When I am going to start developing a new website, I first ask my clients:
Do you already have a hosting plan? What about a domain?
Where is your domain hosted?
Newbies (or not newbies) to web development usually get confused about these terms or are unfamiliar with them and their meaning. They typically ask me:
Sam, what is hosting and domain? What is the difference?
What is hosting and domain?
In simple words, the domain is the name of your website, and the hosting is the place where all the website files are stored. But to make it more graphic and easier to remember, we can represent a website component with a house. A house has a street address, a name, and things inside it. And when someone wants to visit your place on the internet, it is always open for guests to come in.
In the same way, the hosting is a web server that is always up and running and makes your website files live for users to see (HTML, CSS, media, database, and more). Users only need to know your house name or your domain, the name of your website, for example, www.myhouse.com.
Users go to the browser and type a domain name. The browser automatically knows the address of your house because there is a unique address attached to each house name. The street address represents the IP address of your website. An IP address is a string of numbers assigned to every computer. But they are hard to remember. It is easier for us to remember words. We only need to recall the domain name to visit a website and not the full numerical address.
After these main concepts are clear, the following questions always are:
Sam, where can I buy my domain?
What is the best hosting, and how much does it cost?
What is your recommendation?
Where can I get a domain name? How much does a domain cost?
Domains are usually cheap, but the price depends on your keywords. A highly used keyword is more expensive because it assures high traffic on your site only by having a memorable domain name.
For example, suppose you have a cleaning business that specializes in offices. In that case, you can find domains for up to $3,500 per year when using the keywords “cleaning” and “offices” together.
Instead, you can think of getting a domain that is more specific to your business. For instance, you can use your business or brand name, synonyms, or variations of your selection of keywords or add a more specific keyword like your business location. For example, suppose you add the keyword “Miami” to your domain. It will lower the price to $9.99 a year.
Where can I get hosting for my website?
Depending on your site’s size, traffic, and the technology that the website is built on, you should consider a simple web hosting, a dedicated server, a virtual server, or cloud hosting.
In my experience, when you are starting a website for the first time, you most likely need a business site, a blog, or a small to medium eCommerce website. If you choose WordPress to build your website, I recommend getting a reliable hosting to run WordPress application rather than traditional web hosting. The best WordPress Hosting is SiteGround. Choose from their plans for WordPress Hosting or WooCommerce Hosting.
Apart from having an easy-to-use admin platform and tools to easily install, migrate and maintain WordPress, SiteGround is the fastest and most secure hosting provider for any size of web development. In my over 20 years of experience in web development, I have found SiteGround to be the best WordPress hosting.
If you want to read more about Siteground specifications, click here.
If you plan to build a web application or have a high-traffic website, large eCommerce site, or hosting significant amounts of media, think of getting a virtual or dedicated server or cloud hosting. Some recommendations include AWS, Digital Ocean, Netlify.
Always speak with a developer before purchasing any expensive hosting. Make sure you get the right option for your web application needs, budget, and goals. For any questions, just write us here. We are happy to help you clear any doubts.