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Web Hosting & Domains

So, what is 'Hosting' and what is a 'Domain'? A Domain is the allocated address of a website, such as ''. It is both the address of the site itself and an address where people can mail messages to, using the @ symbol, as in a standard email address. It is also the place on the web where the files for the website 'live' and are stored, just like for a personal address. If you want to own and run your own independent website, or own your own email address, where you can add just about any name you want '@' (at) that address (such as, or, you will need to decide on and purchase a Domain Name, just like having to purchase or rent a property if you want to live in that property, make it look and feel the way you want, and to receive mail there. What you buy is the Domain Name, such as '', which gives you the right and the ability to host a website at this address and to set up email addresses at this address.
A domain is made up of of two parts; the name (first) part before the period (full stop), such as 'sekureit' and the second part after the period, with what's called the Top Level Domain (TLD), like '.com', '', '.net', etc.. The top Level Domain is a few letters which are often an abbreviation of a country's name, such as .fra (France), .jp (Japan), etc., but there are many more that aren't country codes, like .com, .net, .ed, etc. However, even if you see a top level name that is a country code, that does not mean that the website necessarily has anything to do with that country.
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It may do - and it's certainly a good idea to use a country code that is suitable for your website - but there is absolutely nothing to stop anyone buying or using any top level domain for any specific use, other than the rules that relate to the general use of all top level domains and their content.
When you type in the address of a website into the address bar of your browser, the Server 'serves' the content of the website page to your browser, in much the way that you might serve someone a drink at a party. They don't get everything in your house, only what you offer or what they ask for; in the case of a website, the website's home page. The extra information after the main domain is simply the name of another page on the site, or information that has been requested from that site, usually by clicking on a link, or by using a search or similar form entry on the site. Simple terms like 'customerservice.html' are just the file name of another page on that website, whereas other terms that include symbols like '?', '$', '%' and '&' are either the result of a search of one type or another, or a page result that has been deliberately obscured, so that it can't easily be hacked, copied, forwarded, or stored.
'Hosting' is what an Internet Server does. It stores and provides web pages, images, videos, links, downloads and all of the other 'stuff' on the web to your computer, laptop, or phone. If you want to run your own website, firstly you will need to decide on a domain name and a Top Level Domain. In the address ''. Sekureit is the Domain Name and .com is the Top Level Domain. Put together with the protocol (https://, www., etc.), they make up a URL, or 'Uniform Resource Locator'. Typing this into any Browser will get you to that website's home page, or whichever page on a site that URL actually points to. The next steps in getting your website hosted is to find a Hosting Company and then to design, code and upload your website to the Host Server.
You can do this all yourself, using web code like HTML, PHP, CSS, ETC., or you can simply use website design software to put your website together, which is usually provided free by most Hosting companies. Alternatively, you can use a company which will generate and host your website using one of their templates and host it on a Sub-Domain on their servers, such as Wordpress, with companies like WP Engine, SiteGround, DreamHost and Bluehost. This is one of the most common ways of getting a website online nowadays, as it's fairly easy and most people can do it, even if they are not particularly tech savvy - if you can use a smartphone or a laptop, then you too can create and run your own website!
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The question is,
would you want to own and run your own website? The main reason for many people, is to earn money from it. Most sites have some way of making money, whether they are obvious or not. Sites like Amazon, Ebay, John Lewis, Argos, etc., are clearly there to sell something, or to make a percentage from selling things for other people. Some sites are not so obvious, like blogging sites about recipes, or being a mum, etc., but these sites and almost all sites (including ours) attempt to make money from advertising of one sort or another.
However, you might just want to share your family information and photos with the rest of your family (and the rest of the world, don't forget, unless you password protect your site!), or try to change the world in onw way or another (for good or for bad, unfortunately). Whatever your reasons, there is very little to stop you from running your own website, it doesn't have to cost much (or possibly, anything at all), or even take up much of your time. So, if you have an idea for a site, or just want an email address that really is your own, why not give it a go!
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This page was last updated on: 08 November 2023
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