The How-To, the What-Where of Web Hosting
WWW = WHAT WHAT WHAT?
.com, .net, .org, .tv, .com.au, .com.pl, .net.fr, or .org.nz. If you’re reading these words, you are reading them on a website that probably has one of these dot-whatevers in the website name. These are Domain Names, and they are part of the Domain Name System (DNS) system that administers the Internet. The three biggest top-level domain names are .com, .net, and .org. Anything after those, usually the two-letter initials, such as .ca or .jp, are country codes, the latter being for Japan, and the former for Canada. The United States has no country code – kind of a reward for inventing the Internet and the DNS – so all generic top-level DNS addresses are, by default, American.
If you want your own website, such as ‘ourfamilyname-dot-com,’ it’s easy. You have to go to a domain name registry, and you purchase the domain name, if it’s not already taken, that is. If your name is Fred Smith, it’s perfectly legal for a guy named Igor Oblomov to own the domain name of ‘fredsmith.com.’ Since domain names are in high demand, a lot of them are already purchased by entrepreneurs hopeful that you really, really want your own domain name. You know, want it enough so that you shell out big bucks for it. Since most common household names are already taken, you might have to get creative, and maybe add your middle name, or make it more customizable to your situation, like: ‘myfamilynameincolorodo.com.’
Web Hosting at Your New Domain
Once you have a site with .com or .net, you then have to make web content. This requires programming in a langage called Hypertext Markup Language, or HTML. The Internet is chock-full of sites that will teach you how to do this. Once you have a functioning webpage, you then have to purchase web hosting. Web hosting is purchasing space on a computer that has a dedicated connection to the Internet. You then link your domain name to your web hosting service, and voila, you have a unique location on the Internet thanks to web hosting