This information explains hosting and domain names, they are required for every website and whilst you don’t have to do all of this yourself its important that you know about it.
WHAT is a domain name?
A domain name is yourname.com.au or .com. Having a domain name is like when you register your car and you wish to have personalised number plates. Rather than having a generic name given by someone else you can choose to have www.myname.com or www.myname.com.au for your website.
There are a few steps to having your own domain name, it firstly needs to be registered and allocated to an owner ie. YOU. and then it needs to be pointed (delegated) to your website.
Before you start you need to make sure no one else has already registered your name by conducting a search on one of the online domain name searches, then the steps to have own your domain name are as follows:
- Register yourname with a domain name provider (these guys are kinda like the RTA, we can refer you to our recommended providers)
- Then you need to point it (delegate) it to your website which is done through your website host (see Hosting).
If you are getting someone to help you out with your site you then will need to forward all the information to your webdesigner to help you delegate your name to your host.
Any info you receive make sure you print this information out and keep it on file, it is important! Retrieving it later can sometimes be very time consuming!
TIP: You need to chose a name that is relevant to you but also easy to type in and something that will stick in the minds of your potential customers.
WHY should you have your own domain name.
Here are 3 reasons (there are plenty more) but to keep this brief:
- It looks more professional – and it instills trust that this person /business takes this seriously, think about when you purchase something you will subconsciously wonder can trust them to do the right thing? Having a website is like your shop front or your professional portfolio for artists it needs to look professional.
- People can easily find you – your domain name can travel with you, if you do alot to market your name as an artist, its common place these days for people to search for Yourname.com. It also is more easily remembered and on your business cards etc is shorter than a long generic name.
- You OWN it. I can’t stress this enough, if you have it under someone else’s name and they decide to change it (which they can do at any time), then your customers will have a hard time finding you again, all your hard work will have to be redone. If you have your own name (and have all the details registered in your name -read the HOW below on this page) then if you decide to move your website to another host you can .. you are in control.
WHAT is website hosting?
When your website is built it needs to be placed somewhere with a webhost. In brief, hosts have a bunch of computers which are setup to be accessed and connected to the internet. Typically you will buy a space on a computer which is shared with other people and permanently connected to the internet. Generally a hosting plan will run for a year but you will receive discounts if you perhaps 2-3 years in advance.
Once you have organised your account with a provider, you will have access to a control panel where you can delegate your domain name, have your email hosted and upload your website to their computer so it can be accessed by people on the internet. It is necessary that you will need to login to your control panel to manage your website or provide this login info to whoever is looking after your site.
In summary to have your website hosted online you will need:
- A hosting account with a hosting provider.
- Then setup your email and upload your website to your provider so that it can be accessed by the public.
Don’t worry we can do all of this for you, on your behalf if you are unfamiliar setting up online accounts – see the How below.
We believe that you should own and control your own domain names, and hosting!
Contrary to most web companies who will set all of this up for you, the problem is however, then they will put their names on the forms and for you at some later date to change web developers, change providers or just do anything without their permission it becomes really hard work! (ever tried to edit the details on a policy that your not named on! – yep its like that!)
We believe that if you have paid the bills,then its yours and to be 100% honest I really don’t need the responsibility for managing YOUR details so I always suggest for clients to register their own domain name and organise hosting under your own details that way you get the bill from the providers and the details that are needed are provided to me to do with it what I need…. before you panic, DON”T worry…
I have resources to help you do this which can point you in the right direction to get all of this done. I have preferred providers who have provided services to my other clients and I can send you the links for you to set that up so you don’t have to go searching around. It can become a bit confusing, and I do also provide the service of setting these accounts for you up on your behalf but in your name.
As a guide, domain name registration can cost around costs from $20 for a two year registration for .com.au domain.
And hosting can go from about $120- per year depending on whether you pay monthly or annually, savings are available for 2-3 years in advance.
WHAT else do you need to consider?
There are a few important things to consider when choosing your host.
- Cheapest is not always BEST. The thing with web services is that sometimes they go down. You need someone you can count on to call when something goes wrong, typically you will pay a bit more for Australian Hosting Services, but at least you can call them up and get things fixed if need be, and trust me there usually will be a time you need to do this.
- Will you have multiple domain names or other websites, quite often you can get a plan which will allow you to have multiple websites and domain names under the one account. If this is a consideration its good to know this ahead of time and get a plan that allows you to do this.
Email or phone to discuss this further we will ask you about your hosting when you wish to proceed with your website.