When speaking with clients I quickly tend to find out that they don’t truly understand their domain, hosting, or how the website ties it all together. Not only do they not know how they function but many times also don’t know how to configure their domain to get the best advantage out of it.
Don’t worry I’m here to help you understanding your domain, hosting, and website. First things first we’ll get you squared away with the domain. From there we’ll transition into hosting and who’s keeping your stuff online. Lastly we’ll discuss how your website ties the hosting and domain together.
Understanding your domain
The domain is the address or phone number where people can reach your content. For instance you can buy as many domains as you want and they don’t have to have a destination. Why would anyone do this? If you’re a domainer and your strategy is to build a portfolio but you don’t care to build out websites for all of the domains in your portfolio you’d fall in this category. A key factor to domains is longevity and life time. The longer the domain has been active the higher value it may bring in. If you’re just interested in immediately listing your domain you wouldn’t care to build a website for it either.
Top Level Domains
You may hear them called TLDs or Top Level Domains. Top Level domains are the highest level of domain names on the internet. .com, .org, .net these three are the highest.
Country Code Top level domains. These are reserved for countries, sovereign states, or dependent territory. .au, .de, .fi, .fr, .jp, .kr, .nl
Generic top level domains, these are categories of names and multi-organizations. gov, edu, mil, org, net, and int
You can purchase domains from one of the many registrar services out there.
Here are my favorites:
- Google Domains
- Name Cheap
- Go Daddy
- Name Silo
Soon looking to use Growithpedia Hosting! If you’ve already beat me to it tell me how it’s going! I’m expecting nothing about greatness!
If you need to know more about purchasing domains or maybe selling domains head over to our store and pick up the Buying and Selling Domain Names
You know about the host, the guys who’s house it is at the party! Yes same thing. You’re host owns a server and charges you a fee to let your files live there and allow for your traffic to consume their bandwidth. At least that’s the gist of it.
How to choose a hosting provider
Your hosting provider should be chosen through experience. Their customer service and ability to complete tickets in a timely fashion. As a business you most likely won’t have previous experience with a hosting provider you’ll need to depend on either this blog post or your designers input to help you with this decision.
Bluehost is my current host for majority of me and my client’s site. I have a couple domains at godaddy but don’t use their hosting (remember what I said earlier). I have a few domains over a namecheap but again don’t do any hosting there. I’m moving majority of customer operations to SiteGround this summer. inmotion is also an alternative option! I actually spent a good forty five minutes attempting to find a domain to purchase and host on Growthipedia Hosting.
I won’t share my opinion on hosting I rather you visit Rank Web hosting to get their review on hosting providers.
How your domain, hosting, and website tie together.
Okay so your hip to how the domain and hosting work now I’ll tell you how they all tie in.
You’ve purchased your name and registered with your registrar, you’ve purchased hosting and now plan to build your website and go live. You’ll need to do a few things before you content is actually live.
Remember I said your domain is your address or phone number well you’ve registered and told the carrier (registrar) that you’d like that specific name but the world needs to know. Every host has name servers. The name servers are huge phone books that tell the DNS how to reach your address or phone number. For instance when you dial www.cherryloudon.com/blog the internet knows my site lives over on bluehost via the name servers. You can find out this information by doing a simple who is report.
Okay so now that you’ve pointed your name servers to the proper place you can build out your site.
Building your website
If it’s a HTML site then you’ll develop the site and then past the files in your public html folder via the file browser of your host. If it’s self hosted wordpress or via a builder you’ll utilize those functions within your hosting provider.
All visual changes will be managed here where the content or file manager exist. SSL will be handled at the hosting level so where ever your site resides.
Recently I was helping a friend and asked if his site was wordpress hosted, his response was “yes”, but I was a bit confused because enabling his SSL was not working. I reached out to wordpress help and they informed me that his site was self hosted and not on wordpress.
That bit of confusion delayed us a bit.
What I do now for clients is take down where they purchased the domain. Where the domain is currently hosted (many times they host with me after I develop their website) and the type of website are we working with.
You should have it all in order now!
How and where to buy your domain, how to pick your hosting provider and updating your site. If you’ve got any questions as always feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org We’d love to hear from you! We’re here to help you understanding your domain, hosting, and website.