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LECTURE: Steps to have your own Web site: NO. 1: register a domain name The domain name is the main portion of your Web address i.e. cleveland.com or johannahoadley.com. Domain names are unique - If someone has registered a domain name you cannot have the same name. ---------------Characteristics of domain names (SOURCE and more info: igoldrush.com) * can contain the numbers 0-9, the letters a-z and the hyphen character ("-"). Domain names cannot begin or end with a hyphen though. * You can use UPPERCASE or lowercase letters when registering a domain name, but you may run into problems if you mix cASes, depending on the exact configuration of the web server that will be hosting your website. It is generally the standard to use all lowercase since users do not think to type in Web addresses with capitalization. * A domain name can contain up to 67 characters, although some domain registrars have still not reconfigured their services to accommodate these longer domain names (domain names used to be limited to 26 characters until mid-1999) This 67 character limit includes the "." (dot) and the top level domain. So in the case of a ".com" name, for instance, you'll be able to specify up to 63 characters yourself. * Some top domains from specific countries have additional limitations on length and on the number of characters in a domain. Some even specify a minimum length for a domain name, such as 3 characters or more. For the specific rules of each of the over 200 top-level domains, you'll have to read the small print when you register a domain. * Some domain names that are especially vulgar or crass are blocked (much like vanity license plates) * The “top domain” a.k.a. URL suffix is the .com, .net etc. Each has a different intended use. Com was intended for commercial use, it is now used for all types of Web sites, .org is for organization sites, .net is for Internet administrative sites. There are also domains for countries and new domains for .biz, etc. List of top domains (not newest ones): http://www.computeruser.com/resources/dictionary/noframes/nf.domains.html You'll find the newest ones listed at internic.com ------------So you need to check to see if a name is registered. www.internic.com and check the Whois link. Internic is a company that maintains a central database of all registered domain names. Or go to register.com. (many sites will let you check the availability of domain names, register.com is one that has a nice interface that not only tells you availability but also offers available options if the name you type in is taken) If a name is not registered and you want it, you need to register that name. Many companies will register domain names for you. For a list of all approved companies go to internic.com and click on registrars. You hear "buying a domain name" but you can't really "buy" the name. You just pay for the exclusive right to use that name. It is not possible to own a domain name outright, and you will have to pay a periodic renewal fee to keep this "right to use" your domain name. Also, since you don't own the name itself, under certain circumstances a court can take your right to use a domain name away from you. (source: igoldrush.com) Generally speaking, registering a domain name requires money: You basically pay for the name for a set period of time, 1 year, 2 years, etc. -----------No. 2: HOSTING the Web site. Registering a domain name just means no one else can use that address. If you do nothing else its called "domain parking" meaning you are holding the name so no one else can have it, but you aren't doing anything with it. Just because it's registered to you, isn't enough to have a Web site. You have to have somewhere to "host" the site. Big companies will have their own server machines that they maintain. But for most people, this is not a viable option for themselves. So you pay a web hosting company a monthly/yearly fee to give you server space for your site. Unlike registering a name, there are a lot of variations in hosting options. * The amount of server space you get - one company may offer 800 MB for the same price as another offers 20MB. Can you buy more space (upgrade) if needed? * Compare traffic allowances/bandwidth restrictions. Some web hosting services give you a small limit on the amount that can be downloaded from your site each month and charge you large amounts when that limit is exceeded. Some offer huge traffic allowances (many thousand MB/month, where 1,000 MB = 1 GB) for the same price as others that limit you to a few hundred MB/month. Plan ahead to allow for growth even if you don’t need all the space now, better to have more than enough. * Do they offer a secure sever? if you plan to do online transactions you'll need this. * Cost. Look for hidden costs when comparing price, i.e. set up fees, expecting you to pay for long-term in advance for the best price, domain registration cost * Number of associated e-mail addresses, and the technology they support on their servers - php, ssi, etc. are just a few of the options. You'll want to shop around for hosting. Many hosting companies will also register a domain name for you so you can often do both the registering and hosting together. The features and prices vary considerably - compare dreamhost.com and register.com as example. There are A LOT of options. You'll need to think about what you need and shop around for best deal for your situation. A few webhosting comparison sites: http://findahost.com or just go to google and search for "Web hosting" NOTE: if you are setting this up for a client, I usually set everything up for them, in their name so that the registration and hosting bills and alerts go to the client, and any renewals are their responsibility. --------------- NO. 3: From there it's what you've already learned. The hosting company will give you a server address to FTP into (like we did with mail.kent.edu) and you'll have a username and password. Then you upload and download the same as you've done in the class previously.