Obtaining a Domain Name
A domain name identifies your site and separates it from all the other sites. A good domain for internet success is memorable and easy to spell so that your visitors have no trouble reaching your site. There are a couple of important steps in obtaining your domain name.
- You have to choose a top-level domain (TLD) from the array now available:
.com, .net, .org, .info, .us, .biz, etc.
- You need to choose the domain name itself, using only the 26 letters of the alphabet, ten digits 0–9, and the characters of the hyphen (dash) and the period (dot).
- Using the service known as WHOIS, you need to check to see that the name you want is available and register it with an authorized registrar.
- Because it’s possible that the name you want may not be available, it’s usually a good idea to make a list using a variety of names and extensions for back-up. It is sometimes gain access to a name that is already in use, but this gets a bit complicated.
For more information about obtaining a domain name that will help you achieve internet success, see the articles “Choosing a Domain Name,” “Which Domain Extension?” “Spelling Your Domain,” and “Domain Registration FAQ.”
Signing Up for Web Hosting
Shopping for web hosting may be as simple as seeing what your domain name registrar has to offer and signing up or may take a fair amount of time and consideration to find the package that’s right for you and at a price that works so that you can find internet success with your website.
There are some standard categories used to differentiate web hosting and some that you will often see are:
- free web hosting
- shared web hosting
- virtual dedicated server (VDS) or virtual private server (VPS)
- dedicated hosting
- managed hosting
- collocation web hosting
- reseller web hosting
You may also have the know-how to run your own server from your home and host your site yourself to achieve internet success. Eecommerce hosting, often offered as a shared web hosting package, is another option. You can read more about these choices in the articles “What Is Web Hosting?” “Why Use a Free Host?” “Cons of Free Hosting,” and “Shared vs. Dedicated Hosts.”
Building and Maintaining A Website
Building a website can be done using templates (often provided with free hosting, as well as in web building programs) or by creating a custom design. the simplest (and most standardized) approach is to use a site builder. If you are familiar with website building software, such as Adobe Dreamweaver or Adobe GoLive or other website development software. (Although you will still find many references to Microsoft FrontPage on the Internet, it was end-of-lifed by Microsoft in 2006 and replaced by Expression Web.) Decisions about how to build a site that will bring you internet success are often based on a combination of your skills, the software you have available, the complexity of the site you wish to build, and the speed with which you want it available.
The kind of maintenance your site will require depends a great deal on the type of site it is. An ecommerce site may not be able to go more than a very short time without attention, while a personal website may go for quite a lengthy period without updates, although, if it is a MySpace of FaceBook based page, it may be updated with new material by the owner and others multiple times in a typical day. To read more about building a website that will have internet success, see the article “Templates or Custom Design?”