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You've decided you need a web site.  You've selected someone to design and build it.  Now there are some important questions that need answering.  We do not pretend to know what is best for you but what follows is some information that will help you make an informed decision.

Do I want my own domain? 

Advantage #1
Your web site address will be shorter and it will be something you have chosen that should be easy to remember.
Here's an example we chuckled over that makes this easy to understand.  Let's say Asda needed a place to put the Asda web site.  They could come to us and ask us to host it for them in our domain (which we would be happy to do for a small fee) in which case his web site address would be www.nt-webspace.com/asda - or they could opt to have his own domain in which case his web site address will be asda.com  - - - I guess we all know which one he choose.

Advantage #2
Your web site and email address need never change even if you change Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
Since you are the only one in the world who can use your exact domain name you also own all the email addresses @yourcompany.com  hence it does not matter what someone puts in front of the @ all the email will come to you.  If for some reason you decide to move your web site to a different ISP your web site address and your email address will remain the same.  You don't have to re-educate all your customers, suppliers and friends to find your web site at a new address or to send email to a new address. 

Advantage #3
Since to many businesses image is important it is generally considered that owning your own domain name adds credibility and a look and feel of stability to your company and shows that you are serious about your online business. 

Reasons not to own a domain:
Cost -
If you have your web site hosted in someone else's domain the cost is considerably less.  In fact there are many places where you can place a simple web site for free. There are always fees involved with owning your own domain - Network Solutions (Internic)  charges $35.00 (USD) per year (minimum 2 years) and there are ISP charges for hosting your domain that can run from $150 (USD) to several thousand dollars per year depending on your needs and the ISP you chose. 

Fee web site hosting with your Dial-up Service Provider.
Many ISP's offer free web site hosting when you use their dial-up service. (use them to access the Internet)  This can be great for short term Internet marketing projects but there is a danger.  With the fiercely competitive nature of the business and rapid advances in technology there may come a time when you want to change the company that you use to access the Internet.  When this happens your free web site vanishes.  This can be a real pain if you have a well established online business. 

Who will I use to host my web site?
This can be really mind boggling. There are thousands of ISP's (Internet Service Providers) who would like to host your web site. How do you chose?  As with everything else the best value is not necessarily found by looking at price alone. There are some minimum features you need to look for.  Here is a basic list: 

  • Secure Server for handling Secure Online Transactions
  • Your own cgi-bin - so you can run custom features like shopping carts & data bases etc
  • Real Audio/Video capability
  • Large amount of Hard Drive Space 20 megs or more
  • Large amount of Data Transfer 500 megs or more
  • Email Forwarding with unlimited Email aliases
  • Detailed Statistics so you can track your web sites activity
  • 24 hour FTP Access
  • 24 hour Tech Support
  • Database Support
  • MS Front Page Support
  • The ability to handle Online Credit Card Verification 








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