What is a Domain Name?
A Domain Name is the name of your Website which corresponds to an IP Address. A Domain Name is the address where Internet users can access your Website. Each Domain is unique just like you finger print, two differrent Websites can never have the same Domain Name. A Domain Name is acually used for finding and identifying Computers on the Internet. Computers use IP addresses, which are a series of number. However, it is very difficult for humans to remember strings of numbers and this is the sole reason Domain Names were developed and are used to identify entities on the Internet rather than using IP addresses.
A Domain Name can be any combination of alphabets and numbers, and it can be used in combination of the various Domain Name extensions, such as .com, .net, .org, .co.in and so on.
The Domain Name has to be registered before you can use it. Every Domain Name is unique. No two Websites can have the same Domain Name. If someone types in www.yourdomain.com, he / she will only reach your Website and no one else's.
Why you need a Domain Name?
On the Internet, your Domain Name is actually your unique identity. Any individual, business or organization planning to have an Internet presence should invest in a Domain Name. Having your own Domain Name, Website and Email addresses will give you and your business a more professional look. Another reason for a business to register a Domain Name is to protect copyrights and trademarks, build creditability, increase brand awareness, and also search engine positioning.
The initials stand for "Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers". The purpose of ICANN is to oversee the IP numbering assignment, the Domain Name system, and to address the issue of Domain Name ownership resolution for gTLDs.
IDN Domain Names
IDN are Domain Names that are written in foreign languages, like Chinese, Japanese or Russian. IDN stands for Internationalized Domain Names. IDN Domain Names allow people from all over the world to communicate Websites, Domain Names and URLs in their native languages.
Most Domain Names registered to date are written using the 26-character Latin/English alphabets and numbers, an encoding called ASCII. IDN allows for the use of non ASCII characters in Domain Names. When an IDN is registered, the foreign characters are encoded in Punycode using a number of algorithms. Punycode is simply an ASCII version for the IDN, allowing it to resolve with the current internet system.
Punycode domains can be identified by the "xn-" beginning.
Whois is an Internet database that contains detailed information on Domain Names, including the Name Servers associated with the Domain Name, the Domain Registrar, Registrant and the Domain's Administrative and Technical contacts. By performing a WHOIS search, you can find out when and by whom a Domain Name was registered, their contact information, where the Website is hosted, when the Domain expires, and more.
The Whois is also a tool that searches the domain name information contained in WHOIS databases. It is generally used to check the availability or ownership of a particular Domain Name.
What is DNS ?
Each computer on the Internet has to be assigned a unique address, called an IP address. A typical IP address looks like this: 22.214.171.124
Well as you will all agree it is pracically impossible to keep in mind the IP addresses of all the Websites we visit daily. Words are far more easier to remember than strings of numbers. This is where Domain Names come into the picture. When you visit a Website, all you need to know is its URL (Domain Name). Computers can remember numbers, and DNS (Domain Name Server) helps us convert the URL (Domain Name)into an IP address that the Computer can understand.
When you type in domain.com for instance, www.affordablewebsitehosting.co.in into your browser, the browser first needs to find the IP address of www.affordablewebsitehosting.co.in to open the Website. The browser contacts a DNS Server to query the location of the Server where the Website / Webpages are stored. Think of DNS as a directory service of IP address.
The classic phonebook directory analogy, if you need to find the company "AFFORDABLE WEBSITE HOSTING", you look in the directory and see that it is located at G-9, 1st Floor,
Sector 63, Noida - 201301. Then you go to the address to visit the company.
Email accounts are one of the most common feature of Website Hosting, especially if you are Hosting a Domain. As you may be aware, there are four main types of Email accounts: Webmail, POP3, Forwarding, and Catch-all Aliases.
Webmail are web-based Email accounts. These are usually free Email accounts that are operated from a website for example Gmail, Hotmail Yahoo Mail, etc.
Webmail allows the users to access their Emails from any Computer, Laptop, Smartphone, etc. the only requirement is they should have access to an Internet connection and a Web Browser. This also means that the user cannot read an old Email or draft a new Email offline.
