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Making Sense of it All

We hear it everyday – web hosting, domain names, web servers – and though we won’t admit it, we really can’t explain each of these terms adequately without outside help.

I think the best way to understand these terminologies is by way of an analogy. In this case, let’s liken it to putting up a a traditional business, or what we now call a brick and mortar store, as opposed to a virtual store.

The first step in putting up a business is to secure a business name that sticks. You should register this name as a legal entity (ie a Corporation, LLC, etc) or you may register a dba, “doing business as”. For example, ABC Corporation is dba XYZ Services. As long as you maintain your ownership of this name, no one else shall register that same name. Think ‘Starbucks’ or ‘Sears’.


In the virtual world, the equivalent of this is the ‘Domain Name’. You can purchase and register your domain name from any of the hundreds of resellers online, and they’ll take care of registering it with the Internic (the online equivalent of SEC). Your domain name is your identity on the Web. It can be your company name, as in “StarburstCoffeeBeans.com”, or a descriptive name like “coffeebeanslikenoother.com”. The only limitation is your creativity.

Going back to our Brick and Mortar analogy, your next step in putting up a business would be to look for a suitable store or shop, with an address. In the virtual world, after getting a domain name, you would need to look for a web host. In a nutshell, a web host is a server that is connected to the Internet via a high-bandwidth connection. Now, instead of just a blank page, you’ll get something like “This is the future home of mydomain.com”

Of course, a store without products in it isn’t going to be very attractive. You need to dress up your showroom to entice people to come in an browse through your products. The virtual equivalent of this is the website. A website is like a company brochure or catalog that people can view anytime, wherever they are. In today’s competitive market, having a well-designed and informative website spells the difference between getting the sale or losing it to a competitor. Most shoppers nowadays make it a point to look at a company’s website or compare products online before they go to any store. Would you let a high school graduate manage your multi-million dollar ad campaign? Of course not! It is hard to understand why many people still try to build their own websites or let their young nephew experiment with their business website. My advise is to leave it to the professionals! Building your own website (if you’re not properly trained) is very much like self-medication. And we all know that’s not good.

So there you have it – “Domains, Hosts, and Websites” in the virtual world, is just like your “Business name, store address, and showroom” in the real world. As simple as 1-2-3!

If you need help with securing or choosing a domain name, finding a suitable host or building a new website for your company, contact sitebuilder123.com! We have the experience and talent to turn your plans into reality!

 

Introduction to website hosting…

What is hosting and which web hosting company should I choose?

Simply, hosting is a service that provides space where websites and files may be accessed on the internet.  A web hosting company is kind of like a landlord that rents space.  This space lies within a high-powered computer, also known as a server, which connects to the world wide web.

SiteBuilder123 offers free hosting for the first year with any new website package.  But if you need hosting services there are a few important factors to keep in mind.  The most important is Support.  Make sure the web hosting company offers 24/7/365 online and phone support.  A solid support system will help to resolve any problems fast and efficiently.  Reliability is another factor, if the web hosting computer shuts down, your website will as well.  Bandwidth is the amount of traffic between your website and the world wide web.  If the hosting service does not offer you enough bandwidth, or if the traffic visiting your website exceeds the amount of bandwith available, your website will shut down.

We refer our clients and colleagues to Fatcow Web Hosting because we’ve had a more than satisfactory experience doing business with them.  They are one of the larger web hosting companies around.  In 3 years, we’ve not experienced any problems or downtime due to computer failure or excessive bandwidth and their support has been available around the clock and thorough in resolving any issues, including those not relating to web hosting.  They have repeatedly gone outside the scope of their services offered to help us.

 

Step-by-step: Search & Register Your Domain Name

Below are the step-by-step instructions on how to search and register your own domain name. We choose 1and1 for a few reasons such as they are a stable company, they have competitive domain rates and they offer optional free private registration, which some companies charge $20+ per year just for this service alone. Domain privacy is important in business for many reasons including identity protection.

1) Go to Domain Registration
Scroll over Domains on the top menu, a submenu should appear, then click Domain Name Registration.

2) In the search bar labeled “Check Your Domain Name Now” enter your preferred domain name and check the box with your preferred extension (ie, .com, .net, etc). This will search to see if the domain name you’ve chosen is available.
When you have chosing an available domain name click “continue”.

3) Now, they will offer you other products for sale that you won’t need, click the yellow “sign up” button under the “just register the domain(s)” option for the 1and1 Instant Domain Package. Next, they will suggest you purchase some variations of your domain name. If you want to own any of the suggested extensions, check the boxes next to that extension. Otherwise, at the bottom click the “no thanks, continue without selection” button. Remember, you don’t need to purchase any other products and you don’t need to purchase additional domain name extensions.

4) Now, you should be on “Your Cart” page. Review the package and your chosen domain name then click the “Checkout” button.

5) Now, you should be on the “Customer Details” page. Choose personal or business and fill in the requested information. At the bottom there are 3 seperate circle options regarding domain privacy. If you prefer your personal or business information is private and you would not like that information to show up in a whois domain search on the web, then click the circle next to “Register your domain privately? More Information”.

6) Lastly, you will finish creating the new account setup and make payment. Congratulations, you’ve just acquired your new domain name!

 

Choosing a domain name

A domain name is simply the address we use to go to a website. For example, “sitebuilder123.com” is our domain name. We go to websites by putting these domain names into internet browsers such as Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari. Domain names were developed to create ease of accessing websites. Without domain names, we would have to remember a string of numbers called Internet Protocol Address or IP Address. Now imagine trying to remember strings of numbers, such as “172.16.254.1”, for each website you’d like visit. Hence, domain names were created. You may have heard the term URL, Uniform Resource Locator, which is the protocol + domain name. For example, http://sitebuilder123.com is our URL. Today, domain names are extremely important in business for branding, ranking, and linking.

Some tips:

– Choose a domain name that is memorable, unique and relevant to your business

– Choose a .com extension, if possible (it may be difficult finding a .com that is available, in that case .net, org are preferred)

– Don’t use hyphenated, multi-term domains such as my-new-website.com because they have no branding value, lack credibility and they’re hard to remember

– Keep the domain name short, most well branded websites are 1-2 words and the longer the domain name, the more prone to typing errors.

– Try using a keyword plus adding a word such as SiteBuilder123.com, Travelocity.com FlightStats.com, CarHub.com, etc. Research shows that Google algorithms still value keywords in domain names for ranking websites in the search engine, especially if you have a unique niche that is or will be searched. However, there are many other factors that affect your ranking outside of a domain name.

 

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