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Web Hosting Computer Servers

Web Hosting 101: Setting up a Site for Your Business Shouldn’t be Scary

Richard ClaytonRichard Clayton
August 10, 2016

Do you really need a website for your business? The definite answer is yes, absolutely. Even if the entire enterprise is just you and your laptop, the answer is still “YES”. Whether you’re just getting started or looking to grow your business, a website is fundamental for creating a searchable online presence and developing your brand.

If you want to read an in-depth breakdown of all the ways you will benefit from having an online presence, check out this comprehensive piece by Peter Visser.

In short, your website works for you in two main ways: targeting direct traffic and indirect traffic.

  • Direct – If someone is using a search engine to look up you or your business by name, you want them to find you. Your own page is a great place to showcase your products or services and enable customers to make inquiries. It also increases your credibility and professionalism. A website is an online business card, available 24/7 to anyone who wants to look you up.
    If your business involves selling products, this goes without saying. With an estimated 1.6 billion people shopping online in 2016, an online platform for selling goods is a must.
  • Indirect – the term “translator English to French” has a whopping 33,100 Google search queries per month. “Baby clothes” has 1 million. You want a piece of that traffic? You can’t win if you don’t play. A nicely-designed website with SEO-driven content can increase organic traffic to your business from the millions of related searches conducted by potential clients each month.

Web hosting for newbies: Where do I start?

Now that we’ve established how important it is for all businesses–big and small–to have a website, let’s talk about the how. To set up a website, the first thing you need to do is find a solid web hosting service.

Wait a minute, what’s a web hosting service?

A website is composed of pages. Whether it’s a single page or many thousands of pages, these are actual files that need a server to live on. A web host will be the provider of the server computer (or computers, if you’re running a heavy website with thousands of pages). Aside from that, web hosts should provide you with maintenance and support for your site. Some companies will provide you with other services, such as software or internet connectivity tools.


What Services Do Webhosts Provide? Infographic


Back up. Don’t I need a www first?

Yes, you’ll need a domain in order to have a website to host. A domain is your online name. You’ll certainly have some considerations when choosing one. If you’re having trouble coming up with a solid name, check out domain generators for some ideas. They’ll also often tell you what’s available (darn it! Minnie.ninja is taken :-/). Some web hosting companies will help you choose and register a domain too.

OK, got it. So how do I choose a web host? There are so many out there.

That’s true. You’re going to want a web host that is reliable, experienced, and service-oriented.

The legwork on this can be disorienting, especially if you’re new to the field. You’re in luck; PCMag, trusty resource about all things computers, did a comprehensive comparative analysis and came up with the list of its top 10 Best Web Hosting Services of 2016.

DreamHost: A one-stop web hosting solution

A shining star in the PCMag analysis with a comprehensive offering for businesses big and small, is DreamHost. In fact, this is the second year in a row that DreamHost has been spotlighted by PCMag for its fantastic web hosting services. DreamHost has 20 years of experience under its belt (which translates to forever in internet years), and currently supports over 1.5 million websites.

DreamHost offers several different types of hosting solutions, catered to the needs of its clients, with pricing packages so affordable I did an actual double take when I saw their pricing page. Aside from its multiple hosting plans, DreamHost will help you choose and register a domain. Here’s another awesome perk – most domains are free for the first year.

DreamHost is a particularly good choice for freelancers and SMEs. It’s easy and straightforward to get started, and you can get a website up fairly quickly without any previous experience launching websites. DreamHost has its own in-house tech team, to offer timely personalized support– a feature that is particularly popular among its customers. A lot of great security and privacy measures are included in their pricing packages, so you can rest assured that your website and its content are safe from malicious entities.

Another great feature for this audience is their extensive support for WordPress sites. If you’re unfamiliar with WordPress, here’s the gist: it’s a content platform for websites, which is super straightforward and easy to use, and offers a huge selection of funky design layouts to choose from. You don’t need any design or coding skills to use WordPress. This package, which DreamHost names DreamPress, will not only have you covered for a web host and a domain, but you’ll easily be able to tackle the design and content aspects as well.

If $5.95/month sounds like the right price for you, head on over there and grab this limited time offer. (Say hi from us!)

DreamHost’s plans basically debunk the concerns of 58% of the companies in the graph above. No need for technical expertise, extensive free time or deep pockets to set up a website.

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