POP3 Email Accounts are the traditional Inboxes. You have space on the Server to store your Emails, and at the same time, you can use an Email program to download your mail. Each login and password combination usually equates to one Email Account.
POP3 Email Accounts
POP3 is the oldest Internet message access protocol. It was designed to support offline/local Email processing. Email is delivered to a Mail Server and a remote Email client periodically downloads the Email from the Mail Server to the user's computer. Once the messages are delivered, they are deleted from the Mail Server or not deleted from the Mail Server depending on the parameters set, a user can configure their Email client to leave a copy of the Email on the mail Server.
POP3 Email accounts require an Email Client to send and receive Emails. Common Email clients include Outlook Express, Mozilla Thunderbird, OSX mail, and more.
When you check your Email using an Email client, it makes a connection to your Mail Server and downloads your Emails on to your Computer. Note that POP3 handles mail access (or mail retrieval) only. Email sending is handled by SMTP.
Advantages of POP3
All Emails are downloaded to your computer. You can read your Emails without being logged onto the Internet
Opening attachments is easy and quick as the file is already downloaded on to you computer
It frees up storage space on your Mail Server, and there is no maximum size on your mailbox (except as determined by the size of your hard disk)
Disadvantages of POP3
All messages are downloaded on to the accessing Email client / Computer. This means that the user will need to go back to the same Computer to access the Emails
Forwarding Mail Accounts are very useful if you are employing the service of another company to filter your Emails for you. Rather than storing your Emails on your Mail Server, Emails are redirected to another Email address.
Alias Accounts are similar to Forwarding Mail Accounts. Some hosts allow you to setup a Catch-all Alias, which is often used to collect Emails sent to addresses not recognized by your mail Server.
Outgoing Email Server - SMTP
SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. It handles the sending of Emails.
The ability to support Email services includes to critical functions: SMTP and POP3. Together, they allow the user to send outgoing mail and retrieve incoming mail, respectively.
The SMTP Server performs two basic functions:
It verifies that anyone attempting to send outgoing Email through the SMTP Server is allowed to do so.
It sends the outgoing mail and if undeliverable, sends the message back to the sender
If you are using a Email client, you will need to configure the SMTP Server settings so that you can send outgoing Emails.
Some Website Hosting companies do not offer SMTP services as they can be difficult to maintain. If your Web Hosting Company does not offer SMTP service, another option is to use that of your Internet service provider.
What should I use as a Domain Name?
You can use a single word or a phrase as a Domain Name. If you are registering the Domain for a company, you might want to put your Company's Name in the Domain, this makes it easier for your customers to find you on the Internet.
Although a longer Domain is harder to remember, it can contain more keywords, which is important as some of the search engines use keywords in a Domain Name as part of the search algorithm. But be one shoud always be careful of Domain Names that are too long, as it is difficult to remember and prone to user input mistakes.
If your preferred Domain Name is not available, try adding a prefix, such as "my" or "the".
And finally, make sure your Domain Name can be verbally communicated. You would not want to constantly repeat or spell it out.
Which TLD should I choose?
TLD, or Top-Level Domain, is the part of the Domain name on the right of the dot ("."). The most common TLDs are .com, .net, .org.
There are the various types:
gTLD - generic top level Domain
.org - typically for organizations
.edu - restricted for post-secondary educational establishments
.mil - restricted for US military
.gov - restricted for US governments and agencies
.int - restricted for international organizations established by treaty
uTLD - unsponsored top level Domains
.info - for informational sites
.name - for families and individuals
.biz - for businesses
.mobi - reserved for websites catering to mobile devices
.travel - reserved for travel agents, airlines, tourism bureaus and hoteliers
ccTLD - country code top level Domains
.in - for India
Almost every country in the world has a Country Domain. When choosing a Domain extension, one should decide if he /she is targeting a local Country or planning to go international. ccTLDs are an excellent choice if you need to market your business to a particular Country.
Do I need a Domain Name Registrar?
All Domains have to be connected to a registrar, and all applications for Domain Names must be submitted through a registrar.
