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Web Design All-in-One for Dummies® by Sue Jenkins

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Chapter 1: Domain Registration
and Hosting
In This Chapter
Selecting a domain name for your site
Getting help from domain name generators
Registering a domain name
Finding the best hosting plan
Designing a placeholder page for the new domain
Uploading a placeholder page to the new domain
T
his chapter focuses on what you need to do to prepare your site for pub-
lishing. You find out about domain name selection, name generators,
domain verification, and domain registration. You also discover how to find
a good hosting plan, including what to look for in a plan, where to find a
host, and general pricing structures. The last part of this chapter shows you
how to create a customized placeholder page, which is a single, simple Web
page with company branding, an e-mail link, and a smattering of other con-
tact information that can hold the place on a new domain until the
new Web site is fully built and ready to publish.
Understanding How to Get
Your Site Online
Before you can make a new Web site available on
the Internet, it must first be assigned its own spe-
cial Web address, which is commonly referred to as
the domain name. The process of acquiring a
domain name can be a fun adventure and only
requires a little bit of work. To start with, someone
needs to think of a good name for the site and then
check to see whether that name is available for use or
whether it has already been taken. If the desired name is avail-
able, the name needs to be registered, and that can be done either
through a domain registrar or a host provider.
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Selecting a Domain Name
546
After the domain name is registered, the site needs a hosting plan so that it
can reside on a server and thus become available to the public. All of this
needs to be done before you can publish the site. Most people like to regis-
ter the domain and get a hosting plan at the start of any new Web project to
ensure that the domain name is secure during the site-building process.
And, because building a site takes a good bit of time, most folks also like to
have a customized placeholder page designed and uploaded to the domain
until the new Web site is ready for publishing.
If you are working as a freelance Web designer, some of your Web clients
will have already registered their domain and secured a hosting plan before
contacting you about your design services. Other new clients, however,
will not have done any of these things and will need a fair amount of hand-
holding from you as you take them through each of the steps. Being able to
provide information about these topics to your clients can both enrich your
skills as a Web professional and enhance their experience with you as a
designer. This fact alone can be very good for business because happy
clients are more likely to return to you for Web site maintenance services
after their site gets published, as well as refer other friends and business
acquaintances to you if they feel confident in all your Web-related skills.
If this is your first time dealing with domain names and hosting plans, you
may want to try setting up a domain name and hosting plan for your own
Web site before handling these tasks for any Web clients.
Selecting a Domain Name
Choosing a domain name for a Web site is something that you, in your role
as a designer, may or may not be involved in when working with Web
clients, depending on their individual needs and how Web-savvy they are.
Some Web clients will have already selected a domain, registered it, and
secured hosting, whereas others will say they don’t really understand any-
thing about all that stuff and are relying on your experience to help them
figure it all out, or in some cases do it all for them because they don’t care
to know. Some clients, of course, will fall somewhere in between these
extremes, needing a little help with some but not all of these domain-related
responsibilities.
In the following sections, you find out more about domain names, how to
help select a domain name for your client, and then how to check to make
sure the name is available.
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