Once your website has been created, it needs to be uploaded to the web for others to access. To do this you'll need to rent the services of a hosting company. A hosting company basically puts your website onto their computers (known as servers, because their role is to serve web pages to people upon request) and keeps them switched on 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The hosting staff manage those servers to ensure they are always running and your website is always online. Hosting fees are usually charged on a monthly basis, so you will have on-going monthly bills once you become a website owner.
If you're not technically-minded or the idea of configuring your own hosting account worries you, you might want to save yourself the headache and ask your web designer to set it up for you as the configurations can be tricky.
Your hosts will give you an Internet address where your website can be found. However at this stage it's just a series of numbers and dots called an IP (Internet Protocol) address. Our IP address is 188.8.131.52 Not very eye-catching is it? Computers might like to think in numbers but people don't so what you need to do is point your IP address to something more user-friendly: A domain name.
Domain names are the human-readable addresses of websites. Our domain name is theukwebdesigncompany.com
Nominet is the central registry for all .uk domains in the United Kindom. Domains can be purchased indirectly from them via authorised registrars. You never actually own your domain name but you rent the use of it. Typically they are sold for periods of 1, 2, 5 or 10 years with the option to renew at the end of the term.
The most popular domain name extensions or Top Level Domains (TLD) for UK businesses are .co.uk and .com. Because nearly all the best domain names have been taken for these extensions, hundreds of new domain extensions were launched in 2014. Nominet now offer the shorter .uk domain (as oppossed to .co.uk, .org.uk and .me.uk).
Once you have a web design, a domain name and a hosting account, your website is ready to go live.