Chapter 3

Tavernify Academy

Subscribe to a Hosting Plan

Without purchasing a web hosting service, you can’t set up your new restaurant website fully. Basically, registering a domain name without getting a web hosting service will serve no purpose – your site won’t be complete.

Web hosting companies sell or rent space on their servers where you can store your restaurant website files, such as HTML and CSS files, documents, videos, and images. These are all files that take up space and need to be stored.

Anyone can create a website on their computer, but unless they have their website files uploaded on a hosting server, nobody will be able to access their website. When people type your domain name in their browser URL they will be directed to your website. This is possible only if your website files are stored on a web hosting server.

How Much Does Web Hosting Cost to Buy and Renew?

Web hosting prices depend on the type of web hosting service your restaurant website needs. Shared web hosting is usually the cheapest option because your site is stored on a server that hosts other websites too. The prices for shared hosting usually range from RM12 to RM40 per month.

Dedicated servers cost an arm and a leg, but they do provide clients with enhanced security and ensure effective load distribution. If you want more flexibility and greater control over your website but you’re not ready to pay for a dedicated server, consider virtual private server (VPS) hosting. Prices for VPS hosting range from RM120 to RM250 per month.

Remember that your initial costs when you first purchase a web hosting service won’t remain the same once you need to renew your contract.

At Tavernify, we provide cloud hosting services with an affordable yet powerful option for restaurant owners. Want to know what cloud hosting in comparison with shared, dedicated or VPS hosting are? Follow through the section below:

What Are the Main Types of Web Hosting?

All web hosting services have one thing in common – they act as a storage place for your website – but they’re not all the same.

They differ in terms of storage capacity, control, server speed, and reliability, as well as the level of technical knowledge they require to set them up. It’s important that you learn the ropes and figure out what type of web hosting service your website needs.

  • Shared hosting: This is the perfect solution for entry-level website hosting. Shared hosting comes at a low cost because your website will be stored on the same server as many other websites. All websites share the same server resources, including RAM (random access memory) and CPU (central processing unit).
  • Virtual private server (VPS) hosting: A VPS hosting solution is perfect for advanced users who need dedicated resources, specific software, and package installations. A VPS hosting plan puts multiple websites on the same server, but each website has its own space on the server. VPS hosting provides website owners with better performance and stability.
  • Dedicated server hosting: Dedicated hosting means that your website will be the only domain hosted on the server. Dedicated server hosting provides website owners with root and domain access and lets them control everything, from security to operating systems. This is the most expensive website hosting solution and is suitable for complex sites that receive a lot of traffic.
  • Cloud hosting: Cloud hosting enables many computers to work together, run applications, and use combined computing resources. Cloud hosting is able to handle large amounts of traffic and it provides improved security and protection. At Tavernify, we use cloud technology to store our client’s website. It gives them the reliability, security, speed and performance benefits to serve important information to their customers.
  • Managed hosting: Managed hosting provides users with the day-to-day management of hardware and operating systems. Companies that manage to host offer services such as maintenance, configuration, monitoring, hardware replacement, updates, and technical support.
  • Colocation: Colocation gives clients the chance to rent space in a colocation center. In these types of centers, users rent space in racks and cabinets and the center provides their website with power, bandwidth, and cooling systems.

Choosing the right hosting for your restaurant website is very important. Your website’s health will rely on the hosting provider you use.

What Are the Most Popular Good Web Hosting Services?

The online space is packed with different web hosting solutions and choosing the right one can be an intimidating task.

What we can recommend is to be careful, and always check a host’s terms of service, because web hosting services are often all show and no go. So check everything twice. A reliable web host should be able to tick all of these boxes:

  • Amount of storage provided
  • Bandwidth/data transfer
  • Uptime
  • Customer support
  • Control panel features
  • Building tools
  • Transparent pricing
  • SQL database
  • Statistics and monitoring tools
  • Pre-installed apps
  • Email features
  • Privacy and security
  • Free bonuses

Whichever host you’re going to choose, keep in mind the 5 most important factors of a restaurant website hosting:

  • Server Requirements – It should meet WordPress’s latest server requirements (PHP 7.3+, MySQL 5.6+, HTTPS support, and Nginx or Apache with mod_rewrite module).
  • Speed – The faster, the better. A good rule of thumb is 1-2 seconds. If your WP site loads slower than that, you might want to change a host (if you don’t know your current website speed, you can use Pingdom).
  • Uptime – If your hosting uptime is constantly below 99.95%, you might consider switching it. Uptime is the most important factor in choosing a web host.
  • Customer Support – They should help you with WordPress related questions, preferably through 24/7 live chat.
  • Pricing – The cheaper, the better, but the performance (uptime and speed), must not suffer. Another important fact is transparency. Pricing should be fair and upfront. Some web hosts practice to “hide” their renewal fees or be unclear about certain features.

From our point of view, two of the most used hosting services are Shared Hosting and Cloud Hosting. The key differences here are the speed and price point. 

To compare both, Cloud Hosting is the best choice in the long term for your restaurant website. Despite the complexity of configuring Cloud Hosting like DigitalOcean, Vultr, Google Cloud or Amazon Web Services, there are services like Cloudways that will do it all for you.

Register now at: Cloudways Signup Here

After you’ve signed up, it’s time for you to set up your website (it is called an ‘application’) on the hosting server. In this tutorial, we will teach you how to set up restaurant website’s content management system for your restaurant.

Here a few simple steps to launch a new application on a new server.

Launching New Application

 

1. Create Server and Application

 
Scenario# 1 (If launching the first server)

the Cloudways Platform with your credentials and then navigate to the Servers tab from the top menu bar.

If you have not launched any server yet so you will see a screen like an image shown below so you may click on the LAUNCH button to launch your first server.

