Purchasing your own domain name?

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Ishta
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Purchasing your own domain name?

Post by Ishta » August 6th, 2011, 1:40 am

Okay, so this is where I prove that I really AM a 21st Century Caveperson...

How does one go about purchasing one's own domain name, for the purposes of setting up a website?

I am so clueless.

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CharleeVale
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Re: Purchasing your own domain name?

Post by CharleeVale » August 6th, 2011, 10:00 am

A hosting site.

I use hostmonster, many people use godaddy. If you google it you'll get plenty of options.

CV

Collectonian
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Re: Purchasing your own domain name?

Post by Collectonian » August 6th, 2011, 2:51 pm

To set up a web site, you need a hosting company to provide you with space. I personally use and love HostNexus. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, out there to choose from. :-) Which one to go with depends on your needs in terms of space, monthly transfer, and necessary technologies. Are you building the site yourself or do you have a web developer doing it? Is it going to be static (i.e. just HTML, JS, CSS, etc) or will it be a web application, either custom made or an installed third-party system. If it will be an app, you need to make sure the host you choose provides the appropriate platform. For example, if you want to use WordPress, you need a host that offers PHP 5 and MySQL 5. Usually you pay for hosting per month, though many offer the ability to pay for a year at a discounted rate.

To rent a domain name (you never really "own" them), you need a registrar. GoDaddy is popular, as is Register.com. I use GKG.net. Generally for regular domain, such as a .com or .net, you can expect to pay around $10-15 a year, with discounts for paying for multiple years in advance. Whichever one you go with, make sure to research it to be sure it is a legit registrar.

Most registrars also offer basic "parking" service, and simple web hosting/space, usually where you can "build" a basic website using wizards or the like. A lot of hosts also offer domain registration, but I prefer to have them separate.

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Ishta
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Re: Purchasing your own domain name?

Post by Ishta » August 6th, 2011, 8:45 pm

Collectonian wrote:To rent a domain name (you never really "own" them), you need a registrar. GoDaddy is popular, as is Register.com. I use GKG.net. Generally for regular domain, such as a .com or .net, you can expect to pay around $10-15 a year, with discounts for paying for multiple years in advance. Whichever one you go with, make sure to research it to be sure it is a legit registrar.

Most registrars also offer basic "parking" service, and simple web hosting/space, usually where you can "build" a basic website using wizards or the like. A lot of hosts also offer domain registration, but I prefer to have them separate.
Okay. Just based on what you've said, I think I need to hire someone to design my website! LOL!

So I'm now wondering if I can register a domain name now, but not do anything with it yet. If I went to GoDaddy, for example, could I choose a domain name and register it now, so that when I need it for my website so many months down the line, I have it?

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Re: Purchasing your own domain name?

Post by CharleeVale » August 6th, 2011, 10:21 pm

Ishta wrote: Okay. Just based on what you've said, I think I need to hire someone to design my website! LOL!
Not necessarily...I designed my entire website myself, and I know zero coding. http://www.charleevale.com

What I did after buying the domain name, was I subscribed to http://www.squarespace.com. Squarespace is a sort of filter site, it's only about 15 bucks a month. It allows you to plug in your own graphics in a 'What you see is what you get' editor. Everything is completely customizable. It's really cool! Plus they allow you to track your website really well. Highly recommended.

CV

Collectonian
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Re: Purchasing your own domain name?

Post by Collectonian » August 7th, 2011, 1:00 am

Yes, you can acquire the domain now, and just park it. Also, many hosting companies offer what is called a "WYSIWYG" builder for websites that offers point and click web site building. Go Daddy has one as well, though I think it just does a single page. Another option is installing an application like Mango Blog, Wordpress, or other system (like the Squarespace Charlee mentioned) which then gives you a web-based interface for building a site. A lot of hosts offer one-click install of those as well :-) There are a lot of options out there these days for quickly building a simple site. For most basic needs, it will work fine.

