We remember back when we were novice web developers and web designers. I and my colleagues used XAMPP or WAMP as our web server platforms on our personal computers. Others who were using Linux like Ubuntu or Centos were using LAMP.
We did not have a slight idea that we might establish our digital marketing agency.
Our personal computers hosted our web design projects 😊. We usually browsed through http://localhost or http://127.0.0.1.
One day came our first client who had already designed a WordPress website. He wanted us to host it for him. Our journey to website hosting started there.
Now my company, Bridging Technologies provides hosting services to our clients. It is not as difficult as most web designers think. If I did it, why shouldn’t you?
😋😋Pro TIP: Not all digital marketing agencies provide hosting services. They may outsource. You can decide to host on your own or seek consultation.
Well…let’s say that it’s not always very beginner-friendly, especially if you’ve never performed a web design before. Don't worry we can help you do so!
For your customers to see your website online, it should be hosted. To host means to store it on a special server called the webserver. Most websites are difficult to manage, you need a lot of command-line knowledge. Don’t be afraid, web experts have developed web-based applications. These applications enable you to manage your hosted services or servers. These tools are called web control panels.
These are a few examples:
I will focus on cPanel only. CPanel is one of the most used Linux-based control panels for web hosting accounts in cPanel. It allows you to access all your resources in one convenient location. cPanel is the industry standard, and most web developers are familiar with it.
But before we dive in. We need to know the prerequisites before hosting your website with cPanel.
The act of reserving a name on the Internet for a certain period is known as domain name registration. A period is usually a year. It's important to remember that this domain will only be yours as long as you renew it. There's no way to buy a domain name in eternity.
A domain name must be registered before a website, email, or other services. But you are not required to register a new domain name regularly. Many companies would let you use subdomains of their domain names for your website. You can even use their primary domain for your email example yahoo.com and gmail.com.
A domain name is a one-of-a-kind identifier for a website. The domain name of the digital marketing agency, Bridging Technologies, for example, is "bridging.co.tz". Each website has a domain name that serves as an address for navigating the site.
The domain name appears in the address bar of the browser if you visit a website. Some domain names have the "www" prefix (which is not part of the domain name), while others do not. A domain suffix, such as .com, .net, or .org is added to any domain name.
The domain suffix aids in determining the type of website represented by the domain name. For example, commercial websites usually use ".com" domain names. Non-profit organizations often use ".org" domain names. Some domain names end in a country code, such as “.co.tz” (Tanzania) or ”.dk” (Denmark), or ".se" (Sweden). These aid in determining the website's location and target audience.
🔥🔥Did you know? There are almost 501,969,261 domains worldwide with 175,680,421 .com only.
Domain names are inexpensive to buy, but they must be renewed every year or several years. The good news is, everyone can register a domain name, so you can get a unique URL for your blog or website. The bad news is that almost every domain name that contains a famous word has already been taken. As a result, if you want to register a custom domain name, you will need to come up with a unique name. When you choose a domain name and register it, you own it before you avoid renewing it. When the domain name's expiration period ends, it becomes available for purchase by others.
🔥🔥Pro TIP: You can read on to create a SEO friendly domain name here
Check out the meaning of domain name registrar on our Frequently Asked Questions page here.
Take a simple example, you want to visit www.bridging.co.tz. When you type a domain name into your web browser, it sends a request to the Domain Name System (DNS), which is a global network of servers.
The nameservers associated with the domain are then looked up, and the request is forwarded to those nameservers.
If your website is hosted on ExtremeWebTechnologies, for example, the name server details would be as follows:
These name servers are computers that your hosting provider manages. Your hosting provider will send your request to the computer that houses your website.
A web server is a name given to this machine. It is equipped with specialized tools (Apache and Nginx are two popular web server software). The web server now retrieves the web page as well as any related data.
It then sends this information back to the browser.
First of all, how much does a domain cost? Tanzania registrars start at 25,000 to 35,000 Tanzanian Shillings.
Find a reliable registrar. I used ExtremeWebTechnologies as an example. Create an account or login if you already have an account.
Go to “Domains” then “Register a New Domain”.
Find a domain availability by searching for your desired name. Hope you have read about a domain on Beginner's guide: Create a SEO friendly website in the digital marketing world. If it’s not available, that means someone else has already reserved it.
If it is available, add it to the cart and follow the purchase steps. Remember to fill in your nameservers provided by your host.
Now that you are familiar with a domain name, let’s dive deep.
Also known as website hosting, web hosting, or webhosting. It is the practice of storing, serving, and managing files for one or more Web pages. The quick internet connection is more important than the computer space provided for Website files.
A digital marketing agency hosting its website would require a fast internet connection. This would be costly. Many agencies will share the cost of a fast internet connection for serving files by using a hosting service.
Before searching for a hosting provider, you need to understand the kinds of hosts that will be suitable for your website.
⏰⏰Pro Tip: Depending on your web design approach, it’s easy to identify what kind of host will be suitable for your website. Whether it is a simple HTML, CSS, Jquery, or CMS. Hosting a blog with two hundred or more visitors per day on a shared host is not a good idea.
Self-host means managing your website and server. All the maintenance and expenses are on you.
Cost: Depends on expenses (power, hardware purchase, maintenance, and software licenses)
Your website is housed on a server that is also home to other websites, you cannot see each other. This is similar to an apartment building, sharing the same power and water lines. The shared expense is a benefit of this setup.
The most significant drawback of a shared hosting account is that you are at the limited usage of server resources.
This is suitable for low-traffic websites.
Cost: usually starts at 1 GB for 40,000 Tanzanian Shillings per year, depending on the provider.