The Domain Name Registrar also helps you with the renewal, transfer or termination of your Domain Name registration.
Does it matter where I purchase my Domain Name?
Once you have finalised the Domain Name you want to use, your next step is to choose a Domain Name Registrar for your Domain Name registration.
Domain Name Registrars vary in price, services offered, ease of use, management system, etc.
A Domain Name Registrar is the company that takes your Domain Name Registration information and reserves your Domain from the main registry.
How to select a Domain registrar.
The price you pay for your Domain can vary greatly between different Domain Name Registrars. When comparing prices, take into account the other services included by the Domain Name Registrar, their customer support, testimonies, etc.
Look for a Domain Name Registrar who is ICANN accredited. ICANN maintains a list of accredited Domain registrars. If the Domain Registrar you have chosen is a reseller of an accredited Domain Name Registrar, they should inform which registrar they represent.
Do not register your Domain Name for more than one year in the beginning. This is helpful as it gives you time to evaluation your registrar before further commitment. Moreover, it also provides you time to evaluate your Domain Name in case you wish to use a different Domain Name.
A Domain Name registration generally takes no more than 48 hours.
You should be able to transfer your Domain to another Domain Name Registrar without any restriction other than those enforced by ICANN. Check with the Domain Name Registrar for any other restrictions and curbs they have imposed on transfer of Domain Name.
Does the Domain Name Registrar selected by you provide a Domain Name management panel for you to manage your own Domain Name? Or do all changes have to go through them?
Domain Name Registrant, Registrar, and Registry
The Domain Name registrant is the company or individual registering the Domain Name. When you submit your application for a Domain Name Registration, you become the Domain Name registrant.
A registrar is the company that takes your registration request and reserves your Domain Name for you at the main registry.
During the Domain Name registration process, you will be asked to provide the Domain Name Registrar with your contact and technical information. The Domain Name Registrar will then submit the information to the central directory, also known as the Registry. The Registry then enters your information into their database so that other computers on the Internet can look-up the necessary information to find your Website.
Domain Name Registration and Privacy
When you register your Domain Name, you will notice that your Domain Name Registrar will ask you for quite a bit of information like your name, your email address, your physical address, and also your phone number. The information is used to complete two of the three registration profiles for your Domain Name: Registrant and Administrative Contact. All these three registration profiles (Registrant, Admin and Technical contacts) are publicly available and accessible on their Registry's database.
Well, what happens if you want your information to remain private as the database is publicly available, meaning spammers, scammers and stalkers can access it, too. And lying on your Domain Name Registration information is illegal.
Many Domain Name Registrars offer private Domain registrations, with or without extra cost. With private registration, your name will still appear as the registration. However, instead of your full contact profile, your registrar will list their information as proxy registration.
Domain Name Backordering
Domain Name backordering is a service provided by the Domain Name Registrars that allows anyone to reserve a Domain Name in the event that the name is not yet available to the public.
If there is a Domain Name you wish to use, but is currently owned by someone else, you can submit a Domain Name backorder request to the Domain Name Registrar. The Domain Name Registrar will notify you when that Domain expires and becomes publicly available again.
If you are looking for a Domain Name backordering service, you should look for a backorder serving that works with only a few Domain Name Registrars. The more registrars mean better odds of a successful backorder.
Domain Name Registration Process
After you have chosen a Domain Name, you will need to submit your Domain Name Registration request to a registrar.
You will need to submit the following information to the registrar:
the desired Domain Name
The name and contact information (including email address, physical address and contact phone number) for the Domain's registrant, administrative and billing contacts.
The desired Domain registration term
Once you have provided your registrar with all this information, they will then initiate the Domain Name Registration process for you. The Domain Name Registrar will send your Domain Name request, and the contact and technical information of the Domain Name to the registry.
The registry files the contact information for the Whois. The registry also adds your Domain zone files to the Master Servers. These Master Servers tell other Servers on the Internet where your Website is stored.
Your Domain is considered registered and ready-to- use when all information has been updated.
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Designing a Website
How do I create my Website?
