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What actually is hosting?

In order to put a website on the internet, the individual pages (and other files) that make it up have to be 'hosted' - that is, stored on a type of computer called a web server which allows internet users to find and access your website's pages. This computer is permanently wired up to the internet. Web servers are very similar to the computer you're using to browse this website, but because they are working 24/7 they need to be very tough, and very reliable. They also contain special software which 'serves' your site to the internet; that is, it manages the distribution of the information that makes up your site to any computer connected to the internet which requests that information.

The sort of hosting that Meticulous can arrange involves more than just the web server. The web hosting company we recommend provides technical assistance, backup generators to cope with prolonged power cuts, and other precautions. The web server will be connected to the internet via two or more ultra high speed connections, which ensures that if there is a problem with one connection, the other connections take over automatically to provide uninterrupted service.

This is not a service which Meticulous can provide, as it requires very expensive specialist equipment, but we will set up all the necessary hosting for you if you want.

The cheapest way to host your website is to use your existing ISP's (Internet Service Provider's) free webspace, if they provide it - most do. This has the advantage of being cheap, but the disadvantages are that you don't get much storage space, you can't use scripts (so no forms, guestbooks etc.), and, most of all, you can't control what the website's address is. For example, if you're with AOL and you want to create a website using their free webspace, it'll be called something like Not very catchy, is it?

So if I want my own website address (or don't have an ISP)?

If you want a website with your own title, you will need to register its domain. The domain for this website is You can choose almost any name, so long as nobody else owns that domain already.

One VERY IMPORTANT TIP, THOUGH! Don't just go to your browser and type in the domain you'd like to use, to see whether someone else has a website there - there are computer programs that look for people doing this which automatically buy any domain they find that's being searched! Then when you want to buy it, you have to pay many times what it's worth in order to get the domain name you want! Evil, eh? Instead, use what's called a WHOIS Search. Meticulous uses this one at - just type the name you want to check (the meticulous part of the domain - don't bother with or .com) at the top right of the page, click 'GO', and see what comes up.

There is a charge for registering any domain, and some types cost more than others. If you want Meticulous to arrange this for you, we use a company called LCN which, at the time of writing, will charge you between £6 and £15 for a two-year registration. You'll need to pay again every two years in order to keep your domain name, but it's a small fee. Please note that this system applies to ALL websites EVERYWHERE - we can't change it!

OK, so how do I 'host' my site on my own domain?

Having secured your domain, you will need to arrange for the actual hosting of the website so that your site can be stored where people can see it (see above). Meticulous again recommends LCN for this service, as they are inexpensive, reliable and professional. The basic Web-hosting package currently costs £21 per year and includes Webmail, with £50 per year giving you the additional benefits of scripting support and more storage space. You can arrange to pay these charges direct to the hosting company (whether you choose LCN or another company) yourself, or through Meticulous. We will not charge you for handling the fees, but will require the hosting charges to be paid to us before we can start work on your website. You can check LCN's current hosting prices here.

If you have any questions, please do read our Frequently Asked Questions, peruse our guide to what we need from you to build your website, and/or contact us to find out more.


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