If you are thinking about building a new website for your business, start with domain names and hosting services.
In our previous blog, we gave the small business person tips on how to use social media profiles to get a fast start on building an internet presence. Most businesses, however, quickly move up the digital food chain to create and launch their first website.
Once you’ve decided that you need a website for your business or organization there’s a few things you need to understand. You will need a domain name, web hosting services, and web design and web development services (unless you decide to use a basic template or DIY website option).
Why Do I Need a Website Domain Name?
This topic is probably the MOST important of all. What is a domain name? Domains are the addresses you choose for your online home: www.YourCompanyName.com, as an example. In addition to the domain suffix “.com,” there are many, many other suffixes, including .net, ,org, .pro, .us, .actor, .art, and others. The “.com” suffix stands for commercial and is the most popular, but also the hardest to get in 2018.
Domain names are more or less rented from a domain reseller (GoDaddy, Network Solutions, etc.) who are given authorization to sell (rent) domains from ICANN. Click the ICANN link to learn more about that, but all you really need to know is:
- YOU should always register your own domain. Don’t be lazy and ask your web designer to do it for you. You will regret it later if you need to change agencies or hosting companies!
- Don’t go for the lowest domain reseller. Domain resellers go out of business all the time. Don’t be cheap here, pick a name brand. We recommend Godaddy or NetworkSolutions.
- When choosing a domain name, we recommend picking two. One for the brand name (myCompanyName.com: for print, trucks, banners, signage,etc). And choose one for SEO (more about SEO another time) that is related to what you do, like “what-my-company-does.com”).
- Example. Our brand domain is KO-Websites.com, but we also have several others, like bayareawebdesign.pro.
- .Com is preferable, because that’s what people remember best. Hyphens are OK for the SEO domain, but not recommended for the brand domain, because people forget the hyphens.
- Cost: Domains cost from $4.99 to $35 per year. The lower price is usually a teaser price for the first year only. If you forget to renew your domain, a domain reseller can issue it to someone else after 30 days. We recommend buying it for at least 3 years and renewing many months before the expiration date.
- Caution: There are scams via U.S. mail and email from third-parties asking you to renew the domain with them. Be aware and conscious of where your domain is and what the login is. Ask us about it if you are uncertain!
Why Do I Need Web Hosting?
If you have a website, you need it running on a computer (usually referred to as a web server) someplace so people can find and see it. How is web hosting different than a domain name? Think of your domain as your address and hosting as your home and everything inside it. The domain host has instructions (DNS) to forward inbound traffic to the web host location where the website files are (which is the server, which is just a PC designed for hosting websites).
Why not host the website on your own PC? Many reasons, but speed, bandwidth and security are the main ones.
Hosting by itself is a complex subject. So here is the simple rundown.
- Choose a reputable company who answers your phone calls.
- Check reviews and shop around a little.
- Compare pricing and support. Both vary greatly!
- Hosting with the same company you bought your domain has no advantage at all. It makes no difference and may bring some negatives, because hosting is their second priority or outsourced.
- At KO Websites, we lease a dedicated server from Rackspace and only host our own client websites on it. Cloud hosting is a good option for non-eCommerce websites. Shared hosting is the cheapest, but if bad websites are on the same IP address, you could suffer with regards to SEO and black lists. More about SEO in our next blog.
Ready to Get Some Questions Answered? Call or Contact KO Websites and SEO Pro
We’ve been building websites that work and websites that you will find fast on Google for more than 15 years. We know what it takes to get you onto page 1 and we know how to help you choose terms that will attract the right traffic. Call 510-276-9902 or fill out our short contact form to get the conversation started.