Wednesday 15 April 2015

A free domain name service is frequently offered when you purchase web hosting. But how does this work? Essentially when you buy your hosting from a company they’re in a position to offer you a few incentives. One of these is a free domain (something you’d normally have to pay for either on an annual or monthly basis) and some even offer unlimited free domains. Most only offer one, but this is still a great perk and 99% of customers only need one anyway.

The Trick to Getting a Free Domain

How to choose your domain name

The name you choose for your site will affect your search ranking in domain name searches. You’ll want to choose something easy to remember, or relevant to your product. If you’re going for the memorable option, keep it short and snappy. Single word websites are easy to search for such as Google, Twitter or Bing. Even if you go for the product-based approach, the advice to keep it short will still help when it comes to being memorable. If you’re confident that it is the right approach, you could create your own word that reflects your concept – e.g. Facebook or Instagram. These may seem like basic tips, but they are crucial for ensuring that your business comes out at the top of a relevant domain name search.

What accreditation can I obtain?

ICANN, also known as Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, is a not for profit organization that accredits a wide range of domain registration websites. To ensure that you purchase a reliable domain name for your website, it is important to check that your domain is registered with a company which is ICANN accredited. This will go some way to reassuring you, your clients and customers that your website is reliable. You’ll receive more repeat traffic and the knock on effect of that is maintaining an excellent reputation.

Domain Name Extensions

The top 3 highest-level domain name extensions are recognized all over the world. These are .com (commercial), .org (organization) and .net (network). They initially represented different types of website, for example, .org was intended for non-profit organizations and is still mostly used by them today, but as the lines are blurred between businesses and personal sites, those distinctions have become less meaningful. They are important to consider when registering your domain name, particularly if you’re being offered a free service. Not every extension is available from every provider; so make sure you’re getting the extension you want, as it could affect your domain name search rankings if you end up with one that is not at a high level.

What's Included in the Registration Fee?

The domain name registration fee will vary between domains and will also be affected by the level of the extension you choose. Highest-level extensions such as .com cost more to register than lower level .me or .biz. If your domain name does not come as a free service, most domain name registration companies will sell names for an advertised price but occasionally there’ll be extra fees. These are sometimes broken down for you but just as often they’ll be hidden. If your registration company is ICANN accredited, there may well be a small fee of $0.20 on top of the registration fee. Always read the small print and, unless you have a fixed price agreement, be prepared for renewal price changes to reflect inflation over long-term domain name purchases.

Policies in Domain Name Transfers

Before registering a domain name you must read the transfer policies and documents regarding your purchase. If you are unhappy with a registration company and want to change provider, you need to know you can keep your domain name. Some registrars make it difficult to transfer your domain name unless it is stated as an option in their transfer policy. So read the terms of purchase first to make sure you’re happy with your company before you buy.

Register the Domain to Yourself

It sounds obvious, but make sure the domain name is registered to you. Don’t buy into a third party registration or allow the site to say the domain name belongs to your hosting website. The domain name for your website needs to be registered to your name so you have ownership and control over the site.

Domain Names through Web Hosting

You’ll have to choose a hosting company for your website and it may offer domain name registration. Registering through your hosting company could save you money on the domain name especially because hosting companies often offer one free with your hosting package. If you already have a domain name, most web hosting companies will transfer it either free of charge or for a small fee. Just remember to check those transfer policies!
Starting out with any new website can be an overwhelming experience, with decisions to be made around every corner. An initial and integral choice will be the kind of hosting you opt for. Top 10 Best Website Hosts  can help you choose a company to provide your hosting. From there, you may be faced with the choice of a server type, which can be confusing to say the least.

Comparing Web Hosting Options

We’ve broken it down for you, and compared the features of three main options, so you can make sure you’re getting exactly what you need.

Is Shared Hosting the right choice for me?

A shared server is the most commonly chosen type of hosting platform, and is the right choice if you are looking to launch a personal website, a blog or a small business website. It is simple to set up, the cheapest type of hosting, and there is generally no technical knowledge needed, as the server maintenance will be managed for you throughout. Remember however, you will be sharing your server and its resources with other customers that your hosting provider supports, which include not just bandwidth, but also RAM and CPU. Without a dedicated IP address, the performance of your website is directly affected by other users, and you have no control whatsoever if there is a problem or the website goes down. Additionally, a shared hosting provider will not let you configure your website outside of its own limited parameters; there is no room for customization.

Bottom Line: Shared Hosting offers less customizability, less security, and less room for growth, but is a cost-effective and efficient way to get up and running.

I need more control over my website, should I choose a Dedicated Server?

If you’re looking for more control and reliability, and can afford to pay a top dollar price ticket, a dedicated server is the elite choice of website hosting. You are actively leasing an entire server for your own website, giving you complete control and the ability to customize every aspect of your hosting experience. Install, edit and run what software you choose, enjoy limitless resources, even reboot the entire server on your own terms, you are free to manage your own website however you please. Hard drive capacity, memory, storage and bandwidth, as well as network access and processing power are all dedicated to a single customer, meaning your website can handle whatever traffic and data you throw in its direction, and is unaffected by the performance or user base of any other.

Comparing Web Hosting Options
Security is also a key factor for many when choosing a dedicated server. When using a shared server, it only takes one website on the server to be compromised, to endanger your own. An intelligent hacker could even use his website on the shared server to gain information from yours. Without access to the PHP or Apache configuration, you have no ability to harden the security of the server, leaving you vulnerable to security breaches. A dedicated server removes all of these risks, allowing you the control over your own security, and virtually ensuring that your content and perhaps more vitally-your customer data, is safe.

Bottom Line: Dedicated hosting gives you full control over customizing your server and its security and is the perfect choice for large businesses who can afford a substantial cost for maximum reliability, customization options and security.

Shared Hosting sounds risky for my business, but I can’t afford a Dedicated host - Help!

If you’re worried about taking the leap to a fully dedicated server, a Virtual Private Server may be the right choice for you. Similar to a dedicated hosting provider but on a smaller scale, many medium sized businesses who need the next step up in security and reliability are opting for a VPS. The price ticket falls somewhere in between shared and dedicated, and the customization options usually do too, depending on the company you choose.

Costings are lower because you are still sharing a server with other users, but you will be provided with a guaranteed amount of RAM and CPU allowance, meaning your website is not affected by the performance of others on the server. This makes VPS great for businesses experiencing rapid growth or heavy traffic, or who support complex applications on their site. Lastly, VPS will come with a dedicated IP address for your website, ensuring you maintain a much higher level of security than with shared hosting.

Bottom Line: Offering better performance and security than shared hosting solutions, a VPS is a more basic version of a dedicated server for medium to large sized businesses who want more flexibility from their hosting choice.


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