If you are creating a web site for your ITGS project, you will probably need web hosting so the site will be available on the Internet. If your client plans to use your web site for a business, a domain name (www.something.com) may also be required. Both of these things are actually a lot easy to organise than you might imagine (provided you have a credit card), and can be arranged in less than 30 minutes.
A web host simply provides disk space on their server to store your web site’s files. Your web site obviously cannot be stored on your own computer because then the web site would be inaccessible every time you switched it off! There are some free web hosting options available, but in general you should expect to pay a small fee for hosting. If you are making a more complicated web site (for example, one backed by a database), you should make sure that your web host supports the type of database back end you plan to use. In the past my students and their clients have used HostGator for web hosting. (Is that an affiliate link? You bet!) The company is well regarded and even their basic packages offer PHP, SSL, and MySQL database hosting. You can also save $9.94 if you enter the discount code ITGSNEWSBLOG when buying web hosting.HostGator’s best prices are available on their 2 year or longer web hosting contracts. If you require only one year, NameCheap offer a similar service and price.
Most web hosts will give your site a name that is an extension of their domain name, for example www.geocities.com/users/ibstudent. This is not very professional looking, so a domain name may be preferable. A domain name is easy to buy – they can be found for as little as $10 for a year. Once the name is bought, you use the domain name seller’s web site to direct your new domain name to your web host’s server (typically by providing the IP address). To buy a domain name you need to use a domain name registrar. You can buy your domain name from HostGator when you buy your web hosting, which makes things easier. I also like Namecheap – their prices are good and their configuration options easy to use.