You’ve taken taken all your photos, written pages and pages of content, and paid your website developer. You now have a amazing looking website that does exactly what you want it to do. Job done, right? Not quite. There are three key components that make a website tick, The Domain, Hosting, and of course The Website itself. But what do all these things do? Here is a rough breakdown so you know exactly what to expect and understand what makes your website function.
A domain is your online address for your website, there are many domains that everyone knows. google.com, facebook.com, amazon.co.uk and many more. Your domain is in many ways the most important part of your website as its what you will write on business cards, adverts, say over the phone to your customers and will be the easiest way for your customers to find you again. Domains typically cost around £10/year. Therefore I have three simple tips to help you chose the perfect domain.
- Keep it simple. You don’t want a domain that’s overly long or difficult to spell, otherwise anyone typing it into their browser by hand will have a tough time in doing so. A complicated domain will also be hard for your customers to remember. Numbers are also worth avoiding.
- Stay traditional. There are many TLD’s to choose from nowadays, this is the part at the end of your domain (.co.uk, .com, .net, etc) and while having a domain such as carmechanic.mobile would be a great domain for your mobile car repair business, not many customers will remember that your website ends with .mobile and will automatically try one of the common TLD’s such as .com and will then discover someone elses website rather then your own.
- It should make sense. Make sure your domain as closely matches your business name or product as possible. People will remember your domain by remembering your business name, so make that link as easy as possible to remember. For example if your business is called Normans Cakes then go for a domain such as normanscakes.com rather then normansbaking.com
Hosting is the computer server your website will live on. This is how your website will actually be viewable to your customers, where your email accounts will be setup and is the heartbeat of your site. Without hosting your site is pointless as no-one would be able to view it. There are thousands and thousands of hosts out there to choose from and deciding between them can be difficult. We have a few simple tips about how to chose the best host:
- Cheapest isn’t always best. Prices for hosting can range from a pound a month to 50 pound a month. But you do get what you pay for in most cases, a cheap host may be slower or prone to more downtime. Always check the reviews for the host on a trusted website to get a true idea of their reliability and service.
- Choose a host local to your business. Search engines often use your hosts location to help decide on how high to rank your website in search results in relation to the searchers location. Therefore if your business is in the UK, going for a UK host will help your sites rankings.
- Understand what your host does. The majority of hosts will only assist with issues with your website if they are related to the server, such as your site being offline and your emails not working. They will often not help if you forget how to log into your website, or it starts displaying errors. This is a job for a developer.
Finally there’s your website. This is what your customers will actually see and use. Everyone is familiar with this part and it just consists of a load of files and normally a database, these are then handed over to your host to become publicly viewable.
Farnes IT can help with all three areas listed above, and even offer it as well as website management in one neat package that you can view here. We can also help if you already have a website, feel free to contact us with any questions that you have even if its just to further understand how your website works. We are always happy to give advice, completely free of charge.