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I want a website, now what?

When you’re planning to set up a website, there are three components to be organised:  the domain name, the webhosting and the website itself.  This is not always evident to those new to getting a website, but let me explain it like this.

The address is where people will find your website – this is the domain name or URL.  You can purchase these through domain registrars and you will find them at all sorts of prices. I have a service available here.  The domain should always be registered in your name and not your host’s name or your webmaster’s name, although they may be listed as your technical contact.  Important that you have control of your domain at all times.

The webspace is where your website is hosted – where it lives.  It is space on the web that is reserved for your website and the address is pointed to that space. This blog is attached to my webhosting service.  Your site might be hosted by the same company that sells you your domain but it doesn’t have to be.  However, if it is, make sure the domain name is registered in your name and not their’s – otherwise you may experience problems if you decide to shift hosts.  You don’t want to have to start all over again with a new domain name and lose any traffic (visitors) you were receiving at your old domain.

The website is created by a web designer.  Again, it could be the same person providing all three services, or you might have each one handled by a different business.  The website is the visual that people see when they call up your domain name.  Websites can be created in several different programs. My program of choice is WordPress (with which this site has been created) but I also use Dreamweaver for creating or maintaining sites if clients prefer.

To simplify how it works. Think of your domain name as your business name.  Think of your webspace as the postal box your mail is sent to.  If you shift premises often you will change your postal address but your business name will remain the same.  The same applies to shifting webhosts – you keep your domain name and never have to notify people of a new email address or domain address and no-one will know you’ve shifted hosts.  I hope that simplifies how things work.

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