Creating a website can be pretty confusing for first-timers, especially for those who aren’t millennials. For many of you business owners, however, the concept is a lot easier to grasp once explained. If you have or plan to start your own business, you understand the process behind ownership: after securing a unique brand name and purchasing your business license, you’d rent out an office space or empty building to get your business started. Well, the same goes for having a website: you’ll need to reserve a space for all of your website files to be stored—a web host.
What is a Web Host?
A website hosting service, or web host, is like a leasing company for a website. They store website files and, once searched in a browser, deliver them through the internet for searchers to view. In simpler terms, there are web hosting companies that provide digital “space” you can rent on the internet for your website (yes, “renting space” on the internet sounds kind of odd). These companies give individuals or corporations the opportunity to set up accounts through their hosting site that, through monthly or annual payment plans, provides visibility and management of their websites on the internet. You may have heard of some popular web hosting companies, such as Bluehost and Ehost. Most web hosts also give you the option to register a domain through them.
What is a Domain?
We knew you were probably wondering—it is a little difficult keeping up with all of this internet terminology. A domain can be considered the website’s “name.” In order for a web server to display or transfer your website to other computers, the servers communicate using your website’s domain, or “name.” The domain is the “yoursite.com” portion that you purchase for your website. For example, the domain of Google is google.com, which is typed into a web browser to be searched. A server would then display your website on the internet to another computer using the domain. You may be familiar with other website domains having endings such as “.net”, “.org”, and “.edu.” Starting to make sense now, right?
So, let’s sum everything into this: Your website needs a domain, and your domain needs a web server. You need all three—a web server, domain and website files—in order for your website to be visible and searchable on the internet. Bing, bang, boom!
Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to understand these all at once. Many of us gradually learn more about our computers and phones as we use them everyday (who has time to read those manuals, anyway?) When it comes to creating your website, or contacting a web design firm like us to do it for you, these terms are helpful to know and understand.
Be sure to check out the blog of our mother company, Key Web Concepts, for a more in-depth understanding of web host functionality along with our top recommendations.