About Your Name and Address
(Domain Names, URLs...)
Your own domain name will have a very professional appearance, i.e. www.YourFirmName.com. Purchase of the domain name will cost from $8 to $35 per year depending on the registry from whom you purchase it. Your domain name with the "http://www." before it is your URL (address). MadRiverWeb offers domain names at $15.00 per year from the Tucows registry. If you have not already purchased your domain, PLEASE let us do it. It will save you time and trouble in the long run when you are ready to establish a website.
You may check the availability of any name(s) you select (or we will be glad to check for you) by going to a WHOIS look-up service. Good domain names are easy to remember, easy to describe/spell, have meaning, are as short as reasonably possible, and MAY also be easy to find by chance, i.e. www.YourTypeOfBusiness.com. We still favor ".com" over any other top-level domain. Please consult with us if you need advice.
If you choose to have your own domain name, you will also need "virtual hosting" for your site. Your domain (URL) is where your site files reside, and when you dont actually have your own server (which is normally true for small businesses), your hosts server is programmed to display your files when requested and forward your e-mail. Your host will generally charge $10 to $50 per month depending on whether you have add-on features and whether they bundle virtual hosting with your access account. MadRiverWeb offers hosting. Please review the features and functionality we offer. Although hosting may be viewed as a commodity, quality of service varies.
You may choose to have a page, pages, or a site on another site/server (such as your parent company, a chamber of commerce, your ISP, a fee-based industry site) instead of or in addition to your own site. The address will be something like http://www.local-isp.com/yourfirm.htm. In fact, many firms have several of these pages because they are typically free or inexpensive with membership or worth spending a small fee on to reap traffic. ISPs will often host "personal" pages without additional charge as part of your access account, but generally do not market their member firms. In fact, when you market your page(s) on their domain, you are also marketing their business instead of your own company. Pages on fee-based sites must generally be renewed yearly. In some cases, sites will allow you to link directly to your URL. If they do not allow a link to your domain, you must remember to update the information on your page on their site when it becomes outdated. If this is your only page/site, it is similar to having a phone extension versus a direct line, and you have no control over the domain. You will likely find that when you get serious about doing business on the Internet, you will want to market your own site and domain name rather than one or more pages on other sites.
Whether you choose your own domain name or a page(s) on another domain, you CAN have your page/site registered in the search utilities.
The primary differences between the pages on other sites and your own domain are professional appearance, ease of typing the URL, cost, and control.
Please see the benefits of using your domain name in your email.
Please see MadRiverWeb's inexpensive alternatives, Page on another URL or Starter Page on Your Own Domain.