Hosting a website can be a daunting task, especially if you're not familiar with the different types of hosting and the technical requirements. Fortunately, understanding the basics should help you make smart decisions and choose the type of hosting that best suits you and your audience. When it comes to hosting a website, you have two main options: hosting it yourself or using a web hosting provider. Hosting it yourself requires an expensive server with a constantly running power supply, power backups in the event of interruptions, a static IP address (the IP of your home computer always changes or is dynamic) and regular hardware maintenance.
On the other hand, using a web hosting provider is much simpler and cost-effective. Once you have chosen a hosting platform that you like, you'll need to limit your decision to a plan. There are numerous types of hosting (shared, cloud, VPS, and more) and there is usually a choice of plan levels within each type. For example, HostGator has three shared hosting plans: Hatchling, Baby, and Business.
It's important to note that while you can use a WordPress site hosted on XAMPP to test plugins or practice programming, you can't use it to create a true staging site. To overcome this, try using HostScore, a site that consistently rates the performance of web servers based on continuous data collection. Some web hosting companies also keep the storage and publication history of your website, allowing you to return to a previously saved or published version of your website. In addition to choosing the right type of hosting for your website, you'll also need to select the right content management system (CMS).
Make a graphic of your alternatives and choose the CMS that best suits your needs and your hosting package. Host everything you can download on an external file hosting service, such as Photobucket, Vimeo, YouTube, Giphy, etc. As for performance and administration, each type of web hosting also has its pros and cons, so choose yours accordingly. Your relationship with your hosting provider is likely to be long-term, so it's important that they can provide you with all the help you might need in relation to your account, cPanel (control panel), server, or even WordPress itself.
Most personal and small business website owners with a small budget opt for shared hosting packages to save on investment.
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