Part One: Web Design Fundamentals. Where do we start? What do we need to know?
If you already have your website hosting and domain you can skip to Part Two. But if those words mean nothing to you no worries! I’ll try my best to cover everything that you need to know down below!
For all the websites on the internet there are two fundamentals that you need to know. All websites have a domain and they have to be hosted somewhere. So what are these two mysterious words of web design?Well we’re about to get into it!
What is a Domain?
A domain is the address of your website (the thing at the top of your browser that looks like www.yourwebsite.com.) The best representation of this in the real world is simply a physical address like for your home or work. The purpose of the domain is to tell other computers/web browsers how to find the awesome website you’re about to build!
The real home address of every website is actually identified by a unique set of numbers called an IP address (Ex: 126.96.36.199) but that would be way too hard to remember. Not to mention, if you decide to change hosting plans it would make it very difficult to redirect people to your new IP address. So what we did instead was create words so that they would be easier to remember. But since there are only so many word combinations for domains we split the naming conventions into two levels.
A Top-Level Domain: which is the end of your domain like: .com, .ca, .net, etc.. And a
Second-Level Domain: which is where people think of creative names for people to remember like: dylankyang, google, or wordpress.
Recap: So a domain is simply, “An address for people/computers to find your website.” As for what we do with them we can get into it later (registering, email, etc.)
What is Hosting?
So if domains are addresses, the best way of thinking of hosting is to think of it as real estate or a storage unit. You can have a street address but without real estate, you can’t build a house or a store to bring friends over to or to sell your cool stuff. So, like owning land, without a hosting plan, you wouldn’t be able to build a website to show off all your cool photos! So what do we do? We need a hosting plan to have a place to build your website and have it open for the interwebs to see!
Top Left Media's Got You Covered
Our friendly Toronto web design team would be more than happy to set you up with a free quote! We’ll get your business’s website up and running in under a week, all you need to do is send us a message today!
How To Purchase Domain and Hosting
Personally, I’m currently using HostGator for both my domain and hosting plan: http://bit.ly/dky_HostGator
For the cheapest plan use the code: DKYPENNY
Enter Domain –> Uncheck Domain Privacy –> Hatchling 1 Month –> Uncheck Hackalert –> Site Backup
For best bang for your buck use code: DKY25OFF
Enter Domain –> Hatchling 36 Month –> Uncheck Hackalert –> Site Backup
Choosing your domain is all based on personal preference and what you want for your brand/company. But if you want my opinion I personally prefer to have domains that are full words, no numbers, no spaces and ALWAYS .com. That’s just my opinion and aren’t rules that need to be followed.
Another tip I’d recommend is to make sure that you can secure the social handles of your domain as well
I usually like to check my domain availability by checking it with Google Domains. You can also purchase domains here but I think I just like having the hosting and domain together. It seems like people dont like to do this but I haven’t tried to research why but that’s just what I do.