Welcome to Part 4 of ‘Getting Your Business Online’.
There are so many options these days when it comes to domain name registration and website hosting. All providers seem to offer ‘the world’ at very competitive prices.
So how do you choose?
1) Home grown is best.
Assuming that your business is based in Australia, then:
- You should register a .com.au domain name
- Your website should be hosted within Australia
Why? Because search engines like Google assess these two things and will rank you accordingly. And the trend for “location-based” searching seems to be increasing with Google Places* receiving more press and prominence of late.
This is true for businesses outside of Australia too. US websites should be hosted in the US… and so on.
*For those of you that haven’t heard, Google Places works in conjunction with Google Maps so that when potential customers search Maps for local information, they’ll find local business information such as an address, hours of operation, photos and even products.
And make sure that you are registered as the owner of your domain name and not your provider.
2) Work out what you need.
The four main things to consider are:
How much disk space do you need? Unless you’re website is going to make extensive use of video or audio content then 50mb to 100mb is usually sufficient.
How many email accounts do you need? One for every member of the team? Or just one for ‘Sales’ and one for ‘Admin’?
How much bandwidth is included? Put simply, bandwidth is the amount of traffic that is allowed to occur between your website and the rest of the internet. Larger websites with lots of traffic will obviously need more bandwidth allowance. Websites with extensive video and audio content would also need suitable bandwidth allowance.
What other technical provisions are included? Sorry about the jargon but things like… SSL, MySQL, PHP, ASP, and so on. Your developer will tell you if these are required.
And don’t worry if you underestimate your current requirements. Most website hosting plans are scalable and can be easily upgraded.
3) Try to keep things simple and organised.
After 10 years of helping businesses get on-line, the best advice I can give you is this:
Get your domain name and website hosting from the same provider.
Why? Here’s a few good reasons:
- You’ll deal with one company for the set-up
- You’ll deal with one company for on-going support
- You’ll receive one reminder notice when it’s time for renewal
- You’ll receive one invoice to pay
And lastly, keep good (and secure) records. You’d be amazed at how often people lose or misplace their domain name registration and website hosting details.
Simon Bailey is a graphic & web designer with over 15 years experience. His business, Simon Bailey Design, is located on Sydney’s upper north shore and is dedicated to providing clients with Outstanding Design, Expert Advice and Professional Service.