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Need Domain Name and Hosting Site Info


teacher
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My pastor is determined that we need a web site. He wants our own domain name and I have tried the name that makes the most sense and it appears it is not taken.What is the best way to secure a domain name? Any recommendations for a small web site host? I would rather pay some each month and make sure it is ad free than to have a free site with ads. --Julia :)

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What is the best way to secure a domain name?
domain name is a once a year fee ranging in price from $7 to $20 - some hosting plans will give you a domain name if you purchase a package with them.www.dotster.com - is where I register my domain names - $15.00 apx. a year - great service
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names4ever.com is registers a domain for $7.95/year -- the best price I have found and comes complete with a control panel where you can tweak anything re: any of your domains. So far good service. =)

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Thanks everyone. I really appreciate the input. After thinking about it overnight I am going to suggest that we register three names (bookstore, church and rehab program (no, not for forum additions :) ) ). Will have to decide upon a host still but at $8 a name, why not make it easy for folks to find us. :)

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Cluttermagnet
I use :) TigerTech.  Their basic plan is only $4.95 a month.  They have other plans as well... I use the Gold plan (and I'm running 7 sites and a community off it.) They are great.
This topic is catching my interest as I may finally migrate my personal website from one of the free domains to a paid service. My present host puts in a few relatively non- obnoxious inline ads and occasionally tries to popup ads too if folks are surfing without popup killers. Well, I suppose I could mention I'm presently using Angelfire and have actually been pretty darned happy with them overall. My page has been up for nearly 7 years there and is highly crosslinked around the net, so I may just keep it and maybe put up a mirror of it. Then again, I may just create a new one from scratch. I have looked at others and I found all those other free ones were abusing their free account holders a lot more than Angelfire, Tripod being a very good 'bad' example with their stupid floating watermark and those stupid multiple drop-down popup control panels you have to click away. Yikes! Actually, Angelfire particularly stands out for me, and they managed to not drive away everyone after being acquired by Lycos after the dot com bubble burst. I always liked their webpage online editor and a lot of other nice touches unique to them. My main reason for looking around is to maybe get my own domain name, with dropping ads a close second. Here's my question- I'm going to go with a cheap or free one (ad-free) and Tiger looks interesting because of the supposedly 'free' domain name. What I am wondering about is whether you can really 'own' a so-called free domain name and take it away and move it somewhere else. I bet they charge you something to do that. Is a free domain name really 'free'?Or would I maybe be smarter to go to a separate outfit strictly for the domain name. What if I used GoDaddy or one of those cheaper ones? I remember when domain names started somewhere around 30 bucks a year. I'm pretty cheap and I don't want to pay that much if I don't have to. My traffic is low but steady, maybe 50-75-100k page hits per year over the entire site and BW is probably way low below 500M limits per month. It's striclty a personal/ hobby site, not commercial. Comments and suggestions? Thanks!
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Cluttermagnet
Thanks everyone.  I really appreciate the input.  After thinking about it overnight I am going to suggest that we register three names (bookstore, church and rehab program (no, not for forum additions :) ) ).  Will have to decide upon a host still but at $8 a name, why not make it easy for folks to find us.  :)
I have a pretty bad forum addiction but my insurance will not cover the rehab. So I'm just reading a lot of self-help books. You know, html, cgi, perl, css... :)
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Like SonicDragon, I use GoDaddy for domain registration. I've got 4 domains registered there. For hosting, I use Rochen. They will let you do multiple site hosting for the same monthly fee. The plan I'm on allows me to host up to 3 domains for the same monthly fee of $9.95. For that, I get 300MB of disk space and 10GB of data transfer each month. I decide how much of my disk space and data transfer allowance gets allocated to each domain. I also have unlimted e-mail accounts that are true e-mail addresses, not redirects to another address. They also have Spam Assassin available at no charge, which does a pretty good job of identifying the spam.

