When you make a decision to establish on-line presence for your business you step in the world of unknown and sometimes confusing terms. Domain name, web hosting, shared hosting, VPS, RAM, dedicated server … you can easily get overwhelmed with all of it if you are not an IT specialist. So where do you start? How do you make sense of it? And how do you determine what is the best for your website?
If you are just starting with your first website you need only 2 things:
- Domain name
- Web space
What is a domain name?
In layman’s terms domain name is the name and address of your website.
Why would you need a domain name?
In fact you could live without one, but then when referring your clients and customers to your website you would have to use the IP address of the server.
Not that great at all, isn’t it? Who would ever remember that address? And you want your clients to remember it and to keep coming back and to do business with you. That’s why you are going to put most of your effort into finding a proper domain name for your website. It has to be related to your business, not too long and preferably catchy. Avoid awkward combinations of letters. Better to use hyphen if in confusion. Good domain names: www.blue-waves.com, www.catchyrhymes.com Awkward domain names: www.expertsexchange.com (www. experts-exchange.com could be quite better 🙂 )
The most important thing you need to understand is that domain name is YOUR property and once you’ve registered the domain there’s no option to edit it. You will have to buy a new domain name even if you want to change just one symbol in it.
Where do you buy a domain name?
The contact that is registered as administrative contact is the one who owns the domain name. So, don’t let web designers or web hosts to hold you hostage when you decide to divorce them. Double check that the WHOIS info of your domain reflects your contact details. If you are comfortable with DNS management, you can register your domains yourself at registrar level (like enom, godaddy, namecheap, etc) but if you prefer to have a helping hand with setting up your DNS records, you’d rather register your domain together with your hosting package. It usually brings in the savings: some hosts will offer free domain name with annual hosting plan.
How often do you pay for your domain
Most domain names are renewed annually, this means that you have to pay domain charges each year. For a quick idea on domain name registration costs you can take a look at domain names price list. Not that renewal rates for some .tlds may be different from registration fees and you will need to factor it in.
We will discuss your hosting options in the next blog post.