If you have determined the website type you are going to build and picked the software you are using to build your website, then the next step is to make sure that you have your domain name registered and a hosting service selected.
What you need to know about your Domain Name
Domain names are the actual name of the website. For example, www.webhostinghub.com is a domain name. In order for your website to be seen on the internet, your domain name is required to be registered through a domain registrar.
A domain registrar is a company that reserves and manages domain names. When you "purchase" a domain name, you are actually registering the domain through a domain registrar. The registrar manages the domain name which includes contact information,registration and expiration information. You can find more information on domain registrars here.
Registering a new domain name
If you're registering a new domain name, the first thing you will need to do is determine if the name is available. Make no mistake, millions of domain names are already registered, so you should always check to make sure that your domain name has not already been registered. The domain registrar will often have a tool that helps you determine if the domain name is available. For example, Web Hosting Hub uses this page to help you find available domain names.
Selecting a web hosting service
When you select your hosting service, make sure that it matches your needs for the website and the tool that you are using. For example, if you are building a website that is basically a photogallery and you know that you have about 2 gigabytes in pictures, then you shouldn't be purchasing a web hosting service that has less than 2 gigabytes available on the server for your account. If you have hired a developer or designer, make sure that you consult with them before purchasing your hosting service.
What should I look for in a web host?
You now know the definition of a hosting service and some of the things you need to determine when selecting the service. However, there are other factors that may play an important part in making your decision. Here is a list of things to consider when you are considering different hosting services:
- Support - Make sure that their hours of support meet your needs for the website you're building. 24 hour support teams that speak your language are best.
- Uptime - check the social media for reviews and reports on the service. You will often find user opinions that reflect the state of the service. Make sure to review several opinions as the level of service provided by a host may not always be reflected in a single opinion.
- Shared Hosting vs. Dedicated Server - Shared hosting is good for brochure sites and smaller blogs or ecommerce solutions. If you know that your website will be very large and you require complete control, then you should select a dedicated server. Costwise, shared hosting is inexpensive. Dedicated servers costs are typically much higher.
- Scalability - Many hosting services often offer different levels of hosting. If you anticipate that your website requirements might grow, then you may want to find a service that offers different levels of hosting but allows you to increase your resources as your website requires it. This allows you to scale your service up or down per your needs.
- Ability to park a domain - This is often a requirement for businesses that reserve multiple domain names. The ability to "park" a domain means that you can simply redirect a registered domain name so that it automatically re-directs to another domain name.
After you domain name information is set and you have selected your hosting your next step - which will feel you're actually just starting is to proceed to our website tutorials to build your new website. If you need to go back and review your previous steps, then please return to the education channel How to build a new website.