This section is: Web.
Domain name registration and hosting are the two ongoing costs associated with establishing a professional website. (The cost of design and construction is usually a one-off. Content changes can be performed by yourself or your employees.)
Let's look at hosting first.
Your website has to live somewhere. Specifically, it has to live on a computer that's always connected to the internet. These computers are called servers, and storing your website on a server is called hosting.
Hosting can be offered free of charge by certain companies for various reasons; sometimes in exchange for the inclusion of advertising on your website, sometimes simply out of altruism. If you use this space to host your website, your web address will look something like "www.their-company.com/your-name". This is not the place to go into specifics, but as a general guide, the adage "you get what you pay for" can be applied to this kind of free hosting. For more information, see the Whirlpool hosting forum or google the term "free hosting".
Additionally, ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and webmail providers sometimes give their customers a certain amount of hosting space for personal web pages. If you use this space to host your website, your web address will look something like "www.ISP.com/your-name". This kind of hosting often comes with the condition that it may not be used for business purposes, but conditions vary from provider to provider.
Most businesses will find that paid hosting is the best option for their website. Paid hosting offers increased reliability, independence from third parties, and the ability to operate a domain name (see below).
For a professional appearance you should have your own domain name, which is a web address something like www.your-name.com. This is sometimes called a "dot com address", although you're not actually restricted to the suffix .com; some of the other options are .com.au, .info, .net, and .biz.
At the time of writing this article, a domain name cannot be used with most free hosting services. Generally, to use a domain name, you must have your website professionally hosted. This is an additional cost which must be taken into account when planning a website.
Savvy Web Design currently offers basic hosting and a domain name as a package deal. Please call or email for more information.
If you'd prefer to manage your own domain registration and hosting, Savvy Web Design is happy to recommend reliable third party hosts and domain registrars. Contact us for information.
Information above has been simplified. For more specific information, contact us.
• Melbourne IT's Guide to Domain Names and Brand Protection
• NetLingo Dictionary of Internet Words
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