Creating a Website can be done in many different ways. Most of the Web Hosting Service providers provide different Website Building Tools and Softwares. Building a Website with these Website Building Tools is the easiest method of building a Website. Alternatively, you can use programs such as FrontPage or Macromedia Dreamweaver to create your Website. It all depends on your comfort level and knowledge of Web designing.
You can also learn HTML or Flash, else you can hire a Web Designer to build your Website.
What is HTML ?
HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is a program code that tells the browser what to display and how to display it.
HTML is written in the form of labels, known as tags, surrounded by angle brackets.
HTML pages have the extensions .html or .htm.
What is CGI?
CGI (Common Gateway Interface) is a method used to exchange data between the Server and the Web browsers. CGI is a set of standards where a program or script can send data back to the Web Server where it can be processed.
Common uses of CGI :
Mailing List Maintenance
What is PHP?
PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor, earlier called, Personal Home Page. PHP is an open source, Server- side, HTML embedded scripting language used to create dynamic Web pages.
PHP pages have the extension .php. PHP can perform any task that CGI program can do, but its main strength lies in its compatibility with many types of databases.
PHP is an open source code, meaning it is available to the public for free.
Common uses of PHP :
Forums / Bulletin Boards
What is ASP?
ASP stands for Active Server Page. It is a technology that enables you to make dynamic and interactive Web pages. ASP uses Server-side scripting to dynamically produce Webpages that are not affected by the type of browser the visitor is using.
ASP pages have the extension .asp.
What is a Webmaster?
Administrator of a Website is known as the Webmaster.
Generally, a Webmaster's responsibilities are to
Register and maintain the Website's Domain Name,
Design the Website, or supervise Web Designers and Programmers
Monitor the size of the site to ensure allowed Bandwidth and Disk Space is used in an optimal manner and not exceeded, plan future growth, requirements and limitations of the Website
Web Designer and Web Programmer
A Web Designer is mostly concerned with the visual or aesthetic aspects of a Website. They work with layouts, colors, fonts, images, etc. Their main focus is how to visually enhance your Website and make it attractive.
A Web Programmer help you build your Website. They deal with the coding aspects of the Website. Their primary responsiblity is the construction and functionality of the Website.
When choosing a Web Designer or Web Programmer, make sure to check their online portfolio of projects they have completed in the same scope as your project. Be wear of those Web Designers or Web Programmers who only show a picture of their work without giving you the opportunity to test the live Website they have completed. Don't hesitate to ask for references.
Multimedia - Sound, Graphics, Video and Animation
Multimedia Web Pages include sound, graphics, video and animation.
Keep in mind that the more audio and visual files you have on your Website, the larger the amount of Disk Space and Bandwidth is required.
The use of streaming is most popular, it allows users to listen to Radio online, watch a video or news online.
Streaming is done from the Server where your Website is Hosted. Streaming sends the Audio / Visual file to the user without downloading the information to the end-user's computer - it does not allow the user to save the files on their computer.
If you want to allow your users to download and / or save the file on to their computer, you will have to upload the Audio / Visual file to your Server and create a download link on your Website.
Domain Name Transfer
Why Transfer Domain Name ?There could be many reasons pricing, Domain management and administration, services, customer support, etc. fo you to transfer your Domain Name Registration from one Domain Name Registrar to another
All Domain Name transfer requests must be initiated by the registrant or the Administrative Contact of the Domain, and processed by the gaining Domain Name Registrar, the registrar whom you are transferring your Domain to.
The gaining registrar is required to obtain expressed authorization from the registrant or the Administrative Contact of the Domain Name. A transfer can only proceed upon the receipt of confirmation of transfer. This confirmation of transfer can be a physical authorization process or an electronic process. Regardless of the process, the confirmation of transfer needs to be validated with the Domain's "AuthInfo" code (EPP code).
The Domain "AuthInfo" code (EPP code) is a unique code generated on a per-Domain basis and is used for authorization or confirmation of a transfer request.
The registrant can obtain the Domain's "AuthInfo" code (EPP code) from the losing Domain Name Registrar (the registrar whom you are transferring the Domain away from).
