As a person is met by his clothes, so the evaluation of a website often begins with its name. Today we will dwell in detail on what you should pay attention to when choosing a domain name and hosting for an Internet resource.
What is a domain?
Domain name, or domain (Domen) – is a text name (address) of a website on the Internet, which is entered into the address bar of the browser. A domain is a unique identifier that corresponds to a specific website.
Why do you need a domain name? The answer is simple: for the convenience of Internet users. If before, in order to get to a web resource and open it in the browser, you had to know the numerical IP-address, then after the introduction of domains in practice, it is enough to know the alphabetic name of the desired site.
What is a domain name for?
IP-address (Internet Protocol Address) is a unique numerical address of a website on the Internet that points to its server and is a combination of four groups of numbers separated by dots.
With the advent of domains, the need to memorize and keep in your head dozens of IP addresses is no longer necessary. If an IP address can be compared to a phone number in the phone book, a domain name can be compared to the name of the person you are going to call at that number. In a broader sense, an IP address is a unique identifier of any device (server, computer, smartphone, tablet and so on) connected to the global or local network.
What domains are there?
First (top) level domain, or domain zone
They are divided into several groups:
- National top-level domains (Country code Top-Level Domain, ccTLD) – domains allocated specifically for specific countries, with territorial reference. For example: .de (Germany), .ua (Ukraine), etc.
- General, or international Top-Level Domain (gTLD) – domains allocated for structuring web addresses according to their classes or communities. For example: .com, .biz – commercial websites, .edu – educational websites, .org – non-profit organizations, .int – international organizations.
- New Generic Top-Level Domain (new gTLD) – domains allocated for legal entities and non-profit organizations.
First-level domains can only be registered by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), an independent international organization that regulates issues related to domains and IP addresses of the global network. Here you can see the list of all valid 1st level domains.
Second-level domain – the address of the site specified after the first-level domain. Examples: tut.by, shop.by, wikipedia.org, google.com.
Third-level domain (or subdomain) is a part of the domain name located to the left of the second-level domain point. On commercial resources can be used as thematic subsections of the site, or the creation of unique independent of each other sites.
What should I do if my domain name is taken?
- Use a modified version of your chosen domain name.
- Use a different domain zone and/or tie in with your site’s geography.
- Use the specifics of the site.
- Use Cyrillic instead of Latin and vice versa.
- Buy back or sue (yes, even so) the domain from its owner.
Where can I buy a domain?
Buy and register domains on the websites of companies that have the right to create new domains and renew existing second-level domain names.
How does a website domain name affect SEO?
Search engines associate search queries and the characters included in a domain name. If you want to develop a brand, it is worth using in the domain name of the company or a keyword, which should be associated with the potential customer with products or services and will match for search queries.
The use of company name is suitable for well-known brands, and for medium and small businesses with a specific topic is more profitable to use keywords.
For search engine robots does not matter what characters are used in the domain name – Cyrillic or Latin, both options are ranked equally.
How to bind the domain to the hosting?
The domain name can be registered with the company that provides your website hosting. In this case, the process of binding the domain to the hosting is usually automatic after the registration of a new website. However, if the domain name was registered with another provider, you may need to manually bind it to the hosting.
To bind the domain name to the hosting, name servers that are provided by the hosting provider are used. For this purpose, the names of DNS servers are specified in the domain name settings. The process of manually linking a domain to hosting can vary from provider to provider.
What is a DNS server?
DNS (Domain Name System) is a distributed system for storing information about domain names, created to simplify the search for web resources on the Web.
Each site is located on a specific physical server, which has its own unique number – IP-address, represented as a number such as 220.127.116.11.123. Before the creation of DNS, to get to any site, it was necessary to remember and its IP-address.
In the DNS system digital values of IP-addresses of servers and sites are assigned to their alphabetic addresses – domain names.
What is hosting for the site
Hosting is a service for storing and providing access to site information on the Web: text, video, pictures, scripts and other data. The information is stored on the servers of the hosting company.
Hosters place their web servers in specialized data centers or data centers, which provide requirements to ensure high-speed access to servers on the Internet and there are backup power sources that allow the equipment to work, even in power outages.
What types of hosting are there?
The hosting service is provided on special web servers. A web server is software that accepts user requests sent from browsers and provides responses in the form of HTML pages, files, media data, etc. A web server is also referred to as the server (physical device) on which the software runs.
