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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Starting an E-Biz - Part 2: Choosing Domain Names and Hosting

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Welcome back fellow Blogtrepreneurs to the 2nd part in my series of How To Start Your Own E-Business. In the previous issue, we looked at How To Plan Your E-Biz.

In order to start any type of business online, you need to have a website, or a "virtual address" where potential customers can come and visit you to find out more about your product. The domain name of any company is their online address, and it is this address which needs to be just as appealing or recognised by others who may buy your products.
The key to success in choosing a domain name is to firstly always buy a .com name. In most cases, especially with common terms or niches, your desired domain name will already have been bought buy someone else. If this is the case, try and contact the owner to see if they are willing to give up the domain name for a set amount of money.
If this fails, then .net or .org extensions are the next best. Finally if these names are taken to, then there are 100s of TLD's that are of course less popular. Extensions such as .us or .co.uk lack credibility in my opinion, however, it can appeal to customers from the same country.

To register a domain name, I personally prefer 1and1.co.uk, they are friendly, their customer support is pretty good and their services online are easy to use. Pricing for a .com name at the moment is only £8.89 per year, but that price can only decrease over time. For a cheaper solution .co.uk are a breathtaking £1.99 per year, a bargain!

Once you have registered your "virtual address", you now need a "virtual residence" where you can place all your information regarding your business in one place, a holding place for your articles, pictures and videos. When it comes to hosting, there are a few factors which you should consider: firstly, how reliable are your hosting service? Hosts should have an up-time of at least 95%. Also check to make sure that the host offers 24/7 phone support, not an automated service. Finally make sure to check how much bandwidth you are offered. Bandwidth is basically the number of visitors that are able to visit your site.

Personally, for my mum's site I used Frozen Webhost, which came recommended by a friend. Their customer support is second to none and their pricing is very competitive: 10 GB Bandwidth, 1000MB disk, Unlimited emails, Unlimited MySqls (for forums and blogs) is only $5 per month.

Once you have secured your domain name and hosting it is time to start designing your site, and it is this subject that we will be focusing on in the next issue of How To Start Your Own E-Biz.

Kepp it Up!!!

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