You’ve finally decided to create a website or blog to develop your professional Internet presence. Now what? Anyone would avoid starting the house from the roof, so make sure you build a good foundation. The first thing you need to do is choose a domain name for your site and hire an online server or hosting to host it.
The choice may seem complicated if you do not understand some concepts, that is why it is important to have the information that will help you make a good decision. This way you will know which aspects can be more interesting for your project.
With this post we intend to clear all your doubts before hiring a hosting and domain for the first time and help you choose the option that suits you best.
To begin with, let’s define the concepts.
What is a domain?
The domain is a set of recognized words related to your brand that serves to direct you to a website. It is the equivalent of a physical address, that is to say, what people type in their web browser to directly access your website.
A domain is formed from the name of the website and the domain extension (for example: yourdomainchoose.com).
We can draw a parallel between the domain and a zip code or postal address, which is what Google Maps would need to find physical addresses. In the same way, a web browser needs a domain name to direct it to a website.
The web domain you choose will be a shortcut to the server that hosts your website. Without a web domain, everyone would have to remember the specific IP address of a given web page to search for it, which would be very complicated.
What is hosting?
A host is a web hosting provider, i.e. an online service that stores all the files and data necessary for your website to function and always be available to users.
Let’s explain it with a parallelism: imagine you want to rent a house, well, what you actually rent is a space: you decide where you want it to be located, what features you want it to have, if you want to share it, etc.
A server is a physical computer that functions for the purpose of keeping a website running uninterrupted, so that any user can view it whenever they want. Your hosting provider is responsible for the proper functioning of the website and, above all, for transferring its web content from the server itself to the users’ browsers. At the same time, it will be responsible for protecting your website from cyber-attacks and for maintaining optimal performance at all times.
Now that you know the definition of domain and hosting, you can better understand that every time a person types your domain in their web browser, a server is responsible for transferring all of your website’s data and files to display the site as you have configured it. that.
How do you choose a good domain and make sure you get the right hosting?
You must have seen all kinds of offers and proposals on the Internet about both services, am I wrong?
You should choose the domain and hosting plan that best suits your needs. If they change, you should be able to move your site to another provider without any problem.
Differences between hosting and server
There are companies that provide their own physical servers and offer to install your websites there. We think it is interesting to discuss the differences between hosting and server to better choose what you need for your project.
- Physical differences: A server is a physical device, i.e. a computer connected to the Internet that offers several resources (including storage space). But a hosting is that storage space that is located inside the server and uses some of its technical resources. Therefore, a hosting can share the same IP address with other hosting (because they are on the same server); however, a hosting cannot store several servers.
- Price: with the difference explained above, it is logical to understand that servers have higher prices, because they contain more technical resources and we would have more control over them. Although most of the websites are satisfied with the hiring of a hosting, with a server the loading speed is improved (since the IP address is not shared with other hostings).
- Maintenance: another variable to consider is maintenance tasks. In the case of hostings, maintenance is carried out by the company that contracts the service, while in servers it does not have to be. In this second option, this issue will depend on what has been agreed in the contract that has been signed. There are servers that are managed directly by the contracted company.
If, after knowing the basic differences between server and hosting, you find that your job is not to manage this type of system, your best bet, if you have a standard Internet, is to choose a hosting service that is more economical and suited to your need.
What to consider when naming and hosting your site
Before you consider the specific domain you want to create your website in, you should take some key factors into consideration, such as knowing the types of domains that exist and knowing where or who you are targeting.
If you know you’re only targeting a Spanish audience and have no international aspirations, you might be interested in .es; however, if you’re a government agency, .gov is fine. This small difference is important because it will help the user understand who you are.
Let’s go step by step.
Types of domains you should know
Not all Internet domains have the same structure, although .com domains make up 46.5% of websites worldwide, there is also plenty of room for other types of domains such as .org and .net. In general, the most common types of domains are:
What is a subdomain?
A subdomain is an extension of a domain name that is used to organize different sections of a website and works independently of it.
You may not even have known about the possibility of having a domain and a subdomain, but it may have been of interest to you, so you should consider this option before choosing a domain.
What is a subdomain for?
A subdomain allows you to point to the IP address of another server or hosting without having to hire a new domain name, which is very useful if you want to have a website and blog of the same brand but on different servers, as these projects may require different technology needs.
In a subdomain, a series of letters or words are added before the domain, separated by a dot: in the chaos of creating a blog, it is common to add the word «blog» before the domain name, reproducing the subdomain as: blog.domain.com .
What is the best domain name for my business or company?
Your website’s domain name is something that will be with you for a long time. So it’s one of the most important decisions you make when determining your business’ online visibility strategy.
When choosing a good domain name for your business or company, consider what kind of business you have and what region you are targeting.
- Choose a short domain name: no more than 15 letters.
- The domain name you choose is related to your business. Listing your company name is a good branding strategy to help you protect your name online (don’t let them take it away!).
- Cover your back with domain expansion: try to buy as many as you can afford. At a minimum, you should buy a generic domain and a geographic domain (like .com and .es).