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Demystifying Getting a Website

Getting a website can be compared to getting a house (but it’s much less lifting and more fun to get a website!).  There is the website, itself, which can be thought of as the structure that makes up the house. A house can be built or placed in a variety of towns, or in the country, but in order for people to find it, it must have an address.

A domain name is a part of a website’s URL, which is its address. This is what people type into their web browsers to come and visit you. Unlike your home address, you get to choose your domain name, and you should do so carefully. Make it memorable, and not too long. Have some backup names in mind, in case your first idea(s) for a domain name have already been registered by someone else. You can also try different extensions. For instance, if somewidgets.com is taken, try somegadgets.com, or somewidgets.net.

Domain names are typically registered for one or more years. Some registrars offer discounts when multiple domain names are purchased, so it might be sensible to purchase the matching .net name to the .com name. Some web hosting companies offer free domain name registration with the purchase of certain hosting plans.

A host for a website can be compared to a plot of land, for a house. The website host provides the space from which the files that make up a website are served to visitors. This is where the domain name will take visitors. Website hosting is normally purchased for one or more months at a time. The features of web hosting plans vary greatly, and before you purchase hosting, you should consult with your web developer, to make sure you choose a hosting plan that will support the kind of website you wish to have.

A website (the files, or the structure), a domain name (the address), and hosting (where the website “sits”), together, will put your organization online.