Domain names and Hosting Explained.
When you’re embarking on the path of building a new website I realise it can become quite overwhelming and frustrating. Finding the right tools and trying to figure out how each piece fits into the puzzle is a whole other story. So, take your time and with small steps you’ll begin to see the whole picture.
What is a Domain name?
Imagine you’re going someplace you’ve never been before. You hop in the car and type the address into your Navman to navigate there. That’s what your domain name is. It’s the address people type into their browser to be taken to your website. For example, mine is www.indiepixelhouse.com.
Why do I need one?
As I mentioned above, it’s necessary to point people to your online home. It’s an essential requirement of building a website because it’s what distinguishes you from everyone else on the web.
At what point do I need this?
A domain name is the first thing you should acquire along with website hosting. And this needs to be done before you engage with a designer, developer.
Another point to note is that you can’t buy website hosting unless you have a domain name first but most hosting providers will give you a free domain name when you purchase hosting. (I’ll give you my recommendations later in this post)
How do I come up with a great domain name?
There are many generic extensions available such as: .com | .net | .org | .biz | .info
And more are becoming available as I write this : . house | .ninja | .academy | .rocks | .social
Your domain name can be a nonsense name like tiny elephant or purple pizza. You might just want to stick with using your own name. It’s entirely up to you.
What is website Hosting?
Hosting can be described as your websites home. Your website is the occupant and hosting is it’s home.
Why do I need it?
Without hosting, you’re homeless and your website will not be accessible to anyone.
At what point do I need this?
After you’ve settled on your domain name and before you start building your website or engage with a developer to build it for you.
Where to get them:
If you’ve done any research on hosting providers you’ll have noticed that they all have their rave reviews and…not-so rave reviews which makes it tough to decide who to trust.
I’ve tried a few hosting providers over the years one of which went down for days without any explanation to their customers. No email. No social media announcement. No nothing.
Interestingly enough, prior to this I probably would have considered myself as a raving fan and it’s possible I might still be with them today if they had of approached the situation differently?
Since then, I’ve spent the last 3+ years with Hostgator but up until recently, I’ve changed to a smaller company Green Geeks (affilite link) basically because they align with my values. Here’s a fantastic post about what Green Geeks is doing in the world.
To keep it really simple, I suggest you get both hosting and a domain name through the same provider. That way, you don’t have to do any extra work like remember who you purchased from and other techy bits like changing name servers which can be overwhelming if you’re new to all this.
How much do they cost?
You can get hosting (and a free domain name) from as little as $4 per/month from Green Geeks (affiliate link) Prices will vary depending on how long you sign up for. If you choose to purchase a domain name separately you can expect to pay around $8+ annually.
Have you downloaded The Essential Website Planning Checklist yet?
I invite you to go ahead and do than now.
Discover what it really takes to build a website that actually works to meet your goals.
GET THE CHECKLIST!