Are You Master of Your Own Domain?Written by Kate Smalley
This is an important topic for anyone who currently has a website and domain name, as well as for anyone interested in building an internet identity. I am sharing not only from personal experience (I have five active websites online at this time) but from my business, Connecticut Secretary, and projects I have been involved with in creating and building websites for my customers.
Oftentimes customers will approach me after they have already chosen a domain name. What I investigate first is who actually owns that domain name. I no longer ask customer directly, because 99.9% of time response is always "I do!" when in fact many of them unwittingly do not. Determining this is an easy step; you simply go to an independent domain registrar such as Register.com, http://www.register.com, and type in domain name and choose whois when results pop up. Feel free to go and type in connecticutsecretary.com and choose whois. You will see that I, Kate Smalley, am listed as owner and administrative contact for Connecticut Secretary. The technical contact is simply hosting service I have chosen.
The problem we run into is when individuals have chosen to purchase their domain name through a hosting service at a discounted rate. The hosting service is company that purchases and owns your domain name, and in essence you sometimes just end up renting it along with your hosting service. This is a great way for hosting company to ensure continued business. Think about if, in future, you decide to change hosting services. Who do you think you will have to contact to have your domain redirected to another hosting provider? How anxious do you think they will be to provide service to you? How quickly do you feel they will redirect your url? What will happen if they forget to renew your domain name and someone else obtains control and ownership of it? What happens if that hosting company goes out of business? I have seen it happen. To take this conversation one step further, there are now hosting companies that will purchase domain in your name, so you are official owner, but they still retain control over your usage of account. An important point to remember is that ownership of an account as well as having ability to use account are important features when deciding how to purchase your domain name. "...in essence you sometimes just end up renting... "
I am not saying this is a fact with all hosting companies; I only ask you to consider it for your own well-being and future viability on internet. Purchasing a domain name yourself is only a matter of spending a few extra dollars per year, and is well worth security of knowing you are owner and one in control of your domain. Consider amount of work that you have put in to targeting and obtaining traffic through search engines on your keywords and search terms. Think about all business you will loose if you have to start over again with a new domain name from scratch.
Free Web -Site hosting without the banner ads?Written by Matt Byron
Free Web site Hosting without Banner Ads? Looking for free web hosting with no annoying pop-ups, pop-unders, buttons, banners, headers or footers? And as well as this, you'd like 99.8 percent up-time, fast servers, access to cgi-bin for scripts, FP extensions, PHP and MySQL databases and FTP access?
We went out searching for best "no ads" totally free site hosting space deals around. The results: disappointing, they are very few and far between. Many have come and gone, or as in case of Bizland, quite suddenly withdrawn their free service and demanded that all their customers begin paying. We took a look at promotional information for over 300 free web hosting companies, but then also looked at customer reviews. There was usually a major difference in opinions.
There is still a plethora of free web hosts around, but most require that you carry their advertising or offer you a limited time for free service, usually a year. On up side of this, many of these companies do supply quality hosting with many services in exchange for having their banners served up on your pages. We did find that many of non-banner supported free options were hosted on very slow servers. In a number of cases, server failed to respond at all! How do non-banner free hosting companies make their money? These companies try to survive by enticing freebie customers to take out their paid hosting space options, which is fair enough. Quite often, their paid hosting options are quite cheap. You'll find that if you utilize this kind of free site hosting, services available are rather limited and you'll need to pay for things like Front Page extensions and access to cgi-bin for scripts. The other way that they survive is through regular newsletters containing offers from companies that pay them for ad space.
Strategies in using non-banner supported free hosting options One of common patterns for these companies is that when they first set up shop, customer support is fantastic, server response times are great, shared scripts function well and file transfer interfaces are reliable. But as time goes on, "gold fever" hits, and people begin flocking to these companies with inevitable results - things start slowing down and falling over.
If you do find yourself in position of needing to use free space due to financial restrictions; here's a couple of things you can do: Buy a domain name first Register a domain name first - Many domain name registrars give you a stack of free services with each name registered. Costs for domain name registrations can be as little as US$10-$12 per year. One of services that you want to look for is a domain name control panel and free http/URL forwarding or framing. This allows you to redirect name as you wish, changing its destination every day if you want to! If your free web-hosting provider goes belly up or isn't functioning correctly, you can move your site to another provider and redirect domain name to point towards it.