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I have a pretty bad forum addiction but my insurance will not cover the rehab. So I'm just reading a lot of self-help books. You know, html, cgi, perl, css...  :P
Don't know why anyone would think I have a problem. I have a low post count. :) The family refers to my monitor as my television set. They think I forgot what a real one looks like (guilty :) ). I like your self-help program. Daughter called this morning and said she was having problems with her scatter arrays in MEL scripting. Nobody else understood what she was talking about. It made since to me even if I don't do MEL scripting. :D Setting up three new web sites should be therapy for me, do you think? bjf - thanks. That's good to know. I will check that one out too!--Julia :)
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I guess my host works the other way around. With DotEasy, you register your domain name for $25 a year, and get free, no-ad, web hosting. You can also find other packages offered there. As far as I know, my site has never gone down (though some who have seen it wish it would...forever :P )

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From my experience, choosing a registar should be done very carefully. Registering is not a problem, but when/if you choose to transfer, some registars do everything in their power to "encourage" you to stay. I've seen one that requires a notarized request plus $15 dollar per domain service charge. Others make you request the transfer over & over before they honor it, while asking why you want to leave.In my opinion, its always better to buy from an Accredited Registrar, and not a reseller, and read the TOS carefully. I've had good luck with godaddy, and have heard good things about enom http://www.enom.com/As for hosting, the first thing I would ask, is approximately how many clients/websites they have per server. It will give you an idea of how loaded the server is and what performance will be like. I would avoid one that hosts in the 1000s. Be sure to check out what the policy is for going over the bandwidth or space limits. Some sites will simply suspend your site till the next month, others will bill you for the overage....which can costs hundreds if not thousands depending on the overage & rates.Also, remember there is no such thing as "Unlimited" resources. Bandwidth, Disk space etc are all finite resources. I avoid any host that boasts unlimited Bandwidth or Disk Space. Chances are that they are overselling what is available on the server. They are counting on clients not using a great deal of resources. If your site spikes or becomes too popular, you will probably receive a nice little note from the admin that your site has been suspended for using excessive server resources or get a nice fat bill for the excess. READ THE TOS before you sign up!Hope this helps.

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What I am wondering about is whether you can really 'own' a so-called free domain name and take it away and move it somewhere else. I bet they charge you something to do that. Is a free domain name really 'free'?
If you can register it you can get the name. You own it as long as you pay the fee ;)
I avoid any host that boasts unlimited Bandwidth or Disk Space. Chances are that they are overselling what is available on the server. They are counting on clients not using a great deal of resources.
Yes, read all the fine print - some go by days and some go by months and one should always read the fine print
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I plan to do plenty of investigating before spending money. Right now the debate is whether we need to go ahead and get all three names . They want to know how I can design the site for free when the Y paid $600 for theirs. I told them as long as they did not try to add a bunch of audio it would be easy. I learned about bandwidth after Hurricane Isabel. I used up my bandwidth on two different sites - one was by the hour and frequently went down for too much traffic and the othe was by the month and lasted 28 days. I don't expect a site on church events to get that much traffic but will look closely before deciding.

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For hosting, I use Rochen. They will let you do multiple site hosting for the same monthly fee.
I really need to see if iPowerweb will do something like that. I use them for two very low traffic sites and the resources of one basic plan would certainly cover both sites.
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Teach,Does your church have an internet account? My ISP gives us, with an account, a certain amount of space on their server to use free of charge. Used to be 5MB, don't know what it is these days. I've never gone over their limit & I have quite a few things within my space. My ISP will also let you use your own domain name that you have registered elsewhere. I haven't tried out this feature, but have been assured by friends that it works. This gives you the option of registering the domain (through godaddy or wherever) and then having free hosting at your church's ISP. Our church's website is actually parked in my free webspace, but not using its own domain yet. Haven't had any problems so far. :)