Depending on the purpose and workload of the site, the choice is made among five main types of hosting, different in available software, features and hardware resources (disk space for data storage, RAM and CPU resources):
A single server hosts several hundred “lightweight” sites managed by different users. The sites “share” server resources among themselves.
Pros: low cost of rent, simple and understandable set of tools suitable for most tasks not a large resource.
Minuses: providers impose restrictions on the use of server resources (speed of writing information to disk, memory size, processor resources).
Scope: a small online store, blog, business card site, portfolio, promo page, lending.
As in the previous case, the same physical server hosts different sites, but in this case they are separated from each other, that is, they are each on their own separate virtual server. The amount of resources consumed by one site does not affect the work of others.
Pros: there are no restrictions on the volume or speed of recording information, as in virtual hosting, you can install your own software and freely customize hosting for their tasks.
Cons: higher rental cost compared to shared hosting.
Scope: medium-sized online store, large forum, Internet application, corporate site with accounts and personal mail users.
The client’s site is provided with all resource capacities of a separate physical server without any limitations within the hardware capabilities of this computer.
Pros: the site administrator gets unlimited access to hardware and software.
Minuses: an expensive option designed for the work of fairly loaded projects.
Scope: large online store, game server, banking site, large Internet applications that require a lot of resources.
The client’s site is used and placed on several different physical servers used by the provider in a complex. In this case, only a specific amount of necessary hardware resources is paid for.
Pros: reasonable cost, there is no need to move to another physical server in case the capacity is not enough.
Scope of application: large trading platform, loaded Internet application, online media publishing.
The client’s physical servers are located on the hosting provider’s premises. The cost of services, in addition to renting the premises, may include standard equipment maintenance, connection to electricity and network, security, cooling and so on.
Pros: full access to software and hardware, savings compared to renting several dedicated servers or placing and maintaining computers on your own workspace.
Minuses: it is necessary to pay the cost of the server at once.
Scope: large online store, Internet application, game server, social network, Internet application.
Pros: no monthly rental fee.
Minuses: third-level domain, it is impossible to disable third-party advertising, low speed, limited resources, low data transfer speed, poor technical support or its absence, a skimpy set of options for administration.
Scope: sites for internal and personal use, non-commercial projects.
You can place your sites on the office or home computer, perhaps it will be cheaper than renting hosting, but it is unlikely that you can provide the necessary stability of the Internet and the computer itself.
When choosing hosting, you should pay attention to the following points:
- Hosting cost. The solution you choose should provide an acceptable speed of the site. It is not worth paying hundreds of dollars every month for a server or resources that will be idle.
- Hardware resources allocated to your site. The more information and visitors a site has, the more hardware resources it needs. For example, the social network Facebook uses several tens of thousands of servers located in data centers around the world!
- Ability to grow or scale. When choosing hosting for an online store or any other project that involves growth and development, preference should be given to a provider that offers different tariffs with wider server capabilities.
- Adaptation and customization for CMS. Most modern sites are developed on the basis of one or another CMS (the most popular CMS, currently, is WordPrerss, Joomla, Modx, OpenCat, Drupal, 1c Bitrix), so many providers offer convenient server configurations, customized to work with specific content management systems.
- Data protection. Backup will allow you to make backups, and anti-hacking systems will not allow hackers to harm your data and site.
- Technical support. Availability of round-the-clock competent technical support will be needed in case of unforeseen circumstances and will help you to restore the “broken” site in a short time without serious damage to your business.
How hosting affects the promotion and sales of the site?
- Website speed. The faster the pages of the website are loaded, the better it converts visitors into customers and is better ranked by search engines. The speed of the resource depends not only on hosting, but also on the proper configuration of the engine on which the site works and the quality of the content posted. If the pages of your site loaded more than 7-10 seconds – it is worth thinking about the reasons.
- Neighbors. If your web resource does not have a dedicated IP, and “in the neighborhood” with it are sites engaged in phishing or distributing spam, viruses and malware, your site can also suffer (.
- Geography. The longer the actual physical distance to the server, the more intermediate nodes it includes and the slower pages load. Even at high internet speeds, too great a distance to the server can significantly increase the time it takes to load a resource.
- Up-Time reflects the proportion of time of uninterrupted operation of the site for the considered time period. If Up-Time is 99%, then 99 minutes out of 100 site worked in normal mode, and 1 minute was unavailable. It is considered good hosting with a value of Up-Time not lower than 99.9%.