Domain and Hosting Explained
When you start online some of the first terms you will come across is Domain and Hosting. There is a lot of terms you will have to get familiar with, and sometimes things can get very technical but I don’t want to confuse you, so, let me explain as easily as I can what those terms imply and how they fit into your online journey.
What is a Domain or Domain name?
The best to think and explain what is a domain is if you think of it as your address. The mail, the packages you order online, family when they come visit, they show up at your address. Well, in the internet world a domain is an address, a web address; in this case, it will be for a website, a blog, an online store. When you go to Facebook to see what your friends have been up to you type the facebook domain. So if you want to create a website or a blog you have to obtain an address for it, so what you do? You buy a domain.
Buying a domain is not different to buy anything else online: you see one you like, pay for it, done!! The truth is, it is THAT simple. But where you are going to find a bit more of a challenge is when you get to chose which one to buy. There are a few things to consider before you press the buy button.
Chances are if you have decided to get a Domain name, you will be using it for a particular purpose, a website, a blog or any other possibility out there. With that in mind, this is what I recommend you do when deciding on a domain name.
Domain name Checklist:
- Brainstorm: Think about what is your theme, or subject, or niche, and base on that think of the possible names you can use, think about shapes or colors all related to what you want to create (blue feather, Startpocket). A use wordhippo.com to come up with some more ideas. After you have a bunch start filtering and keep the ones you really like or the one that goes best with your online idea. Then
- Check what’s available: There are several places where you can buy domains, the one I like to use is namecheap.com (or you can use places like GoDaddy or Bluehost) I like NameCheap because of the features they offer and the easy user interface they have. Here go ahead and search for the names you found, the ideal would be you find a .com name if is not available you can select from the list they show you. Record your findings but not commit just yet.
- Do a people test (that’s what I call it), You want a name that is easy to remember, not hard to spell and has to align with what you are creating online. So ask yourself those question, it will really help you.
- Another point to consider is social media, Are you going to do social media? if so see if that Facebook page is available, or the twitter account. It is not mandatory but having your idea, your domain name and your social media matching will hugely help you.
- This one is just to make sure you don’t step on any toes. Check trademark247.com to make sure the name you’re going to be using don’t infringe any company trademark, this can result in legal issues, and also you will have to change the name again.
Now you are ready to hit the BUY button
What is Hosting?
Following the analogy of the address, the best way to describe hosting is for you to think of it as the land your house or apartment is built, and just as that you have to pay for occupying that space, the same concept applies on hosting, your website or blog will need a place where to be built, therefore you will have to rent a space, in this case, a space in a sever for a company that is dadicated to offer this services and you will pay a monthly fee for it.
Most of the companies that sell domain names also offer hosting services, and some of them have very good deals. It is not necessary for you to buy them in the same place, just like you don’t buy all your clothes in the same store, you can buy a domain here and Hosting over there. It is a personal option at this point, When I started I bought both, domain and hosting with Bluehost, but now I host with a different company, Inmotion hosting, I change because Inmotion hosting offers SSL with their hosting service. What is SSL? SSL is a security certificate offering security for the information you gather from your visitors, such as email address and personal information, If you planning to open an online store having SSL is a must, you want to make sure the information from your customer stays private and secure; most hosting companies charge you an additional fee for SSL, InMotion includes it in the service packages they have. Check them out.
One more thing I wanted to talk about here is the different types of hosting. Out there you can find Shar hosting, dedicated, virtual or cloud hosting, among the most common ones, each one offers a particular set of characteristics, that can take me a while to describe them all. Since here my focus is on people that are starting, the recommended hosting is shared hosting, so let me explain what shared hosting is.
When you start a business you always keep an eye on the expenses, starting online is no different. This is why shared hosting is the best way to get started. Basically, share hosting means that you will be sharing a server with other websites, which is perfectly fine, just like many people living in apartment buildings. The price tag varies and mostly varies depending on the add-ons or perks you get when signing up for hosting. Some of them are, data storage, bandwidth, support, back up, SSL and many more.
Bottom line, when selecting a hosting company compare their plan see what they offer for the price. Some companies will include some features and some other will charge you extra for specific functions. I did my homework when I decided for my hosting company, you should do the same. My recommendation is InMotion Hosting, but again you compare and decide what company you would like to sign up with.
These are links to the recommendations I mention for you to check them out.