What is a Domain Name?
A domain name is a requirement to getting a website online, and it should be chosen very carefully. For example, Castle Design’s domain name is www.castledesign.com.au which makes it easy to find and sounds (we hope!) professional. But imagine if our domain name was www.unicornsaregreat.eu, would you find us easily in a search (we doubt it) and if you did find us, would it give an impression of a trust-worthy and relevant business? Probably not. So have a think. Once you have decided on your domain name, you will need to check online if it is available for registration. If it is, happy days!
How to register a domain name
In Australia, domain names ending in .au often require an ABN or business name to complete registration. Domain Prices generally vary according to domain extensions. If you are running a business in Australia, we definitely recommend registering a .au domain name as they are the most popular and instantly display to any visitor that you are an Australian business / company.
You can check availability, register and pay for your domain name when you sign up for web hosting with our recommended web host company Digital Pacific.
If you already own a domain name, simply sign up for a web host plan with your selected web host company. Castle Design recommends Digital Pacific or WP Engine. Read on to learn more about web hosting.
What is Web Hosting?
Web Hosting is another requirement to getting a website online. Hosting refers to a computer storing your website files including images, text, databases and email accounts that will be configured onto your domain name (i.e. www.yourdomain.com.au). This computer must be stored in a secure location – often a temperature controlled room – for reliability and security of data. Think about your web host company as your landlord, you pay them a monthly or yearly fee and they keep your website visible on the internet.
Castle Design recommends Digital Pacific or WP Engine for your web hosting needs.
What is Email Hosting?
Email hosting allows any user to have their very own personalised email address.
(Example: firstname.lastname@example.org). Check with your selected web host company when you sign up if their web host plan also includes email hosting and webmail functionality (so you can check your email anywhere in the world, where internet access is available).
When selecting your Web Host company, consider the following things:
- Their track record of website up-time
- What type of customer support do they offer and where are they located
- Where are their main servers located
- Do they offer automatic backups of your site
- What other securities features are included
- What is the local storage capacity
- If you plan to take payments on your site using credit cards, do they offer SSL certificates and at what cost?