Servers and domain names
A domain name is simply the text someone would type into their browser to get to your site. For example, Whitelancer Web Development's domain name is "whitelancer.com". These names are generally very cheap — you can find these for as little as $10 per year. Depending on the popularity of the name, or the extension (.com, .net, .org) the price may go up or down slightly. We generally use godaddy.com for registering names (but there are others), and they have a nice tool you can go and test to see if a name you might want is taken. Once you have your name, it's simply of configuring your registrar (godaddy, for instance) to point your domain name to your server. We have plenty of experience in setting up a variety of websites and will gladly assist you or handle it all together, if you wish.
Your web server will be where your files are actually stored. They do not get stored at your registrar — that is simply where browsers go to "ask directions" on how to get to your server. Whitelancer Web Development offers web hosting at various rates (please contact us for more information) but also work with other hosting companies to get your files online.
Hosting fees are generally pretty small, depending on what you want to accomplish. The trick is knowing what to look for. Many people will buy into cheap web hosting plans by a variety of companies all across the internet. The problem with these is that they are shared hosts, rather than being dedicated to only your files. A shared host is not bad for a personal site, but it can be less secure and less stable than a server dedicated to solely your site. We like to recommend clients look into "Virtual Private Servers", which is essentially taking one computer and setting aside a space for you and only you, and this gives you full access to the server if you need for items like setting up email accounts, changing spam filtering settings, setting up auto-responders, etc.
We have worked with many companies and many different environments and we are well versed in the entire spectrum of setting up a server, organizing your files and/or migrating your existing files, and getting the necessary programs established and working correctly on your server. We recommend avoiding shared hosting if you wish to have a business website, as virtual private servers are generally not that much more expensive but offer improved reliability and security, not to mention higher performance in serving your website to clients.
The process of getting your website developed and hosted is not as complex as it might sound, and we are happy to handle this coordination between moving your old site to a new web host (such as with us) so that your site is ready to go when you want it to be with no down time.