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Please advise: domain name/web hosting
Posted by: prymsnap
Date: August 11, 2006 07:44PM
After avoiding the inevitable for years, the time has finally come for me to get a domain name and web hosting svs. First and formost, I hate the thought of having to change my e-mail address every time I change ISPs. Secondly, my business will eventually need a web page. I could go with one of the free e-mail services, but I feel that an e-mail address associated with a custom domain gives a more professional impression. So, what are the basic steps? Do I first get a domain name registered, then contract with a web hosting company? What other steps are there in the process? Any recommendations for companies that provide either service? BTW, I'm currently using the Mac mail app (10.4.4) as my e-mail client. Thanks!
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Re: Please advise: domain name/web hosting
Posted by: Ken Sp.
Date: August 11, 2006 07:52PM
GoDaddy.com
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Re: Please advise: domain name/web hosting
Posted by: karsen
Date: August 11, 2006 08:55PM
I would worry about the domain name first and foremost. If the name you want is available grab it now and sort out the hosting details later. I use [www.mydomain.com] for all of my domain name registrations.

After that's taken care of I would concentrate on finding a host. I highly recommend [www.123ehost.com] for hosting. I have used them for 8 years and have never had a problem. Their support is helpful and courteous.

Lastly, find an experienced web designer/developer to help you get the site and email up and running smoothly. If you're looking for someone who can provide a clean and professional look without busting the budget I'd reccommend... me! I don't want to advertise here so PM me for more information if you're interested.
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Re: Please advise: domain name/web hosting
Posted by: Mike Johnson
Date: August 11, 2006 09:39PM
I'm not saying godaddy couldn't do it, but they effed me over once, so I'm happy to use opportunities such as this to claim that godaddy is run by a passel of glue-sniffing weasels.
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Re: Please advise: domain name/web hosting
Posted by: jdc
Date: August 11, 2006 11:27PM
godaddy for your domain name

and then a host for your site

i use [www.hostrocket.com]

$5 a month, 5 gigs storage and unlimited everything else -- GREAT phone and email support -- never down



----


Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Please advise: domain name/web hosting
Posted by: h'
Date: August 12, 2006 02:24AM
I use [www.directnic.com] for domain registration.
You can just go with domain registration and then set up a catchall for free that would route (anything)@yourprofessionalsoundingdomain.com to whatever e-mail addy you point it to. Your friends would never have to remember a different addy again. Or you could pay an extra $10 a year and set up a POP account attached to uour domain.
You can use their hosting, or use [www.bargainvault.com] for hosting (99ยข/mo, very happy with it).

Or, independently of or in conjunction with all of the above, I highly recommend [www.fastmail.net] for a non-ISP dependent "permanent" e-mail service.
Feel free to ask any clarifying questions.
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Re: Please advise: domain name/web hosting
Posted by: TheTominator
Date: August 12, 2006 08:39AM
You need to get a domain name.

For e-mail at that domain, you will need to get an e-mail hosting service. This is usually bundled with a web hosting service but you can get an e-mail hosting service separately and independently of a hosting service.

Some companies offer all of these services together and do it using their own infrastructure. Other companies resell the services of a third-party (the real hosting company) under their own brand and merely do the billing and customer support for their own clientelle.

Beware of the web hosting companies that offer web hosting service bundled with a "free" domain name. Look very closely at the contractual arrangement and make sure that you are the domain name registrant and that you can take your domain name with you to another web hosting company when you get dissatisfied with their web hosting service. It used to be fairly common for (unethical) web hosting companies to register the domain name in their name so that you don't actually control the name and they lock you in as a hosting customer. The easiest way to avoid this pitfall is to purchase your own domain name through a real registrar independent of your hosting company before you arrange for hosting.

For my hosting, I registered with verio.com who uses the registrar MelbourneIT. They register the name properly under the customer's name. GoDaddy.com's normal registration is also "clean" for this and register the name properly in your own name and not theirs. I don't have experience using their "private" registration meant to hide your name from the public record. I worry that this means they are registering it under their name officially.

You don't provide a budget in your question asking for service recommendations but you do say that you will be looking for a web page for your business. I don't recommend any of the cheapo sites for a business for a variety of reasons. Expect to pay from $10 to $20 per month for professional web hosting services. I use verio.com's Unix hosting plans for my business web sites.

Note that many of the cheapo web hosting services offer very high specifications for storage space and monthly bandwidth but there is a hidden catch. Because of the (hidden) limit on CPU usage, you will run into the CPU limit well before the bandwidth limit. Indirectly the high storage limit won't be of much use if you can't serve that large content. There are some nice website content management tools that make it easier for website maintainers to create and update sites. Relative to old-fashioned, simple HTML websites these content management systems use up a lot of CPU time for each website visitor. When using these tools to create a great site and your site gets a little bit popular, the result is that you will run into the CPU limit of the hosting company much earlier and have the account (temporarily) suspended or possibly cancelled.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/12/2006 08:46AM by TheTominator.
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Re: Please advise: domain name/web hosting
Posted by: prymsnap
Date: August 12, 2006 09:13AM
Thanks to everyone for the info. Clearly, I have much to learn. And it sounds like there are plenty of snakes in the grass, so I appreciate the warnings.

