Domain Names and Web Hosting

Before you can get started in your venture to make some extra easy cash online you should understand a little bit about how domain-names and web hosting works. I will also talk about free hosting solutions which you can use and are perfectly OK to help you start off without having to pay for domains and hosting.

A domain name in simple terms is a name in which you type in to your web browser to access a website. For example Google.com is the domain we use to access the Google website. The.com part at the end is what is called a domain extension and there are many different extensions you can register, for example.net. org. co.uk and many others. Some domains such as.edu (Education) and.gov (Government) are restricted for the appropriate professional organizations to register. When registering a domain name it must not have any special characters, you can only use A-Z 0-9 and the – (dash) character.

Domain names are very inexpensive with many costing on average of 5 per year for registration. To register domain names you can buy them from places such as GoDaddy or NameCheap. I personally prefer NameCheap.

So how do domain-names work? Every computer or server on the internet has an ip address which is a set of 4 numbers. An ip address looks something like 12.345.67.89. Because these numbers are complicated and difficult to remember, the Domain Name System (DNS) was created. The DNS holds records of every domain name and which IP address (the ip address of your web host) is associated to it.

For example the ip address 66.154.38.209 of the web server where my website easycash.org.uk is hosted. If you type in to your browser 66.154.38.209 you can see you will get my EasyCash.org.uk website.

When people type easycash.org.uk what happens is the Domain-Name-System points your browser to the IP address 66.154.38.209.

Now that we know how domains work lets go over the actual web hosting. Many web hosting packages are now extremely cheap and the cost of running a website for 12 months is not a lot of money. My current preferred web host is HostGator.com. Prices there start at around 3 per month for a simple package up to 15 per month for a reseller package. With a reseller package you can host as many websites as you like (you still have to pay for the domain registration).

Once you have signed up for a web host they will provide you with (usually in your welcome email) their NameServers. NameServers sometimes come in the format of an IP address like we talked about earlier or may look like ns1.yourwebhost.com & ns2.yourwebhost.com. Once you have your nameservers from your web host you need to login to the account where you registered your domain name and set them up.

There are websites out there that will allow you to host your website for free, however they generally don’t allow you to use your own domain name. You will be assigned a domain that will look something like yourdomain.freewebhost.com.

Two of the biggest and best free we hosts are webs.com and tripod.com. Both of those also offer great packages for building your website and make building a website very very easy. Building a website in general can be simple and I would always advise you to build a site on your domain and web hosting over the free solutions where possible.