While the delivery of a website to your browser appears simple, many elements come together seamlessly to deliver resources for that website. For example, when you type a domain in your address bar, that domain is checked against a massive database of registered domains to find the correct IP address for your website’s server. This is an example of only one of the many process involved in the delivery of a modern website.
What Is Needed For A WordPress Website?
A few things are required to maintain an active WordPress website:
- Annual Domain Registration – Unique domain names, such as google.com, are used to reference the IP address of a website, and they require annual registrations.
- A Database – This is where your website’s data and important settings are stored. All WordPress websites require a database to operate.
- Hosting Services – This is where your website’s files reside to be accessed by the public. Modern hosting providers are extremely reliable, and the cost is usually less than the cost of managing a physical server.
Tip: Some hosting providers offer all of the services required to operate a website in a cost saving bundle. Modern WordPress managed hosting platforms offer streamlined domain registrations, along with automatic CMS configurations, which simplifies the process of setting up a website.
The Primary Domain
A website’s primary domain is a unique identifier which directs visitors to your website. The cost for registering a domain varies, and competition is heavy among the many registrars. Domain registrations are frequently included for free in modern hosting packages, as the cost is usually small in comparison to the cost of the hosting services. Choosing a domain name is similar to choosing a company name and it requires careful consideration.
Some things you will need to know to register a domain:
- Administrative Contact Details – A contact designated to managing the domain name.
- Technical Contact Details – The contact designated to manage the name servers of the domain.
- Billing Contact Details – The contact responsible for receiving billing invoices from the domain registrar.
Some things to consider when choosing a domain name include:
- Length – Is the domain too long?
- Complexity – Is the domain memorable & easy to enter?
- Keywords – Does the domain contain industry keywords?
- Copyright – Does the domain avoid copyright infringement?
Tip: Try to imaging yourself entering your own domain in the address bar. What issue might you run into?
A database is a collection of data. A website’s database is a collection of data online where your website’s regularly accessed information is stored. To WordPress, a database is just as important as the source code. This means an accessible database is just as important to a WordPress website as reliable hosting.
Some things to consider when setting up a database:
- Security – Is your data secured from the latest security threats?
- Compatibility – Is your database compatible with your chosen CMS?
- Accessibility – Is public access to your websites data reliable?
- Admin Tools / phpMyAdmin – What tools are provided to manage your website’s data?
The Hosting Provider
The hosting provider gives your website’s source code a place to live online. A hosting provider provides space for your websites files on their servers, making your website’s files available on demand. When someone types your website’s domain in the address bar, they are directed to these servers where they are provided with the source code to display the website.
Some things to consider when choosing a hosting provider:
- Shared Hosting – Is your website sharing the server with other potentially damaging or resource heavy websites?
- Hosting Resources – Are the server resources allocated to your website sufficient? Are they excessive?
- CMS Compatibility – Is your hosting compatible with your chosen CMS?
- Average Up Time – Does your hosting provider have a consistent record of reliability?
- Easy App Installs – Does your hosting provider offer automated installations of popular web applications, such as WordPress?
- Russell Aaron of WP Vegas inspired this additional tip – Be sure to consider what backup options any potential hosting provider offers. Automatic? Daily? Where are they stored? How are they accessed?