Domain names & web hosting
What does this even mean????
This is the internet address where your website will be found e.g. – www.mybusiness.com.
You pay yearly for the right to use this, so you never own it outright, you are renting it.
This is the computer server where your files (images, text and code) are stored, and made available to internet users.
You pay yearly for a company to store your files for you.
Choosing a domain name
Your domain name should generally closely align with your business name, so its easy for people to recognise your website.
For example, if your business is called Bob Browns Plumbing Services Melbourne, then www.bobbrownplumbing.com.au makes sense, but www.bbplumbing.com.au, whilst similar, is not necessarily going to be identified so easily as the same business.
Make it easy to read
If your business has a lot of words in it, you might want to reduce these as well for the domain name, as it makes it easier to spell out.
Your domain name also provides the end of your custom email address, so don’t go for www.bobbrownsplumbingservicesmelbourne.com.au as the likelihood of a typing error is much greater.
And email@example.com will not be popular either!
A happy ending
The end of the domain .com .com.au .net.au .org.au and so on, costs a different amount and if you want multiple options you need to pay yearly for each one (although you can then point them all to one single website).
There are some rules around what business type you need to be to use certain endings, but generally if you are not selling internationally, choose .com.au or .net.au as this tells users that you are based in Australia and they are more likely to click if its a location based search (eg plumber!).
What kind of hosting do I need?
You will need hosting that will allow WordPress to be installed on it, enough storage (usually minimum 5gb) and current versions of PHP.
This is technical jargon, and will change over time as new versions are released, so we recommend you check with us BEFORE signing up for any hosting, to ensure its appropriate for your needs.
Security is also very important, look for a host that offers regular backups (daily is ideal) and has a high level of easy to contact customer support in case of emergency (eg site is not working).
Your domain name dictates how your email address must end, but you can choose what is before the @ sign.
For example – firstname.lastname@example.org is no problem if the website is bobsplumbing.com.au BUT if the website is bobsplumbingservices.com.au, then the email must match (email@example.com).
Your web hosting company may have some limitation on how many email addresses you can create, we recommend ensuring you have a package that allows a minimum of 5 emails (eg info@ accounts@ admin@ bob@ and jane@ ).
Secure Socket Layer (SSL)
Have you noticed a little padlock in the top left corner of some web addresses? And some start with “http”, others with “https”? You may even have encountered browser warnings about continuing to an unsafe site (particularly using Chrome).
This is because websites should purchase an SSL Certificate as part of their hosting package. It’s an extra layer of security which is important for general use but essential (ie you cannot take online payments without it) for ecommerce stores that have payment gateways (eg paypal, Stripe etc). A site with an SSL Certificate will show the padlock locked before the site address, and start with “https”
Google is now also penalising sites that do NOT have SSL and showing them further down the search rankings, and Google Chrome flags them as unsecure.
Fortunately our hosting partners Razz Hosting offer SSL Certificates as a STANDARD part of their hosting packages, so if you choose them for your hosting plan, this is one less thing to worry about!
Web hosting & domain names
Important points to remember
Choose a simple name that relates to your business name/services
Ensure your web hosting plan is suitable for the website you want
Consider the email addresses you will need now and in the near future
Make sure you get the SSL Certificate included for security and Search Engine ranking
Not sure what’s the best domain name and hosting plan for your online business?