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The Clear Guide to a Publisher’s Web Site: First Two Steps in Developing a Web Site

By Virginia Lawrence

When you’re starting your new publishing Web site, you want get off to the best possible start with a good domain name and an outstanding Web hosting service. You’ll be living with your domain name and Web host for a long time, so let’s choose wisely.

  1. Choose a domain name.
  2. The domain name is the specific name to be used in your site address. For example, SPAWN.org is a domain name, and http://www. SPAWN.org is the complete site address. The complete site address is also called the URL of the site. It serves as the address and the identifier for the site.

    You want to choose a domain name that represents your company and the goal of your site. The domain name can be the company name or the product name, it can be pure business or fun. The name could contain some important characteristic of the product or it could be a name that appeals to your target market. The domain name should give people a pretty good idea of what to expect at your site. At the same time, you want people to remember your domain name easily.

    It’s a good idea to discuss your domain name ideas with a Web marketer. An experienced Web marketer can help you to choose a domain name that does the best possible job for you.

    Cost:

    You’ll pay about $14.95 to register your domain name with a domain registrar, and you’ll pay $14.95 in each succeeding year to maintain that registration.

  3. Choose a Web host.
  4. If you’ve been researching Web hosting companies, you’ve seen the wide range of prices and hosting capabilities. You want to proceed economically, yet get the best possible service. Let’s start with what you should avoid.

    • Never put your important business Web site on a server in your office. You need faster connections than cable, DSL, or a T1 line.
    • Never rely on one person to set up and maintain the server. While your lonely tech is on Spring Break, you might lose your e-mail for a week. You need 24/7 oversight by a crew of experienced Web server technicians.
    • Never use the free space that came with your cable account or DSL line. When space is free, the host has no incentive to give good service.
    • Never place your important business Web site with a consumer Internet Service Provider (ISP). ISPs are bogged down with calls for help from clueless consumers, and their technical support personnel are trained in answering low-level questions.

    So how should you select a Web host?

    When you choose a Web Host, you want a Business Technical Service Provider (TSP). A TSP is a company dedicated to providing the services required by businesses. With a good TSP:

    • You get fast connections. The Web hosting company we recommend offers OC48 connections, a capacity 1,500 times greater than T1.
    • You get round the clock server oversight. Your server is in a room with other servers, constantly maintained by Web server technicians.
    • Questions are answered by professional Web server technicians whenever necessary. There will seldom be a wait to talk to a technician, and the technician you get will be knowledgable about Web issues.

    Cost:

    You’ll pay a reasonable monthly fee starting from $9.95 per month for a small site to $24.95, $59.95 or higher for larger sites.

Next month: steps three and four in developing a business Web site.

~ Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D. publishes both in print and online. Contact her at virginia@spawn.org

 

 

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