THE LOW-DOWN ON DOMAINS
What is a Domain Name?
A domain name is simply another name for the web address of any website. For example, Google’s domain name is google.com and Amazon use amazon.co.uk in the UK. A domain name is like the front door address for a website.
Domains can have different extensions, such as .org or .net, and some are country specific, such as .co.uk. They can also have sub-domains, such as books.amazon.com or analytics.google.com.
Do I Need a Domain Name?
It’s possible to run a website without buying a domain name, but you’ll have to host it within another company’s website. This takes away some of the control and ownership you have over your content. An example of this is WordPress.com where you can host your blog on a sub-domain of their website, eg: mywebsite.wordpress.com
For branding purposes, and building your site’s value in the long term, it’s well worth having your own domain name. It means you own it and no-one else has a say in your site. And, since they only cost around £10 per year, there’s no reason not to.
I Already Have a Domain Name!
If you already have a domain name for your website, then don’t worry, you can use that on this course. You might still need to set up a new hosting account, though, if you don't have one already. We'll cover that on the next unit.
If you have hosting too, then that’s great, you don't have to worry about this or the next task: you’re all set up already. Move on to installing your website.
The most common situation, though, is that you need hosting AND a domain. In that case, you'll buy a hosting account AND a domain name at the same time. If that's you, then keep reading below.