At a minimum, websites are like a business card for the virtual world and at best a website is the business. Websites have potential to make or break your business and the quality of your website can say a lot about your business and its level of professionalism. Many who obtain website don’t have a full understanding or grasp of all that goes into having and maintaining a website. This article is intended to help you understand the basics of the moving parts that are essential to making a website work. Let’s dive in.
Domain name, hosting and maintenance are all needed, and only maintenance is optional, however it is strongly recommended.
The domain name is the address for your website. Domain names are connected to an ip address and serves as the location used to locate your website. Without a domain name, it will be impossible for people to locate you on the internet. Domain names are unique, which means two of the same names cannot exist for one Top Level Domain (TLD). The TLD is the part of the domain that is located after the dot (.) in the domain name, i.e. .com, .org, .net, etc. Domain names are purchased through a registrar and almost any type of domain name can be purchased through a registrar. Domain names can cost as low at $10/year and as great as hundreds per year, though prices vary based on the registrar and TLD.
When a website is constructed, it consists of one or many files that contain Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML). HTML is the base code for any website. The files that contain the code for a website must reside on a webserver, which is a server designed to read and process the code in the files. Space on webservers is rented space. The rented space is called hosting. There are many types of hosting, but the most popular and widely used type of hosting is called Shared Hosting. This is much like the concept of an apartment building where space is compartmentalized. Shared hosting is an economical type of hosting with prices that start around $25/month.
Maintaining a website is essential much like maintenance of many things in life. Depending on the type of website you have, updates are essential to ensuring that your website is in optimal shape. Website server upgrades and attempts to hack a website among other resource issues can cause code and links to break on a website. Websites should show signs of activity to assist in the website’s SEO value, and lastly, information updates may be needed to convey to your audience. These are all valid reasons to maintain a website. If you are familiar with HTML or any of the other languages that are used to construct your website, it is possible to maintain your website on your own without assistance, however, it is best to have a web-development professional maintain your website since they are trained and familiar with the programming language(s) and technical aspects of websites. Website maintenance can be costly, but generally most maintenance fees are billed hourly usually begins at $100/hour.
The domain name and hosting are non-negotiable needs for a website. There are many different configurations that can be used for hosting, but ultimately it is essential for having a website. Maintenance is optional for a website, but depending on your type of business or website, maintenance is required. Having an outdated website, a website with broken links or a website that has no activity doesn’t serve your investment well.
Disclaimer: The rates described in this article is not a quote or representation of for 9o9 Design's rates.