A New Website – How To Start One

The Beginning

This has been one rough journey where I started a new website on a lark, at the behest of one of my friends, and ended up right in the maelstrom of technical stuff and coding, and of course an alien language. But those who know me would understand the strength of my will and my almost near obsession to read up and do it all on my own. 

At the beginning of September, as I was helping my friend with her blog site, I decided to see if I could make one for myself, not that I knew much or anything about it. I had been safely ensconced in wordpress.com and had a good readership and was happy. 

So why did I want to start a new site when I had a good thing going? Sometimes, I think I like to test myself… you know, throw myself in the deep end and see if I would swim or flail.

The Research

Oh, you want to know where I am now? After a month and 3 days of purchase? Flailing most days… some days I seem to float for a few hours. It is a long uphill. But that is only for me, you might be good at it and find your niche in building websites.

Let me get on to the research I did in the first week of September. I found a host of hosting sites (pardon the pun) Bluehost, HostGator, SiteGround, GoDaddy, Hostinger, DreamHost, etc. All of them promised low-cost plans and speedy and secure grounds.

You wouldn’t believe it; I am an affiliate for a couple of them for a year. Go me? We’ll see. Below is the affiliate link where you would get the concession and I would get a small commission that is so needed for the upkeep on this site and buying all those pro-thingies that I would speak of in the forthcoming weeks.

I wanted SiteGround, though BlueHost was more famous down the google links, but SiteGround was not available for my country and BlueHost upload speed was slightly slow. I had only two choices, depending on my budget and location, GoDaddy or Hostinger. 

My friend long ago didn’t have a good experience with GoDaddy, though I am told they are very good now with a strong customer service backup, which is so needed for novice like me. I chose Hostinger as it had good ratings on google by the experts in the field, and the plan was within my budget.

hostinger plans
Hostinger plan India

The Choice

I was nearly about to choose the US$2.59/month or the INR 159/month and had added it to my cart when my eyes fell on WordPress hosting plan, Since my earlier website was in wordpress.com, I decided to go for it. And that was a good decision as I was already familiar with the h-panel of WordPress. Also, WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system powering 34% of all websites on the internet. This is a direct quote from the internet. So that seemed a good enough secondary reason.

Hostinger wordpress us
hostinger wordpress india

The reasons to choose the US2.99/month were a few

  • Budget
  • Free SSL
  • Free Jetpack
  • WordPress Acceleration
  • Google Ads credit

The Shockers

Few things I learned on my own in the forthcoming month was the RAM assigned to this plan.  It is 1024 MB which, when I transferred the data from my old site, caused my new site to become slow and the customer service guys kept asking me to upgrade. For a book blogger like me, the upgrade to $5.99 didn’t seem worth the price since I was not an e-commerce site and didn’t have so many footfalls or products waiting to be bought.

Secondly, the 24*7 support is not instant, there is almost a wait time of 2 hours on chat and some of the help given was so technical that to decipher their words, I had 48 hours of reading to be done. *rolls eyes* I am convinced the tech people all over the world speak so much the lingo that it is an alien language to the non-techies like me, not English. It is always better to mail them, especially if you find out where they are located and their working hours, then the response on mail is quicker.

The payment

I added the plan in my cart, then went across to choose my domain site. If you already have a domain site, just pay for the hosting site and transfer the domain to this site later. I paid for Cloudflare CDN and didn’t go for daily Jetpack backups due to budget restraints. 

During payment, search for a coupon code on google, and with Black Friday approaching, such codes would be easily available online, add them to get more discount.

 

Pros & Cons

I took the plan for 48 months which was both a good and bad thing. Pros were I got a further concession and it gave me a good feeling that I wouldn’t have to pay for 48 months. The Con being I was stuck with them for 47 months. Their refund policy is money-back only within the first month. 

I am not saying they are good or bad as my experience with customer service has been varied. I spoke to Bluehost guys too before choosing Hostinger, who said I would have to build my website from the grounds up and plot my old site to the new one on my own or hire someone to do that, without explaining further. Right! Huh, what? What do I know about building websites? Zip nothing. Hiring was out of the question, low budget… who am I kidding? No budget. My credit card was maxed out.

The finale

So armed with a borrowed credit card, I bought the hosting plan, the domain, Cloudflare CDN. I felt good and scared at this point, as for me, it was a huge investment and at the same time, something new. I made my account in Hostinger as they asked me to, added the 2-factor authentication for security, and entered their h-panel. That felt like the controls of Star Trek. Check out the pics. But that chapter is for another day…

TAKE HOME POINTS

Do your research, read up as much as you can before you shift from wordpress.com

If you are a non-tech like me, read articles which explain in simple language. (I can help in comments from the little I know about)

Chat with different hosting site executives. Check out how much they would help you.

Hosting site is the locality of your home, and domain is the specific address in that locality. So, any problems at your home may be out of bounds of your locality to help you.

If you have tech friends, now is the time to strengthen those bonds of friendship and call on any or all favors.

I went in blind, not knowing anything about self-hosting, don’t make the same mistake. Or make the same mistake if you want an adventure. You might just be the ideal buckaroo on a fabulous ride.

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