Finding an affordable web host isn’t always easy, and even when you find one, you still need to figure out how to get started. Different web hosts have different onboarding processes and some of them are more confusing than others. At the same time, you need to worry about bandwidth, storage space, uptime guarantees and other metrics that differentiate one company from another.
That’s why in this post, we’re doing things a little differently. We’ll be taking a look at Hosting24, one of the few affordably priced web hosts that also offers premium features like 24/7 support and a 99.9% uptime guarantee. But instead of just taking a look through each of the features, we’ll be taking you through the sign-up process and showing you how to get started.
Choosing Your Package
Hosting24 has three main packages to choose from, and each one comes in useful in different circumstances. Their $2.15/month package, for example, comes with 10 GB of disk space and 100 GB of bandwidth, making it perfect for hosting hobby sites and other smaller sites that don’t need a huge amount of resources. It even comes with a free email account.
But most people will want to pay a little more and to go for the $3.49/month premium package, which allows you to host an unlimited number of websites with an unlimited amount of storage space and bandwidth. You’ll even be given an unlimited number of email accounts and FTP users. The $7.95/month business package includes all of the same features but with a bunch of extras thrown in, such as daily backups, deluxe live support and twice as much processing power and memory.
The business plan makes sense if you’re running an e-commerce site or if your website is mission critical and you can’t afford any downtime. Otherwise, the premium package will probably be good enough to do the job.
What we will say, though, is that it’s worth paying annually because then the company will throw in a completely free domain name. You’re going to need a domain name anyway, and while you can purchase your own or use your existing domain name, why bother? You could even use it as a way to get a second domain name for a campaign microsite or for other purposes, so be sure to take advantage of the Hosting24 domain checker to see what’s available.
Getting Started With Hosting24
By now, you should have a good idea of which package you’re most likely to need, but you can find out more about the different plans by heading over to the package comparison page. Take some time to compare each of the different packages and then when you know what you want to go with, hit the get started button.
This will add the order to your cart and allow you to choose how often you pay. Remember that if you pay up front for long periods, you’ll be able to take advantage of larger discounts. For example, if you opt for the premium plan then you save 23% if you pay for six months and 34% if you pay for twelve. Remember as well that if you pay for a yearly plan, you’ll also be given a free domain name. When you combine the discounts with the freebies, taking out the 12-month contract suddenly becomes a no-brainer.
This is also the point at which you’re given the choice of paying for other optional extras, such as daily backups, extra domain names or SSL certificates. Don’t worry if you don’t need these add-ons, though. Unlike some other companies, Hosting24 isn’t going to force you to pay for things that you don’t want. They’re also not going to confuse you by giving you endless forms for you to fill out. They make the checkout as pain-free as possible and allow a good range of payment options including debit and credit cards and PayPal.
Setting Up Your Account
The good news is that Hosting24 will activate your order almost immediately, so you’re not going to be waiting around for ages to get started. Once you’ve paid for your plan and the account has been activated, you’ll be able to log in with the credentials you created when you signed up. The first thing you’ll be asked to do is to set up your new hosting package.
This is where you’ll be asked to enter the details for your domain name. You can either register a new one through Hosting24 or enter an existing domain name, and this is also the stage at which you can select your server location. As a general rule, the closer your visitors are to your server then the faster your website will load for them. Hosting24 allows you to choose from Europe, North America, and Asia, but if you’re looking for a good all-rounder then you’re best off sticking with Europe.
Building Your Website
Once you’ve set up your domain name and made sure that it’s pointing to the right server, the next step is to actually build your website. We’re going to assume here that you’re not migrating an existing website but rather that you’re getting started from scratch. If that’s the case, the good news is that Hosting24 has a whole heap of tools that are designed to help you to get started.
For example, as you can see in the screenshot above, there are over 100 different tools available to you via the auto-installer, whether you want to install WordPress or whether you’d prefer to deploy e-commerce functionality or a discussion forum. Even if you can’t find the solution that you’re looking for, you can use the file manager or your FTP account to upload a software installer of your own.
But in the vast majority of cases, WordPress is good enough to get the job done. That’s why it powers 30% of the internet. The good news is that Hosting24’s inbuilt WordPress installer is super easy to use, even allowing you to install WordPress in a subdirectory if needed. All you need to do is to follow the walkthrough and specify the location of the installation and the login details for your administrator account, as well as the language that the website will be in and the title it should use.
Once you’ve pointed your domain name to Hosting24’s servers and you’ve installed whatever content management system (CMS) you want to use to manage your website and its content, you’re good to go. It can take a few days for your DNS to update and for the domain name to actually point to your website, but once it finishes calibrating, your new site will be live to the public. And all at a reasonable price point, too.
Hosting24 isn’t the only cheap hosting company on the market, but it is one of the best. As you can see from the screenshot above, they give users access to pretty much every tool they’re likely to need to manage their new website, and they don’t charge a small fortune for the pleasure. In fact, as far as value for money and ease of use goes, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better web host, especially for a reasonably simple website.
Another great reason to go for Hosting24 is the fact that it has both 24/7 support and a wide variety of tools and installers on offer. They even have a website building tool for those who prefer to use a WYSIWYG-style editor, although we’d generally recommend sticking with WordPress so that you can take advantage of its powerful plugins.
If you have an unlimited amount of money or if you want to go for a host that specializes in security or super-fast speeds then Hosting24 might not be the company for you. But if you just need a decent web host that doesn’t cost the earth then look no further. Better still, now you have a handy little guide to help you to get started. Good luck.