What’s the word on WordPress?: Understanding Hosting & Domains
by: Kylie Holman
Creating a website can seem like a daunting task. This can be discouraging, especially when it’s one of the first steps in starting a business. But really, when creating a website, there are two simple steps to get started: you need a place to host your website and you need a domain name.
Hosting & Domains
So first, what does hosting even mean? Unfortunately, your hosting provider will not be handing out cocktail weenies, but they will give your website a place to live. All websites are hosted on a server. This allows the things that make up your website(text, images, etc.) available to view online.
There are hundreds of hosting providers and they can appear interchangeable, but choosing the right one is important. Your provider will ensure that your website is up and running, ready for your customers. Your choice depends on the type of website you’re running, cost, and what level of service you’re looking for.
Below, we weigh the pros and cons of two different hosting providers: Flywheel and GoDaddy.
Easy to set up a WordPress Site
If your current site is hosted elsewhere, they will move it over to their platform for free within three days and take care of any issues that occur in the process.
SSL Certificate is free and easy to activate
An SSL Certificates gives you the“lock” on your site to show it’s secure. This is especially important for websites that deal with payment processing. Also, Google flags sites that don’t have SSL Certificates, making it difficult to show up higher in search engine results.
Great support team
Local to Omaha(yay local business!)
Daily automatic backups
This comes in handy if an update messes up the site or pages are deleted by accident, etc.
Doesn’t provide email hosting
This is what allows you to create an email using your url, such as email@example.com and would require a third party setup.
Many, affordable options for hosting based on your needs
Offers the ability to purchase domains
24/7 Phone Support
Daily automatic backups
Tries to upsell you at checkout
GoDaddy will try to sell you things you don’t necessarily need. People can easily fall for this if they don’t have experience with web hosting.
Only live chat support during business hours
This can be frustrating, but you are able to use phone support.
Now that we’ve explored a couple of web hosting options, we have to talk about domain names. We talked about hosting as your website’s house. Well, your domain is basically your website’s street address. It tells your computer where to go.
Domains are made up of two parts: the second level domain and the top-level domain.
After www. is the second-level domain, which might be your name, the name of your business, blog, or store. It’s the“identity” of your site. In our case, the second-level domain is“appsky“.
After appsky. is the top-level domain, in this case, the TLD is“.io“, but you may have also seen TLDs like .com, or .org, or country identifiers like .uk or .ru.
Your domain is unique and can be an important identifier for you or your business. Your domain name might be the same as your business, your own name, or another important phrase. Reserving your domain is important because it means that no one else can have it. If you have a great idea for a name, you might want to lock down the domain.
There are many places to purchase a domain, such as GoDaddy, NameCheap, and Google. All of them work well, but make sure to check with your hosting platform, because you might get a domain free if you’re paying for their service.
Hopefully, we’ve shed some light and erased some mystery when it comes to web hosting and domain names. Once you understand the basics, you are on the right path to make great decisions for your website and your business.