Why you need all three if you want a web presence!
One of the services I offer to clients is helping them set up their domain name and website. I also provide (for WordPress sites) an updating service including site, theme and plug in updates, as well as blog posting, social media graphics etc. (Contact me if this would be of interest to you!)
Even though the internet has been publicly available for around 30 years, it has been interesting to see how many people really don’t understand the basics of having a web presence. If you are after a website there are three things you need:
- a URL/domain name
- a website, and
- a place to host it.
I like to explain it this way:
Your domain name (URL – eg www.execstress.com) is the “address” – like your street address. You need to register this with a domain registry service like Crazy Domains or EasyToRegister. (Note: You can only register a .com.au site if you are operating in Australia.) Domain registrars sell domain names – they can offer site building services too but their primary job is to sell you the domain name.
Your website is like the “house” – you build this and it consists of pages (rooms) people can move through. It can be built by a website designer using something like HTML or WordPress, and domain registrars now also offer tools to let you ‘do it yourself’.
Your “house” however needs somewhere to be built and this is where the hoster comes in. They provide the “land” on which you build your “house”. The files for your site have to live somewhere and the hoster provides server space at a fee for you to store your files. They can also provide the domain email (firstname.lastname@example.org) – which is like the “letterbox” for the “house”.
Some businesses can offer you an all in one service – registering the domain for you, building the site and hosting it. (Be sure in this scenario that you are given your intellectual property! Many offshore site builders will set everything up for you but won’t provide you with login details, admin rights, or hand over the site once complete, maintaining control over it for things like site updates which end up being much more expensive than you were initially led to believe.) Others might offer two of the three.
But without all three – the street address, the house, and the land (and letterbox) – you won’t have an internet presence!