Last updated: February 1st, 2016
Consider this, every website on the Internet has a domain and is run through the services a web host provides. If all the web hosting companies somehow failed at the same time, we wouldn’t have most of the website on the web today! While getting online—and staying online—can be quite simple for most people, it’s actually quite a technical feat. These technical aspects web hosting can be overwhelming for many, but it is rather simple when the technical parts are refined and the focus is about one thing- what does all this do?
What is a Website Domain?
Every website has a specific domain name attached to it. Even a website search engine, such as Google, is found through its domain name; www.google.com. The “www” in a domain name refers to the location of the website. It seems obvious that all websites are found on the World Wide Web, but this was a necessary distinction in the early days of the Internet’s development. Now, it is considered obsolete and rarely are people required to input “www” to find a website. The ending is form of a label, known as a top level domain; .com being the most popular. However in recent years, with many .com address already taken, an influx and implementation of hundreds of other domains have allowed website owners to get a domain more closely associated with their business. Other common domain labels include .co.uk, .net, .info, .edu, .org, and .eu.
How is a Domain Purchased?
A domain is purchased through companies that are essentially middlemen, offering domain name registration services. Domain providers allow individuals to purchase a domain for a period of time and continue to extend their agreement terms up to 10 years at a time.
The minimum for each domain is usually one year, and the price drastically varies depending on the popularity of the website name or extension. Domain name registrars often allow users to place another domain for auction so if a user searches a domain that is already owned, they can be prompted with a message that says, “you can buy this domain for $____.” Domain auctions are not uncommon, many individuals buy and resell domain names for a living.
Where is a Domain Hosted?
Once bought, a domain must be hosted somewhere; in short, every website takes up space. This is why large server spaces exist to host a website somewhere remotely. Individuals can buy shared servers for smaller websites, or dedicated server space if their website is going to accumulate lots of data or offer many options for visitors. Most domain registration companies also offer web hosting services.
What Can a Web Host Offer?
Every website is supported by a web hosting platform of some kind. A website hosting platform offers a home for a website. As mentioned before, the best domain name companies offer hosting that has several features so you can become successful online. Of the most important features is an email account system offering a custom email associated with your domain; obviously important for marketing purposes. Others offer analytics tracking so buyers can review how people come to a site, how long they stay, and what they do once there.
These components bring a website to life, and there is no one that can naturally avoid any of these necessary areas for website development.
About Author: Jake Neeley is a content marketing and social media geek who loves learning, outdoor sports (especially those in Utah mountains), and time with the fam. Jake suggests visiting UK2.NET if you would like to know more about registering a domain name and hosting your website. Connect with Jake on Twitter and LinkedIn.