The three things you must have to get your website online
Getting online in Ireland can sometimes seem confusing. It’s not that it’s hard to do, it’s just that there’s a lack of concise information out there. Hopefully, this article will be of use to those of you thinking about doing it soon. To get online you only need three things, think of them as the “Internet Trinity”: Your web address, your online storage and a way to display your information.
A domain name (“www.” your web address)
The domain name is your web address (e.g. www.strikewebdesign.com), you get this from a domain name registrar. If you’re going to be selling to people outside Ireland or hope to expand internationally than a “.com” domain is what you should be aiming for. If you are a local business selling in Ireland only, then you may prefer to buy a “.ie” domain, which is also more likely to be available. This is where things can get a little sticky, as”.ie” domains are regulated by the Irish government and you need to prove your affiliation to Ireland. If you’re a business then you just need to provide your Irish company number, if you’re an individual you need to write a statement explaining why you should be awarded a “.ie” domain. Of course, this can normally be done online through the registrar’s website. Here’s a link to a list of “.ie” registrars.
The cost of your domain name depends on the registrar and what type of domain you are registering. I wouldn’t expect to pay more than 20 euro per year for a “.ie” domain and not more than 10 euro per year for “.com” or “.co.uk”.
A web host (online storage)
Next, you need a web host. In its simplest form, this is just online storage like the hard drive inside your computer, but it’s permanently connected to the internet. When people type in your web address (domain name) and hit go, they will be sent to your web host which is where your website is “hosted”. It doesn’t matter where your web host is located as long as you feel you can trust the hosting company with all your website data.
As the services offered by these companies change regularly I recommend you search for some “web host reviews” to get an idea of what other people think. This is also important as a bad web hosting company could be running a slow service and visitors will not stay long on your website if it takes a long time to load.
The cost of web space varies from provider to provider so it’s best to shop around, as a guide I wouldn’t expect to pay more than 40 to 50 euro per year. However, you can often expect to get a better deal if you sign up for more than a year. You can also buy your domain name at the same time through your hosting company which saves time but might not be the best deal.
A website (a way to display your content)
Finally your website and content, this is basically just a document saved on your hosting account which anyone using the internet can navigate to and read. At this point, you will either want to pay someone to design and build it for you which is the most expensive option but normally has the best results, or do it yourself from scratch, possibly with an online site builder. Unless you are very knowledgeable this is the least recommended option but it is the cheapest, we offer a reviewing service if you just want someone to look over your work and give you some pointers.
Alternatively, we’ve come up with a third option, which is a bit of both. It involves installing a piece of software called WordPress onto your web hosting. This is a great option as once it’s installed you have a website up and running, you just need to add your content and customize the layout, this can easily be done using a free or paid “Theme” of your choice. WordPress is what’s known as a CMS (Content Management System) which means you can log in and update it as often as you like, without help from anyone else, saving you money. You’ll need to make sure your web hosting is compatible with WordPress, these days most are. If you get stuck, need some training or you just want someone to perform the installation for you and make sure it’s secure, we offer that service. so get in touch through our contact page or browse our services, we’ll be happy to help!
Hopefully, this article has given you a basic understanding of the three most important components required to get you online. Happy interneting!