- 26th Nov, 2013
Newcomers to the Internet faced with the prospect of taking their businesses online can understandably be confused by both the process and the terminology, so let’s begin at the beginning.
The first step is to register a domain name which is unique, much like a registered trading name. You can register a domain name yourself but there are advantages in having a reputable website developer do this. The name in text corresponds to a numeric address of a computer on the internet where a website resides. The domain name is what users type into an Internet browser to access a particular website. Sometimes it is called the ‘address’ or URL (Uniform Resource Locator) of a website.
Registering a domain name is the Internet world’s way of buying a business property with a few significant differences worth noting from buying a bricks and mortar shop. The first of these is that you don’t immediately have to do anything with the domain name. It’s yours as long as you pay for registration. You may want to secure your place in cyberspace and simply have an email account in the name of your domain until the time comes to launch your website. And, unlike a bricks and mortar business property there are no valuations required, no council rules to comply with, no legal opinion required or environmental constraints when and if you decide to develop your website.
In each country a number of organisations exist to manage the registration of domain names and to ensure that separate businesses don’t register the same name.
Most people today will have seen a typical Australian website address, like our company’s website, www.suncoastwebsolutions.com.au. This unique Internet address is comprised of www, which stands for World Wide Web, the company name and what is called an extension, “.com.au”. Each domain name extension has a different use. “.com” is the top level domain name extension.
The “.au” relates to Australia, “.nz” for New Zealand etc. . . “.asn” is the extension used by an association and “.org” is used by organisations many of whom are in the non or not for profit sector.
Moving into cyberspace your business will need a company to ‘host’ your website and store your valuable business data. Websites are ‘hosted’ on computers called servers. The range of hosting options is extensive and cheapest is not always best.
In the interests of ensuring a reliable website for your business ask the hosting company the following questions: what backups do you offer, how secure is my data, can I use software tools that allow me to add new email addresses and view my website statistics.