The first thing business owners ask, when they are new to the online world, is what they need to do to get a web site. I will break this down in layman’s terms because I think it’s important to understand all the aspects of owning a web site, even if you are not technically inclined.
A web site basically needs two things to exist; a domain name and a hosting provider.
The domain name is equivalent to your street address. It’s where a computer user will find your website. e.g.. www.refreshenweb.ca. A domain name is registered with a registrar. You never really ‘own’ a domain name. It’s yours to use for as long as you register it through yearly renewal. Most domain names are $15 to $22 per year. Anyone can buy a domain name from a licensed registrar and have it sit there, or as they call it ‘park it’, until a website is ready to be developed. Most hosting companies are able to register names for you.
Your website is stored at a hosting provider which is a company that rents out space on their server for you to have your web site files stored. They sell this as a hosting package. This can range in price from $9.99 to $14.99 per month, depending on the amount of space you need and the traffic that will be going to your web site.
You do not need to have your domain name with the same hosting provider. For example, I could register the name with one company and then have it pointed towards the hosting provider that I choose. Personally, I like to keep everything in one place so I’m only dealing with one invoice. Most companies that have hired me have opted for my Web Site Maintenance Package. I charge $25/month to cover domain name registration and hosting costs, a discounted hourly editing rate, and free CMS core updates.
CMS stands for Content Management System. Some of the more recognizable names are WordPress, Drupal, Joomla. My preference is WordPress and I exclusively design with it. The great thing about WordPress and other CMS sites, is that it allows a company to make changes themselves, should they want to. When the time comes to ‘refresh’ their site by changing the theme or redesigning within the given theme, the cost of doing so, basically comes down to an hourly cost.