Website Creation Basics
There are three basic elements to website functionality on the web. Hosting, A Domain Name, and the actual website design. You must have all of these elements in order for your website to be active on the internet. Red Puzzle Designs does not resell these hosting and domain services, but can give you the best advice on which services to use and the pros and cons of different available services.
What is Internet Hosting?
Web hosts are companies that provide space on a special server that provides their clients with Internet connectivity from their data center. In order for your website to be viewable on the internet you must have an internet hosting provider. This is a yearly investment that keeps your website on the world wide web. This is not included in the design of a website.
An analogy of how it works can be seen in cell phone service. When you buy a cell phone you must have cell service to use it. A website works similarly. You must have hosting service for the design elements to work.
There are many providers available through a quick search on the internet for host providers. However, Red Puzzle Designs highly recommends Bluehost as the number one hosting service that provides you with many free services that other providers nickel and dime you for like emails and email storage, which are unlimited with Bluehost. As well, they will provide you with a free domain name for a year when you set up a new account.
What is a Domain?
A domain name is the name of a website that is owned by a person and/or an organization. It is the name of the website followed by .com, .net, or something similar. For example: www.redpuzzledesigns.com would be the domain name for Red Puzzle Designs.
The registration of these domain names is usually administered by domain name registrars. Domain names are often referred to simply as domains and domain name registrants are frequently referred to as domain owners, although domain name registration with a registrar does not confer any legal ownership of the domain name, only an exclusive right of use.
Domain names are relatively inexpensive running between $10 to $15 annually depending on the registrar and the extension you choose. Ex. .com, .net, .info etc… However, your domain name requires web hosting and website design, which is the structure of your website with your content and images once purchased for your site to be viewable on the net.
GoDaddy is the most well known for domain registration due to its aggressive advertising and sponsorship of NASCAR. However, web hosting is a secondary business for them and their hosting system is not as user friendly, as well they charge for many additional services that Bluehost provides for free, including a domain name with the purchase of a new hosting account. iPage also offers a free domain name with hosting services.
How do I choose a good domain name?
You may choose any name you like. It is important to choose a domain that will reflect the intent and purpose of your website or business. Try to keep it short and simple. Your domain name will be one of the ways people recognize or evaluate the site for their interests when they are searching via Google or other search engines.
What are the valid characters for a domain name, and how long can it be?
The only valid characters for a domain name are letters, numbers and a hyphen “-“. Other special characters like the underscore “_” or an exclamation mark “!” are NOT permitted. Example: your name.com (this is not correct. No spaces are allowed) Example: your-name.com (is correct).
A domain name can be up to 72 characters long — including the 4 characters used to identify the Top Level Domain (.NET, .COM, .ORG, or .EDU). Do not type the www. before your domain name when registering.
What are the components of a domain name?
A domain name consists of two or more words separated by a period. The last word (the far right) is called a “top-level domain”. Here are some common top-level domains and their use:
.COM – Used for commercial entities. It is the most popular top-level domain. Anyone can register a .com domain.
.NET – Originally used for networking organizations such as Internet Service Providers and backbone providers. Today, anyone can register a .net domain.
.ORG – Designed for miscellaneous organizations, including non-profit groups. Today, anyone can register a .org domain.
.EDU – Four-year, accredited colleges and universities.
Country Codes – Other top-level domains include those for countries (.CA for Canada, .UK for the United Kingdom, .HK for Hong Kong, etc.), which are based on the International Standards Organization’s 3166 standard for country abbreviations.
How will I be able to tell if my desired domain name is already taken?
Before registering a domain name you will first have to do a “Whois” search to see if the requested domain name is available. You can do this right from our website. To check the availability of your domain name click here or use the form below.
Once I have secured my name, how long may I use it?
If there are no trademark disputes, your secured domain name will be yours for as long as you maintain the yearly registration fees.
What is a URL?
URL stands for Universal Resource Locator. Some people refer to it as a web address (although URL is not limited to the web). An example of a URL is http://www.redpuzzledesigns.com. Please note that a URL is a unique identifier. No two websites can have the same URL. This is the reason why you should register your domain name before someone else does.
What is an IP address?
Every computer on the Internet has a numeric address called an IP-Address that is used to identify the location of the computer. An example of an IP address is 222.333.22.11. This kind of addressing system is cumbersome and hard to remember for humans. Having a domain name eliminates the need to remember the IP address.
What is a DNS?
DNS stands for “Domain Name Server”. It translates domain names into IP addresses that computers understand. For example, if someone wants to access our website (www.redpuzzledesigns.com), the DNS will translate the domain into an IP address, which will allow the computer to locate our web server.
Do you charge to transfer the DNS of my existing domain?
No, there is no charge for transferring your DNS to to a different hosting server if your domain is registered with a different provider than your hosting service account when we are building your website. If all you need is a DNS redirect then we will be happy to quote you a rate if necessary.
DNS redirects will propagate on the world wide web within 24-48 hours in most cases. Until propagation is complete sites will not be viewable on the web. This is a standard process.
What is a FTP?
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a standard network protocol used to exchange and manipulate files over the Internet. FTP is built on a client-server architecture and utilizes separate control and data connections between the client and server applications, which allows you to move files from your computer hard drive directly to the Internet server.
What is Bandwidth?
Bandwidth is the amount of information that is transferred from your website to people surfing your site. For example, if your first page is 10KB and 100 people go to your page in a month, you’ve used 1000KB or 1MB.
What if I go over my allotted bandwidth transfer?
The key is in getting a host provider that has unlimited bandwidth. If not then the host provider will charge you for any amount of overage. Most accounts are on shared servers and set up for normal web traffic. If your site begins to see a tremendous growth in traffic and an increase in the bandwidth you may incur additional charges that will be applied to your account.
Providers like Bluehost have unlimited bandwidth on shared servers. If you have a site with heavy traffic they will work with you to move your site to servers that can handle your traffic. These servers cost a bit more, however you will not need to use these unless you getting hundreds of thousands of hits per day.
What is a Template or Theme?
Templates and themes can be used to:
- Display personal information or daily activities as in a blog.
- Display information about a company or organization.
- Fully customize a website
How Can Red Puzzle Designs Offer Such Affordable Websites?
Its simple! We understand first hand the challenges of building a website and marketing yourself on a tight budget. We have built our own websites for the last 6 years after paying thousands to web developers that kept us dancing to their time frames and rates wasting valuable time and money. We know how to build an effective web presence without taking any short cuts.
What is a Content Management System (CMS)?
A content management system (CMS) is a web application used for managing websites and web content. If you need to update your personal or company website contents regularly and don’t want to pay a webmaster or designer every time you want to change content or images then you need a CMS website!