The benefit of hiring a web designer/developer is that a good one not only knows how to code the site to standards, but brings expertise in usability, accessibility, browser-specific issues, search engine optimization, performance, etc. As a web developer myself, I've done both from the ground up sites, and installs of third-party systems with a customized template to ensure the site does exactly what is needed while being code compliant, usable, and accessible. It's kind of like cover design. You can do it yourself and many people can make nice colors, but a professional can bring in those extras you might never think about. :-)

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Ishta
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Re: Purchasing your own domain name?

Post by Ishta » August 8th, 2011, 5:58 am

Thanks, Collectonian!

Okay, so one last question: does it matter who I register the domain name with? In other words, if I register with GoDaddy, for example, do I have to use them to host my website? I guess that means I do... Which means I need to decide what I want out of a website now and pick my hosting site now, then go to that place and register my domain name with them...?

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Re: Purchasing your own domain name?

Post by Collectonian » August 8th, 2011, 10:53 am

Nope, other than making sure to pick a reputable place, you can register your domain with anyone. Hosting and domain registration are separate things :-) So if you aren't ready to make the site yet, but want to reserve the domain, you can go ahead and register it with any registrar, like GoDaddy. Then, when you're ready to do your site, you pick your host and then go update your domain registration to let it know where your site is housed (the hosting company will give you instructions on the servers to point to).

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Re: Purchasing your own domain name?

Post by Sommer Leigh » August 8th, 2011, 12:18 pm

Ishta wrote:Thanks, Collectonian!

Okay, so one last question: does it matter who I register the domain name with? In other words, if I register with GoDaddy, for example, do I have to use them to host my website? I guess that means I do... Which means I need to decide what I want out of a website now and pick my hosting site now, then go to that place and register my domain name with them...?
No you don't need to use whoever you register your domain name with host your site. In fact, some sites that host webistes don't register domains. That's pretty common.

I personally use GoDaddy to register my 2 sites and I use AN Hosting for my hosting services. I STRONGLY recommend AN Hosting.
1) Their pricing is very reasonable
2) Their servers are quick and I've only had downtime once when a storm hit their server center. We were back up and running in a few hours though.
3) They have a lot of wizards available native to their hosting services that allow you to build a website without any knowledge of coding or websites in general. It's how I was able to build my first.
4) They have 24/7 free online help. You click on the online help, it brings up a little box, you type in your question and the IT person will either fix whatever isn't working or will walk you through doing something you don't know how to do. This service has been invaluable for me learning the ropes.

One thing you should consider when you register your domain is paying the little bit extra to make your information private. When you register a domain, anyone can look up the owner of a domain and with it your name and address and information. For buisnesses, this is a good thing, but for a private person, not really ideal. Purchasing privacy on your domain will route people looking up your domain through the register instead so your name doesn't show up.

Good luck on this adventure!
May the word counts be ever in your favor. http://www.sommerleigh.com
Be nice, or I get out the Tesla cannon.

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Ishta
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Re: Purchasing your own domain name?

Post by Ishta » August 9th, 2011, 1:46 am

Thanks, guys!

Doug Pardee
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Re: Purchasing your own domain name?

Post by Doug Pardee » August 9th, 2011, 11:42 am

Sommer Leigh wrote:One thing you should consider when you register your domain is paying the little bit extra to make your information private. When you register a domain, anyone can look up the owner of a domain and with it your name and address and information. For buisnesses, this is a good thing, but for a private person, not really ideal. Purchasing privacy on your domain will route people looking up your domain through the register instead so your name doesn't show up.
A small note. If you do this, you do not officially own the domain name. This "privacy" system operates by having someone else (usually the registrar) be the official owner and operator of the domain name, so their name, address, and email will appear on the public records. The official owner lets you use the domain name, and they forward any necessary correspondence to you.

In theory, they could keep the domain name for their own, sell it off, or whatever they wanted, and you wouldn't have any say in the matter. They also could refuse to let you transfer it to another registrar. If the official owner were to suddenly go of business, it might prove very difficult to get your domain name back.

