Your Domain Name (URL), is the address of your website. (www.example.com) Your Domain Name need to be registered. You can register your domain name at one of many registrars including networksolutions.com, 1×1.com, namesilocom. Be sure to save your login & pw for the site where your Domain Name is registered in a safe place.
Note: you technically did not ‘buy’ your URL, you are renting it. You will need to renew it regularly. If you allow it to expire, someone else may be able to use it. To see who owns a URL, visit WhoIs.domaintools.com.
Once you have purchased your domain name, the next step is to create the website files to be displayed at your address.
Your website is essentially a set of interconnected files, once you have these files created, in order for them to be seen on the internet, you’ll need to buy space on a server that ‘faces’ the internet. This is your Web Host. Be sure to capture and save your login & pw for the site where your website files are hosted as well.
For self-hosted websites, we recommend Bluehost.com. If you prefer a more managed service, aka, includes nightly backups, help keeping your website plugins up-to-date, etc, we recommend Alchemycs.com.
(HINT: Your hosting company may be the same as your Registrar. For instance Bluehost.com will allow you to ‘buy’ your URL and host your website all under one user name & pw)
Website Platform/CMS (Content Management System)
(HINT: WordPress also gives you the ability to create separate users with various levels of permission. This allows you to control how much of the website your users can update, or quickly remove their access if necessary.)
To summarize: Your URL points to the collection of files that make up your website, which need to be hosted on an internet ‘facing’ server to allow public viewing of your website content. WordPress and other website building tools help you easily update and manage your content without having to learn to code.
Especially for business owners, your website is a key tool for marketing, lead generation, customer service and more. To ensure you have full control over your website, be sure to have your ‘Credentials’, aka: a user name & pw for all 3. 1) Registrar, 2) Hosting Site, 3) Website Tools.