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Re: own domain..
From Dublin Drinking Magazine at Here's where we hosted ours on 25 Feb '99
replying to own domain.. posted by Rob


Anyone doing business on the Web, heck anyone doing business any which way, ought to seriously consider getting their own domain name. Then, before you make the decision of where to host it, try to figure out exactly what you want from your website. Some things you might want to consider are...

Do you want an interactive site? Do you want to allow your visitors to fill in forms etc on your site? If so, you will probably want a host that supports cgi-bin. There are "remote hosting" alternatives, where you just add some html on your page and the actual cgi-bin sits on someone else's machine, but generally, they will require free ad space on your site in return. For a more professional look, you probably want cgi-bin support.

Email addresses.
What do you want to do with mail sent to Some services will forward mail sent to this address to your "normal" (AOL or whatever) address. This means that when you reply, your reply will come from your AOL address. Again, you lose some of the professional look. This is known as email forwarding.
POP addresses are "real" email accounts that you connect with via your existing email package.
Depending on the service you hook up with they will have varying numbers of each email type on offer. Get whichever one suits you best.

Will you be setting up a store on the web. Do you want people to be able to browse through your stock, looking at photos, descriptions etc... dropping things into their shopping basket, faxing you the order, or giving you their credit card details online... If you want to offer this service, but don't have your own experienced programming team, then you will want to host with one of the few companies who offer E-Commerce solutions as part of their deal.

These are the "intangibles" which you will need to answe for yourself... you can then conisder other, more directly comparable, issues like

tech support
- how do you contact someone for help? how quickly do they respond? how knowledgeable are they?

- do they gurantee that your site will be online? Will they refund if your site isn't?

- how fast is your site's connection to the net?

- do you have to sign a year's contract? Pay for a year upfront? Can you pay by the month?

- how long are they in the business - do you think they'll be there tomorrow? next month? next year?

Notice two things that I haven't even mentioned yet are disk space and price. The reason is that diskspace genberally isn't an issue - you can fit quite a substantial site into even a 10MB webspace. And as regards cost, don't hurt yourself by going for the cheapest host... there's generally a reason why others cost more... don't learn why at your expense. Work out your business plan, figure how much you can earn from your site, and how much you can spend on it. Then, based on the above factors, and any you think I may have left out, GO FOR THE BEST YOU CAN AFFORD.

An analogy, if I might.
Any fool with a camcorder can make a commercial. If you had an opportunity to show your commercial right across the world, would you let just any fool shoot it? Or would you shop around and get the best production team you can afford?

The exact same applies to your website. Everything about your website reflects your business, and you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Ok, that went on waaay longer than I intended, so I'll shut up now.

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