Where to buy my URL's from?

  nick_j007 23:04 08 Jun 2004

Evening all,

I am in the process of starting a small business, and I have a couple of URL's that are available and I wish to purchase.

Is there a particularly good company to buy from online? Can I expect the price to vary much?

All I require is the name at this stage, as my brother is a competent web designer over in the States.

Um, also, what about hosting? I think the basic steps as far as I can tell at the early and slightly 'green' stage are:

1) Purchase URL/s.

2) Get web site designed.

3) Hand web site to a hosting company (ISP?).

I would like to make minor changes in the long run my self (new text and pictures for example).

I hope this doesn't sound too glib, but I'm trying to get a basic grasp on how I can expect this to unfold.

Thank you very much in advance.


  Forum Editor 23:41 08 Jun 2004

from which to buy your domain name. A convenient way of doing things is to buy the name and set up the hosting package at the same time, and with the same company.

I look after lots of sites for clients, and use several hosting companies

click here which is a small, friendly and efficient hosting company. They'll handle the domain name purchase for you as well.

then there's

click here a much larger company with a state-of-the-art hosting facility. These people are big, ands can offer you everything you'll need by way of service options. Again, you can buy your domain name through them.

You'll find others, but I have personal experience of these two - areti is a company I've known for quite a few years, and although they're small, and not the cheapest around, they provide a very personal service.

Once you've signed up for your hosting package and bought your domain name you'll be able to upload a site to your server space - usually it takes a couple of days or so before the new domain name resolves to the host's name servers, so you'll need to allow for that before you can upload and see your site on the internet.

If you want to make subsequent changes to your site yourself you'll either need to get up to speed with the software that your brother uses to design the site, or investigate the practicality of using what's called content management software - which enables you to upload content changes without knowing anything about site design and /or construction. This software can be frighteningly expensive, although there are some cheap offerings to be had. By and large I would recommend that you hit the learning curve with the design software.

Come back with as many questions as you like.

  nick_j007 09:08 10 Jun 2004

Sorry for not replying sooner.

Well F.E., whilst you were busily typing away to me I was probably tapping in my credit card details to a company called click here
The reason for my slight panic was that one of my favourite names had gone that day so I was panicked slightly into holding a couple of others.
I can go back and order web space too...any experience with easyspace?
My brother seems to think that 300MB would be ideal as I shall have a link to my photography there also along with 'Flash rollovers' and possibly a short quicktime or two.

I should explain that I am looking to start a dog behaviourism come training business. I don't think I'm compromising myself by saying that I have bought

click here
click here
click here

(All the .com's had gone)

I hope I don't encounter a hard time for grabbing three when I shall only need one in the end, but would you believe I'm having a job deciding which is for me!

I shall get up to speed F.E. with my brothers software (don't know what he uses I'm afraid) to enable me to make the changes later on.

A few thoughts on the above would be nice, just to keep me on the straight and narrow.

Many thanks,


  Taran 12:19 10 Jun 2004

"My brother seems to think that 300MB would be ideal"

300mb of web space is absolutely vast.

To put this into some kind of perspective for you, a resource site I run with student tutorials and several downloads has 586 files in 84 folders and comes to 8mb in total.

Web pages are small text files, normally only sveral kilobytes in size. What blows them out of all proportion in unnecessarily large images and Flash or Quicktime movies.

Perhaps your brother has a more accurate idea of what it is you want to do but believe me, if you manage to fill a 300mb site I will be both surprised at the fact that you managed it and alarmed on behalf of your visitors.

I wouldn't like the idea of visiting any site where there is the potential to have to load 300mb of files into my browser to view its content.

Web designers strive always to keep file sizes small enough to be practical so that they do not adversely affect page load speeds while at the same time of high enough quality (for images, sound and video) to perform their job in getting a message across.

My own business site has 41 files over 4 folders, including several image files, and it comes in at just over a quarter of one megabyte. I used XHTML and CSS to help keep the file sizes down and all pages are cross-browser compatible.

Your other very real consideration should be bandwidth. If you intend to deliver large files you need a method of keeping track of them in relation to your permitted bandwidth. Let's say that you have a 20mb Quicktime movie. Let's say that you get 5000 visitors per month and out of them 1000 visitos per month request that movie. It doesn't take much working how much bandwidth that one file would require and most hosts impose strict bandwidth limitations, so available web space for files on the web server is only one facet of the overall whole.

