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Web Hosting

A web site is much like your home. You have an address, real estate property, a building, and a mailbox. A web site must have an address (Domain name) like www.mycompany.com that lets people find you on the internet. You have the real estate property (Web host) to put your building (Web Site) on. Then you need mail boxes (E-mail) with the names of the people to receive mail there. After it is all built, working, and ready to be seen by the world, you need to let others know where you are like in the phone directory. (Build Traffic)



Domain Names
A Domain name is used to identify you on the internet, like mycompany.com. We often hear it referred to as a URL (Universal Resource Locator) or web address. Domain names have different extensions like; .com, .net, org the three most common and then others like info, .tv, .biz, .us, .name. There are also ones originally reserved for foreign countries however some are now available to the general public now like uk, .ca, .de, and others. You purchase or register a domain name with a registrar and it is reserved for a set period of time with renewal available. There is only one name registered with any combination of letters and extension. Once you get a name you want, be sure you keep it renewed or people will not be able to get to your web site and someone else may register it and you will not be able to use it. When selecting a name try to keep it as short as possible, to help prevent misspellings, and keep it to your business to make easier for people to recognize.

When you register your domain name there are a few precautions you should take. You should have the name registered to you and not the hosting company. If you ever want to move it or you have a falling out, then they will own your name and can use it against you if they want. You can make the hosting company a technical contact so they can make changes to make your web site and maintain it. Some registrar will allow more than one technical contact as well as administrative contacts, these are decisions you need to make based on your company.

A domain name is not a web site it is only the name used to find the web site. A web site can have more than one domain name and all names can be pointed to the same page. For example you can have mycompany.com and mycompany.net and both names go to the same web page. Often companies will have multiple spellings and/or names that will still go to the same site. Common misspellings are often registered to help when people type in a name wrong so they still get to your site. Others will register misspellings of competitors names and direct them to their own web site. These are all options you have if the name is available.

We have included a box at the bottom of this page that will link you to a registrar to see if your domain name is available. If you register through this link, the technical information needed to register is included for us to host your domain. If you use another registrar, then you will need to contact us to get the technical information needed to register. You will need the name and IP address of the DNS (Domain Name Server) so they will know where to send traffic for your web site and our DNS will direct them to your web page, mail, and other servers where your material is stored.



Web Host
Your web site is a collection of computer files that you or someone builds. In order for people around the world to be able to view your web site, those files must be uploaded (copied) to a special computer called a web server. The web server is connected to the internet 24/7 with a high speed connection that allows the transfer of files. Another special computer serves as your mail server and stores your mail in mail boxes waiting to be retrieved.

The servers normally have a firewall to protect from hackers and could have virus and spam filters on the mail servers. Most have UPS (Uninteruptable Power Supply) to handle power interruptions and generators to handle longer power outages. These are normally monitored by engineers who know the technical aspects of the servers and maintain them to keep your web site on line and available to the world. When you pay for hosting you are renting space on these servers and saving the expense and technical problems of doing it yourself. Most hosting is prepaid annually. Some hosting companies also charge a set-up fee, while some hosting companies limit your bandwidth, either charging more or turning off your site after there has been so much traffic to it in a set time, normally a month. Many also limit the size of your web site files, or charge extra when you go over the limit. Check all of these items when selecting a web host.



Web Site
Your web site is your window for the world to look at you. Here you create the image for your business. Many businesses have only a web page as a place of business. Most brick and mortar businesses have a web site as an extension of their place of business. You can sell items from a web site or direct traffic to your physical location.

You can build your own web page or have it designed for you by a professional web designer. Web pages are programmed in HTML (Hyper Text Mark-up Language) and can be done with many different programs. If you have the time and patience, you can have a page in a few hours. The web pages can be anything from a simple page with your name, address, and phone number and maybe business hours (like a business card) to a complete catalogue or menu of your products and/or services. The more the web designer understands your business and your customers the better they should be able to convey your message to your customers.

Building web pages includes everything from the background on the pages to the color and placement of your logo. Be sure to include some pictures of your business and/or products. Many other things like the encoded e-mail addresses to lessen spam mail, and keywords for search engines should be programmed into the pages to make you easier to find on the web.

It is nice to have the fancy page with lots of pictures and sound, but you may be running your customers away with it. At the end of 2005, 24% of adult rural Americans used broadband at home, vs. 39% of those in urban and suburban areas, says the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Consider simpler pages and smaller graphics for faster loading pages. It has been said the first page must load in 30 seconds or faster to keep them from leaving.

Select a web designer you feel comfortable with and can work with. Work with them and you will be rewarded with a fine web page that will increase your business. Be sure they understand your needs and you help them by giving sketches of any ideas you may have, along with pictures and logos your company uses. If you have printed material, copies will assist them in keeping consistency between all media presented to the public.



E-mail
E-mail is a convenient way of communicating with your customers and for them to contact you. Even a one person company can appear larger by using e-mail addresses like these:
YourName@mycompany.com
info@mycompany.com
sales@mycompany.com
quotes@mycompany.com
catalogue@mycompany.com
president@mycompany.com
treasurer@mycompany.com
webmaster@mycompany.com
CustomerService@mycompany.com
support@mycompany.com
help@mycompany.com
press@mycompany.com
billing@mycompany.com
accounting@mycompany.com
reservations@mycompany.com
catering@mycompany.com
Your web page can contain forms that are e-mailed to you. These can range from product/service inquiries to orders for your product/service. Another way to keep your customers coming back and your name before them is to do weekly or monthly newsletters and e-mail them to the people that want them. Be sure you follow the law and are not considered spam.



Build Traffic
People normally find your home by the phone directory, word of mouth, house warming, announcements, etc. In similar ways you can help increase your site's traffic. However, the primary source of traffic is normally from search engines like Google, Yahoo, etc. Once search engines find your page, they will send software robots out to index the pages and add them to their listings. The HTML program should include information for these robots, that will assist in getting the listings you want, visitors won't see this information. Information will include keywords someone might type in to find your page. This is another place you can assist the web designer with the web site.

By trading links or getting your page linked from other pages, you'll bring traffic and increase your listings on search engines. You should add your web site address to all of your business cards, phone book listing, vehicles, and other printed or advertising material. Unlike most other types of advertising, the web site is available 24/7 365 days a year.

When your web site is up and running you can issue newspaper releases and send out announcements. Let the world know it is there. Redirect phone and mail inquiries to your web site for answers to common questions.

Changing content and adding new items, give people a reason to return to your site again and again. You can list specials, menu items, or other items of interest to your target audience. Web sites need maintained and kept up to date. Going to a web site that hasn't been updated, will cause people to move on to the next web site. Another reason for people not to stay is if the web pages take too long to load. The majority of surfers are still on dial-up and you should design for them, unless you don't want their business.


Eohio has professional web page builders available to build commercial web pages. Eohio can also host your domain. Contact the webmaster for answers to your questions or call 888-694-3638.


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