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Web Site Design***
Birth of a Professional Web Site
Part Nine Launching Your Web Site on the
When you're ready to launch your web site,
you'll need to make two very important
decisions -- what
your domain name will be and where you
will host your new site.
A domain name is used
to locate a particular web site on the
Internet. It is a part of the Uniform
Resource Locator (URL) and instructs the
browser as to where to find a particular
When a web address (http://www.domain.com)
is typed into the browser, the web server
will look for a page called index. This
page may have different extensions, such
as .htm, .html, or .shtml and will be
displayed when the URL is called.
Additional pages within
the site are called by including the URL
followed by a forward slash and the page
Selecting a quality domain
name is of the utmost of importance. Not
only will it tell your potential customers
what your business is all about, but it
will also play a role in branding.
A good domain name is
one that will be immediately remembered
by your visitors, as it connects with
something they're interested in.
A great domain name is
one that can be guessed by a potential
visitor looking for something in particular.
For example, if someone is looking for
information on dog grooming, they might
type in: http://www.doggrooming.com. A
great domain name will enable a potential
visitor to guess the web address and will
contain your most relevant keyword phrase.
Here are some basic guidelines
to assist you in selecting a great domain
1) Select a domain name
that contains your most relevant keyword
2) Your domain name should be easily remembered.
3) Avoid using abbreviations or anything
that will be difficult for your visitors
4) Keep your domain name as short as possible.
5) Select a quality domain name that will
grow with your business.
Although there are many
new domain extensions available, dot.com
is still the best choice.
There are many companies
online that will enable you to register
a domain name. Although Network Solutions
is the original domain name registrant,
there are now many less expensive options
available. You may want to do some research
to find a registrant that meets your needs.
If you're just starting
out, you may want to select a hosting
company prior to registering your domain
name, as many hosting companies will register
the name for you when you set up your
A Web Host is a company
that provides you with server space for
your web site. This includes all of your
web pages, graphics, scripts and files.
When your web address
is typed into a browser, your web host
is being contacted to locate and display
the requested page.
Free verses Professional
All Web Hosts are not
created equally. There are a number of
free hosting services available on the
Internet. However, if you're designing
a web site for business purposes, you
should NEVER host your web site with a
In order to establish
credibility, you must be willing to invest
in your own domain name and professional
web hosting. Web sites hosted on free
servers are not taken seriously and will
suffer a serious loss of business.
Your visitors may feel
that if you don't have your own domain,
you may not be a credible company. They'll
simply take their business elsewhere.
Not only is professional
credibility a great reason not to host
with a free service, but many Search Engines
won't even index a site hosted on a free
If you're serious about
your business and you have a sincere desire
to succeed, having your own domain name
and professional hosting is a must.
Selecting a Web Host
When selecting a professional
web host, your first consideration should
be the company. Check out their background.
Talk with some of their customers and
ask them if they've been satisfied with
Do some research:
• How many customers
do they serve?
• What is their uptime percentage?
• Do they require you to make payments
• Do they charge set up fees?
• How is their customer support?
• Do they offer fast connections?
• How much daily transfer do they
• Will you be charged additional
fees if you exceed your daily transfer?
• Do they offer shopping cart software
to process your orders?
• Do they offer secure servers?
• Will you be provided with your
• Can you upgrade free of charge?
Web hosting prices vary
greatly. When selecting a host, make sure
you're getting exactly what you're paying
for. Keep in mind, a lower monthly rate
will not benefit you if your site
is down a lot, slow, or customer service
Selecting a professional
web host is a very important decision.
Make sure you do your homework and ensure
the host you select offers exactly what
Here are some basic features
you should look for when selecting a web
1) 24/7 reliable tech
2) Your own domain name (www.yourname.com)
3) At least 10GB of monthly transfer (traffic)
4) A minimum of 20MB - 50MB of server
5) Unlimited true POP email accounts -
6) Unlimited email aliases
7) Email forwarding
8) Unlimited autoresponders
9) Your own unrestricted CGI-Bin
10) Access to SSL Encryption for secure
11) MySQL Database
14) htaccess password protection
15) Server Side Includes (SSI) support
16) Design (and upload to) your site using
Netscape or other HTML editing software
17) Microsoft FrontPage Server Extensions
for those utilizing FrontPage
18) Unlimited free access to your server
19) Easy access to your log files
20) Statistics on visits to your site
Some additional features
you may want are:
• Web control panel
• Custom error pages
• Ability to run Cron events
• Mailing list/newsletter support
• URL redirect
• Web mail
• Shopping cart
• Referral program
Although there are many
web hosting companies online, there are
only two that I can recommend. They are
Adgrafix - Professional
web hosting starting at $19.95/mo. for
a 50MB web hosting package.
Host4Profit - Professional
web hosting specifically designed for
the Internet marketer. $24.95/mo. for
When selecting a domain
name and hosting company, take your time
and do some research before making a decision.
It will be well worth your time and effort
in the long run.
(Continued in part nine)