Question for h': What do you mean by a "free catchall"?

Question for Tominator: can you recommend any web hosting services?

Thanks again.
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Re: Please advise: domain name/web hosting
Posted by: prymsnap
Date: August 12, 2006 09:15AM
Sorry, Tominator -- I now see that you did give a recommendation.
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Re: Please advise: domain name/web hosting
Posted by: TheTominator
Date: August 12, 2006 09:30AM
As suggested earlier, get your domain name first. Don't worry about website hosting until you need website hosting.

If you plan on hiring the services (or hiring the person) of a website designer, consult with that person before contracting for website hosting services. Not all website hosting plans have the same sets of features and that website designer's skills and preferences may need certain website features.

For example, that person may want you to get a hosting service using Microsoft Windows server software instead of Apache. (I recommend Apache hosting instead of Windows IIS.) The designer might want/need CGI scripting ability not available on really cheap webhosting plans. Or the designer might want database capability, Ruby On Rails, some sort of content management system, etc.
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Re: Please advise: domain name/web hosting
Posted by: The Grim Ninja
Date: August 12, 2006 04:18PM
I have a domain registered with Registerfly, Dreamhost, and Yahoo! Domains.

They all work.



The latest domain name I got, I registered via Yahoo on Wednesday. Less than 2 hours later, it was mine, the servers were updated, and the site was hosted on my Dreamhost account. That is pretty fast in my book.

Yahoo! Domains are $2 for your first registration. Add $10 if you want privacy added (So your name/address/phone isn't associated with the domain lookup information).


As you may have guessed, I host with Dreamhost. They're not the best in terms of uptime, but they have PLENTY of room to grow in terms of storage and monthly transfer. Plus, they're pretty cheap.

[dreamhost.com]

If you're interested in Dreamhost, and would be willing to put me down as your referral, let me know.
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Re: Please advise: domain name/web hosting
Posted by: h'
Date: August 12, 2006 10:07PM
Regarding "catchall".
With domain ownership only, you can control how mail to that domain is routed.
Let's say you bought www.snap.info.
You would be able to set up a "rule" in the domain service's interface that said mail to prym@snap.info would bounce to (for example) prymrealaddy@comcast.net.

So you could tell your friends to remember prym@snap.info as your "forever" address. You could change ISPs every month and just point it towards whatever "main" e-mail account you happen to be using that week. You would never miss a message sent to prym@snap.info again.

Where the catchall comes in-- you can set up an "anything else" rule as well, so that you could tell one person to e-mail you at sales@snap.info, another to e-mail you at Puppiesaregreat@snap.info, another to e-mail you at "president@snap.info, and another to e-mail you at Ilovebondage@snap.info. You would receive all of them bounced to your "main" e-mail account. Obviously the catchall has more potential to collect spam, so if spam bothers you it's not such a good idea.
The downside of having a referring addy is that some listservs might be finicky about the arrangement (I never have quite wrapped my brain around that one)
and your friends will likely see responses coming from a different addy unless you're vigilant about setting your "from" addy to prym@snap.info.


Not to compete with the others here but both fastmail and bargainvault have great uptime.
DirectNIC is in New Orleans, and considering all they've been through it's amazing I didn't have any real interruption.
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Re: Please advise: domain name/web hosting
Posted by: Baby Tats
Date: August 13, 2006 08:42PM
A little bit more on catchall mail. Catchall and being able to blackhole mail are one of the best tools you can use to stop and track spam. I have been doing this for several years. To me, it is worth registering a domain name just for this purpose alone.

h' explained it well. Basically, you can hand out unique email addresses whenever you want to. For example when ordering from Amazon, you use amazon.com@yourdomain.com but for personal emails you can use yourname@yourdomain.com. It doesn't matter what you put in front of @yourdomain.com, all email sent to the domain will be caught and sent to whatever address you specify. If an address starts to receive spam you: 1)know immediately who leaked that email address to spammers and 2)can "blackhole" all email that comes to that address in the future. There are also some addresses that will receive spam automatically once your domain name gets known to the spammers. It is best to just start off "blackholeing" these addresses from the beginning and never giving them out to anyone. For example:

sales@yourdomain.com
info@yourdomain.com
contact@yourdomain.com
webmaster@yourdomain.com

Plus, you can take this domain name with you for the rest of your life. It's a nice feature to have so make sure the control panel you get with your web hosting supports it.


BT
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Re: Please advise: domain name/web hosting
Posted by: prymsnap
Date: August 14, 2006 09:00PM
Baby Tats -- brilliant!

Thanks.
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