What’s a domain name ..and what the heck is hosting?
As you may be looking to start a website, you’ll find some tech jargon required to get it done. Like what’s a domain name anyway? And what the heck is hosting?
This article serves to help answer this and other questions you may have concerning all things web.
What’s a domain name?
Like a home or business, you have a physical address or at least a postal address. The same concept applies to a website or e-mail- A space where people can find your brand, service or product online. For example, www.yourbiz.co.za and thus email@example.com for e-mail. This is why it is so desirable to get a professional business e-mail address.
A domain name comes in many forms. The TLD, or Top Level Domain, refers to the root of your chosen name. Its that part after the dot “.” in a web address. The most widely know TLDs are of course .com, .net and .org. But locally, the .co.za extension is our country specific registration extension. In the last few years many new TLD’s have sprung up to give access to more names to register. A few examples are .co, .farm, .photography and many more! Even city specific .joburg, .capetown and .durban.
These alternative TLDs are there to give you opportunity for a more specific description for your business type or location and has the potential to improve your website’s SEO ranking (you can read more about SEO over here).
What is the “https” in front of a web address?
HTTPS (or hyper text transfer protocol secure) is the means of viewing a website securely in your browser. This is to prevent any malicious 3rd party being able to “see” what you are doing online. HTTPS is achieved by obtaining a SSL certificate. In the old days https was only necessary for e-commerce, membership and any other secure websites. Basically, any online site where sensitive information like login, credit card or other sensitive information was kept. Back then, most small business websites were static html without login for admin or customers & members. They passed little to no sensitive information of any kind.
Today with the boom of always being online, many small businesses have taken the opportunity to enhance their once static html websites. Many find it productive turning their websites into e-commerce market places, customer portals and member area sites. For those keeping simpler websites https is still important for ranking well in Google search, building confidence with your online visitors and keeping in line with POPI act compliance. A Https SSL certificate can also used to transmit your email securely.
What is “hosting?”
Just as a domain is your address, it must also have some infrastructure to get it out to the world. This is where hosting comes in:
Web hosting is a service that allows organizations and individuals to post a website or web page onto the Internet. A web host, or web hosting service provider, is a business that provides the technologies and services needed for the website or webpage to be viewed in the Internet. Websites are hosted, or stored, on special computers called servers.
– Definition via website.com
Why its a good idea to keep host and web designer at the same company
There are many companies that wish to keep a minimalist approach to what they do. For example, a design company that only deals with the design of things ..and almost nothing else. While this can be a win for streamlined design it can be a disaster for website reliability. Picture your newly developed site running for a few months or a few short years when suddenly services go down for what seems like no reason at all. And so begins the frantic line of phone calls to your website designer, “IT guy”, to some other 3rd party trying to figure out where the problem lies.
Just like choosing the right plumber or contractor its important to choose a reliable company to manage your web & email hosting ..and website design