What is a Domain Name and How to Choose a Host
How to Start in an Online Business
Support Post for Phase 1 – Step 3, 4, & 5
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Not everyone is familiar with the jargon surrounding a website. Therefore, this post will explain: What is a Domain Name and How to Choose a Host.
For those of you that do not fully comprehend some of these terms, perhaps I can explain them in a way that will help you understand. Liken your Domain to the house that you live in:
- Domain Name = your house address
You have to make payments on your house, same as for your Domain Name (an annual fee).
- .com or .net = your street name
The street that you live on comes with the house, same as the .com or .net. There are no additional fees.
- Host = the county that you live in
You have to pay county taxes for the services provided to your home (same as for your fire dept., library, schools, etc.). For your Host, you pay for things like: storage, speed, connections, etc.
- Theme = the land that your house is built on.
The land that your home is on, is where your home lives, same as your Theme is the where your Domain Name lives. In most cases the land that your home is on came with it. Unless you choose to purchase an additional attached lot, there is no additional fee. It is the same with Themes. Most are FREE, but you can choose Premium ones for an additional cost.
I hope that helps to clarify things for you. I will go on to explain each in greater detail in the sections below.
Understanding What a Domain Name Is
Let’s start off with exactly ‘What is a Domain Name?’ A Domain Name is your specific address on the internet. It will most likely be the name of your website. It is the name that people will type into the search window of their browser (Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, etc.) in order to connect to your website.
A Domain Name can be any combinations of letters and numbers, and are not case-sensitive. Regardless of the extension, all domain names must follow the same character rules. You can use letters (abc), numbers (123) and dashes/hyphens (—). Spaces are not allowed and the domain can not begin or end with a dash. No other special characters can be used.
Each Domain Name is unique. No two can be the same. A little known fact is that you CAN have multiple dashes right next to each other. (e.g. domain–names.com) I do not recommend using dashes because it is usually not natural for people to type those hyphens and underscores into search windows.
A Domain Name will always be followed by a period and then a domain extension, like: .com, .net, .org, etc., and each Domain Name must be registered before you can use it. You do not actually own a Domain Name, but rather rent it, or lease it, which gives you exclusive use of it for a given period of time. It is typical to ‘own’ or lease a Domain Name by the year, and the cost of each will vary depending on who you ‘purchase’ it from.
Although there is quite a selection of Domain extensions available, the best ones to have are either .com or .net. Usually used by non-profit organizations, are the .org extensions. The rest of the extensions, such as: .co, .info, etc., are not really that popular, again causing most people not to remember them. A .com is absolutely your best choice.
There is also something called a Sub-Domain, which is a Domain Name followed by a period, then the host provider’s name, followed by a typical extension like, .com (this might be something like: thepinkzebra.siterubix.com). These are often offered for FREE by your Host provider, but tend to be too lengthy for my liking (since they also include the Host provider‘s name in your Domain Name). They are usually too long and hard to remember for the average individual. I would advise against these for continued use, although they can be useful for building test sites.
What is a Website Host and Why Do I Need One?
The answer to your question: ‘What is a Website Host and Why Do I Need One?’ is:
A website Host is the service that stores your website’s files on their servers, and connects the person (who keys in the URL or clicks on a Link) to your website or particular file. Hosting also handles: e-mails, databases, and anything else that helps your website run.
There are many Hosting providers out there, but most charge a monthly fee. Some charge an additional amount for things like an SSL Certificate, which creates an encrypted connection between the user’s web browser and the web server. This means that any data transmitted between the web server and the web browser can not be read without first being decrypted. This protects the data from being spied upon by someone else on the internet because they will not be able to understand the encrypted data.
You will need to do your homework when shopping around for a Hosting provider, making sure that you are comparing apples to apples for the price that they charge. Also, keep in mind, that if you host your site somewhere else besides Wealthy Affiliate, and you do not continue to pay for Premium, you will lose access to all of their training. This training is critical for you to quickly become successful with your online business.
Please leave any Comments that you may have in the Comments section.
Continue with my post: How to Buy a Domain Name and a Way to Choose a Host – Phase 1 – Steps 3, 4, & 5.