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Getting Started

Web hosting basics

There are four main steps to getting  your website up and running online:

Step  1: Register your domain name.
Step  2: Sign up for a web hosting plan.
Step  3: Design and program your website.
Step  4: Upload your website files to your web hosting provider.

If you don't know what a domain name  is, what a web hosting plan is, or what the heck "MySQL" is, then read this  article. Blue Morpho's mission is to make the web work for you. So we've  provided this article that takes you through these steps and explains  everything in layman's terms.

Step  1. Register your domain name.

  A domain name is also referred to as a  URL or web address. It's whatever comes after "www" when you start typing a  website into the top bar of your web browsing program. So if you make ice  cream, you may want your domain name to be "tastyicecream," as in Is the name you want available? Find out here.

              When choosing a domain name, think  about that name in the larger context of your marketing and business plan. If  you sell ice cream now, but have plans to expand into candy in a couple of  years, you may want to choose a domain name that can grow with your business.  (For example, instead of

Also think about a name that's easy to  remember. If you end your radio ads with your domain name, or if you want  people to tell their friends about your website, try to choose a simple name  that's easy to spell and can only be spelled one way. (For example, if you tell  someone to visit your website at "Number One Tasty Treats Dot Com," the  listener isn't sure if that's spelled "" or "".)  Before you purchase a domain name, you may want to ask friends, family or  colleagues what they think of the name. How would they spell it? Is it easy to  remember? What type of business do they think it is? etc.

You can also have more than one domain  name point to the same website. In the example above, you may want to purchase  both ""  and ""  in order to promote your ice cream and candy products separately, and to make  sure a competitor doesn't register that name. Domain names are very  inexpensive, so it's easy and affordable to have multiple domain names. Here at  Blue Morpho, they start at just $8.45 per year.

Step  2. Sign up for a web hosting plan.

Once you have your domain name  reserved, you need a place to keep your website files. Web hosts are companies  that provide file storage space on a server, along with internet connectivity.

I have the website files saved on my  computer, you may say. Isn't that enough? Actually, no, because the world  doesn't have access to your computer. (And that's a good thing!) Web hosts keep  your website files on a server that is accessible by the general public, if  they type in your domain name correctly. So web hosting is a key part of  getting your website online and making it visible on the World Wide Web.

Hosting plans come in many shapes and  sizes and offer many optional add-on features. Below are some descriptions of  common web hosting add-ons, what they do, and when you might need them for your  website.

MySQL  Database - MySQL (usually  pronounced "my-sequel") is a database system that makes it more efficient to  store and retrieve large amounts of data. If you have a simple website with  just text and images, you probably don't need a database system like MySQL. If,  however, your website includes a blog, an e-commerce shopping cart system, or  certain Content Management Systems (CMS), you probably do need a MySQL Database  in your hosting package.

Content  Management System (CMS) - These are systems that make it easy for regular people (not computer  programmers) to, literally, "manage the content" on their own websites. These  interfaces often mimic the look and feel of familiar programs like Microsoft  Word, making it quick and easy to go into your website and add or edit text or  photos. Content Management Systems are not a "feature" included with a hosting  plan, but if you're using a particular CMS on your website (such as Wordpress,  Movable Type, Joomla or Drupal), it's a good idea to ask if your hosting plan  can support it. Many web programmers also develop custom Content Management  Systems that are adapted from one of these popular platforms. If you're working  with a programmer, ask him or her to take a look at the hosting plans offered  by us at Blue Morpho, and he or she can tell you which one you'll need to run  your website.

Data  Transfer (also referred to  as "Bandwidth") refers to the amount of data that goes back and forth across a  network within a period of time. Hosting packages typically offer you a certain  amount of data transfer per month. The amount of data transfer you need depends  on two things: the size of your website and the number of times per month it's  being viewed. Here's an example. An average web page, with text and images, is  probably 30 KB in size. If your hosting plan includes  150 TB per month (as does the Basic hosting plan offered here at Blue Morpho),  then that single page on your website can be viewed 500,000 times during the month. You probably  only need to worry about data transfer if your website includes video. Because  video files are larger than text or image files, an average web page that  includes video may be 1 MB in  size instead of the "average" 30 KB for  just text and images.

Sub  Domains - Sub domains are  a way to group related pages together on a website, almost like departments in  a department store. What does a sub domain look like? In our example of,  anything that appears to the left of "tastytreats" is a sub domain. For the  main website, there is no sub domain, so the address starts with the standard  sub domain "www." But if this business set up a sub domain for candy, and a sub  domain for ice cream, they would appear like this: "" and  "". Sub domains are helpful when you have vast amounts  of information to organize, because they make it easier to move all of the  information related to one topic (like ice cream) to a different server if that  department gets really big. So, in short, the sub domain feature makes a  website more scaleable. For smaller, simpler websites, where a particular "department"  may only consist of a handful of pages, you can accomplish the same  organizational goal with a subdirectory, like this:

Hosted  Domains - A Hosted Domain  is the domain where you have your website. However, you're not limited to just  one hosted domain.  For example, you  might have the domain name point to a website all  about ice cream, and a separate domain name point to an entirely  different website all about candy. In this case, both are hosted domains. Our  larger web hosting packages here at Blue Morpho (Developer, Developer Plus, and  A La Carte) allow you to have more than one hosted domain on the same account.

Parked  Domains - in contrast to  Hosted Domains, a Parked Domain is a domain you have registered, but doesn't go  to its own separate website. So if you registered ""  and "",  and both of these domain names point to a website about ice cream, then ""  is considered a parked domain. Parked domains can be useful as a way to reserve  a domain name you may want to use in the future, to make sure no one else takes  it in the meantime. All of our hosting packages here at Blue Morpho, including  our Basic plan, allow for an unlimited number of Parked Domains.

What  about e-mail? All  of our hosting plans at Blue Morpho offer an unlimited number of e-mail  accounts through your domain name (for example, "").  You'll be able to check your e-mail online via WebMail, and we also offer  instructions to set up your e-mail on software programs like Microsoft Outlook,  Entourage or Mac Mail.

Step  3. Design and program your website.

Now that you've reserved your domain  name and found a place to host your website, it's time to put the website  together. What do you want to say about your business? What do you want your  website to look like? How do you want to organize your information? How do you  want a customer to navigate through your website? There are literally a  universe of options available to you here. We'll leave this part up to you. We  do web design and programming here at Blue Morpho, or we'd be happy to recommend  someone for you.

Step  4. Upload your website files to your web hosting provider.

Now that your website is created, it's  time to launch it. If you purchased your hosting plan through us at Blue  Morpho, then you, or your web designer, will be transferring the web page files  to our servers. This can be done quickly and easily through FTP upload. Once  your website is up and running, if you use a Content Management System (CMS),  uploading your new pages, or edited pages, is probably as simple as clicking on  the "Publish" button within the CMS, so you won't have to worry about FTP  upload at all.

Ready to get started? - Just answer this Question!

Do you have a domain name?

Yes I have a domain, I just need hosting

No I want to search for the domain I want

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