Are you looking to get your business online? With all the Domain and Web Hosting jargon it can be a daunting task, but fear not, in this guide we’ll list the steps needed to get your business up and running online.
Your brand name is how people see and relate to you so you’ll need a domain name where people can find you. For example your company may be called “Jog Bloggs” so a domain name such as joebloggs.co.uk would be a good fit.
Once you’ve thought of your brand and domain name you are going to need a place to buy it and also decide on the type of domain extension you are going to use. For a UK company we always recommend a .co.uk domain but if you have a company which has an international influence then the best option is a .com domain. Other domain extensions are also available including .biz for a business and .org for an organisation to name a few.
Web Hosting is where you website files will be stored, you can imagine this as your domain is like the computer and your web hosting as the hard drive. They are several factors that you need to think of when choosing your web hosting:
- Server location – Are they in the same country or near to you?
- How much disk space and bandwidth you’ll need to create your website
- Does the web hosting provider offer online and out of hours support?
- Do they include SSL (Secure Socket Layer – to encrypt your website)
- Web Hosting uptime guarantee (SLA – Service Level Agreement)
All of these factors should be taken into consideration before taking out any type web hosting to cover both you and your website should it suddenly go offline.
Server location is important due to the distance between yourself and the host, if you choose a provider which is within the same country as you then you’ll find the distance is shorter which causes a low ping rate and your connection and speed will be faster.
On the other hand if you choose a provider which is on the other side of the planet, let’s say you’re based in the UK and have web hosting in Australia you’ll find your website is slow to load and your ping is much higher.
Disk Space & Bandwidth
Determining how much disk space and bandwidth is required for both storing your files and making sure you’re covered so your website isn’t restricted can be both confusing and annoying. Providers such as Web Hosting UK offer an anytime upgrade plan to cover you in these events so you can start with their smallest hosting and upgrade when necessary.
Bandwidth is the amount of users allowed to your website which is monitored monthly; hosting providers generally limit bandwidth so that server resources are not overused causing servers to slow down.
SSL or Secure Socket Layer
An SSL or Secure Socket Layer has now become an essential part of the hosting industry to provide encryption from passwords when you are entering them on your website. Businesses with e-commerce shops or sensitive information use SSL’s to provide them with more security, preventing theft of accounts, or even worse the whole website.
Every host should provide you within their terms and conditions or on their website a SLA (Service Level Agreement). The industry standard is usually around 99.99% uptime guarantee per month which gives them a max of around 45 minutes downtime per month. Web Hosting providers sometimes offer a clause if they are down longer than this to offer the customer some form of compensation such as free hosting for the next month.
CMS or Coding
If you are not familiar with coding using HTML or CSS then we’d recommend using a CMS or Content Management System for you to easily manage your site. The most common recommendation is WordPress and according to W3Techs, WordPress powers 34% of all the websites on the Internet. Other options include Blogger, Drupal and Joomla for more experienced users.
Should you want to code your website yourself we recommend software such as atom.io which is lightweight and easy to use.
Firstly research your brand and decide what your business name will be, using the same domain name if available as your brand is a recommended solution but may not be available if it’s a common brand name.
Buy your domain name and web hosting from a web hosting provider which is both reliable and will give you online support should you need it. Don’t forget to find out their server location, uptime guarantee, if they offer a content management system and SSL should you require one.