Sometimes it feels like the amount of lingo to know and understand when you own an online business is never ending. Website terminology can be especially confusing to define if it is all new to you. If you are an online business owner, it is important know understand what a domain name, web hosting and web platforms are because you will need these things in order to build your own website.
A domain name is your website’s address, your business’s calling card. Optimally, you would want your domain to be yourbusinessname.com. Often times you might find your domain name is not available as a .com. In that case you can choose to purchase a .net, .info, .club or choose from other available domain extensions.
Before you purchase your domain name, you can check and see if it is available on the website, Who Is. The site will indicate if it is available and if it is not, it will identify other options to consider. Once you determine what domain name you want to purchase, it is time to select your web host company because it is often advised to purchase both your domain and hosting from the same company, although it is not required.
Web hosting will store all of your website files – code, text, images, video, etc, on servers. When a client goes to your website, the server will send information via the internet to their computer so they can access the site.
Purchasing a hosting from a reputable company is important because they are responsible for your files, sharing your content and keeping it secure. There are various web hosting companies to choose from including Go Daddy, Blue Host or A Small Orange. I have been using Go Daddy for almost 10 years and I have not had any major issues. Before selecting a hosting company, I recommend you do your research and ask other creatives or bloggers what hosting company they use and how their experience has been.
Once you select your domain and host, you can select a web platform or content management system (CMS). A platform contains all of the starter files you will need in order to launch your website. There are various CMS systems available to bloggers and small businesses. Two of the most popular are WordPress and Squarespace.
I have been using WordPress for almost five years, so it made sense that I would continue to use it for this website. I do think Squarespace is a great alternative for someone who is not very tech savvy and wants to create a beautiful website.
Understanding the difference between a domain name, web hosting and a web platform is key to growing your business on the web. Knowing the difference between the three will give you more confidence when speaking to other creatives. If you still have questions about your website or are just starting out, be sure to schedule a discovery call with me today!