Domains, Hosting, SSL – What You Need To Know
As a business owner, you might have a pretty clear vision for your website. You’ve probably got a basic idea of what your logo will look like and maybe what colors you want to use. If you’re really on the ball, you might even have a plan for creating some great page content.
But what about all the technical stuff? 😱
Maybe you’ve done a little Googling and realized there’s a lot to learn … domain registration? Hosting? SSL? It can feel like trying to learn a new language and in a lot of ways, it is!
So if you’re just starting out and feeling a bit overwhelmed, consider this your Website 101 crash course. Once you have the basic terms down, you’ll find it’s much less intimidating than it seems.
Q. What’s a domain name? Why do I need to register?
A. I’m starting you off with an easy one here. Your domain name is what we commonly think of as a website address. So it will look something like yournamehere.com. See? Easy peasy!
The secret to choosing a great domain name is to make it as simple as possible for users to remember: think intuitive spelling, easy to pronounce, etc. And you will win huge bonus points from search engines if your domain name contains keywords that relate to the services you provide. For example, if you’re a mechanic, joesautorepair.com is a better bet than joesgarage.com.
Domain registration is a little more complicated. Registering your domain name means that you’re effectively buying the right to use that name and taking it off the market. The trick here is going to be finding the right name for your website and finding a name that isn’t already taken.
There are plenty of sites out there that offer domain registration, but I’m partial to one solution in particular. More on that later. 😉
Q. What is website hosting and why do I need it?
A. Think of hosting the way you’d think about paying rent. Your website is composed of data that takes up space. That data needs a place to call home and that home is on a server. Hosting is simply a service that gives all the files of data that make up your website a place to live.
Just like domain registration, there are many companies that offer this service for a variety of fees. Many DIY website builders offer domain registration and hosting together, which saves you the hassle of shopping for each separately. DIY website companies work hard to seem approachable and easy for the consumer, but they come with some serious drawbacks as well – as I’m sure you’ve guessed, we have some opinions on this. 😉
You can read David’s thoughts on the DIY vs. custom website debate, right here!
Q. How can I make sure my clients’ data is secure on my website?
A. Data security is a huge topic! But the baseline thing you MUST do is make sure your site has an SSL certificate. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. Your SSL certificate ensures that any data transmitted between your website and your users is encrypted and inaccessible to hackers.
Beyond protecting your users’ sensitive data (think social security numbers or credit card info), having a valid SSL certificate will boost your SEO.
Not sure if your site is protected? If you’re already enrolled in our membership program, I’ve got great news – SSL configuration is included in your membership. You’re good to go! 🙌
If you’re not a CY member yet, here’s how to tell if your site has SSL installed … visit your website and look up at the address bar. If your web address starts with HTTPS, SSL is in place on your site. If it just says HTTP, then getting an SSL certificate needs a spot on your to-do list.
Here’s a quick guide to getting a FREE SSL certificate for your website (or, keep scrolling to learn how CY can handle this for you!).
We can’t talk about data security without talking about passwords. With all the recent news about stolen customer information, it’s critical that we are doing everything we can as business owners to protect customer data.
Control Yours always recommends that you use a password manager like 1Password. A password manager means that you don’t have to remember multiple passwords for every account you have (think your site password, your email marketing service, your payment processing account, etc.)
Storing all your password data with a management service means you save yourself the headache of securing and remembering all your passwords, plus you’ll sleep a little better knowing you’re keeping sensitive customer data safe as well.🔒
Q. Is there some kind of one-stop, website shop where I can make all this stuff happen??
A. YES!! I’m sure you saw this one coming. 😂 Control Yours manages all the digital nuts and bolts so that you don’t have to.
We offer a terrific membership program that takes care of all the technical stuff for your website. It’s easy and convenient and comes with awesome perks, like 30 minutes of complimentary support per month AND creative recommendations from our expert team.
Still have questions? No problem. That’s what we’re here for. 😉 Send us an email or give us a call!