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!
You would not believe how many times I get asked, ‘what is a domain?!’
A domain name is a super simple one. A domain is simply your website’s address. For example, mine is www.aleccreativeco.com. Yours will be www.mywebsitename.com/co.uk/.ie/org etc.
‘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.
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:
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!
What is hosting. A vital part of web design people often forget about! 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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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:
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!
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!
Not knowing how connect all these different parts of a website together can be time consuming. ALEC creative takes care of all of this for you. Get in touch to get your website taken care of by us.
Passionate about creating purposeful & strategic websites that embody your business.
"Working with Aoife was incredible ! Her attention to detail and ability to turn such a simple idea into something so detailed is amazing and I couldn’t be happier with the website. From start to finish she was so organised, helpful and driven. Anything I asked was done and no questions were left unanswered. I can’t wait to work with Aoife again in the future. Incredibly trust worthy and excellent at what she does! Thank you Aoife!"
"We recently employed ALEC Creative to refresh our website & we were beyond delighted with what they did.
Aoife was wonderful to work with– she provided guidance & support where we needed, putting forward creative ideas & concepts that suited our brand vision so well.
We will continue to use ALEC Creative going forward and would highly recommend to anyone in need of a website design/redesign."