When I first started out online I didn’t have any clue what a host or a domain name was. I remember wandering around the Internet forever trying to figure out exactly which end was up. I want to make the process so much easier for you!

This will be the first of a three part series about what a host is, choosing the size of the package you need, and getting started with your web host.

The first part is understanding exactly what a web host is. In a nutshell, your host (or “hosting company”) is where your website lives. These hosts have what are called servers. This stores all the information that is relevant to your website. For example, the host of this blog is called Hostgator. I also have another host for some of my sites called Bluehost.

If you don’t have a host, your sites won’t have anywhere to live. There is another component that you need to be familiar with as well. That is getting a domain name. Your domain name is exactly what it sounds like…the name of your website. The domain name for this site is http://www.workathomeformoms.net. The domain name for Goolge is http://www.Google.com.

Your domain name needs to “point” to your website in order to work. That is called its DNS. Don’t worry about that for now, because the first time you set up hosting with either Hostgator or Bluehost they will give you a domain name included in the package. They will automatically point the name to your site’s “house” or server.

It’s actually a really nice system 🙂

Just like you run your household, you also need to run your website. You can access your site’s information through the control panel of your host, called CPanel. Now, there are obscure hosts out there who do not run on Cpanel, but they are often confusing and certain things are not compatible with them. It’s definitely recommended that you stick with the tried and true since they are so cheap and work so well.

Have you thought about creating your own website yet? You should if you want to work online from home. That way you can start your web presence. It doesn’t matter if you’re going to be selling services such as ghostwriting or creating your own network of hundreds of niche sites, getting a hosting company is a great first step.

Here is the host I first signed up with, and a great one to use:

Bluehost.com Web Hosting $6.95