Building your own Website

Build your own Website part 2: Hosting, the Foundation

There are two starting and critical things you will need to decide when building a Website: The host, and the domain. I will talk about the latter first.

Build a WebSite Domain

Building a Website – Domains

A domain is your Internet address. It is unique in the world. You have to buy one but they are not very expensive. Our main address is Firstly. some information about the extension (.com in this case)

There are many extensions available. These used to be very limited but the Internet got so heavily used that additional ones were added. Some of the current valid extensions and their general meanings are:

  • .com – (short for Commercial). As the name implies these are commercial sites where you can buy goods or services.
  • .gov –  (short for Government). These will be government sites.
  • .co – An alternative for .com – represents a company they may or may not sell something.
  • .net – This could be anything but typically used by entrepreneurs and innovators.
  • .edu – For educational purposes.

There were many more. But these got mostly used up and additional ones have been added and are generally accepted. A good list can be found at Wikipedia.

So what in the world to choose? It depends on what you want to achieve. Look over the list (it is quite long) from the Wikipedia link above. and see if anything fits your idea. .com and .co are great for commercial sites but highly competed over. .site has become popular with Bloggers but is a great general purpose extension. Does this extension really matter? Well, yes and no. Yes because visitors will have certain expectations based on the extensions  -if it’s a .com they expect something is sold there, and if it’s .edu then it should be educational and not mostly items you can purchase. No in the since these are not audited – no one can prosecute you for using .edu to sell books for example. I wouldn’t use a .gov extension though, somehow I think that might be a bad idea.

So my top list to start with would be .com (or .co) for a commercial site, and .site or .net for a general or Blog site.

How do you get one? Many hosting services will be able to register one for you. However some do not and you will have to find a registry (companies that do this are known as registrars) yourself. Here’s a list of suggestions if you need to do it on your own (I can’t specifically recommend most of these, but they come with good reputations):

Note that most of these are also hosting services, and I can’t speak to the quality or value for dollar of any of them. However, I have specifically worked with two so it’s time to talk about Hosting Services

Building a Website – Hosting Services

Building a Website

Other that those listed above there are some additional recommended ones. We have used (or are using) these services and I can recommend them:


WPMUDEV Web Hosting Building a Website

An all encompassing hosting and support site. This host is exclusively WordPress format which I will talk more about in another post.

Becoming a member of WPMUDEV makes you a part of not only a great Web Host but also a community of members with valuable information. You have 24/7 online support via their excellent chat, you can ask questions or opinions of other members, and you have full access to many plugins for optimization, SEO, security, CDN and a dedicated server (this is a very important item) and more. They are WordPress experts.

With everything you get with your membership you can’t beat their service for value. The current host for it’s highly recommended. However WPMUDEV does not setup domains – you will need to purchase one yourself. Then their experts will happily take care of the details necessary for them to become the host of your domain. To get your domain I suggest Namecheap.


HostGator Building a Website

We have found Host Gator to be an excellent hosting site with a variety of options to suit everyone. Web hosting that scales from easy to expert.

A ton of website hosting options, 99.9% up-time guarantee, free SSL certificate, easy WordPress installs, and a free domain for a year.

Their plans start at only $2.75/mo* (depending on your payment choices).They provide excellent support with an online chat feature available 24/7 which I love using. Much better than trying to find the right time of day for business hours in another place in the world.

Building a Website – additional hosting considerations

Building a Website

When you consider hosts I think there are a few things you need to look the most for which includes:

  • Dedicated or Shared servers. Shared servers mean you share equipment with other users and if their sites are very busy (or poorly designed) it may slow down your page substantially, which is bad. But Shared is always the lower cost option. It’s fine to get started, but someday you will want to consider a Dedicated server with the resources all yours.
  • Support. Online (chat) 24/7 support is a requirement in my opinion. Rarely will you need help when it is their office working hours. Both WPMUDEV and HostGator have great online support.
  • Will the host support WordPress? I think most beginners will want to use WordPress which I will cover in another post. If you don’t know anything about designing a page WordPress is your best bet.
  • SSL which stands for Secure Sockets Layer.  I know it sounds fancy but it allows your sight to start with https (s for secure) and the little padlock which shows in most browsers. You want this because consumers now look for it, even if they are just looking/reading. I think most hosts offer free SSL support but make sure to check it.
  • Automatic Backups. Sometimes hosts charge or require some paid add-on to let you manage backups. You want to be able to restore from backup at any time you want in case of a disaster.

I wish you good luck on your journey and building your own Website. It can be some work but quite exciting as well. My next post will do some explanations of WordPress and other Website structure considerations.

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