Before you proceed with a Domain Name transfer request, make sure the Domain has been registered for at least 60 days with your current registrar. If you just recently registered or transferred your Domain Name, you will need to wait 60 days before applying for transfer. The admin contact e-mail is valid, as this is where most registrars will send the confirmation of transfer and the Domain "AuthInfo" code. Domain Name is not in protected/locked status. Domain Name is not in redemption status. Domain Name is not locked for either non-payment or at the owner's request. Domain Name is not currently in dispute.
Domain Name has not been deleted.
If you have any questions about the Domain transfer process or policy, you can contact your Domain Name Registrar or email ICANN at transfer- firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reduce Data Transfer
How to Reduce Data Transfer
You receive a warning from your your Website Hosting provider about exceeded Bandwidth Usage and suggests reducing the size of your Web files.
What is "Bandwidth Usage"?
This refers to the total amount of information that has been transferred from your Web Server to your Websites Visitors. Each file on your Website has a specific size. Your complete website is the sum of all these files. Each time a Visitor visits your Website, their browser sends a request to your Web Server, asking for the files. These files are downloaded onto their browser to be viewed. In other words, the larger your Web files, the higher the Bandwidth Usage. Not only this, the more requests to your Website, the more "Bandwidth" you will use.
How can I reduce my "Bandwidth Usage"?
Nobody wants to reduce the number of Visitors ! So, the most effective way is to reduce the size of the files on your Website.
Remember to remove unwanted tags, white space and comments. Limit your Meta tags to those that are absolutely necessary Consider caching your website, but set an expiry date in the HTTP headers so your visitor's web browsers will refresh the content after a certain time (this allows their browser to save a copy of your Website and each time the visitor visits your Website, the pages are served from the copy on the browser and not your Web Server)
What is Domain / Web Hosting?
Web Hosting is a service that enables organizations and people to post their Website or Webpage on to the Internet / Web. A Web host, or Web Hosting Service provider, is a business that provides the technologies and services required for the Website or Webpage to be viewed on the internet. Websites are hosted, or stored, on special computers referred to as Web Servers.
When Web / Internet users want to view your Website, all they have to do is type your URL (Web address / Website name into their browser. Their computer / laptop will then connect with the Web Server and your Website / Webpages are delivered to them through the browser.
Most Hosting companies need that you simply own your domain name in order to Host with them. If you do not have a Domain name, the Hosting companies can assist you purchase one.
Types of Domain / Web Hosting Services
There are various types of Domain / Web Hosting services available to host your Website. Before signing up for any Domain / Web Hosting Services, it is very important to know what kind of Web Hosting Service your Website actually needs, the kind of Web Server you or your business needs, your budget, and what type of Web Hosting Services the Web Hosting Service Provider offers.
Web Hosting options available are:
Shared Web Hosting
Dedicated Web Hosting
Collocated Web Hosting
Free Domain / Web Hosting
Free Web Hosting is a good choice only when you just want to Host a non-critical Website for fun. Very often in a free Web Hosting environment, connection speed is very slow, Websites can be down frequently, and Advertising Banners are automatically added to your Website / Webpages. Some companies require you to purchase your domain name to receive free Web Hosting Services from them, while soem offer you a free subdomain under their own Domain, such as [yourname.Webhost.com]. One more important thing to NOTE - You will not be able to transfer these free subdomains.
In a Shared Hosting environment, you and many other website owners shared one Web Server. This includes sharing the physical Server and the Software Applications within the Web Server. Shared Hosting Services are very affordable because the cost of Web Hosting Service provider is reduced and the cost of the Web Server is shared between you and the other owners of Websites.
Dedicated Web Hosting
In a Dedicated Web Hosting environment, your Website is hosted on a Web server and you have the entire Web Server to yourself, in other words only your Website is Hosted on that Web Server. This provides a better Website performance, as you have all the resources of the Web Server without sharing the Web Server's resources with other Website owners. However, this also means a higher cost of Web Hosting as you will be responsible for the entire cost of Web Server operations. This is a good choice for Websites that require a lot of system resources, or need a higher level of security.
