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How & Where should I start?

Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by gardenkeeper88, Sep 3, 2006.

  1. gardenkeeper88

    gardenkeeper88 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 350

    Where is the BEST place to secure a domain name. Also how is the best way to create a web page. I want to have it up and running by Jan but I need to secure the Domain Address ASAP.
  2. mnb

    mnb LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    you can try yahoo.com
  3. WebMan

    WebMan LawnSite Member
    from D/FW TX
    Messages: 11

    You can secure a domain name many ways.
    First: If you want to keep up with everything yourself the "big two" are GoDaddy and Dotster. But you will also need a host for your web site (both these companies, in fact almost all registrars will try to sell you hosting, don't go for it, those two are big registrars but don't offer the personal service most people need "starting out" for building a web site) and then your hosting and domain name are tied up together.
    You will also be responsible for configuring your name to work with your host (fairly simple) and responsible for keeping payment up-to-date. Where many people make a mistake here is doing something like changing their e-mail and forgetting to login to their registrar account & change it there. Then when they send the reminder to renew, you miss it and can lose the name. There are "vultures" who use automated programs to place "bids" for expired names (often only $1 over normal cost) but if you allow it to expire they get it. Then you figure out what has happened and want it back (because it's on all your ads etc.) and they want $2,000 for the name, basically legal blackmail because you did let it expire, even though you didn't mean to. Ignorance is no excuse in these cases.

    Second you can buy a domain through your web host. That's fine IF one condition is met. ALL the contact info must be YOURS. Most people don't know a domain has 4 contacts, you can own a name and not have any control over it. So make sure whoever you buy from YOUR information is used for all contacts. Then YOU control your name. The "upside" to this is you only have to place one order, the bill comes automatically so you don't have to worry about expiration or maintaining your info, and the name is already configured to work with your host.
    The potential downside is if it's a "deal" like free name with 1 year hosting, the host will almost always use their info to control your name because you are in a "contract" (something "free if you do whatever), then if they turn out to be bad for you you will either have to pay a premium to get your name or may be forced to "buy out" a contract with them. Either way you lose. So if you go with some kind of "special" really read all the "fine print". I had a potential client last week that wanted help with their web site. They were locked in with some big company (like a "super pages" deal or something) I couldn't edit their site to do what they wanted because the host didn't offer the needed features. So they wanted to move where they could get what they wanted, but I saw their name was controlled by that company. When they contacted them it would have cost almost $1,400 for them to get what they thought they had "bought". As it is they are locked in to an overpriced "deal" at about $30 a month for 10 more months, so the $300 is cheaper than $1,400 BUT they are stuck with an unproductive web site that won't do what they need for 10 more months. A total waste.

    Remember when picking a name it doesn't have to be your company name (in fact they are often too long) You want something
    1. Short as possible
    2. "Catchy"--easy to remember. People that see your vehicle or job sign won't have time to write it down.
    3. Don't use hard to spell or easy to misspell words. Example: "maintenance" Long, and one of the most commonly misspelled words in the language. Most people aren't great spellers and with a domain name-one wrong letter and they go off in cyberspace.
    4. Remember symbols like "&" aren't allowed in domain names and hyphens are not good either, you can use a hyphen but it's not a key people normally use on the keyboards, and the whole idea is to make it as easy as possible for people to find you.

    Best wishes...hope this helps
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I might suggest slowing down, the domain name won't go away today or tomorrow, me thinks it best to have the web site built and ready before one worries about the registration (as some folks have found, once they start fooling with this stuff, the decision to have a web site has to be made all over again, sometimes several times).

    Just my .002
  5. WebMan

    WebMan LawnSite Member
    from D/FW TX
    Messages: 11

    That might or might not be true.
    However it's impossible (unless you have someone build a site on a testing account they have set aside) to build a site without having a name. And you want to be able to see a site "live" during construction to be sure it's coming along like you want. Unless you have a web server handy at home you can never be sure what a site will actually look like & be able to test all functionality unless it's on a web server.
    Not saying hurry, a domain name should be a well thought out decision, but building a site before having a neame is a bit of putting the cart before the horse, especially if you might consider a design that "themes" around the name (some do, some don't, but often a good idea). Web sites are a linear experience unlike print or other media. So having your "plan" together so the entire package (site layout, conent, name, etc.) all come across as a coherent linear package is very important.
    It doesn't have to be done overnight, some people who build their own work on them for a long time to get what they want by "trial & error" and there is nothing wrong with that as long as you do a disallow in your robots.txt file as I mentioned in another thread.
    You should always be sure an incomplete or unfinished site isn't seen by the search engines. They can put you in a hole (or as Google calls it a "sandbox") that's far more difficult to dig out of than to be where you want from the first indexing.
  6. gardenkeeper88

    gardenkeeper88 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 350

    I was going to use my co. name 4letters7letters.com but . is not available and around jan. .net was grabbed I am now thinking of using .biz. so this is why I want to save it asap. Thanks very much for the info at least I have a starting point and some cautions to watch for.
  7. WebMan

    WebMan LawnSite Member
    from D/FW TX
    Messages: 11

    WAIT I don't know but it sounds like you have too many letters to begin with (remember short, not necessarily the company name,
    AND dot-biz etc. is almost a death sentence for a business web site. You need dot-com regardless of the name.
    Usually if you look dot-net is usually owned by whoever owns dot-com because registrars often offer it as a discount when somebody buys the dot-com.

    But most registrars are practically giving away (if not giving away) things like dot-info dot-org and dot-biz (and nobody gives away or cuts prices on things that are popular).
    Customers are "trained" by years of habit to type dot-com. If they see & remember your domain name on a truck, sign or whatever where they don't have it on a card or flyer in front of them; they will "automatically" type dot-com unless they are the VERY rare case that noticed the dot-biz. And most direct access web site traffic comes from getting your name noticed. No particular name is so important (IMHO) that you would use the dot-biz...and remember this since somebody else has the dot-com already...EVERY person who went to your name dot-com "automatically" (they missed the dot biz) ends up on whoever else's web site and is frustrated & won't keep looking for yours.
  8. gardenkeeper88

    gardenkeeper88 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 350

    I know what your saying but then I feel that a web site prob won't work for me. I mean if they wont catch the .biz then they won't catch something different then your name. they see www. and just think look at name .com As far as too many letters the name is Turf Tenders. easy to remember but what else can you do. I'll keep thinking of something catchy .com. Thanks for the input. Thats why i posted for more info and other thoughts.
  9. WebMan

    WebMan LawnSite Member
    from D/FW TX
    Messages: 11

    BUT your profile says you are from Indiana and as of this moment InLawn.com is available. You have a good company name, but what do you do? Work in lawns! so you get a catchy dual meaning for the abbreviation for Indiana Lawn and you have a catchy name that goes with Turf Tenders because you are "in lawn" when you are working...get the idea?
    You may not like that one, but it's a way of thinking, short, simple, easy to remember, hard to misspell, you get the idea....:cool2:
  10. bdoss123

    bdoss123 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 131

    Has anyone tried Lunarpages? I am trying to decide on a hosting/domain reg. company.

    - BD

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