To get a website live at your own domain, there are a few requirements to consider. This bit can get a little technical but bear with us!
Your domain is like your online address: something like www.pragmatic-web.co.uk – it’s what people type in to find your website.
To use your own domain with any website, you must register the domain with a domain registrar. We like hover.com for this but 123-reg.co.uk and ukreg.com are common choices too, and quite capable when it comes to domain hosting.
Nameservers are the internet’s address look-up facility. When a computer wants to know where to send someone looking for a website at www.pragmatic-web.co.uk, it asks a nameserver where to find it – in return the nameserver gives the computer an IP address (something like 220.127.116.11) that’s the actual server address that the website lives at. The computer then sends its message directly to that IP address.
Usually, good domain hosting providers will give you free DNS (domain name server) management tools as part of a domain hosting package using their own nameservers. The bad ones make you pay extra for this and the worst ones don’t even offer it. So, it’s possible (and sometimes desirable or necessary) to use a different nameserver provider.
We will need access to the domain and/or nameserver hosting control panel, or will need you to make some DNS changes in order to put your new site live.
We don’t provide domain name hosting – read why here – but we can help you with this whole process, so don’t worry if that didn’t make any sense!
Website hosting and maintenance
Once you’ve got a domain and your site’s ready, you need to host the website somewhere and it’s really important to keep WordPress updated. We offer website hosting and maintenance for WordPress websites. Full details and pricing available here.
There are plenty of other WordPress website hosting options available: to run WordPress, you simply need a server that can handle PHP and a MySQL database. But to run WordPress really well, we’d always recommend using a specialist hosting provider like WPEngine.com
Backing up your website is very important. With database-driven websites like WordPress, it becomes even more important as content can change regularly. Regular, rolling backups are the best defence against file corruption, hacking, accidental deletion of site content, etc.
There are two options that we recommend:
- We include daily, rolling backups as part of our managed WordPress hosting service – however, this is only available to us, and you will be reliant on us to make any restores.
- Use a WordPress-provided service called VaultPress. This will backup (in real time) your database and files as well as providing further functionality, all accessible through a plugin within your WordPress CMS.
Further information about WordPress backups is available here: http://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Backups
Email and other supporting ‘infrastructure’
We can help you set up email and other services for use with your domain or website – just ask!
The aim of this article was to explain clearly what you’ll need to organise to run a WordPress site at your own domain. At its simplest, this is:
- A domain (with DNS management as part of the hosting package)
- Web hosting (which we can provide)
If you’d like to talk about hosting with us, or just getting some help working all this out, do get in touch.