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Guest LilBambi

I am currently in the process of changing from my ISP's free space (ran out of room and couldn't add anything else to the space LOL!) to my own webspace. So I am changing my DNS servers to point at the new webspace ... hasn't taken effect yet though.I have very successfully had my domain directed to my ISP's provided free space for several years now.But was having growing pains, and am in the process of changing over to my own space now for more webspace, greater bandwidth, and greater functionality (not only PHP like at my free space which was very nice, but I really needed CGI, MySQL, and a host of other features too).The point being, redirecting your domain name to your ISP account's free webspace (such as http://www.ISPdomain.com/~useraccount/ ) works very well. Places like GoDaddy and NameSecure and many others provide a web interface to do this very easily. :)The only real drawbacks can be the amount of webspace provided by the ISP, and bandwidth limitations -- bandwidth can be a real problem as Julia mentioned happened to her during Hurricane Izzy.

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Teach,Does your church have an internet account?
SiebYou have got to be joking. The only computers they had one month ago were old ones that I had thrown out of my classroom and had been sold at auction. I was real surprised to see them end up there. Even had my notes on them like: Dead, No HD, 48MB Ram, No Video, No... you get the picture. I told them to keep the monitors and throw everything else in the trash. I believe they were 486s with a high of 48 MB RAM. They were using them for the tutoring sessions they do with kids that are studying on the internet. They have nothing. Well actually, I got a laptop donated and I gave them one of my computers. We aer starting at zero and working our way up on a shoestring budget. We are real estate rich and cash poor. It all gets put to good use though. :thumbsup:--Julia :D
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Julia, Does your church have internet access from a local ISP and have you investigated what they offer in the way of domain hosting? Often, you get good value from a local provider. The other thing you might consider is co-location hosting. In other words, you provide the server and the hosting service provides the bandwidth. Then you could purchase your 3 domain names and run a single Apache server to do name-based virtual hosting. The only drawback of co-location is price. It's often out of the league for non-profit organisations.

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The church has zero access right now. There are three local small potatoes providers that tend to be overwhelmed at the best of times. None take into consideration the seasonal nature of access demands of a tourist resort community. That leaves Sprint/Earthlink DSL or Cable. Both are beyond the budget of what the church wants to spend right now. That's why I am trying to see what else it out there. :thumbsup: --Julia :D

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Hmm,how about this avenue?Get cable/dsl access, setup your own server, firewall it for sure (Linux/iptables, etc) and then get your domain names and setup with a DNS service like DynDNS. The biggest cost will be your time as the Network Admin! :blink: [but you know you can do it, Julia! :lol: ]

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Cable/DSL access here is $50 a month. I have it at home but I don't think church will splurge. I could just run it from here at home. :o Thinking is dangerous at this time of night. :)--Julia :blink:

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Any idea yet what your budget and requirements are? There are still a few good, free hosts out there. Many only require a text link credit. The down side is that the resources they offer, BW DS are on the low side.

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Julia,You, dangerous? Nah, just a pioneer! :o But, you know, if cost is an issue, you may want to think long and hard about hosting it yourself with a DNS service. My only concern would be that you will have to be really cognizant of security issues. However, think of the upside: you get to play with the web admin side and get a chance to practice your skills so that you could apply it to your teaching, n'est-ce pas? :blink:

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Peachy,You're pulling out all of the stops - c'mon Teach, you can do it!! :blink: And yes, I can attest that Teach can be dangerous, at least when directing a roofing crew!! :o

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Guest LilBambi
Cable/DSL access here is $50 a month.  I have it at home but I don't think church will splurge.  I could just run it from here at home. :)  Thinking is dangerous at this time of night. :o--Julia :blink:
Might want to check with your DSL provider about hosting a webserver .... many cable providers disallow any types of servers and it's in the contract. Drat!Sieb ... you are too funny :o
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And yes, I can attest that Teach can be dangerous, at least when directing a roofing crew!!  :o
But only to SLACKERS - I noticed that there were no slackers at LilBambi's roofing party! :blink:
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