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What are hosting and domain and how to optimise them?

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Hosting and domain are two of the most important elements of a website. The domain is the name of the website, through which we can find the site in the search engine. Hosting is the space where the website is located and which allows it to be visible to customers. To create an analogy, the domain would be the address of a physical business, and the hosting would be the rented premises.

The hosting

As we said, the hosting is the place where the website is hosted. It makes it possible for users to see the website, which they have accessed through the domain. The hosting is fundamental for a website, no website can exist without a hosting, while there are temporary preview domains.

The best way to optimise your hosting is to adapt it to the scope of your website and the traffic it sustains. For this purpose, there are different types of hosting:

  • Shared hosting: ideal for private operators or SMEs. Because the hosting is shared, the price is lower. Visually and in terms of accessibility, each page has its own domain, although they share all the tools on the server, so they may encounter limitations if they start to grow or accumulate a lot of traffic.
  • VPS Server: This is a Virtual Private Server. It is more secure than shared hosting, as you get a private space, with individual software and operating system, although it is not a complete server.
  • Dedicated server: only you will have access to it, it is a hosting where only your server is hosted, and you can enjoy all the resources


Erik Mclean via Unsplash

The domain

To understand what a domain is, we will use our own domain: Each domain is unique and all are composed of two elements: SLD (Second Level Domain) and TLD (Top Level Domain); also called name and extension, respectively. The SLD of our domain is "occamagenciadigital" and ".com" is the extension.

The choice of domain is a decisive step when creating a website, and one of the first to be carried out. Having a good domain will result in an optimal positioning, will attract more customers and, ultimately, will allow everyone to reach the website more easily.

Therefore, having an optimised domain gives you a great competitive advantage over your competitors, which, in terms of the domain, are all existing websites. The first thing to do to create a good domain is to limit it to some minimum standards :

  • No more than 63 characters
  • It must be composed almost entirely of alphanumeric characters (A-Z and 0-9)
  • Do not use any special characters other than hyphens
  • No blank spaces
  • Do not use a name already chosen. There are names protected by the Intellectual Property Law, such as titles of books, songs and films, which cannot be used for a web page, but in the event that the owner of the intellectual property decides to use it as a domain, he can and must claim it.

From here on, any recommendation is just to optimise the domain. One of the best tricks is to keep it short, simple and representative. It is best to use the same name as the company, brand or person for whom the site is created. It also helps if it is easy to remember, but also easy to write. Some tips for optimising the domain:

  • Do not use more than 15 characters (you can use more, but the shorter the domain, the better it will be remembered).
  • Whenever it is possible to avoid using hyphens or full stops, it is better not to use them.
  • Use the words or keywords of your business or project so that users can find it easily. Many times we do not know the domain of a web page but, if we know what it is about, it is usually enough to put one or two words to find it (such as the name and some specification). If, thinking in this way, you would not be able to find your domain, it is not the right one.
  • Go for a premium domain, or as close as possible. There are many websites that deal with similar topics, such as music, fashion or sport, and there are domains that work very well because they are so general, for example The closer a domain is to being premium, the more traffic it will attract to the website. A premium domain can also be resold.
  • Do not use a multilingual domain, i.e. a domain with characters that are not included in the English alphabet. This includes letters such as ñ or other alphabets such as Arabic or Chinese. It is not forbidden, but using such a domain means that a large number of people in the world will not be able to access it because they cannot type its name. Of course, using a multilingual domain can be a good option if your target is made up of people who speak a language with characters other than the English alphabet.
  • Create an additional domain to redirect the first one. In case the best option is to create a multilingual domain, you can always create a second domain option in another language or with other characters that directs the user to the same page. It would be like having two different names.
  • Adapt the extension to your target and objectives. There are three main types of extensions: General (.com, .net .org); territorial (.es, .it .fr), which link the website to a territory and commercial extensions such as .shop. Choose the option that best suits the target you want to attract: is it specifically for one country or do you hope to attract a worldwide audience? Is it a website with specific articles only for a territorial area?
  • Add more than one extension. If the best option is to combine extensions, such as, you can do so. General: .com .net .org
  • The extension should define the theme. A .shop TLD indicates a shop and .org an organisation. It is not obligatory to use each of them depending on the theme of the website, a shop can contain a TLD that is .net, but it is best to adapt it to the different extensions.

Although the hosting and the domain are important, they can be changed and updated according to the evolution of the website, so choosing a good domain or a good hosting is more a matter of selecting the most appropriate point where the website to which they belong is located.

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