Helpful Guide for Tech Jargon: Domain, Hosting and SSL
Domain, hosting, SSL, blah, blah, blah. There is so much tech jargon out there and it can get it a bit overwhelming! In this blog post, I am going to try and unpick common words you may hear when talking to developers and designers. I’ll try my best to answer a few common questions too. If you have any more questions, please feel free to drop them in the comments below!
Lets start with the basics, what is a domain?
A domain name is a super simple one. It is your website’s address. For example, mine is www.aleccreativeco.com. Yours will be www.mywebsitename.com/co.uk/.ie/org etc.
What should my domain name be/ How do I choose a domain name?
‘Help! I have no idea what my domain name should be!’ I hear this all the time. Here are my top tips on how to choose a domain name:
1.Make sure it is associated with your business name and brand.
2.Make sure it is easy to spell.
3.Ensure it is easy to say.
4.Ensure it is easy to type.
5.Do not use hyphens or numbers.
‘But what if my domain name isn’t available?’
If your domain name isn’t available, do not panic. You can simply try different variations. You do not have to come up with another brand name! Some tips and tricks are listed below. You could:
Add a related word at the end, e.g. co, company, designs, your country… e.g. www.alecireland.ie
Use a different domain ending e.g. .co.uk, .com, .co, .net, .org etc.
Check out this Go Daddy article to find alternative domain endings:
How do I find out if my domain name is available?’
If you are a uk based business visit www.godaddy.co.uk to find out if your chosen domain name is available.
If you are an Irish based business, visit www.hostingireland.ie to look for your chosen domain.
Please note, when purchasing an Irish domain, you will need to present proof of identity. A passport, driving licence or a bank statement will suffice. To purchase and Irish domain, you have to show your connection with Ireland.
As a company, you have to provide a VAT number or a CRO (company registration office) number.
Even if you are not ready to go ahead with your site, it’s a great idea to purchase your domain name now. This means you will have it ready for when you create your website and no one else can purchase it!
Next up...What is Hosting?
Hosting is where all your files are stored. It is where your website lives. HTML, CSS, images, and databases are all stored here. It is really important to get a good hosting platform. A good hosting platform will be able to create email accounts that are associated with your domain name, provide an SSL cert and have a good support team if anything were to go wrong. This should all be included in the price and should not be add ons. I recommend siteground. Siteground includes emails and an SSL cert. In saying this, please leaving the buying of hosting up to your developer. They will have a preferred hosting platform that they will usually work with.
‘Is it ok to buy hosting and domain from different companies?’
Yes! I usually using hostingireland.ie/ godaddy.co.uk for a domain name and for hosting I use siteground. Domain and hosting can then be connected. When creating a website, I will take care of all of these tasks for you.
‘Is domain and hosting included in a developers quote?’
Usually not. Hosting and domain costs are on top of a developers fee. They are annual costs and will be debited from your bank account every year. It approximately comes to about €100 per year. Once you have paid your developers fee, this (and potential booking systems etc) will be your only cost! Having your own independent site is a bigger investment up front, but can save you lots of cash in the long time! Don’t forget that shopify and etsy have hefty fees, wordpress does not!
‘Should I purchase my own domain and hosting?’
I would recommend purchasing your domain name as soon as possible, especially if you want to get it to match your business name exactly. Domain names can get snatched up pretty quickly. You never know who has the same business name as you.
Do not purchase your own hosting. A developer will have a preferred hosting platform and will usually be able to source out the best one!
‘What happens to my domain and hosting when I get my website redesigned? Can I change?’
Your domain and hosting will generally stay the same, unless you want to change.
During a redesign, you may want to change hosting providers if you find a better deal. If you do want to change your hosting provider, I would recommend hiring a developer to ensure it is done right. This is a service that I offer within my redesigns. I’ll make the process pain free.
Finally, What is SSL?
What is SSL? What does it stand for?
SSL stands for ‘Secure Sockets Layer.’ Basically SSL keeps your website secure. It protects, encrypts and makes sure any website coming to and from your website is secure.
‘Is SSL important? Why is it important?’
First and foremost, SSL is extremely important. Hackers are out there and they are ready to pounce on any site that is an easy target. They plant little programmes that capture sensitive information. Hackers can target sensitive information like bank details and emails that contain sensitive information.
However, if a website has an SSL cert, the website is safe and secure and hackers can’t access the sensitive information!
Have you ever had a warning from google detailing that the site you are trying to enter is unsafe? That’s because google avoids sites that do not have an SSL cert. If you don’t have one, you’re not going to get much traffic to your site with a warning like that. Less traffic = less sales.
‘How can I tell if my website is secure?’
You can tell if your website is secure by locating a little padlock in the URL bar. Another way of telling if a website is secure is looking at the URL. The URL should contain, ‘https’ rather than http. Never use a website that does not have a padlock or the https in the URL.
Another few tell tale signs if a website is safe:
- https://who.is/ – Lookup a website on whois. You can find out who (if anyone) owns the site
- Web Design – Does it look strange? Have they taken time to design and style it?
- Reviews – Look for reviews. Detailed reviews are best, not just one word reviews
- Are there strange pop ups? Exit immediately.
Where do I get an SSL cert from?
Your developer will, or should, include one in your website development. As I mentioned before, good hosting providers usually include an SSL cert as standard. Avoid hosting platforms that are an added extra!
‘What should I do if my site doesn’t have an SSL cert?’
Look into getting one asap. If you need any help, please do not hesitate to get in contact with me. I’ll be able to look into all queries and answer as many problems as I possibly can!