The Pros & Cons Of Hosting The Site YourselfWritten by Jason Shpik
DO-IT-YOURSELF You host Web site yourself, relying purely on in-house resources except for external connectivity. PROS: * No service costs to pay * You have total control over application CONS: * Can be difficult and expensive to maintain required expertise * You may not have an ideal physical environment * Coping with future increase in demand may be painful.
YANILLA CO-LOCATION Hosting company provides physical space and associated environmental services, including building access security, for your Web server and connectivity to Internet. However, server is yours and you manage everything else to do with it, including hardware, operating system and application. PROS: * Far cheaper than full-blown dedicated hosting, while avoiding all environmental and connectivity issues of in-house hosting CONS: * You stilt need resources to manage Web server itself including operating system and application.
CO-MANAGED This is a half-way house, in which you still look after application, but now hosting company owns and administers server and operating system, as well as providing all basic co-location facilities. This represents a split in responsibility between IT platform and application running on it. PROS: * It off-loads all responsibility for hardware and operating system, allowing you to focus on application * Cheaper than full dedicated hosting CONS: * Considerably more expensive than co-location * You still have to look after application, which is often main source of reliability problems.
DEDICATED HOSTING Here hosting company looks after everything to do with IT of your Web site, including application and even processing-electronic payments. PROS: * It off-loads all responsibility for IT, allowing you to focus purely on products and customers CONS: * Very expensive * You will stilt deal with customers and products * You may stilt have to grapple with complex integration issues involving in-house systems.
FULL-BLOWN PROCESS OUTSOURCING This is dedicated hosting with additional component of managing processes such as CRM and product pricing, in effect outsourcing whale e-commerce operation, concentrating on products or services you provide but leaving online distribution to service provider. PROS: * It off-loads some of integration issues (or all of them if you resort to total outsourcing of IT) * Fastest route to new online markets CONS * Adds even more to cost * Extends dependence on hosting provider beyond IT provision into customer relationship management, which may be beyond its core competence.
The Domain Name GameWritten by Jason Shpik
The Domain Name Game
The Widgets Corporation decides to start a Web site and naturally wants to name it Widgets.Com. But much to consternation of its management, it discovers there already is a Widgets.com. Someone else has registered "domain name" and Widgets is stuck. It happens every day as battle for best domain names grows. But what in fact is a domain name and what are issues surrounding their use? Domain names are simply addresses of Internet. Without domain name, a computer would have no idea where to look for a Web page, and e-mail routers would not be able to send e-mail. Domain names are divided into hierarchies. The top-level of hierarchy appears after last dot in domain name. In "microsoft.com", top level domain name is .com. The .com name is most common top-level domain name, and is used to indicate that domain name is owned by a commercial enterprise. The disputes that arise over domain names involve "second level" domain names directly to left of top-level domain name. For instance, in address "www.microsoft.com," second-level domain name is "Microsoft." Two identical second-level domain names cannot coexist under same top-level domain. For example, even though both Delta Faucet Company and Delta Airlines would like "delta.com" domain name, only one Delta company can have delta.com. Unfortunately for both Delta Faucet Company and Delta Airlines, that Delta company is Delta Financial of Woodbury, New York. Instead of using delta.com, Delta Airlines uses deltaairlines.com, while Delta Faucet Company uses deltafaucet.com. In order to register a second-level domain name under a top-level domain, a request must be made to organization that has power to assign names for that top-level domain. Prior to December 1999, a company called Network Solutions Inc. ("NSI") was almost solely responsible for registration of second level domain names for most popular top-level domains, including .com, .net and .org. As of December 1999, ability to register.com, .net and .org domain names was spread out among many registrars. These registrars are accredited by The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (or "ICANN"), a non-profit corporation formed specifically to control Internet domain name management and similar functions.