Posts Tagged ‘HostGator’

Choosing a Web Host

When shopping for a company to host your website, first and foremost, you want a company that is reliable with good service at a fair price — one that guarantees at least 99.5% uptime and offers some form of 24-7-365 support (online chat, email or phone).

Look for a web host with a good reputation and history of service, perhaps one that has been reviewed well. Google “top ten web hosts” and compare results; then Google something like “consumer complaints web host” and take note of those as well – poor service from your web host can make you or your webmaster absolutely miserable, can waste hours of your time, cost you money and business — and there’s really no reason for it, with so many good companies to choose from.

You also want to look for a sufficient amount of storage space and bandwidth, which most companies offer, but beware of those cheaper $3.00-4.00/month hosts.  Often the reason they are so cheap is because they store as many as 4,000 websites on the same server. You would be better off finding a hosting service where you are sharing server space with far fewer other websites, perhaps more in the range of 200-400.  Why?  It will effect the response times your visitors will experience when visiting your website.

Also, if you plan to have an extremely busy site, perhaps running on an intensive database application, you may need to look into having a dedicated server; however, expect to pay a premium rate for a dedicated server.

Compare several hosting companies, looking also at the features they offer.  Compare their email services, see if they offer some sort of spam protection, check for the number and type of ftp accounts they offer, whether they offer multiple domains or subdomains, what kind of site management tools, statistics packages, marketing features, security features, and multimedia options they provide, and whether they offer any special features you may require, such as e-commerce, databases, scripts, etc.

Our favorite hosting company is Hostgator; their prices are very good; they offer a lot for the money; their tech support is excellent; they use the easy-to-navigate C-Panel interface…and so much more!   Should you decide to host your site with Hostgator, use this link if you’d like to give us credit for referring you.  We’d very much appreciate it!

Contact us if you would like help selecting a web host.

One more important tip: we recommend that you obtain your domain name from a different company than your web host, in the case of  failure or dispute with either your domain name registrar or your web host.

Finally, for more detailed information about Web Hosting, this article at www.web-source.net covers a lot of the basics.

(I originally wrote and published this article on my design website, Marilyn Fenn Design.  I have updated the content for re-posting here.)

Choosing a Domain Name

dotcomChoosing a good domain name can be daunting, or may be quite simple.  If possible, you want your domain name to be the same as your website name, which should probably be the same as your company name, with a ‘.com’ extension if you are a business. However, the chance of that exact name and extension being available may not be good.

Special tip for artists: unless you have a good reason not to, we recommend that you use the name you are known by as an artist as your domain name.  That is the way that people will most likely look for you, and they are far more likely to remember your name rather than a made up “studio” name.

Start by searching for available domain names that would work for you.  Domain Tools is a great place to begin your domain name search.  If you can’t find the exact name you desire, consider using hyphens for a multiple word name, or an abbreviation of your company name, like an acronym, or using a different extension, such as ‘.biz,’ ‘.net, .’org,’ ‘.info’ or ‘.us.’

There are several more domain extensions to choose from, and one of them may be more appropriate for your particular needs.  Here is an article at thesitewizard.com that goes into more depth about Choosing a Good Domain Name.

Getting the ‘right’ domain name can be difficult, so it is best to register one as soon as possible.  You shouldn’t pay more than about $30.00/year for a domain name, and many companies will offer domain registration for as low as $7.00 or $8.00 per year.

Here are links to three hosting services with whom I have had good luck where you can register your domain name for $15.00 per year or less:

Please feel free to contact us if you would like help beginning at this point.

If you want to understand domain names at a more basic level, this article at theinternetdigest.net explains what they are, how they came to be, and more.

(I originally wrote and published this article on my design website, Marilyn Fenn Design.  I have updated the content for re-posting here.)