After designing your first website you probably want to know make it go live on the internet. Here are quick steps you can successfully.
Get a domain name and hosting in place.
A domain name is a unique name that each website which is live online has to have e.g. www.example.co.zw
. Website hosting is a service available for storing websites so that they are visible when a certain website name is requested or opened. There services are normally not free especially if you want to have a domain name of your choice. There are free website hosting services out there but they limit your choices of domain names you can use. Get more on the pricing of domain names and hosting services here.
More on Hosting.
There are many companies that host website for different prices. Here are something to consider:
- Web server’s uptime. This is the percentage of time the website will be available to viewers in a given period. A website hosting service which has low uptime will definitely do lots of harm to your clients. Choose a hosting company which has high uptime. Normally this information will not provided by the hosting company itself but it might be available on forums and social network pages. It’s important to research quiet extensively on the reliability of the hosting company you are engaging.
- Backup systems in place. Computers are machines which can fails at any time. Many people do not have backup files for their websites. Backups are supposed to be made each time there is an update on the website. A good web hosting company has automated backup systems in place. In the event that data is lost, the automated backups will be used to restore your website to where it was without asking you to provide the information again.
- Scripting languages supported. There are many different languages used in writing website code. It is important to know if the website hosting company you are about engage supports the language in which your website was written in. Most servers support PHP, hence for ASP and JSP developers; there is need to verify if the website hosting service provider has those languages covered.
- Web space requirements. How big is your website today? How big is it going to be in the coming few months of being live online? Web space is the amount of space allocated to you on a web server. A good size really depends on the type of website in question. A website that allows users to upload lots of media files will certainly require much web space.
- Database systems supported. Some websites are database driven. These are more common now due to the popularity of CMS websites. Find out which DBMS your website database uses. The most common is MySql but others like MS SQL and Postgress are also popular. Verify with the website hosting service provider if your particular DBMS is supported.
- Costing and price. This might sound obvious but it worth mentioning. It is important to analyze the different packages from different providers to avoid catches and gimmicks.
- Loading speed. Difficult to determine for non expects. There are tools used to determine the loading speed of a web server. No matter how light your website is; it is affected by the speed of the hosting server.
- Location of web servers. This is not very important in this age of broadband. The location of websites is affected by the structure of the network linking your computer and the web server. It is advisable to try and host your website within your country for higher loading speeds.
Transferring the files.
After the domain name and hosting is in place. You will have the necessary accounts and credentials to access your website hosting servers remotely. For your website to be visible online you will need to move the website files and associated databases to the web servers. The movement of file can be done using some inbuilt tools in the Control Panel of the website.
The common method is accessing the website via a FTP client. FTP means File Transfer Protocol. FTP clients allow users to drag and drop files between the web server and the local machine with much ease. Some go as far as allowing live editing of live files. A good FTP client is have used for many years is Filezilla; its free also.
Transferring the database.
After the files are transferred successfully, if your website is database driven, then the database needs to be moved and configurations are set in place also. The information on how to move a database in your specific DBMS can be found on the support section of your web hosting company. If not they definitely can help you do it.