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Your space on the World Wide Web - I

(domain name registration and selecting a web hosting provider)

Do you dream of having your own home? Do you dream of having your own car? Do you dream of having your own space on the Internet?

The first two are a touch expensive but the last one isn't even though people generally have the impression that it is.
Your own space on the web; meaning your own www.myname.com


There are two parts to having your own space on the net:
1.) Your domain name
2.) Web hosting space

Choosing your name!

  • Use short names so that people can remember the name easily.

  • Avoid names that lead to spelling confusion.

  • Use names that can be pronounced easily. Websites like xcdfg.com are going to be really hard to remember.

  • It is better if the website name reflects what is the content of the website.

What’s a TLD?

Domain name – it is just like getting a telephone number. You can block whatever name you want (as long as that name is not registered by someone else). There are different types of top level domain names and the rates for each differ:
1.) .com
2.) .net
3.) .co.in
4.) .info
5.) .org and many more.

So if you want to register a name, say myname, on the net then you have to first decide what TLD (top level domain or domain type) you want to register in.
If you are okay to spend a lot of money you can even register your name under all the TLDs. You can register:
www.myname.com
www.myname.org
www.myname.co.in
www.myname.info

Of course .com’s are the most popular and let’s assume you are interested in getting: www.myname.com

Domain registration cost

On an average it would cost around Rs. 500 per year for one domain name. Depending on the TLD the rate maybe higher or lower. You can find rates for as low as Rs. 200 and as high as Rs. 800.

Where is the physical space? Web hosting space

  • Once you register a domain name you have to link it up to some server space. In simple terms – domain registration just gives you a door plate with your name on it. You need to get a house where you will put up the plate. The house is the web space on the net. Whenever someone searches for your house, they will ask for directions and people will guide them to the house having your name plate.

  • Identification on the net is through IP addresses. So by registering a domain name you need to say that “when someone types www.myname.com in their browser then take them to the computer with IP address 123.123.1.50 which contains the webpages to be sent to the user”.

  • The computer with address 123.123.1.50 should be always connected to the Internet and it should have a static IP (i.e. even if the system reconnects to the Internet it should have the same IP address).

  • If you have a PC at home/office which is always connected to the net and which has a static IP then you can host your website on that PC itself. Otherwise you’ll need someone else’s help – someone who has got a PC with static IP and always connected to the net and who is willing to give you some space on that PC (of course they’ll give you space only for money).

Who to contact for domain name registration?

  • For a first timer it would be better to use the same company for registering the domain name and also for hosting the website.

How to choose a web hosting provider?

  • Almost all web host providers will do domain registration as well. So how do we chose a hosting provider?

  • There are many providers out there. If you are in India (and are skeptical about using your credit card online) you might prefer going through an Indian company. Your options will be limited in this case. Decide first on this and then start your research (yes; before you chose a provider you should spend some time researching into your options).

Continued...