Domain Name And Hosting FAQs

If you are creating a new website or reconsidering your existing domain name and hosting arrangement, this post is for you. We cover the basics to help you understand how to choose your domain name and your hosting.

What’s A Domain Name?
What Advice Can You Give Me For Selecting A Domain Name?
What Is Hosting And Why Do I Need It?
What About Free Hosting?
What Type Of Hosting Should I Buy?
What Does FTP Mean?

Think of a domain name like a home address and hosting as the house itself.

What’s A Domain Name?

A domain name is the web address you type in your Internet browser to visit a website, e.g., SporkMarketing.com. When you type “SporkMarketing.com” into your browser, you arrive at our home page. Domain names can only contain letters and numbers; no special characters or spaces are allowed.

Domain names can be registered with a variety of endings. The most popular domain name endings include:

  • .com – Best for business websites
  • .net – Less desirable than .com but a reasonable alternative.
  • .org – Often associated with non-profits, .org domain names are available for any purpose and are also a reasonable alternative to .com domains.
  • .info – Technically no different than .com and .net. However, .info domains are sometimes associated with spam. Therefore, a .net or .com is a better choice.

What Advice Can You Give Me For Selecting A Domain Name?

A great domain name is reasonably short, easy to remember, and ends in “.com.” Unfortunately, these kinds of domain names are a little harder to find every day.

Here are some general guidelines to help you find a good business domain name:

  • YourBusinessName.com is the best possible domain name you can buy, provided of course your business name isn’t too long (three to four words max).
  • WhatYouDo.com is also a good domain name, where “WhatYouDo” is your occupation or trade, e.g., ColoradoFamilyDoctor.com, DenverTaxAttorney.com, etc.
  • Avoid domain names with dashes, i,e,. Your-Business-Name.com. Dashes are hard to remember and hard to type (and they make your site look a little spammy too).
  • Beware of odd or clever spellings (or misspellings) of common words because they’re usually hard for people to remember.

If you’re having trouble finding the domain name you want, think about synonyms you can use. You can also try out a domain name generator like Namify to help you find an available domain name.

Some other things to consider when choosing your domain name:

  • If you offer a professional service, consider using your title and name – DrKoop.com, for example.
  • If you are trying to rank for a particular keyword or keyword phrase, a keyword-rich domain name is an excellent first step. Learn more about choosing a domain name here.
  • In the auto parts world, you could be hard-pressed to find a domain name. In this other Spork Marketing blog post, we give you even more tips for getting creative with your parts ecommerce domain.

What Is Hosting And Why Do I Need It?

If you imagine that a domain name (such as SporkMarketing.com) is like an address (say, 123 Main St.), then hosting would be the house that your website lives in. Hosting is needed because without it you have no place for your website to live.

However, hosting is often provided by ecommerce platforms. Shopify and BigCommerce provide hosting services as part of the monthly fee.

What About Free Hosting?

Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as free hosting. There’s ad-supported hosting, but it’s not conducive to business and is not recommended.

If I Need To Buy Hosting, What Should I Buy?

Hosting comes in a lot of different configurations. The answer will depend on the site you’re trying to build and what you’re trying to do. Generally speaking, small business owners can get by with an inexpensive hosting account.

Additionally, your hosting is only as good as your designer/developer. If your designer/developer writes fast, clean code, you can get by with cheap hosting. If your designer writes poor-quality, bloated website code, you’ll likely need expensive hosting to get decent performance.

You can see the hosting companies we recommend listed here.

Again, if you’re using an ecommerce provider like Shopify or BigCommerce, you don’t need to buy hosting.

What Does FTP Mean?

FTP, which stands for File Transfer Protocol, is a method of moving files across the Internet from one computer to another. If someone has asked you for FTP information (or SFTP information, which is secure file transfer protocol), what they’re looking for is your FTP address (likely your domain name or an IP address), a login, and A password.

NOTE: FTP is a direct path to your website and all its data. Be sure to protect your FTP information and choose a very secure password for your FTP login.

To Sum Up

Every website needs a domain name, or address (like sporkmarketing.com), for people to access it. Every website also needs hosting, like a house, for the website to live in. There’s no such thing as free hosting. You get what you pay for, so choose wisely. Be sure to choose a domain name that is short, easy to type, and easy to remember.

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Auto parts in the cardbox. Automotive basket shop. Auto parts store.