At the risk of repeating myself, a 300mb space requirement is truly vast and your visitors won't thank you for filling it since they are the ones who will each have to download those files to their browser to see them.

A site I did recently for a landscape photographer totalled around 7mb yet had two dozen very crisp images on it.

Perhaps if you supplied some more detail of what it is you want to do with your site one of us could make a few suggestions. Most sites will rarely go beyond a few megs for pages and images unless you start going into the dozens or even hundreds.

  Taran 12:29 10 Jun 2004

Most internet users in the UK are on dial up 56k modem access and will get a realistic 12 to 15 megabytes per hour download rate. 56k is a theoretical maximum and is rarely reached on lines meant to carry voice and not data.

All I'm getting at here is that pages should be designed to appeal to the widest audience and most of your visitors will be on dial up. As such, you need to provide an alternative to your Flash content and fast loading pages to keep people interested are one thing that will keep people at your site. Slow pages or overloaded content/large files will drive visitors off in their droves.

I'm on broadband at home and a very fast T1 connection at work and I always click a 'Skip Intro' link to avoid Flash movies. Unless I request the Flash file, Quicktime video or other media I am rarely interested in it. If I do request it, it is because its content is something I WANT to see, rather than something the designer of the site thinks I might be terribly impressed with.

To be honest, the vast majority of the sites I produce could fit onto a floppy disk. In some cases you could get five or even six smaller sites onto a floppy, yet they attract traffic and deliver the necessary message and/or information relevant to the parent company or organisation.

It's all about a high speed, low drag approach without sacrificing too much along the way ;o)

  nick_j007 12:47 10 Jun 2004

Well I had written a load just now and managed in all my brilliance to lose it! Not the first time!

I agree with you on much of what you say, and I will of course have to go back to my brother and see what he is thinking of with 300mb

I agree with the point of Flash Intro's...I skip those too (though I endured a clever one on Honda's home page the other day). I won't be having that on my site.

The Quicktime or similar content would be under a separate links section and would be marked up as large files or whatever.

I envisaged me giving a brief talk on my ethos of training etc example. People can choose to view it not.

I have said from the beginning to my bro. that it will need to be bright, visually clear and clean, that loads quickly, and has enough appeal to get people to contact me at the end of the day.

I may be pushing my luck in terms of what I should expect one domain name to do, but I was then hoping for there to be a link within this site to show people samples of my photography and then let people order prints if they wish, or possibly pet portraiture that kind of thing. Early days really.

What percentage of the UK home public are on dial up v's broadband now do we know?

I have downloaded a pack called The Logo Creator this morning and have been playing with it a little. I feel as though I should design a logo for myself that will be transferable to all aspects of the business (clothing, cards, letterheads and web site).

Cheers again for the sense in all that you say. I'm most grateful.


  Taran 13:34 10 Jun 2004

Logos are all well and good up to a point. Most of the really successul logos are actually very simple. Don't get so caught up in logo design that you spend too much time on it. A faily simple text logo with your name and/or the name of the business is fine and for a great many businesses (my own ncluded) it works well. You can choose a pleasant font and background colour/image and border it and all of a sudden mere text takes on a whole new persona.

Colour schemes and fonts are arguably more important and remember that whatever you design you could be stuck with in the long term, so you have to be very, very happy with it before you charge ahead. You logo will be on everythiing, from compliment slips to invoices, receipts to business cards and because of that you can't just decide to rebrand in six months time and not expect it to cause problems.

Figures on dial up/broadband are fluid and they change dialy. A recent survery suggested that

59% of UK homes have a PC

50% of homes (around 12.5 million) have Internet access

68% of small businesses have Internet access

3.2 million broadband connections

1.82 million DSL connections

1.36 million cable modem connections

12% of homes have broadband

DSL is available to 85% of UK homes and businesses (allegedly)

All of this is from an estimated population of 59,157,400

You can more or less get a reasonable estimate from that lot on dial up use, since 50% of homes have web access and 12% of them have broadband.

Broadband is gaining ground and uptake at a ferocious rate but dial up is still the most common form of web access and will continue to be for some time.

