If you are diving into a website design project for the first time, it can feel like entering a whole new world. Terms like “domain name” and “hosting services” get thrown around, and it can quickly become overwhelming!
To help with this, we are going to explain these three key things that you need in order to operate a website.
- Website domain name
- Website files
- Website hosting
This will give you some understanding of what these services are and the different types of options for each one.
Simply put, a website domain is a website’s home address on the internet.
Domains can have different extensions like .com, .net, .org, .edu and so on. The value in the common extensions like .com or .org is simply that they are standard and easy for people to use and remember.
Domains are purchased through registrars like GoDaddy or Namecheap. A domain price can change based on add-ons and services, but the price for the actual domain will be the same regardless of where you buy it. The price is based on what the sellers think that the market will bear. Common names that might appeal to many people can be expensive. Unique names are often cheaper. Either way, simple names that are easy to use are preferable.
Once you purchase your domain name, you need to keep up with the renewals. The invoices are usually sent by the registrars via email, and they can be easily missed. If your domain is up for renewal and your credit card on file has expired, your domain can fail to renew. If this happens, your website will go down, and you will likely spend hours fixing the mess. In order to avoid all of this, Bellaworks offers clients the option of keeping domains in our account. We keep up with the renewals to make sure you never miss one.
Curious as to how domains work? Here’s a quick explanation.
Computers talk to each other using numerical IP addresses. While this works great for computers, it’s not very user friendly for humans. So, when you type a website address into an internet browser, that domain name helps route you to a server that decodes it into an IP address. Then, you’re pointed to the specific website that you want to access. Handy, right!
You might wonder… What’s the difference between a URL and a domain name?
The URL is the complete address of a specific webpage. A domain name is the root address for an entire website.
Here’s an example:
URL = https://bellaworksweb.com/about
Domain name is in bold.
Did you know that websites are really a bunch of files? Yep. The pages are designed and laid out with your copywriting, photos, etc. and then they are developed, or coded, on a platform.
At Bellaworks, we build all of our websites on WordPress. We can use preset design templates or we can custom build your website from scratch. Once we build your website, you will own the files, and there is no ongoing subscription type fee just to have your website files.
When we build a new WordPress website, we will build it on a development server. Once your website is built, we will compress and save your old website files and send them to you if you’d like to keep them. We will then redirect your domain from your old website files to your new files. This cuts out website downtime and makes the process very smooth.
Imagine you are updating some content on your website and something goes haywire. Your page is all of a sudden a mess, and you can’t figure out how to fix it. Agh! One huge safety net is having access to daily backups of your website files. This way if your site is ever compromised for any reason, you can quickly roll back to the last copy of your website files.
A website host provides stable and secure storage for your website files so they can be easily accessed by internet users. Quality hosting contributes to the proper functioning of your website and a good user experience. In turn, this can affect your website’s position in search engine returns.
There are many different types of hosting options available with a variety of price points. Less expensive hosting typically offers customers space on a shared server. Your price may be low but the risk of your site being compromised will be high because the environment will be less secure. On the other end of the spectrum, you can have your own dedicated server where you host just your website. This cuts security and performance risks but increases your costs.
At Bellaworks, we provide high-quality hosting services that balance security, space, and price. We use managed WordPress hosting. This type of hosting goes beyond just providing a spot on the internet. It includes additional support that helps optimize the performance and security of your website in order to keep it running smoothly. This can include blocking malware and hacking attempts at the server level, making sure you’re always running the latest and most secure version of WordPress, and caching your pages to ensure fast loading. Also, our clients can have access to real live human support 24/7 should they ever need help, like a copy of a website backup file.
Our team at Bellaworks hopes this article helps demystify these three key pieces that combine to run your website. If you have any further questions or want to talk about your website or hosting, please contact us. We are always happy to share more information about how all of this works so our clients can make the best decisions for their company.
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