Your website needs a place to live. Like software on your computer or an app on your phone, your website is a piece of software, and has to be installed and configured somewhere. Computers that host websites are called servers.
This page will walk you step-by-step through the process of signing up for a hosting package. It’s not terribly difficult, but there are quite a few choices so I’ll give you my two cents along the way.
About Hosting Services
There are hundreds of reputable companies with thousands of servers that will host your website. You can research all of them, but I already did. I recommend Hostgator.com.
Like all of the services, tools, and resources I recommend, Hostgator is the hosting service I’m currently using, and I have been for years.
Hostgator is reasonably priced (cheap), easy to use, and they have very good support with lots of online guides and very helpful customer service.
As an affiliate, I can get you an even better price than what they currently list on their website. See coupon code below.
Let’s Get Started
Head on over to Hostgator.com.
Click on the View Web Hosting Plans button in the middle of the page. You’ll then see their three tiers of service at the entry level: Hatchling, Baby, and Business.
If you’re using this guide, I’m guessing you probably don’t need a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate because you’re not sending secured transaction like those used by ecommerce sites.
That puts you in the Hatchling or Baby plans.
If you’re going to want to host more than one website or domain name, you’ll want to go with the Baby Plan.
If you’re just starting out with the one, go with the Hatchling Plan. You can always change later with minimal effort.
To view pricing options for your choice, click on the drop down menu that shows the “Starting at $3.96/mo” (assuming Hatchling Plan).
The monthly and 6 months prices are the highest per month cost, but offer the lowest commitment. There are additional savings for 1, 2, or 3 year commitments.
The coupon code I have for you is for 25% your first purchase, so it probably makes sense to go with at least 6 months or 1 year.
For this example, I selected 1 Year, which drops the price to $5.56/month. That’s going to get even cheaper when we add our coupon at checkout! I told you I can’t pass up a great deal.
Once you’ve selected your desired hosting package, click the Order Now button under the plan your choosing. This will take you to the order details page.
You’ll notice that the first radio button default is for registering a new domain. But, we’ve already registered our domain through GoDaddy. So we’re going to click the next button to the left for “I already own this domain”.
NOTE: Although I could have told you to buy your domain name with hosting at HostGator, I prefer to keep them separate so I have more control in the long-term if I want to change or move stuff around.
Then you’ll type in the domain name you just purchases EXACTLY as it appears in your receipt or email confirmation from GoDaddy. If you misspell your domain here, you will have problems.
Hostgator will try to sell you some related domains (I see a theme here), but I’m going to pass.
Confirm your hosting package (or you can change that here if you’d like), then enter a username and security pin per the instructions.
Next, you’ll enter your billing information.
Under the billing information section, you’ll see “Hosting Addons” with Add SiteLock and Add CodeGuard already selected as the default. I’ve never purchased these so I can not speak to whether they are good products or not. I do not personally think they’re worth the expense, but I’m also not responsible for your website, so I’ll leave that up to you.
For this example, I have deselected both.
You’ll then see a section entitled “Have a coupon code?”
Replace SNAPPY with SuperSimpl30 and click the Validate button below the text box. You should see a green check beside the code and the price drop.
In this example, I saved over $8 more than using the default code, which is more than what I paid for the domain name. Score!
NOTE: If SuperSimpl30 doesn’t work for some reason, you should still be able to save 25% with the code: SuperSimpl2015
You’ll need to check the box that you have read and agreed to their terms and conditions. After you read the terms and conditions, of course!
Finally, click the Create Account button at the bottom of the page.
Once you have finished, you’ll get a confirmation email that will contain all the details of your hosting plan. This email is critical for the next step. Do not delete it. It will look something like the one below, only without all the blurry text.
That’s it. You’re done setting up your website hosting!