In practice, though, I've never heard a single horror story. Still, I personally don't need the privacy so I choose to own my domain names.

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Re: Purchasing your own domain name?

Post by Sommer Leigh » August 9th, 2011, 12:29 pm

Doug Pardee wrote:A small note. If you do this, you do not officially own the domain name. This "privacy" system operates by having someone else (usually the registrar) be the official owner and operator of the domain name, so their name, address, and email will appear on the public records. The official owner lets you use the domain name, and they forward any necessary correspondence to you.

In theory, they could keep the domain name for their own, sell it off, or whatever they wanted, and you wouldn't have any say in the matter. They also could refuse to let you transfer it to another registrar. If the official owner were to suddenly go of business, it might prove very difficult to get your domain name back.

In practice, though, I've never heard a single horror story. Still, I personally don't need the privacy so I choose to own my domain names.
I do not believe this is how GoDaddy operates their privacy system. It's Domain by Proxy, but they don't make any claims to owning the domain. You still retain ownership to sell and transfer your domain. I gave their customer service a call and they explained this to me that I am still the full owner of the domain.

I know there has been some dislike of domain by proxy services as being unnecessary, but I like using it for myself since, at the moment, I am not a business, just a person on the internet.
May the word counts be ever in your favor. http://www.sommerleigh.com
Be nice, or I get out the Tesla cannon.

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Re: Purchasing your own domain name?

Post by Doug Pardee » August 9th, 2011, 4:31 pm

Sommer Leigh wrote:I do not believe this is how GoDaddy operates their privacy system. It's Domain by Proxy, but they don't make any claims to owning the domain.
Domains by Proxy is GoDaddy's brand name for their privacy service, which is also available to other registrars. They do own the domain name, and they only state that "you retain full control over your domain." The legal owner of the domain is one of the four public name/address/email descriptions, so in order to keep your name off of the public domain records, they must legally own the domain.

From section 1 of Domains by Proxy's proxy agreement: "each and any available domain name registration You designate will thereafter be registered in the name of DBP". Section 2 of the agreement then delegates essentially all control authority back to the user, but it cannot give the user outright ownership short of canceling the agreement (item iv).

According to Wikipedia (who we all know is never wrong because, ya know, we read it on the Internet), there have been a few incidents relating to domain privacy.

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Re: Purchasing your own domain name?

Post by Doug Pardee » August 9th, 2011, 6:46 pm

It occurs to me that I should clarify what my position is on the privacy thing.

If you have any real reason for wanting/needing the privacy, then go for it. The chances that anything will go wrong seem to be extremely low, and there's nothing in this world that doesn't have some risk to it.

But if you're just thinking, "privacy sounds better than no privacy," maybe it's not worth the money and the small risk. Me, I've been on Teh Intarwebs and its various predecessors for about 30 years, with my real name. Yes, that's my real name up there. I long ago gave up any illusions of online anonymity and privacy. But then, I don't personally happen to have any particular reason to be concerned about anonymity and privacy, whereas other people do. (I've been watching the Google+ "real names only" controversy, and it's quite the brouhaha.)

Anyway, I don't get any noticeable amount of junk mail, either paper or email, that can be traced back to my domain name listings nor to any of my wife's listings (on which I appear as the admin and tech contacts). I changed registrars on my own domain name this year — away from GoDaddy — and I got a blast of about six emails that were apparently triggered by that event before everything settled back down to silence. This is just my personal experience; your mileage may vary.

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Re: Purchasing your own domain name?

Post by Collectonian » August 9th, 2011, 8:49 pm

Another option to offer some privacy at an affordable rate is to get a mail box from the USPS or the UPS store. Not very expensive, and can be very convienient if you move regularly or to keep "personal" separate from "business." If you use it purely for your author related stuff, it also could be a tax write off (making sure of course to check into the appropriate rules for your situation :-) ).

On my own domains, I just used first initial with my last name, and do not have an actual address or phone number listed. However, this is technically against ICANN policy, so your registrar may require you to change it if someone checks it and complains :-P

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