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Beginning Hosting and Domains

       

Beginners guide to Domains and Hosting

Tutorials and Information
 
Domains

This is a beginners guide to domains and web hosting. We don't want to get too technical here because the topic can quickly become very confusing to a novice (as well as an expert). Maybe we will put the more technical information in a later document.

Every computer and device on the internet has a unique network address. This address is a 4 section number that is attached to your web site name.
The primary purpose for a domain name (example.com) is to hide the Internet Protocol (IP) address such as 201.69,51,121 from you as a user. The IP address is the real address of a website. Imagine the difficulty of remembering IP addresses instead of a simple text address such as IBM.com. So to make it easier, an organization called ICAAN is in charge of resolving the text address that we can remember, into the IP address that we don't really care about.

This is called the Domain Name System (DNS) and is for assigning addresses to internet web servers (internet hosts).
A Domain Name is not the same as a URL but is part of a URL. The Domain Name is the last 2 sections of the name such as example.com.

Every time that we go on the internet we type an address in the address bar of our favorite search engine.
This address, such as,  www.example.com is called a Uniform Resource Locater (URL).

The URL consists of 3 pieces. The computers on the internet read this address from the right to the left. So reading from R to L we have the .com portion and this is the Top Level Domain (TLD).
Then the example part which is a specific descriptor or mid level domain name and is a  unique name to the .com TLD. No two websites have the same name.
And finally the www part which usually designates a  machine name. This could also be shown for instance as www.info.example.com as an example of a sub domain to the real domain.

The domain hierarchy is like a phone number except a phone number is read L to R. First the Area code then Prefix and finally the number to reach.
In domain resolution we see the COM first, then the descriptor and finally the machine.

In both cases the address is unique. There are no 2 phone numbers the same and no 2 domains that are the same.

There are many TLD's: COM, EDU, ORG, NET and many more.

When we type an address (www.example.com) in the address bar in a browser the address goes to our Internet Service Provider (ISP) and the ISP grabs the "example.com" for instance and sends it to one of the internets DNS servers. The DNS servers have every top level domain that is registered in the world. Every .com, .edu etc. The DNS server looks up the domain name on the .com server and sends the IP address for that name back to the ISP and then the ISP makes the connection to the correct computer (IP address) out in the internet.

All right, the hard part is done.

In order for you to have a web page (or any information on line) you need to have a domain name.  The domain name is your hosted area on the internet. This is the address of your web presence including all of your web pages and other information.

A domain name has certain constraints such as it is not case sensitive and can't have spaces and most special characters.

It is important that your domain name is easy to read and remember. Shorter in length is better and should in some way describe your business.

This is necessary!
You will have to have a domain name in order to have a place for your upcoming work.

Ideas:
BestFordExplorers.com          We sell Ford Explorers
MomsCountryKitchen.com     Country kitchen knick-knacks

Hosting

Trying to keep this at a beginners level.....
An internet host is a company that rents you space on their internet connected computers.
So what you are renting is a directory structure on a disk drive in a server that has a very high speed internet connection.
Think of this as the disk drive on your own PC. Assuming you have a Microsoft based PC, you have a C: drive and quite a number of directories (folders) and sub-directories.
The C: drive is the root of your  hosting space and each folder may be full of web files for separate web sites that you have built.

On your computer:                                        On the internet:
C:\example\index.html                     means     www.example.com/index.html
C:\example\images.html                 means     www..example.com/images.html
C:\example\website\testdoc.html   means     www.example.com/website/testdoc.html

So the directory structure on your PC is very similar to the structure on a hosted computer.

On the hosted computer your root directory is commonly named the same as your registered domain name (example.com). This domain name has an IP address associated with it from the host and that is how people find your site by typing your address in their browser and then it is resolved into the IP address and then you are connected.

There are several ways to get a hosting account.
Blog account:  Some blog's supply a hosting account for their respective blog space. You have to sign up with them and they will create a page for you so that you have a place for your blog information. This is really not a true host since you can not (in most cases) create a number of different pages in the space. They are free but some have quite a bit of advertising on the pages.

Hosts: There are probably thousands of hosting companies on the internet.
You can google "hosting companies" and waste a LOT of time searching through all of the companies.  It is much quicker and cheaper to be hosted by a very reputable company. This is a time when quality counts. You can't afford to have a second tier host. Your site depends upon being available 24 hours a day every day and customer support is really number one in your choice of companies.

A NOTE about hosting companies.

Things you want
You want a company that is well known
Reasonably priced
99.9% uptime meaning that the site never goes down
Large bandwith for all of the visitors that will arrive
Multiple mail accounts such as an info and reply account
Web tools and statistics
Web page templates and web page builders
Large disk space for all of your marketing pages
And the most important is 24 hour a day customer support from a real person.

Things you do not want
Slow network throughput and slow page generation
Hosting company downtime-if they are down, so is your business.
Advertisements on your pages from the hosting company or anyone else.
Or a company that is "here today-gone tomorrow".

Summary

In order to do your own internet marketing and to have a network presence that only you control, you need to have a hosting account from a trusted company, a domain name that reflects your companies business, and coming up-web sites and web pages built on that hosted domain.

To decide upon a domain name you should write down as many as you can think of that pertain to you and your business. Try to keep the name short. No one wants to type or remember a long name. Also be careful how the words go together. Remember there are no spaces in a domain name. Sometimes the words can have another meaning when they are run together.

There are quite a few hosting companies. A few of the best are; GoDaddyBlueHost and HostGator.

We will NEVER suggest any companies for you that we do not personally use or have not  used in the past. We will only suggest companies that are trusted and known to work. Remember-No Scams, No Junk and No Lies!

These companies are the best because of their customer support and multitude of options. They also have free tools, incentives, web site builders, security, email accounts, and amazing uptime. All of these companies offer anything you will need for a successful internet presence.

A hosting company and a domain is part of the cost of doing business on the internet. You will have to have this so go ahead and look at the companies products and make a decision. Now is the time to get started building the web site of your dreams and start learning so that you can become the next self sufficient internet marketer.

Pick any of these companies and you will not be disappointed.

Now we have a hosted domain and next we need web pages.


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