Blog Post #7: Types of Websites (Part I) and What is Web Hosting Exactly?

  The Great Web Bear

Blog Post #7

Types of Websites (Part I) and What is Web Hosting Exactly?

By: Shando Darby – Senior Vice President & Marketing of Ursinet Hosting

A company always wants to have an engaged and energized customer base. They want to have clients that are excited by the products or services they are offering. The more you, the client/customer, is happy, the more a company loves producing those products and services. With Ursinet Hosting, I want as many people as I can connect with to have a domain. I truly believe every person should have a domain and enjoy it to its full potential! Even if you feel like you know nothing about computers, you should still have a web presence! In this blog posting and in the next few, I want to break down the types of websites one could own and operate with one’s own domain. I will also answer the question ‘What is Web Hosting?’ and all that web hosting encompasses in this blog.

In my lifetime, I’ve had several types of web presences. Of course it didn’t start with my own domain. It was through third-party venues such as AOL, Yahoo and Myspace (I’m dating myself there!). One can think of the personal profile on a site as a sort of “beginner website.” You arrange and create the content, you somewhat control it (although under the terms and agreements you make with said provider) and you control who sees it to a degree by making your profile private or public. However, the buck stops there. You can only talk about so much in a profile due to strict TOS (Terms of Service) standards. Providers only give you so much space on their service to describe yourself. With your own domain, though, not only can you include photos and videos (or at least links to videos), you can make a site map with multiple pages. You can start blogs of your own and even sell items of almost any kind! Plus, you would be in full control of the content, how much of there is, and who can see it by creating your own security and/or passwords!

The Personal Website

This type of website is where one can introduce themselves to the world through all the facets that make up YOU! You can be as descriptive as you would like, talk about the place(s) where you were raised and other interesting facts about your life. I currently have shandodarby.com, where you can learn more about me personally and my interests. My partner, Joseph Hayden, also has one: haydennet.com. I want to do more with it as some point, but it is a start. This is probably the most simple and basic type of website to own. You aren’t trying to make money, so you aren’t necessarily interested in trying to get as many visitors to your site as possible. It is something for your friends and family to see for the most part. Now you could ask, “Isn’t that what my Facebook profile is for?” and I would say yes, BUT your profile on Facebook is owned by that corporation, controlled by them, and information on how to market to you and others is being collected constantly by that profile, which is one of the more frustrating things about Facebook. That’s why it’s free, because they are collecting so much information on you so that they can profit from other companies who want to sell directly to you and your interests. With a personal domain, an outside company isn’t collecting data on your buying interests unless you specifically set the parameters, and if that’s what you want to do, then YOU would collect the monetization. You own the complete rights to your domain and its contents. Another thing to consider when you have a profile with any company is that they could go under or be bought out by another company.  While most would give you a warning, you could lose all your information, photos and contacts, which may have taken years to accumulate.  So much for having a “backup” in the Myspace cloud! With a domain, you own it for as long as you want to (for life or beyond), and the information on it would not disappear unless you decide to delete it from the server.

Another reason to have a domain is that you can pretty much say whatever you want and not end up in “Facebook Jail” (the TOS I was referring to above). Many of my friends have had suspended accounts on Facebook because they said one thing that one person found offensive or posted a photo that falls outside the rules of Facebook. On your domain, you get the freedom to post almost anything, unless of course it is so outrageous, illegal and dangerous that it could land you in real jail! You don’t have to worry about breaking the rules, because you make your own rules on the domains you own. It can be family friendly, PG-13 and heck, even “X-rated”!

To sum up, a personal domain can you be viewed as a diary, journal or even a autobiography, but one that you want to share with the world to whatever extent you wish. You can share many details on your life and how you look at life in general. It can be entertaining to you and those you decide to share it with.

What is Web Hosting?

Think of your website as the furniture and belongings in a home. You provide the necessary things that go in your home. A web hosting company is your foundation, walls and roof. They “house” all your content that you create on your website.

You also have to register your domain. It is a requirement for your website so that it appears on the Internet. Otherwise, no one will see it and all your content, photos, videos and commerce.

A website goes on a server and that server delivers the webpage to the Internet. It involves coding  that is specific to your website called Domain Name Services (DNS). Think of it as specific identification so that it is recognized as your site under your domain name.  

These are the basic requirements and building blocks that a domain is required to have so that it may be seen on the Internet.

Part II to this blog will go into other examples of websites such as a typical e-commerce site and a portfolio type of website for the professional.

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