3 Domain Name

(for Nov 14, 2012 presentation) (This page is 'Tab 3' at top of BilltownWeb.org, edited 11/13/2012-c)
A. Intro:
  1. Presenter James Ingram has no formal training in web page design; has an ancient degree in Mechanical Engineering. 
  2. Just trying to pass along some ways to create web pages, without needing to have to have a whole lot of training. Note your own results may be BETTER than mine, as you may have more artistic talent than I do.
  3. Ingram uses the phrase "Your local support network, for easy, inexpensive web pages".  Note we have a BilltownWeb Yahoo Group, for local discussion of web-building issues.
    B. Intro To Domain Names:.
  4. Examples: JVBrown.edu, BilltownWeb.org, Apple.com, CutsUnlimited.net
  5. 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.
  6. Analogies:  Somewhat 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).  
  7. 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:
  8. 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. 
  9. 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; may want to keep the 'www' for this reason.
    * Comment: Anytime you see a URL in the newspaper like 'track2.com/index.shtml', the inclusion of 'index.shtml' shows ignorance.  Reason: The browser always defaults to the default home page 'index.shtml' or 'index.html' or 'index.htm' or 'index.php' or however it's been named.
  10. 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.  (For subdirectories, case does matter.)
  11. 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.
    * You can "map" only 1 domain name to a site.  But you can forward any number of domain names to a single site.
    D. Why You Should Register Your Domain Name ASAP:
  12. 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".
  13. Does Your Web Page Absolutely NEED A Domain Name? - No. You can have a web page without having a domain name.   (Note there are 4 examples at bottom of 'Examples' page.)--But with the price being only 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) 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.
    * This means you don't have to change business cards or printed STATIONARY -- or most importantly, people's HABITS to find your page.

    E. About Domain Registrars:
  15. Selecting A Registrar: - There exist hundreds of Registrars, where you can purchase a "domain name".  You can Google phrases similar to "best inexpensive domain name registrar" for lots of reading.
  16. I have 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.
  17. Pluses & minuses of Godaddy.com:  (+) Telephone support with people who speak clear English.  (-) Always trying to charge you more.  Like the phone company, every little thing is extra money.
  18. 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.)
  19. 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 (why I don't register other people).
  20. 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
  21.  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.
  22. 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.
    --Demo -
    *Use GoDaddy.com, and search for the domain name 'BilltownWeb.org'.
    * Observe variations offered.
    * Look up domain ownership info in WhoIs database.

  23. 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'.
  24. Allowable characters are letters, numbers, and hyphen. I usually recommend NOT using the hyphen, as people seem to have problems remembering them.
  25. It's good when you can just add 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.
  26. 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
  27. 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.
  28. I prefer public registration, using actual data, 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.
  29. Documentation:  Make sure you properly document your login IDs and passwords. 
    Here is an example of the type of file I prepare when I register a domain for someone.