Domain Names and Hosting

domaincloudWhere is your site hosted? Where is your domain name registered?

We get a lot of questions about these terms — domain name and hosting — and since one of the first things we need to do to launch your website is to answer those first two questions, it’s worth spending a little time explaining.

Your hosting account is where the files for your website will reside. It’s a server that holds your website. It is paid for monthly or annually. There are many companies in the country to choose from. Some are better than others for WordPress websites. And some are better than others for customer support. We recommend some — but whoever you use should have 24/7 customer support. When your website goes down, it can’t wait until Monday. Prices have changed dramatically over the last 20 years. Depending on your website’s needs, you can pay as little as $4-5 a month for hosting. It’s very affordable.

Your domain name is purchased separately. It is also paid for annually, and “points” to your hosting account. The domain name and the hosting account can be at the same company (such as GoDaddy, HostGator, etc.) or at separate companies.  It doesn’t matter. If you’re starting from scratch with a website, you may find it easier to purchase them simultaneously. But there’s no need to. Prices range from $12 to $35 a year.

Some organizations choose to purchase multiple domain names that will “point” to their single website/hosting account. For instance, one might choose two names that are closely aligned so that error-typing still leads to you.

About WordPress Themes

wpiconOne of the reasons WordPress has become so popular as a platform for websites is that it’s open source software, it’s free, it’s relatively easy to build and to maintain, and there are loads of themes to choose from.

WordPress themes are both free themes and paid. Resources regarding the open source software and many of the themes and plugins can be found at www.wordpress.org.

WordPress is installed (free) on your hosting account.

Thunder Communications uses a variety of well-designed themes; well designed refers both to the graphical design/functionality of the theme as well as to the back end. If the theme is gorgeous but your ability to update it is limited, then it’s not well designed. We use themes where the design is “built” according to what you desire. Customization is key to making a generic theme look like your organization.