Thursday, December 4, 2014

Web 101

Domain registration and web hosting are two separate processes.  Both need to be completed in order to create a live website.  A domain must be registered by a domain registration company and then that domain name must be hosted on the internet through a web hosting company.

You must type an “address” into your computer to look up information.  For example, to go to google you would type in “”  These addresses are a name or a number called domain names.  Every domain name has to be completely unique so that the internet knows the correct website to pull up for the user.  A domain registration gives you the rights to use that specific domain name.  Registering a domain name allows you to secure a name, but it does not allow you to host a website or utilize your email.  A site visitor uses your domain name to access your page or website directly with an easy to remember address instead of using a numeric IP address.  Before registering a domain name with a domain registrar, verify that they are a credible domain registration company.  One way to verify credibility is by making sure the domain registrar’s website is featured on the ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) Accredited Registrars List.

Many companies offer both domain registration and web hosting, however some offer only web hosting or domain registration.  You can choose to register your domain and host your website with the same company or register your domain with one company and host your site with another.

Web-Hosting is simply a powerful computer, constantly connected to the internet that manages data and processes user on-line queries around the world.   The computer called a “server” is managed by the hosting company so the hosting customers do not have to worry about server maintenance, upgrades and configuration.  Your hosting is the actual location which holds your page or website.  You must have a hosting service as a place for your site files to reside.  The site files are what your site visitors actually see when going to your site.  A web-hosting server knows how to read these files, which explain how the webpage looks or instruct the server to do a series of computations.  These computations are things like figuring out what blog article it’s supposed to send back to the viewer, or what forum post it’s supposed to send back.

Reliability and customer support are crucial to quality web hosting.  You should expect 99.9% uptime and also know that your host has a functional business model and that it is a stable company that is not just going to disappear someday.   Your hosting company should offer prompt customer service and provide expert technical support.

Each hosting company differs in the hosting features they offer with their hosting plans.  Some standard features that are usually offered: 
  • A specified amount of web space depending on your chosen package
  • Easy to use web site control panel
  • Online account management facility
  • Full 24/7 ftp access to upload your web files
  • Free domain transfer
  • Unlimited domain aliases
  • Webmail
  • Send and receive emails using your own email program