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Understanding Hosting and Domains. A guide for the Small Business Owner.

 

 

You are about to join the world wide web with a website of your own. It's a very exciting time and the thought of having a website you can call your own is exhilarating. So begins your journey of understanding new terms, new rules and how things work.  This article is going to tackle one aspect of owning your own website which is going to help you avoid the traps and pitfalls of getting yourself into trouble early, and to avoid having to make waisted efforts and start from scratch again, which could result in a lot of money being thrown away, not to mention legal battles in some instances. I'll explain:

 

What is a Domain?

 

The domain name is what people are going to type to get to your website. In other words, it's something like "www.yourcompany.com"

This is very important and here are a few things you should know about them before you purchase one.

 

Rules about Domain names

 

1. You never "own" your domain. The moment you stop paying for them, it is up for grabs, even if you created it and have owned it forever.

2. You pay yearly for your domain. The average price is around $14 a year.

3. You can own as many domains as you want. Some people buy a domain as the main one for their website, but then also buy multiple variations of the the main one in order to prevent opportunists from buying them for their own ulterior motives.

 

Tips for purchasing your own domain(s) 

 

1. Find an on-line company with a good reputation: This is debatable and everyone has their own preferences. Your website designer may even offer you some suggestions. Take their advice and then formulate your own opinion based on research that you have conducted on your own. You may want to choose a company that also offers hosting as well, so that you could manage both under one account, which makes life a lot easier. Once you have chosen the right company, go to their domain section and start searching for domains that are available using their search key.

 

2. Keep it Relevant: Say the name of your company is "Infinity Motor Experts". You will want to purchase a domain name that closely matches the company. Something like "www.infinitymotorexperts.com." This does not always happen. You may find that someone has already purchased that domain long before you. That stinks!  Your next plan of attack is to find something very similar. A common practice is to add the state or city you service in directly behind it. Something like "www.infinitymotorexpertsaz.com" if you are in Arizona. If that is also taken, keep searching. Your local website designer should have a lot of experience in this, so ask them for some suggestions.

 

3. Keep it Simple: Remember, people have to type this stuff in. Put yourself in their shoes. Don't create something extremely difficult to type, or with way too many letters. Avoid numbers and hyphens where you can. Keep it simple.

 

4B. Longevity Matters:  Along the same lines as step 4, Google also takes into consideration how long you have purchased your domain for. Remember, you are renting these domains, so you never really own them. Purchasing them for the next 5 or 10 years demonstrates your commitment to the longevity of the company. It also tells Google that you plan on running this business for a long time. Compare that to purchasing a domain for just a year at a time. What would that tell Google about your company?

 

What is Hosting?

Rules about Hosting

 

1. Hosting is separate from website design: Meaning that when you get a quote for a website design, the hosting (nor the domain) is usually not associated with the quote, although your website designer will usually set is all up for you.

2. You pay yearly for hosting:  The average cost for hosting a small business website is somewhere in the ballpark of $85-$120 a year, depending on who your provider is and what type of add-ons are included. Some website design companies offer their own hosting plans, some let you decide who to go with. Do your research and find the one that works with you and your goals.

 

Tips for Hosting your website

 

1. Set your hosting up for automatic renewal: You don't ever want to worry about your site going down, especially for something as trivial as not paying for it. Save yourself the stress and make sure it renews automatically. This could usually be done in the settings.

 

2. Make sure you are the account administrator:  Although it's your website designer who uploads your website files into the hosting account, make sure the hosting account is under your name and you are the one who authorizes rolls. This way you could stay in control if things don't work out. Remember, once those files are in your hosting server, you have the power to kick anyone out or add anyone in using administrative rolls. Ask your hosting provider for help on this.

 

3. Host multiple websites! A big mistake "newbies" make is ordering multiple hosting accounts just because you want to host a new website. You may have ideas of having more websites created for your main company, or for other ventures you are working on. Unless you are blowing up your server with hundreds of thousands of visitors a day (which is highly unlikely) you could use all that unused bandwidth to host multiple websites under the same hosting account. In other words, don't order a new hosting account for a new website. All you have to do is create a folder within your current server, and assign it to a new domain that you'll be using for your new site. Save yourself some mulah!

 

Have any questions? Did I leave anything out? Simply leave a comment below or email me at ish@webstuffguy.com

 

 

Atlanta SEO Company | Webstuffguys.com

Ish Laos is an SEO expert and founder of webstuffguy.com. He is available for free SEO consultations to evaluate your on-line presence

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