Domain Names & Website Hosting

So you have a shiny new website... now what?

Well, you'll need to get a domain name and hosting of course!

Domains

What is a domain name? A domain name is the address of your website that internet users type in the browser URL bar to visit your website. In simple terms, if your website was a house, then your domain name would be its address.

What is a domain registrar? A domain registrar is a company that manages and brokers the sale of unique domain names on the internet. To sell domains, the company must be accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assign Names and Numbers (ICANN) or a country code top-level domain. There are many companies that you can register a domain name through like Google Domains, Dreamhost, GoDaddy or NameCheap –  just to name a few.

What to look for:

  • When you register a domain name, you’re basically “renting it” for as long as you pay for it so pricing is important as you’re already paying for monthly hosting and potentially other items. 
  • They should offer free “WHOIS protection” which hides your contact information from public searches. (Also known as “domain privacy” or “domain protection”.) This helps prevent scams like domain slamming, website listing services, and company name scam
  • Automated renewals and reminders are extremely helpful too. You don’t want your domain name to expire and be bought up by some unscrupulous character!

Hosting

What is web hosting? Web hosting is an online service that makes your website’s content accessible on the internet. When you purchase a hosting plan, you’re basically renting space on a physical server (That’s running 24/7) to store all the website’s files and data on. Your domain name is then pointed at that host to “serve” up your website.

Where to begin: There are thousands of hosting companies worldwide offering “shared hosting”, “business hosting”, “WordPress hosting”, “cloud hosting”, “vps hosting”, “dedicated hosting”, etc., but what does that all mean? Luckily I’m here to demystify web hosting and make sure the company and service you choose is the one you really need. 

What to look for: With any hosting company, it’s always good to ask questions BEFORE you sign up. Here are some questions I recommend:

  • What does it cost now and what will it cost when I renew? (Your price can easily increase 75% or more when you renew with some companies.)
  • Do you include backing up and restoring websites if there are problems?
  • Do you have phone support available or is it only online via email or chat?
  • Is a SSL included with hosting or is that extra? (Secure Sockets Layer is an encryption-based internet security protocol that ensures privacy, authentication, and data integrity on the internet.)
  • Can I create email address for free? Is there a limit to how many email address I can create?
  • How much storage is available for my website? What happens if I go over?
  • Do you offer free wine for life? OK, OK… this one you can probably skip.

Need to know more?

Simply give me a call or send an email and I’ll be happy to help you find the best solutions for your business.

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