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Domain Names (for Nov 14, 2012 Brown Library presentation) (11/12/2012)
- Presenter James Ingram has no formal training in web page design; has an ancient degree in Mechanical Engineering.
- Just trying to pass along some ways to create web pages, without needing to have to have a whole lot of training. (Ingram promotes the phrase "Your local support network, for easy, inexpensive web pages".) Note your own results may be BETTER, as you may have more artistic talent than I do.
- Please keep in mind, that even if what I say tonight is correct, that things about the internet change so fast, that it may be outdated 6 months from now.
B. Intro To Domain Names:.
- Examples: JVBrown.edu, BilltownWeb.org, Apple.com, CutsUnlimited.net
- Purpose: Domain name of the format "YourName.com" allows easy finding of your web page, and allows transparent forwarding to any new location if your actual web page location changes.
- Analogies: Like telephone number to a building (domain name is the phone number, web page is the building), or license plate to a vehicle (domain name is the license plate, web page is the vehicle).
- In a similar way to the analogies, all domain names (like license plates or phone numbers) are relatively equal in cost. Web pages (like buildings or vehicles) can vary greatly in size and cost and complexity.
C. More About Domain Names:
- Explanatory Note: Format For Typing Address (URL) Into Your Browser: - You can usually type a URL (web address) into your browser in several variations -- for example, 'http://www.17754.org' or 'http://17754.org' or '17754.org' , and the browser will find the page. -
- For printing on a business card or brochure, you would probably use the most concise version '17754.org' , or possibly 'www.17754.org' for more clarity.
--(Note a lot of people still don't seem to understand difference between web address & email addess.)
--Extra: Anytime you see a URL in the newspaper like 'track2.com/index.shtml', the 'index.shtml' shows ignorance, as the browser always defaults to the default home page 'index.shtml' or 'index.html' or 'index.htm' or however it's been named.
- Domain names are case-insensitive. For example, you can type in 'billtownweb.org' or 'BilltownWeb.org' or 'BILLTOWNWEB.ORG or 'bIlLtOwNwEb.oRg or any combination of uppercase and lowercase, and it doesn't matter.
- Mapping vs Forwarding: A domain name can be "forwarded" to a website, or "mapped" to a website. BilltownWeb.org is mapped, whereas 'MiltonModelTrainMuseum.org' is 'forwarded'. Mapping is better, but more complicated.
- --You can 'forward' a domain to anywhere, but to 'map' it you have to be able to change settings at both the registrar and the web page host.
D. Why You Should Register Your Domain Name ASAP:
- The longer you wait, the better chance someone else with the same business or group name will register the one you want. Like phone numbers, only "one per customer".
- Does Your Web Page Absolutely NEED A Domain Name? - No. You can have a web page without having a domain name. But with the price being as low as it now is, approximately $10 to $15 per year, there's little reason not to get one.
(a) Makes it easier for people to remember the address, for example 'JamesIngram.net' instead of 'track2.com/resume'.
(b) Having your own domain name gives you PORTABILITY. You can later move the website to a different hosting service at a different actual address, and the domain name stays the same. Which means you don't have to change business cards or printed STATIONARY -- or most importantly, people's HABITS to find your page.
E. About Registrars:
- Selecting A Registrar: - There exist hundreds of Registrars, where you can purchase a "domain name". You can Google phrases similar "best inexpensive domain name register" for lots of reading.
- Ingram has domains registered at Godaddy.com, 1and1.com, and NameCheap.com. Presently I register names for other people at Godaddy.com, and names for myself at NameCheap.com. Godaddy is now the largest registrar.
- Pluses & minuses of Godaddy.com: (+) Telephone support with people who speak clear English. (-) Always trying to sell you more.
- Pluses & minuses of 1and1.com: (+) A bit cheaper, the ".org" is about $10 per year vs $15 per year with Godaddy. (+) When domain is configured as 'forwarded' domain (not 'mapped'), you can create email addresses that forward to up to 3 other email addresses each. (-) Phone support is in Manilla, hard to understand accents. (-) Billing is less flexible; they want to bill you for each domain each year, on the day it expires. (With GoDaddy & NameCheap, you can pay ahead.)
- Pluses & minuses of NameCheap.com: (+) Seems to be preferred by lots of people, including the Brown Library's knowledgeable webmaster Charles Ormsbee. (-) No phone support; everything has to be done by email.
- Some people recommend using 3 SEPARATE vendors for web page, domain name, & email (not all eggs in 1 basket-- due to vendor 'ups & downs'). Said another way, "Consider NOT hosting your web page, with the same company you register your domain name".
F. Picking A Domain Name
- You want a domain name that is ideally (a) short, (b) easy to remember, and (c) easy to type correctly. The biggest CHALLENGE today with finding a domain name, is that so many of them have already been taken.
- Most registrars have some sort of tool where you can type in a domain name, click "Search", and it will tell you if the name is available or not, and also suggest similar names.
*Use GoDaddy.com, and search for the domain name 'BilltownWeb.org'.
* Observe variations offered.
* Look up domain ownership info in WhoIs database.
- The '.com' is usually preferred, but the '.net', '.biz', '.org', and other extensions such as '.info' and '.us' will usually suffice. For a business, if the '.com' is unavailable, I will register the '.net', while for a non-profit I will register the '.org'.
- Allowable characters are letters, numbers, and hyphen. I usually recommend NOT using the hyphen, as people seem to have problems remembering them.
It's good when you can just a an extension to the existing organization name, examples being 'SusquehannaSeniorNet.org' and 'SusquehannaSgaugers.com'; though these are somewhat long.
--We started with 'SocialOrganizationForSingles.org', but later changed it to 'SosClubPa.com' to make it shorter.
- I recommend registering the name for 1 year initially to make sure you like it, then register it for 5 years or more thereafter.
G. Private Registration & Email
- Registrars ususally give you the option of "private registration", where your contact information is hidden from the public and Spammers and Scammers. Godaddy charges for this, while 1and1 and NameCheap include it.
- I prefer public registration, using actual dates, except I do NOT show anyone's real email address so that Spammers can't get it.
--For registration email, you can set up a separate free email from Google, Yahoo, AOL, or create an additional free one if you have Comcast or Verizon as your ISP.
- Passwords: Make sure you properly document your login IDs and passwords.
Here is an example of the type of file I prepare when I set up a website for someone.