StatusFocus Digital Marketing Academy
One of the traditional ways to host a website in the early 1990s and 2000s was to purchase on-premise self-host servers and virtual machines in order to manage online traffic. However, the total cost of ownership to self-host, including the administration and maintenance costs, can get expensive over time. These challenges make self-hosting servers undesirable and impractical for businesses today.
A fully managed web hosting provider eliminates the hassle of maintaining servers, virtual machines, software updates, patches, and ensuring that the servers always have adequate bandwidth to take in online traffic for a website.
The headaches with upkeeping a server can be eliminated with a managed web hosting provider. Plus, added benefits and features such as up-time guarantee and professional setup or transfer service come with managed hosting.
WPEngine is highly recommended if you choose WordPress as the CMS (Content Management System). Our website, StatusFocus.com, use WPEngine as the fully managed web hosting provider paired with WordPress.
Something to note, WPEngine does not provide domain registration service, so the only downside is that we have to split the domain and hosting providers. We use Google Domains, the overall best domain service provider, as discussed in the previous course on how to register a website domain name.
Starting a website can be very confusing and stressful. We get it. We’ve stumbled a few times back in the days. Having tried several different hosting services in the past and learned our lessons, we have found the overall best managed hosting service for our business needs. Let’s walk through the journey of how to choose the right managed web hosting service.
Business entrepreneurs and content creators often don’t have the time to maintain a server, and they can opt for managed web hosting services instead. It takes the IT work off of your plate so you can focus on upscaling the business and creating content.
Web hosting providers offer different levels of services. Some provide full-service management from around-the-clock customer support to software upgrades. Some let you pick and choose the type of services you need based on a customizable plan. What level of managed web hosting you need depends on how much work you want to do on your end to upkeeping the technical parts of a website.
The more complex a managed web hosting plan becomes, the higher it could cost. However, if you compare the money spent hiring a full-time IT with what you are paying for a managed web hosting, there could be substantial long-term savings.
Look into the type of control panel the web hosting provider uses. Ensure it is a well-known, universal control panel such as cPanel that is easy to learn, navigate, and comes with quality web hosting support.
Cost could be a significant concern when you are just starting up. Spend some time comparing different hosting services and find a web hosting provider that fits your budget without skimping on all the bells and whistles. Most hosting providers offer tiered plans suitable for websites at different growth stages.
It is essential to research the web hosting provider’s full spectrum of services. At different development phases, your business service needs may change. Look into add-on features such as data backup, free CDN (Content Delivery Network), and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) security support.
Learn more about SSL Certificate in the next lesson.
Think about what happens when your website goes down. Is there someone you can talk to 24/7 for technical support questions? Many reliable web hosting services out there offer an around-the-clock support system. Robust customer service is imperative when you are new to starting a website and need a little more hand-holding when it comes to technical issues.
WordPress seamlessly installs and automatically sets up on WPEngine. It is intuitive and user-friendly for both beginners and advanced users.
We’ve tested WPEngine’s customer service response rate at various times of the day, including midnight. It is always on-point, responsive, and consistent in the quality of service.
WPEngine tests and handles all WordPress updates automatically to ensure websites stay up-to-date.
WPEngine makes it easy to scale your website with CDN (Content Delivery Network) — just activate it with a single click. CDN allows content to be stored and cached on local servers to speed up the delivery of a webpage to a visitor’s browser. CDN guarantees content availability and loading speed for visitors in different geographic locations.
WPEngine offers free SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificates to keep your website and online transactions safe. SSL safeguards internet connections to ensure data transactions between different networks are being handled securely.
Improve the loading speed of your website with integrated performance tools in the WPEngine user dashboard. In real-time, users can see the impact of website speed performance improvement.
WPengine ensures your website is consistently up and running with clustered configurations in dedicated environments. It provides a fully managed content delivery network and has proactive, multi-layered security measures in place.
Automated daily website backup is another one of WPEngine’s essential features. It gives users peace of mind and roll-back options in case website update issues occur.
Every WPEngine website comes with three environments – development, staging, and production. The system helps the user set up an efficient development workflow quickly and makes web development-to-production seamless.
Minor updates on WPEngine are automatically pushed through, while major updates are vetted thoroughly before the system recommends them. This setup allows users to have a certain degree of control and reduces the possibility of errors from backend updates.
Website security is a rising concern for business owners and customers today. WPEngine will dynamically detect and block malicious behaviors with its proprietary security system to protect your website from potential hacks.
The extra layer of website backup through WPEngine’s Disaster Recovery system gives users quick access to recovery assistance. In the unlikely event that your website is compromised, you can bounce back quickly with the help of WPEngine’s expert Disaster Recovery team.
Once you have selected a trustworthy web hosting service provider, follow the step-by-step instructions below on setting up web hosting with your website domain name. We are using WpEngine Managed Web Hosting and Google Domains as examples.
Head Over to WPEngine.com. We recommend starting with the basic hosting package, “Startup.”
Complete the checkout process to activate your WPEngine hosting account.
Once your account has been created, you will need to point the domain you have purchased to WPEngine’s hosting account.
Login to your WPEngine account and click on your domain name under “Site Name.”
Next, click on “Domains” in the left navigation under “Production.”
Scroll down to the bottom of the page to find your CNAME and DNS records. Copy the CNAME record. You will then paste the CNAME record with your Domain Registrar, such as Google Domains.
If you are using Google Domains, which we recommended in the previous lesson, follow these steps below to set up the CNAME. It can take up to 24 hours before the CNAME updates occur and your website goes live.
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