So you’re starting a website? Congrats!

You’ve known Big Red Jelly for being an expert marketing and branding agency. Well, guess what? We can also help get you found online with domain and hosting options available for your new website!

You may be wondering “What in the world is website hosting and why do I need it?” or maybe you are asking “Why can’t I use the website name that I want?” (Spoiler alert, it was taken by some 13-year-old kid who was messing around on the web). I’m sure there are a plethora of other questions you are facing. Let us help simplify things for you.

Here are 3 things you need in order to make your website go live:

1. Domain

To get started, you will need a domain. This is equivalent to a URL, or what people will type into the search bar to find your website. Think of the domain as your address. The postman arrives at your residence each day with your mail because someone put your address on the envelope. Similarly, web-surfers will arrive at your landing page when they type in your domain to their search bar. 

Domain names should be simple, explanatory, and easy to remember. More than likely, the domain name you choose will be the name of your company. The point is to get you found on an internet that is overwhelmed with information and other websites.

  • A good example of this is bigredjelly.com
  • A bad example would be thebigredjellydigitalagency.com 

Who would remember that long and confusing URL? Probably nobody. 

2. Website Hosting

Next, you need website hosting. This allows your website to exist on the internet. Think of this as an apartment complex. Big Red Jelly owns an “apartment complex” (aka server) that you can rent a space from (aka website hosting)! Servers are giant computers that send data to other, normal computers– they allow the internet to exist. Hosting provides a space for your website files, images, and text to live and be viewable on the internet. Remember, the address on the “front door” of your rented space will be the domain that you already chose. You can pay for website hosting month-to-month or year-to-year.

There are different options for hosting. Don’t just choose the cheapest option. You need to consider what your website will be used for, then determine what hosting option will support those uses.

If you have a family of 5, you don’t want to rent the cheapest, one bed-room apartment. No. You are going to have to pay a little more to get an apartment that fits the needs of your family.

Likewise, if you plan for your website to attract customers, relay various pages of information, support online two-way communication, sell products online and a variety of other things, then you will need to look at options beyond the first and cheapest available. Ultimately, you want your website to function well so that both you and your customers are happy. We can help you know which option you need.

Now let’s talk about your apartment (aka website) itself. 

3. CMS (Content Management System)

Last, don’t forget about the computer management system (CMS). This is essentially the “interior design” of your apartment. What does it look like? Is there a big red couch in the front room? Do you have hardwood floors or classy white tile? Is your décor style boho chic, or modern farmhouse? What are some of our favorite CMS platforms? WordPress, WIX, and Shopify!

Now think about a website.

What is the first thing you see—the images, the bolded words, the “chat now” feature? Designing through CMS allows you to create an aesthetic that is similar to your brand’s style. The layout of your website should be practical and simple to navigate. It should be interesting to look at and speak for your brand.

Without CMS, all you will have is an apartment door (aka domain name) and an empty apartment (aka website hosting) with nothing else to see.

There you have it—three simple things to check off your website do-to list to get you found online.

If you need any help along the way, reach out to people who have done it before to ask questions and get advice. Utilize branding experts, such as Big Red Jelly, to help you get your feet off the ground and prepare you with digital tools that will help you go a long way. Big Red Jelly is here to help you outgrow your competitors with a better brand and better digital.

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