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Advice Needed: Buying a Domain Name, Website Hosting


Synergy
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I am going to be buying a domain name for my clinical practice here within days. I've never had a domain name or a webpage before. Assume I know nothing about all this, because that is not far from the truth.

 

1) How much should I be paying for my dot-com domain name? InterNIC charges $70. Last I read about it, they charged $15. This was some years ago. I see on other sites like godaddy.com that they seem to charge much less to acquire a domain name. Do they subsidize the cost to get your business? What is the actual cost of a domain name? How or where should I acquire one?

 

2) What site/service would anyone recommend for a fairly low-key, simple, streamlined, but elegant website with few bells and whistles? What I want is low monthly cost, ease of use, reliability of service, and whatever else is important I am not thinking of. I would like to be able to use some online WYSIWYG website design tools, as I have no webdesigning application on my Mac, nor do I know how to use any. I know Yahoo has some tools with their service that are decent. I have a friend who is also a therapist who has put together a respectable site through Yahoo hosting. I want to be able to maybe introduce some custom backgrounds or templates, since my Mom, at 70, learned some html and web design programming recently, remarkably enough. Go mom! I don't know if it is possible to add anything custom like this once you start using something like Yahoo's website design tools.

 

I know a lot of folks here are very savvy and practiced with all this stuff. Help please?

 

Many thanks for any suggestions.

 

-S-

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Hm... I'm fairly content with webs.com, formerly Freewebs. The WYSIWYG editor is decent, though I haven't looked extensively at their more advanced features. I've basically gotten as far as paying to rid my site of ads and that's it. Most of the templates are fairly restrained and dignified, and the ones that aren't are immediately obvious.

 

(Also, none of the urls I would want are available. Meh.)

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Thanks Eph, I'll check that one out. Slarty, yes, finally, two years after graduating and going through a lot of personal preparation and evolution I am finally starting my private practice about three miles from where I live here in Kirkland, WA. A fellow classmate has a beautifully furnished office she uses part time for her own practice and we will be sharing her space. Later, when I become phenomenally successful, I will get my own office space, and ultimately, I want to be part of a group holistic clinic which offers a variety of therapies for body, mind, and soul. I'll be working with primarily adult populations, fairly high-functioning. I also hope to work with couples and will host at least one, if not more therapy groups. I'm a big believer in group therapy. It can be very powerful. In particular, I'd like to host one for men around gender issues and roles.

 

What's been holding me up more than anything at this point, is figuring out all the nuts and bolts of starting a business, the usual bureaucratic red tape, etc.

 

-S-

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Quote:
What is the actual cost of a domain name? How or where should I acquire one?

Prices tend to be about $10 per year. Most service providers will offer to handle the registration details for you along with providing your storage space and bandwidth. I handle it this way through my service provider (Dreamhost[^1]). Webs is offering this service as well (for example) as a part of their 'Enhanced' and 'Pro' packages.

One important rule for locating and choosing domain names: don't use websites' 'test to see if a domain is available' boxes while thinking about possibilities. A few such tools are operated by shady people who will keep track of names you check and nab them so that if you decide you want them, you have to go through them. The best way to do simple testing is the obvious one of typing a URL into your web-browser and seeing if it resolves to anything. The chances that you get a false negative are pretty low and nobody can practically keep tabs on what you look for[^2].

[^1]: I would recommend that from what you describe yourself as wanting, you want something more like Webs than Dreamhost. I use Dreamhost because I prefer to compose my pages by just typing out the HTML and I want to be able mess around with custom software, but I don't think you want that sort of capability.

[^2]: I imagine that whoever operates your DNS server could do so in theory, but it likely is not very practical, and whoever's handling your DNS must be fairly trustworthy or you would have much bigger problems.
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Assimilating advice, thanks.

 

Would anyone be willing to speak on the advantages and disadvantages of a free host vs. whatever it is you get for paying for webhosting? I'm assuming with a free host you get some degree of advertising inserted into your web pages, over which you have no control. I want no ads on my site, so I'm assuming I'm going to have to pay something.

 

Also, will someone address what a domain name purchase actually costs and who is in charge of the process? Or how much I should reasonably expect or be willing to pay for mine?

 

Thanks,

 

-S-

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Even without the ads, a paid host is more reliable and looks more professional. For a business site, it's definitely to be recommended.

 

As Tyran said, a domain is included in most hosting packages. If not, it will cost between $10-12. Note that in this case, it's much more expensive to cut out the middle-man, as registrars get bulk rates. You don't want to buy straight from InterNIC.

 

Hosting costs itself can vary wildly depending on features, but I would be skeptical of any offer significantly above $200/year. Without knowing the specifics, I don't think it's likely you will need a dedicated server, even for a highly visited site.

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So, I found this useful site:

 

http://hosting-review.com/

 

What I'm having a hard time telling, reading reviews and visiting the sites, is whether or not I will own my chosen domain name. This is absolutely essential for me. What am I missing in the lingo that indicates whether the site owns the domain name or I own it and can take it with me?

 

Anyone have experience with FatCow? I like it in principle, especially for being "green," but am not sure how good it would be to help me build a website. Out of the top ten listed here, does anyone know which has good online WYSIWYG website building tools? Yahoo has decent tools, but are fairly limited, from what I gather, but I am leaning toward using Yahoo for its reliability and ease of use. Bluehost seems very PC-oriented and rather sterile/businessy, and I'm on a Mac. Go Daddy is generally well-reviewed, but seems kind of "young" for the image I want to be associated with my site.

 

-S-

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Originally Posted By: Synergy
What I'm having a hard time telling, reading reviews and visiting the sites, is whether or not I will own my chosen domain name. This is absolutely essential for me. What am I missing in the lingo that indicates whether the site owns the domain name or I own it and can take it with me?
-S-


Ask them before you agree to anything, since some places will keep your domain name if you change hosts. Tyranicus had that problem.
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I use www.awardspace.com free hosting, which I've found really good. There are no ads that I've noticed...I do have the Ad Block Plus extension though. Also you get 5 email addresses and you can use ftp to upload your files.

 

For a comparison of their different hosting plans: https://www.awardspace.net/web_hosting.html

 

For my website, check out my signature.

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