So you want a website? That’s great, but do you know what you must have before you start creating one? You will need to get a domain name and web hosting before you begin. Here is some information to get you started.
What is a Domain Name?
First, let’s start by defining what a domain name is. It will be the web address of your website, for example https://chilemedia.com; think of it as the address to a house. If it weren’t for these names, we would have to remember a long string of numbers called IP addresses.
To understand what an IP (Internet Protocol) address is, you need to know that the internet is a network of computers connected to each other. Each of these computers is assigned a unique IP address (it can look like 45.389.22.1). Because it would be challenging to remember all these numbers for the sites we visit, the domain name was created.
If you are interested in knowing the IP address that your internet service provider that you are currently using has assigned to you, you can go to My IP Address to see it. From here, you can also go in and find out some details, like the city and state where the IP is coming from.
OK, so that’s great, but how do I get a domain name? To get a domain name, you will need to find a domain registrar. A domain registrar will be a company that manages domain names.
Domain Registrar Tips
Here are the top 5 things you should consider when researching for a domain registrar:
- Pricing – you will need to find out if you pay a certain amount on the first year and a higher price the rest of the time.
- What is the minimum period of commitment that the domain registrar requires? Generally, you will register a domain for a year, but some providers may require more of a commitment.
- We recommend that you have your domain automatically renewed so you don’t encounter issues with the site and cause some downtime. There is also a chance that another company would take your domain name after it has expired. If you do not automatically renew, make sure that they offer a grace period to re-register.
- Make sure there are no other fees associated.
- Read the companies reviews.
We have worked with Bluehost and HostGator in the past, and we recommend them for getting a domain name. They do provide web hosting services as well but since we are a little biased, we recommend you go with us for your web hosting services. We, however, do not provide domain names so you would need to go to one of these domain registrars to acquire your domain name; but have no fear…we can help you navigate this as well.
You should do your research to find the best domain name. When you find one, you will need to check to see if the name you are interested in is available and what the cost will be. GoDaddy has a domain name tool that will show you if the name you are thinking about is available and if so what the cost per year will be.
Some domain names can be quite pricey. Just be aware that the price they list will need to paid every year.
Creating a Domain Name
When you are trying to come up with a name, here are a few suggestions:
- Make sure that it is easy to remember
- It is best if it is short
- Do not use numbers or hyphens
- You want to make sure that it will be easy to spell and pronounce
Web Hosting Services
Finding a good web host can make or break your website. Let’s start off by defining the term web hosting. You need a computer called a web server to store all your content, images, files etc. from your website.
Hosting companies provide this space for your use for a fee. Think of a hosting company as the home of where your website will live. You will need to find a reliable hosting company that will provide the best home for your website.
Check out our hosting page to see what Chile Media offers our customers as a web host. The primary benefit of going with Chile Media is that the dedicated server we use is exclusive to our clients. If you go with Bluehost/HostGator you can be sharing space with a lot of other companies all over the world; this can affect the speed of your site (this is a significant ranking factor for Google).
If you decide to go with another web host, we will try not to be hurt by that.
Web Hosting Tips
Here are some tips to look out for:
- They should have 24-hour support
- Have the ability to support WordPress
- Read the reviews
- Provide you with a free SSL. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. Google now requires this on all sites. You will know your website has an SSL certificate assigned to it when you see “https” instead of “http”. “Https:” signifies that the connection to the site is secure and the data you enter is secured
- They do backups of your website at least once a day
- Have an easy to use control panel that you will use to manage some aspects of your site
Web Host Services
You will also need to decide what type of web host service you will need. You can choose from:
- Shared Hosting – this is the most popular and less expensive of the choices. The only downside is that you will be sharing space with a lot of other sites which can affect the speed of your site.
- VPS Hosting – think of this as an apartment complex. You have your own space, but you are all using one computer. This is a good choice if you have the technical knowledge, but if you don’t, you can get help by getting a managed VPS that can manage it for you for additional cost.
- Dedicated Server Hosting – this is a physical server that you have full control over. You will need to lease it from the hosting provider and manage it yourself. You will need experience with servers to tackle this one
- Managed Hosting – This type of hosting does everything for you. They will make sure your site is secure, do backups, and help if there are any problems. So, this sounds great; however, the price can be pretty steep, from $29 to $99 a month, and so on.
If you feel overwhelmed, don’t be. Chile Media can help you with the process. Whether you decide to go with us for your web hosting or you want to find your own companies, we will help you get set up after we design your website. We only offer web hosting to the clients that we have designed and developed a website for.
Once you have decided that you want a website and you want Chile Media to design it for you, we will ask you for your domain name, the company that provided you with the domain name, login, and password. We will also need the login and password of your web host provider before the site goes live. As a reminder, some companies can provide you with both. If Chile Media is your web host, we only need the domain name information.
We will start designing your site on our web server in what is called a staging site…basically it is just a place that can’t be seen by Google until we take the site live. After the site gets completed and approved, we will make your site live. This is the time we will need access to everything to get your website live.
Want to learn more, check out WP Beginner for additional information.
Want to get started with a new website? Call one of our specialists at 210-616-0163 to begin the journey.