Understanding Web and Domain Hosting

11.09.15

Domain Hosting ImageWebsite, hosting, url, we’ve all heard the terms, but are you confident that you know what they all mean and what the differences are? Having a clear understanding of these issues will alleviate confusion and ensure you and your digital portfolio are on the same page.

In 2015, having a website for your business isn’t an option, it’s a necessity. I would argue, and I’m sure there are many who would agree, that it has replaced the Yellow Pages as the must-do for businesses. While the website has become an essential tool for your business, there is still some terms and ‘interworkings’ that can be difficult to understand.

Let’s start with the basics

Website: a location connected to the Internet that maintains one or more pages on the World Wide Web.

Travis’ Terminology: Your Business’ page on the internet yellow-pages.

 

URL ‘ Uniform Resource Locator: a protocol for specifying addresses on the Internet.

Travis’ Terminology: The web address of your website

 

Domain: a distinct subset of the Internet with addresses sharing a common suffix or under the control of a particular organization or individual.

Travis’ Terminology: Another term for the address of your website, like rokusek.com for example.

 

Website Hosting: store (a website or other data) on a server or other computer so that it can be accessed over the Internet.

Travis’ Terminology: The place online where the files and information that power your website reside.

 

Domain Registration: refers to the process of registering a domain name, which identifies one or more IP addresses with a name that is easier to remember and use in URLs to identify particular Web pages. The person or business that registers domain name is called thedomain name registrant.

Travis’ Terminology: Purchasing and renewing your website address through a service (such as GoDaddy).

 

Now that we have covered some of the basic terminology, let’s really examine how this whole process works. If you want to create a website (or already have one) you will register your domain/url through a service such as GoDaddy.com. You can purchase your domain for one year or multiple years at a time.

Your url/domain will then point to your website. Presumably you have built (or worked with a company) to design, develop and test your website and it is ready to be made public. This will require you to host the website, which is essentially leasing space on a server. You put the files that will drive your website on that server, and point the url to that location. Now your site is live and you’re ready to communicate with the world.

It is worth mentioning maintenance issues as well. After your site is built, chances are that it will work exactly as planned. There will likely be times when your server is down for maintenance and your site is temporarily unavailable, but as a general rule everything will work as planned. However, as technological upgrades continue, your site will likely become more antiquated ‘ not just from a design standpoint, but from functionality and security standpoints as well.

Whether it is a security update to your web platform, a browser update that now makes your website display improperly, a plug-in update that disables functionality on your site, or a plethora of other possibilities, you need to have a plan in place to deal with future maintenance agreements.

Now that you are informed and prepared, you can head into the interwebs ready to inform, inspire and sell to the masses!