1 tavernify restaurant website - launch

Scenario# 2 (If not launching the first server)

If you already have an existing server(s) running, and you want to launch another server on which you want to deploy a new application, then  the Cloudways Platform with your credentials and then navigate to the Servers tab from the top menu bar.

Now, you will see a screen like an image as shown below so click on + Add Server button located on the top right corner.

2 tavernify restaurant website - add server

2. Select Cloud Provider

Now, you need to select your desired application, cloud provider, and server size based on your requirements. Please follow the instructions below:

– First, select your desired application from their vast pool of applications. [In this example, we have selected WordPress.]

– Type the name of your app. [In this example: Test 2, you should put your restaurant’s name.]

– Type the name of your server. [In this example: Test 2, you can name anything you want.]

– Select your project. [You may have made a project already after registering on Cloudways, you can choose that or make a new project.]

– Now, you can pick one of the following cloud providers. We have chosen DigitalOcean in this example as this is the best for web hosting in Malaysia (due to its data center located in Singapore).

– Select server size as per your requirements. You can view the details of the server by hovering over each size.

– Select your desired server location from the drop-down menu. [In this example, London is selected, as shown below.]

Finally, review your monthly estimated cost and click on LAUNCH NOW to get started. Moreover, if you have chosen AWS or GCE as your Cloud provider, then you also need to select Bandwidth and Storage limit.

3 tavernify restaurant website - cloud provider

Once done, your server and desired application will be deployed in the next few minutes.

3. Connect Domain and Hosting

You can view your new website setup once the installation is completed on the server by clicking the www button on the target server.

4 tavernify restaurant website - connect domain

Connect Domain and Hosting

Now, you need to connect your domain to your hosting. More details are mentioned below:

Primary Domain (Recommended)

To ensure your deployed Cloudways application knows which website name (i.e., www.mysite.com), it should respond to, i.e., map a primary domain to your application.

  1. Click on Domain Management .
  2. Now, enter your website name in the Primary Domain field. It should be an FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name) like www.mysite.com, blog.mysite.com, shop.mysite.com.
  3. Click on the  SAVE CHANGES button.6 tavernify restaurant website - primary domain

3. DNS Configuration

Now, you need to do settings on your DNS registrar. As Cloud Hosting gives you a dedicated IP address, you might need to use a DNS pointing method instead of Nameserver (as mentioned previously) to connect with the hosting account.

1. Create an A Record Entry in Your DNS Provider Panel 

Now you need to access your DNS provider panel and create the proper DNS record (A Record). We provide here more specific instructions for three well-known registrars:

 For other registrars/DNS providers, the high-level process is mentioned below:

  1. Log into your DNS provider panel or console.
  2. Navigate to your DNS Management page. The location and name of this page vary by provider, but it can be found under Domain Management or Advanced Settings and then select the domain name that you want to update.
  3. Locate the Records section. Choose to create an A Record from the drop-down list and then complete the below fields:
    • Host / Name (subdomain, i.e., the first part of your domain before the first dot)
    • Value (the IP address of your server)
    • TTL (‘Time To Live’ is a propagation time.  The value should be lowest, i.e., 1 minute or leave this option default as per your registrar).
  4. Click the Save Changes button to apply the changes.
2. Create an A Record Entry in Cloudflare (Recommended)

Cloudflare is the best way to connect your domain to your hosting account due to the DNS speed and security that they offer. Follow the steps below to configure the DNS pointing through Cloudflare.

Part A: Accessing Cloudflare DNS Settings
  1. Visit  Cloudflare and hit Log In.7 tavernify restaurant website - cloudflare
  2. Enter your email.
  3. Enter your password.
  4. Hit Log in .
    8 tavernify restaurant website - cloudflare login
  5. Once logged in, add your site to Cloudflare.
    9 tavernify restaurant website - name server update
  6. Select the DNS option from the top menu bar.
    10 tavernify restaurant website - dns cloudflare
 
Part B: Add an A Record

You need to configure these DNS records mentioned below by clicking on + Add record.

If you would like to point your root domain with www in front [e.g. www.mydomain.com], add the Cloudflare A Record with this information:

  • Type: A
  • Name: www
  • IPv4 Address (Value): Your Server IP Address
  • TTL: 10 minutes
  • Proxy status: If you leave this toggle on (if you keep it as proxied (Orange Cloud)) then all your traffic will be proxied through Cloudflare for the security purposes and to prevent attacks (e.g., DDOS attack). If you toggle off (if you keep it as DNS only (Gray Cloud)), then Cloudflare does not proxy the traffic of your site. You can also read Cloudflare documentation for more information.

Finally, click on  Save .

11 tavernify restaurant website - add record

You can see more examples of adding A Records based on your requirements below.

Examples (Record Type, Host, Value)

Below are some examples that can give you a hint of how you can point your domain or subdomain to your application hosted on the server at Cloudways.

www – use it when you want to point a domain (ex: www.mysite.com) to the IP address.

A Record | www | 188.166.XXX.31

@ – use it when you want to point a root domain (ex: mysite.com) to the IP address. Some providers (like DreamHost) accept blank Host/Name field for the root domain.

A Record | @ | 188.166.XXX.31

[any subdomain] – you can use any name of a subdomain (ex: dev.mysite.com) that you want to point to the IP address.

A Record | dev | 188.166.XXX.31

As explained, the process can vary significantly from one provider to another. In the case of any issue, contact our Live Chat agents or open a support ticket and we will assist you accordingly.

3. Check if DNS Propagation has Completed

Once you have added/updated DNS records, it will take time up to 24 hours (depending on your domain registrar) for the changes to be effective across the internet.

You can check the status of your domain(s) propagation by using some available online tool like  whatsmydns.net

That’s it. Once your domain has been pointed, your website will be live on Cloudways!

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