There is nothing stopping you from including your prints, or anything else you like on any of the domains you have bought. One idea that came to mind as far as I was concerned is for all three domains to share some common elements but each have unique features.

You could have one of the site focussing on your artwork with an overview of training goods for sale and training courses and methods. Your other sites would each concentrate on training goods and training courses while touching on the subject matter of the other two of the three domains. In effect, they all compliment one another and they all specialise in one area, and if you link all thee together you have, in effect, a small webring where one of your sites wil drive traffic tot he others and vice versa.

This is possibly overly complicated to begin with, but it could be a useful tool to generate traffic within the three sites by featuring them on your other two. It would also offer you the chance to specialise in different fields on different sites and have all three working for you. Just a thought.

  nick_j007 16:33 10 Jun 2004

After putting your above points loosely to my brother he has this to say:

What the guy wrote is all common sense stuff, but if you want to put your photos up and get some movies running 300 megs will not last long at all.

The band width you will have available on the Globat site would be 3 gigs per month. That will allow plenty of viewing of your images and any QuickTime movies etc.

We can do this one of two ways. Buy the space to begin with or let mew create it and see what size files we have. I always optimize the file size depending on what it is. If the image is trying to sell a photograph, then I leave the quality higher so people can see what they are getting. If it is for your web page, then I optimize to the best of my ability so as to make the page faster loading.

I have created many web sites and or pages for our customers varying between between 16k to 500 megs for my own site as I have much on there both private and for the web. JG’s site is 300 megs.

I only suggested the larger size as price is not much of an issue when it comes to size really. I could get a low end 50 meg site for $30 per year or a larger size 300 megs for $100 per year.

If for example you had

* 1 x 20 meg movie
* 2 x 10 meg movies
* 3 x 5 meg movies

* 100 photos 6 x 4” at 60% quality 62- 64 k each (approx 6 1/5 megs)

* Other web pages and site stuff maybe 1 meg

I would say your talking about 30 – 40 megs for a site that you would be able to expand quite a bit. I always like to get much more as I use mine for storage too.

Many people have a broader band ability, so you either cater for both as we talked about or you just cater your site to the medium to low end users.

At the end of the day I would say hold off from buying anything till your ready to go with it and we see what files you have to ftp to the site.

So, does that reassure or worry you even further?
He lives in the States so it's difficult to get a really clear path of communication going.

From what I can understand, the MegaByte'age would be stored in the photo's and video's, and could be accessed in either dial up or broadband type mode.
The home page and other simple stuff would be quick and simple.

How am I looking then? :-)


  Taran 17:15 10 Jun 2004

I'm not getting into this one much more.

I understand what your brother is saying and why. From a financially practical point of view the cost difference between a low and high end hosting account may be relatively small, but I'm still a bit worried at expecting a need for all of that room to develop the site(s) and realistically expecting that you'll use it. I'm all for a safety margin but either we have our wires crossed or the way I took it there was a certain expectation to need that level of storage space and actually fill it.

Yes, the images and in particular the Flash and Quicktime files will take up the room. The web pages on their own will be tiny.

I'm sure your brother does all the optimisation as required for any good web delivery, but I think his suggestion to wait until you have something ready to go before making any decision is a good one.

I've said more or less what I want to say and I'm not sure I can put anything on the table that I haven't already mentioned.

Good luck with it no matter what and if you have questions about specifics feel free to ask them.

  Taran 17:18 10 Jun 2004

I've just re-read the above and it sounds a little blunt which was not my intention.

To cut to the chase I'll just say that perhaps my idea of your business and its implementation on the web is a little different to yours and/or your brothers.

Best of luck with it.


  Forum Editor 18:08 10 Jun 2004

is very much in line with Taran's when it comes to site size.

I don't know what it is that you envisage uploading, but even 30 or 40 Mb is very large by common standards. Amongst some 30 corporate sites which I have designed and now manage for clients there isn't one that is larger than 15Mb.

Beware of video files on web sites - in the main people tend to give them a miss unless they're on a broadband connection, and even broadbanders will click away from a 20Mb movie - I certainly wouldn't wait for something that size to load. You know your business best, but I wouldn't have thought that many people will be wanting to watch files of that size on a dog-training site.

In site design small is best, and smaller is better. The skill is in optimising images and graphics so that the pages load like lightning - sites which do that are a delight.

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