What is hosting?
It’s really just renting some space for your website files on secure server. The internet accesses these files so that your website can be viewed.
To have a website online, you must have website files – the design, content and platform/system files. These must be stored somewhere so that when someone visits your domain name, they can view your files.
This is much like renting a house. The website files are like your furniture and they must be stored somewhere. Truth is they can be stored on any computer, but computers are destined for trouble. House fire, viruses, power failures… then your site would be offline.
The larger companies provide security, backups and maintenance.
I have heard of hosting for $150 which supposedly includes all kinds of services. I personally think that if you’re paying more than $30 a month, then it’s too much. My charges range from $15 through to $25 plus GST.
Open Source Software
We believe the most important thing when choosing the platform or type of website you are going to use, is to make sure that it’s developed using open source code. Open source refers to a program in which the source code is available to the general public for use and/or modification from its original design. This means that should you become unhappy with the developer, for any reason, you are free to pick up your website and go elsewhere – you own it.
Proprietary software or closed source software is usually licensed under exclusive legal right of the copyright holder with the intent that the licensee is given the right to use the software only under certain conditions. In other words, you’re stuck with that developer.
Isatrin only uses open source websites.
Consider the framework of a house; this is the functionality of your website. Designers are architects and developers are builders. When you build a house, you want to own it in the end. Today you have two types of websites you can purchase;
- proprietary software where the builder owns it,
- or open source software where you own it.
A domain name is an address on the internet.
Just as your street address must be unique so that the post office can deliver mail to you, your domain name must be unique so your email can reach you and customers can visit your website.
If Lisa, Mark and Jay lived at Isatrin.com, then their email would be delivered to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Domain names should only cost $40-$50 annually.
So then what’s an IP address?
Every computer connected to the internet has its own address which is actually a set of numbers such as 126.96.36.199, which is called the computer’s Internet Protocol (IP) address.
It would be similar to your mailbox having its longitude and latitude as its address. It’s harder to remember the numbers, so DNS allows you to assign a domain name, such as google.com, to your IP address.
Still confused? No worries – everyone learns a different way, happy to meet for a coffee and chat some more.