What lies just under the skin of a website? How does a website "magically appear" on the Internet?
A website starts with a domain name (aka website address, URL). Think of the license plates on your car. You don't "own" them per-say - but they are yours. You "renew" your right to the number on that plate on a regular basis. Domain names work the same way. The DMV is to your license plate what a Registrar is to your domain name(s).
You register your domain name with the Registrar for around $10/year. You can lease for as many years as you like. OurWebmaster recommends 3-5 years.
Once you have purchased your domain name you have a "website address" (for example www.yourdomainname.com). You can now type in your website address into the Address bar of any browser and you will receive a temporary web-page developed by your Registrar.
What? Why does my registrar get to design my website? Because you're not quite done yet.
Next you need to pay for Hosting of your website. Your website Host is the company which will store all of your website files and display them to the world when when people go to your website's address.
Website Hosts are varied and offer many different services. Some offer site-builders which allow you to build your own website from their online platform. Some offer shopping carts. Some offer blog-type platforms. Most offer a basic website hosting package. Some offer every type of website hosting imaginable.
Once you have reserved your Domain Name, told your Registrar who is Hosting your website, and purchased a hosting package - you are finally ready to create and upload your website files. Only after you have uploaded your website files to your Host will you website be visible by your website visitors.
OurWebmaster can do it all for you:
- OurWebmaster uses GoDaddy.com as the Registrar for our own websites and recommends GoDaddy to our Clients. One of the services provided by OurWebmaster is the maintenance of your registrar account (in your name - you own it - not OurWebmaster) and follow up on all of the technical details and tasks required. OurWebmaster keeps a list of your domain names (yes, you can have more than one and they can all be routed to your website) in a database and manages your renewals for you.
- OurWebmaster uses and recommends Hostasaurus for most website applications. Basic hosting packages start for as little as $6.50 per month. OurWebmaster will order hosting in your name using your credit card number and setup your hosting package for you.
- For eCommerce clients OurWebmaster recommends the Miva shopping cart, hosted at Hostasaurus.
- Other platforms are available and OurWebmaster would be pleased to make recommendations based on your specific needs.
- OurWebmaster does not accept incentives from the companies we use or recommend to our clients.
The anatomy of a website can be complicated - but as with any functioning body it is crucial to choose the right organs. OurWebmaster keeps a finger on the pulse of your website!