After you’ve gotten a business plan and a strategy for your online store, the next step is a domain name. Just as with a brick-and-mortar store, where the first two lines on your checklist are a name and a location, in cyberspace, they’re typically the same thing. The address of the online business is expressed as a URL (Uniform Resource Locator).
Usually the address is a name that ends in dot com (.com), which indicates a “commercial” site, or dot org (.org) for an “organization.” If a business is lucky, its address will be the same as its company name or a close reflection of it.
Staking a Claim in Cyberspace
Businesses can register and claim a URL for a small annual fee. The URL, however, is simply the address — the entrepreneur will need a piece of property that the address defines.
That plot of cyberland is the space on a computer where all the electronic files that compose the web site will reside. Numerous commercial “hosting” services, will rent you space on their large computers (called servers) for a nominal monthly or annual fee.
Some mid-size and larger companies host their sites on their own in-house web servers, but they remain responsible for maintenance of the site and the hardware to be sure it’s accessible 24/7. An ISP can also speed the time it takes for online shoppers to download your web pages.