What is a Domain and Web Hosting?

what is a domain and web hosting studio la luna

Similar to opening a brick and mortar store, when bringing your business online, you will need to secure an address and a location, or a domain and web hosting. Your domain and your web hosting will ensure anyone looking for you online will be able to find you.

But what is a domain and web hosting? Continue reading to learn more about the two most essential elements for creating your online presence.

What is a Domain Name?

A domain name is the letters and numbers that make up a human-friendly address for a website location. When you create your website, an IP (Internet Protocol) address is assigned. However, us humans will not remember to type in 123.345.567.789 everytime we want to visit https://studiolaluna.com.au/ for example. A domain name represents the IP address with a name that is easily identifiable.

 

Choosing Your TLD

First, what is a TLD (top-level-domain)? Well, when you look at certain domains, you can figure out the location or type of business before you even visit the site.

Using https://studiolaluna.com.au/ again, the .com.au at the end of the domain tells us that the web design studio is located in Australia. If a domain has .edu at the end we know it’s for a school. If it has .io at the end (which is increasing in popularity), it’s likely a tech website.

With the exception of sponsored TLDs (.gov, .edu, .mil) which are reserved for certain organisations, you have a lot of freedom for how your domain ends. As of 2020, there are over 1500 TLDs >and over 200 of them are country codes. 

When thinking about your TLD, consider your location and your overall business goals. If your business is mainly local (city, region, or country) consider using a TLD that represents where you’re located. It will boost your local SEO and help local potential customers find you faster. 

However, if your business is global, consider using a TLD that describes your services, like .studio, .design, or .agency. If you’re launching more of a personal brand website, you could also make your domain and TLD a play on your name like https://ma.tt/.

Overall, when choosing your domain and TLD, make sure you take time to consider what will be best for your website and business down the road. Moving to a new domain can sometimes be more trouble than it’s worth (and will definitely hurt your SEO). 

 

What is Web Hosting?

Now that we know what a domain name is, it’s time to dive into web hosting. Going back to our brick and mortar store, if the store address is your domain name, then the physical building is your web hosting. In order for your website to be visible to others, it has to live somewhere. 

Web hosting companies provide different types of server space for websites to live on. The server stores your website files, which display as your website to your customers. 

The size of your website and/or the amount of resources your website requires, will determine the type of hosting plan you will need.

 

What Type of Web Hosting Do I Need?

Before choosing your hosting plan, you first need to choose your web hosting provider. You may think choosing any host will do, but that is simply not the case. 

Outside of the plan type, you also need to make sure the web host you choose has servers physically close to your business and/or close to the majority of your customers.

Why is this important? Well, the closer the server, the faster your website will perform for your customers!

Now, the plans. 

There are many different web hosts to choose from, however, their plans will all offer a variation of the below server size options:

 

Hosting Plan Type

Description

Shared Hosting This is the most popular type of hosting because it is the least expensive option and usually comes fully configured. You only need to click a few buttons to get up and running. 

With shared hosting, you are sharing a single server with many other web hosting customers. However, because you are sharing the resources of a single server, if one user is using a lot of the resources, your website can suffer via slow load times. 

Also, if your website is using too many resources, the web host may shut down your site to reserve resources for the other customers. 

**Most shared hosting is great for those starting off with smaller websites, but cheap shared hosting will cause more harm than good. Cheap hosting will cause frequently slow load times, hurting everything from people trying to view the site to your checkout process.

Virtual Private Server Hosting (VPS) A step up from shared, VPS hosting gives users more resources (and thus speed in some cases) for a few more dollars. However, you’ll still be sharing a single server with a couple users(but not as many as shared). 
Dedicated Server Hosting Even though it’s the most expensive option, dedicated hosting gives you an entire server to yourself.

This means unlimited resources (per the limitations of the server) and customization options per your business needs. 

Large eCommerce websites or sites that host a lot of images and videos will do best on a dedicated server. 

Cloud Server Hosting There are many different cloud hosting products offered by the web hosting community, including both cloud VPS and Dedicated cloud options. 

Cloud hosting that is “shared,” like cloud VPS, means that you’ll still be sharing resources with a few users. However, instead of sharing a single, physical server, you will be sharing a virtual network of different servers. 

This gives your website almost unlimited storage space and bandwidth, making your website agile against resource spikes. 

However, some cloud options also come with less initial configuration from the web host. Meaning you will most likely need to know your way around CLI and FTP to get started. 

 

I hope this was helpful! Explore the rest of my website for more help tips!

Hey, I’m Lillie

I am a website and UX designer based in Brisbane, Australia, but work with women in business worldwide. I am a coffee addict, art and interior design lover and all-round creative. I live with my little family of 3 in our cute little 70’s style bungalow.

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