. For example a brochure style website takes up less space and processing power than an e-commerce website.
There is no one hosting company that stands out amongst the quarter of a million hosting companies around the world. For ease of use and management and also to enable you to easily set up and manage your hosting, we always recommend using a hosting package that provides cPanel.
Below are our top3 recommended hosting companies together with current pricing October 2022:
Brixly cloud hosting ‘Infinity Plus’ at £9.95 per month
GoDaddy hosting ‘Ultimate’ at £7.99 per month
123-reg hosting ‘Pro’ at £5.99 per month
We use Brixly hosting ourselves as the ease of use and uptime together with support is second to none. That said GoDaddy and 123-reg both have support contact phone numbers. It really is a personal choice.
You’ve registered your Domain and purchased your hosting package which includes cPanel access. Now it’s time to point your Domain to the hosting server so that you can start building your WordPress website. This is called pointing your A records to your hosting provider.
Login to your hosting provider and access cPanel (At present October 2022, the cPanel is called ‘Jupiter’). The IP address of your server will be displayed in the right hand pane within cPanel often called ‘Shared IP address’. Make a note of this IP address, in our case this is 18.104.22.168
It is now time to set up FTP and your website database. We will provide screen shots for each section below.
We need to set up FTP to allow us to upload WordPress to our hosting which in turn will facilitate the build of the website.
Go to the files section within cPanel and click on FTP Accounts.
Under the Add FTP Account section enter Log In, for our example we have used firstname.lastname@example.org and then click the ‘Password Generator’ to create a complex password. Copy the password and tick the ‘I have copied this password in a safe place’ check box then click ‘use this password’ button. Do not be tempted to create your own password here as if someone manages to gain access to your FTP account they can hijack your entire site and hosting.
Under the Directory section this should in most cases be set as public_html then click Create FTP Account. Don’t forget to save all of the credentials as you will need them later in our insider knowledge – Website build page.
Your database is where all of the information on each page will be kept along with products if your site is an e-commerce style website. It is an essential part of WordPress. Without a database, you will not be able to set up and create your website.
There are 3 steps to creating your database. Login to cPanel and navigate down to Databases section. Click on ‘MySQL Databases’, this will open up into the create new database area.
The database prefix should already be present but if for some reason it is not then you will need to create a prefix. Databases cannot start with a number and always require a prefix. In our example our database prefix is taylormade_. Enter the database name under the New database section. We use random numbers when creating a database as this is fool proof and makes it harder to guess. The more numbers the better. Click ‘Create Database’.
Once the database has been created you can click on ‘Back’ which will take you back to the database page. You will now need to create a user and add this user to the database. Scroll down to MySQL Users and enter a username again using random numbers is recommended. Generate the password in the same way that you generated the password within the FTP setup process. Click ‘Create User’. Once created click ‘Go Back’ to return to the database page.
It is now time to add the user to the database and given it the relevant permissions to install WordPress to the database. Scroll down to ‘Add user to database’ section and click the Add button. On the next screen tick ‘All privileges’ and click ‘Make Changes’. You will receive a success message and can now go back to cPanel as you have successfully prepared your hosting for WordPress.
With most hosting providers you can deploy SSL within cPanel for free. Once you have your Domain pointing to your hosting and this has propagated (Check here) then the following is the simple process to deploy:
Once completed the two records should show with a green padlock
N.B. You may need to run the AutoSSL a couple of times
You will now need to point the Domain to the IP address of your hosting. To do this log into your Domain registrar and navigate to your Domain. Using our preferred registrar, 123-reg, click on Control Panel towards the top of the page and select ‘Domain Names’ green drop down arrow. If you only have one Domain it will show already, click on the green ‘Manage’ button.
Scroll down and click on ‘Manage DNS’. Click on the Advanced DNS tab and click the pencil next to the first A record. Enter your hosting IP address over the top of the IP address that already exists (Default 123-reg IP address) and click the green tick to update it. Repeat this for both the @ and * records. DNS updates can take a few hours to ‘propagate’ to show up against your Domain.
There is no need to click anything else, you can now log out and go grab a coffee as you have successfully set up your hosting.