Website Set-Up 101

iStock_000003921402XSmallThe Basics of a Website – Part 1

For most non-webtechies, the “behind the scenes” setup of a website is often very confusing.  There are two very specific things that need to be setup before you can launch a website (after website design and development) and that is the Domain Registration (www.yourname.com) and the Web Hosting – which is a server where the files of your website are stored and your email is setup.

Domain Registration

Finding a good name is very difficult these days.  Nearly all the short acronyms are already taken and in most cases, your own name is possibly already registered.  Using one of the domain registration websites, you can search for a domain name and if your choice is taken, most sites will give you suggestions for names that closely match your search.  Try to avoid using dashes in your domain name if at all possible. 

It is always strongly recommended that you register your own domain name(s).  There are a quite a few options available, just search for “domain registration” the cost is around $7.50 to $15 per year, and you can get discounts for registering multiple years at a time.  It doesn’t matter where you register your domain, but do not let a web developer tell you they have to register for you – this is absolutely not true!  They are only trying to control you and possibly your domain if your site is a success.

Web Hosting

Once you’re finished registering your domain, then you are free to shop around for web-hosting.   Some of the domain registration sites also offer hosting.  In most cases, this is the ideal setup.  This way, you only have one contact for all your support needs.   However, before you setup hosting, make sure you contact your web developer to ensure that the hosting company is acceptable.  The difference in cost is nearly insignificant, until you start adding layers of security (SSL) which are recommended for any online purchasing websites or eCommerce that accept credit card payments. 

For a web developer, there are certain tools that will make the development of your website proceed smoothly.  Example, is if the host offers a cPanel or Plesk interface (a user friendly control panel for development).  But most importantly, your developer will be able to check to see what software your host supports in order to build your website.  Some of these include MySQL and PHP (which are both very critical tools for Content Management Systems like WordPress or Joomla).

The type of server you choose for hosting can make a big difference in the way your website can be built.  Linux is the preferred server for most custom web developers, however, larger corporations and those with more interest of high-tech security chose to go with a Windows server.   In most cases, a Linux server will provide you with a safe and secure website hosting environment.

It’s always best to check with your website development company before you purchase a Hosting solution.  

Next: Changing your Domain Registration and /or Web Hosting provider.

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