Web Sites 101
Vital Information For Your First Website
Getting a Web Address For Your Business
Even if you're not ready to launch a website, you should register a domain name for your business
A domain name is unique (on the planet - not just the city, state, or country you live in). There are millions of domain names already registered, and the rate of registration is increasing monthly. The chances of finding a good domain name decrease every day. Particular to Myrtle Beach, we locals are not the only ones who see the growth in our area. It is becoming more and more common for people OUTSIDE of the Myrtle Beach area (even from other countries) to register Myrtle Beach area domain names - some to develop, and some for resale. Because of these trends, we suggest registering at least one domain name as soon as possible so you'll have it when you need it.
The best extension is usually a .com
Generally, a .com is the best extension to register. As good .com's are hard to find, though, there are some cases where it is better to register another extension instead of an available .com. This is a subjective decision that each business needs to make. All extensions (.com, .net, .org, .info, .biz, etc.) work the same on the Internet.
When trying to register a domain name, you get a message saying "Not Available"
This message means the name you have chosen has already been registered by someone else. You must choose another name to register for your business or see if the current owner of the name is willing to sell it to you.
Registration periods vary for domain names
When you choose a new domain name, you decide on a registation period of 1 to 10 years. As registration prices are fluctuating daily, we recommend the minimum registration period of 1 to 2 years. At the end of your initial registration term, you simply pay for another year or years.
When you register a domain name, you still don't have a website
A domain name is simply an address. You have to "design your online office" (create a website) and "lease office space" (purchase web hosting) before anybody can actually see your website on the Internet. You can, however, register a domain name well in advance of actually using it.
Getting Your Website Online For Other People To See
A professional design with simple navigation is most effective
First you must either design a website inhouse, or contract with a webdesign firm to make your concept of an online presence a reality. Crystal clear objectives (what you want to achieve with your website) is paramount in translating ideas into a successful website.
You have to place your new website on a computer that serves websites over the internet
You must either purchase hosting servers and install an extremely high-speed, high-bandwidth connection to those servers, or contract with a hosting company to lease space on a managed hosting server. A word of warning: Purchasing servers is not that expensive; employing or contracting someone to maintain and update the service is, as are the installation fees and monthly charges for the proper connection necessary to serve a website over the Internet.
How People Find Your Website
Recurring Basic Costs You Need to Pay Attention To
Once your website is up and running, it doesn't last forever without recurring charges.
Basically, there are 3 recurring expenses you need to pay attention to or risk having your site unavailable for others to see on the Internet.
Domain Registration - Generally an annual fee to retain the rights to use your web address. If you don't pay the registration fee by the annual due date, your website will no longer show up when people try to get to it over the Internet. A grace period will follow and if you still don't pay the registration fee, you may lose the domain name due to nonpayment of required registration fees. It will then be made available to the public to register, and chances are someone else will register it when it is made available.
Website Maintenance - You either pay an inhouse employee or contract with a webdesign company on an annual basis or on a per-item basis to periodically update your site. Failure to pay for maintenance and update may result in your site being outdated.
Additionally, there are CMS (content management systems) you may purchase or have written (by programmers) for your business so that you or an employee can easily update sections of your website on a regular basis. CMS interfaces usually require an annual license fee and periodic updates by a web developer.
Hosting Fees - You either pay the costs of an inhouse webserver and high-speed connection, or you pay a hosting company on a monthly or annual basis. If you don't pay your connection or hosting fees, your site will not be served over the Internet.
You may contact us with any questions you may have about the first steps to starting a web site that weren't answered here.