Periodically my clients email or call me with website questions about website issues that could cause a lot of confusion or hassle if not dealt with correctly.
When your life doesn’t revolve around website maintenance, the way mine does, the process can seem, well, byzantine. Navigating the waters of website ownership can be really frustrating.
Let’s look at some of the common confusion points for website owners, and what they can do to ease the confusion:
1. Hosting, Domain Names, Website Fees, OH MY!
Hosting, domain name registration, the cost of building a website, and monthly maintenance fees (Design & Develop doesn’t charge those, BTW) often get lumped into one big jumble for a lot of website owners. However, depending on how you set things up, you could be dealing with multiple companies.
This is fine and normal. Just because you register your domain with a company (for example, rhymes with SlowBaddy) doesn’t mean you want to host with them!
Here’s a comparison to help you decode the parts of your website:
|Website Term||House Term|
|Hosting||Your home’s property|
|Domain Name||Your home’s address|
|Website||The house itself|
|Maintenance Fees||Property Taxes|
2. Domain Name Renewal Notices
You’ll get domain name renewal notices via email, and sometimes in the normal mail. Some of these notices are legitimate; some of these notices are soliciting you to switch providers, but doing it in an extremely sneaky way. It’s often difficult to tell the difference.
I recommend keeping records of your hosting and domain registration in an accessible spot for reference in this situation. Make sure the name of the companies match your records, so you don’t get scammed into swapping providers by accident.
3. Security Certificates
Another annual renewal item, security certificates have become almost mandatory on the internet to be taken seriously as a business. At time of writing, Google has been sending out notifications that they will begin displaying non-security-certificate-using sites as not secure:
Starting October 2017, Chrome (version 62) will show a ‘NOT SECURE’ warning when users enter text in a form on an HTTP page, and for all HTTP pages in Incognito mode.
There are a few options for getting a website security certificate. Your website host will likely sell you one, given a certificate can cost upto $100 Canadian a year!
Should you get a security certificate for your site? Absolutely. If you need help implementing security certificate, drop me an email for a 30 minute website consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hopefully this article has helped you to understand a little bit more about the basics of your website and how to avoid getting lost in a mess.
Do you still have questions? Leave me a comment and I’ll try to answer in my next Q&A blog post!