The majority of hosting packages available online are likely to be managed. Professional services such as:
Hosting companies provide these services. The provider operates the hardware, operating systems, and standardized software. A task that is on a day-to-day basis with managed hosting.
Ideal for non-technical users who tend to assign more technical activities to professionals.
Cost: Starts at 150,000/= per year.
Virtual private servers share a single physical server but behave as though they were many, independent servers. A VPS serves as a bridge between shared hosting and purchasing your dedicated computer. Although each VPS instance shares hardware resources, they are each given their slice of computing power.
This is the best choice for websites that don’t need a shared host.
Cost: Usually starts at 400,000/= Tanzanian Shillings per year.
When you buy a dedicated server from a hosting company, you are renting one physical server. If you like, you can have complete control.
You won't have to worry about other websites on a shared server hogging your bandwidth and slowing your site down.
If your online company grows into a presence that attracts a lot of website traffic, a dedicated server is the highest level of server you'll need. A dedicated server is more expensive than shared hosting. the company would have evolved to the point that you can handle the extra costs of getting your server.
This is suitable for large websites with high traffic and needs more resources.
Cost: Usually 2,000,000/= Tanzanian Shillings per year.
Rather than storing servers in-house or in a private data center, you can rent a space in a colocation facility. The data center will provide your server with the necessary power, bandwidth, IP address, and cooling systems. Colocation companies rent racks and cabinets in their rooms.
Colocation provides much more capacity than a traditional office server room at a much lower cost.
Cost: More expensive than a dedicated server, NIDC pricing ranges from 400,000 to 4,000,000 Tanzanian Shillings.
According to CloudScene, the top five colocation providers have approximately six clients each.
When it comes to web hosting, there are many choices to choose from. It all boils down to finding a package that meets your needs. Each plan caters to the needs of various groups. Knowing what you need on a website will help you choose the best plan for you and your business. Like domains, you can buy servers the same way. You can use the same example provider ExtremeWebTechnologies.
Congratulations! Up to this stage, you are already a professional web expert. Let’s put your website online.
It is the control panel for your web hosting account or server. It offers a graphical interface or GUI. GUI assists you in performing tasks that would otherwise need programming knowledge.
In a nutshell, it makes the web server more "human-friendly." And that's a good thing!
Once you buy your server, most webhost providers provide cPanel.
Almost 3,242,794 websites are powered by cPanel worldwide, BuiltWith says. With 285 sites in Tanzania alone.
cPanel enables you to:
At this stage, you already registered a domain with nameservers of your host. Your host is ready and your provider has sent you an introduction email. An email that contains your server and login details.
Let’s assume your domain is comingtotz.co.tz. Visit the following addresses on your browser to start with cPanel:
http://www.comingtotz.co.tz/cpanel or http://cpanel.comingtotz.co.tz or https://comingtotz.co.tz:2083
Use your username and password.
Since you already registered your domain, you can leave this section as it is. Unless you want to create a subdomain, you can visit the subdomain section. Follow the guide by telling cPanel where your subdomain should point.
Instead of using a third-party FTP tool, the "File Manager" allows you to access all your websites' files.
To get started, click the “File Manager” icon (as seen in the screenshot above). The "File Manager's" central panel is what you'll see. It will resemble the following:
The folder which is visible on the web is public_html. Double click it to view its contents on the right. Zip your WordPress site on your computer. Back to your cPanel file manager and press “Upload” link.
Select your website’s zipped file to upload. Wait for the progress bar to turn green then press “Go Back to /public_html/” to manage your zipped website.
Right-click your zipped file and press “Extract”. Make sure your index.php or index.html file is at the root of public_html folder.
Press icon to return to homepage.
🏁🏁Pro Tip: As a web designer, if your website has no database then skip the Databases section.
Your WordPress website has a database. A database can be exported to a file, it is usually a *.sql file.
First, you need to create your database on cPanel. Click “MySQL Databases” link. Fill in your database name on the “New Database” field.
Your newly created database will be listed on the “Current Databases” panel.
Second, you need to create a database user and give this user access to your database.
Fill all fields. For passwords, you can use a cPanel’s password generator tool. A new user will be listed on “Current Users” panel.
Give your database user to the database by going to “Add User To Database”. Select a database and username and press the “Add” button.
Tick “ALL PRIVILEGES” and press “Make changes” Database.
Third and final, return to your file manager and find your configurations file. This file has database credentials. Edit it according to the details you filled in on database creation process.
And that’s it! Visit your comingtotz.co.tz and see your website online!
cPanel comes with more tools for you, you can take time to browse them.
There is a lot of useful information here. This include:
Security section includes:
SSH access: this is for those who were command-line access to the server.
ModSecurity: the apache firewall.
More are IP Blocker, SSL/TLS settings, Hotlink Protection, Leech Protection, and API.
One of the first things you'll want to do after signing up for hosting is installing WordPress. Or you can install any other CMS so that you can start developing your website.
To assist you, cPanel often provides Autoinstallers or Softaculous apps installers. These installers include a user-friendly method for installing common software packages.
This section enables you to configure and customize your cPanel. This includes password, language change, look and feel, contacts, and manage users.
⚠️⚠️Pro Tip: cPanel gives you all the power you need to manage your server or account. Make sure you touch what you know. Most cPanel have “Documentation” link at the far most top or bottom. Read through it about a section you are not familiar with.
Congratulations on putting your website online. If you followed the guide, you should now have a detailed understanding of what cPanel is and how to use it.
Because your website is up and running by now, all that's left to do is tweak it a little with themes and plugins. Then start creating content to engage your audience.
If there’s anything else you need to know about cPanel, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us through +255 762 110 000, +255 685 003 700, and email@example.com.
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