In this type of Web Hosting, you purchase your own Server and have it housed at a Web Host’s facility. You will be responsible for the server itself. An advantage of this type of Web Hosting Service is you have full control of the Web Server. You can install any scripts or applications you need.
Which Web Server - Linux or Windows?
Actually speaking both these two Web Hosting platforms are functionally equivalent, it all depends on what your Web Hosting needs are, and what you are most comfortable with.
Both Web Hosting platforms differ in cost, ease of use, versatility and stability. Linux Web Hosting is comparitively quite cheaper than Windows Web Hosting .
Linux - Allows for running scripts written in PHP, Perl, Python and other Unix-originated languages. It usually supports MySQL and PostgreSQL databases.
Windows - Allows for running ASP scripts and utilizing .NET and other Microsoft technologies. It supports Microsoft SQL Server and Access database.
Well, if your Website does not require any scripting support, you should definitely choose Linux Web Hosting because they are undeniably more economical. However, if your Website needs scripting and database support, you should choose the platform that supports the technologies you use.
The basic features of a Hosting
All Web Hosting accounts offer a certain amount of disk space that you can use to store files related to your Website / Webpage or in other words your Web files. It is recommended that you should have some sort of estimates on how much disk space you require for various tasks. How much space Web files, databases, etc. By breaking down your Website's space usage, you can achieve a better estimate how much space you should go for.
Email accounts are a common feature of Web Hosting, especially if you are Hosting a Website / Domain. There are four main types of email accounts: Webmail, POP3, Forwarding, and Catch-all Aliases.
After you have designed your Website / Web pages on your Computer / Laptop, you need to transfer those files to your Web Servers. This is where FTP comes in, the files are transferred to the Servers by use of FTP.
Bandwidth & Data Transfer
Bandwidth or Data Transfer
Most of the Web Hosting Service providers talk about Bandwidth and Data Transfer as the same entity. However, they are in fact, different.
Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transferred at one time.
Data transfer is the actual amount of data transferred.
Think of it this way. If Bandwidth were a tunnel, the bigger the tunnel the more vehicles can pass through it. Data Transfer can be termed as number of vehicles allowed to go through the tunnel at any given time period, say a month.
How it affects your Website.
The less Bandwidth you have, the slower it takes your Website to load, regardless of your visitor's connection type. Visitors will have to wait their turn. The less data transfer you have, the more often you will find your Website unavailable because you have reached the maximum amount of data allowed to be transferred.
How much do you require?
You will first have to determine what is sufficient for your Website to function properly. You will need to take into consideration the size of your website and the number of expected visitors you have in a month. Your aim should be to ensure that all these visitors can view your Website without any problem.
What is required to calculate this?
Number of visitors expected
Average page size (including all text, graphics, and other files)
Expected page views by each visitor
Basic Formula to calculate a Websites Data Transfer :
Visitors x Avg. page size X Page views x 30 days = your monthly Website Data Transfer
For example, your Website us made up of 5 pages, and each of these pages consists of text and images. Say, your average page size is 30KB. You expect 50 visitors per day, and each of these visitors will view all 5 pages on your Website.
Your monthly Website Data Transfer will then be:
50 visitors X 30KB X 5 pages X 30 days
= 225,000KB or 0.225GB/month
What is a Name Servers
If you have taken a Web Hosting Service account from any Web Hosting provider you have definitely come across mention of Name Servers (NS). Nameservers are provided by Web Hosts, and they are key to your Website being visible on the Internet / Web.
Most Name Servers provided by Web Hosts look something like ns1.yourhostdomain.com and ns1.yourhostdomain.com You are normally be provided with two different nameservers. Setting up Name Servers usually takes only a few seconds once you have the right information.
A Name Server is a specialized Server on the Internet that handles queries / questions from your local computer, about the location of a Domain Name's various services.
Basically, a Name Server is any Server that has DNS Software installed on it. But usually, Name Server refers to a Server owned and maintained by a Web Host Provider that is specifically used to manage the Domain Names associated with their Web Hosting clients.