Site Creation – Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Managing relationships with your clients and sales prospects is a challenge within itself. The moment you lose sight of goals for satisfying your client’s needs, you begin to lose sight of your company’s overall objective. CRM for the most part involves goals for acquiring new customers by attracting and winning them over, retain existing clients, winning back former clients and reducing marketing and customer service costs.

With technology, performing these tasks becomes easier and more streamlined. In the past, a suite of software and hardware tools were need to manage your company’s customer relationships. However, “cloud computing” has now taken over as the go-to format for this task. By utilizing web-based software through companies that offer these services, your company benefits from not having to pay initial startup costs for a CRM system.

CRM Key Benefits

  • Streamlined sales and marketing processes
  • Higher sales productivity
  • Added cross-selling and up-selling opportunities
  • Improved service, loyalty, and retention
  • Increased call center efficiency
  • Higher close rates
  • Better profiling and targeting
  • Reduced expenses
  • Increased market share
  • Higher overall profitability
  • Marginal costing

Is this for me?

Unfortunately CRM software is not just something you buy, install it and then sit back to watch your company improve overnight. While software can surely help you meet that goal, it requires hard work and most of all, dedication from a team of valuable employees. Collecting information from your clients is only worth your time and money if it’s used correctly.

Before you set out in this venture, your company needs to decide what data it needs to pull and how it is to be used. As an example, if you were a clothing company, you would want to study your customer’s spending habits at particular times of the year. Since the clothing industry revolves around styles, seasons and trends, this information is extremely valuable to ensure that you’re offering the best products to your customers, but more importantly, at the right time!

If you ever wondered why stores ask you for your birth date, your phone number, zip code, etc. it’s because they’re “mining” you for bits of information that can help them sell to you better. Even store security cameras that were once only used to catch thieves are now being used to watch how people navigate stores and find things (or not). All of this data is helpful to everyone involved in the company from the product buyer to the person that stocks the shelves.

In the online world, things are a bit different, but the rules generally apply. How you design your website such as page layout, colors, links and more will ultimately define how your customers interact with it. You can use tools such as Google Analytics to find out more about where people are clicking on your site, where they came from, how long they stayed on your pages and the list goes on. As an example, if you sold a product that for some reason was selling much better to people in Finland than the United States, you might want to consider creating a second version of your site in the Finnish language. You will drastically improve your sales to those customers in Finland who could not read your English page.

Getting started

The costs associated with setting up a CRM solution can vary greatly depending on your desired results. CRM is a service and much like advertising, it doesn’t come with a sticker price. You can spend as little or as much as you wish, but also like advertising, you get what you pay for. Large companies can expect to have a CRM budget of around $500,000 while very large companies have been known to spend over $10 million!

Small businesses and/or small website operations can of course forgo having CRM teams and multi-thousand dollar budgets by simply opting to introduce some basic CRM software in their tool set. Even software such as Microsoft Office Outlook with Business Contact Manager can perform basic customer relationship management tasks.

When you’re a small business, the goal is to maintain a relationship with your clients. You do this by sending out newsletters, monthly updates, special offers, birthday cards, etc. As an example with my site, I have RSS feeds that users can bookmark so every time I post content or make updates, they get the information without having to come back to my site to look for it. I also offer a monthly newsletter to anyone who signs up at my site. This newsletter is really a way to condense monthly updates while offering new information and promotional items that aren’t on my site.

Customer surveys are a great way to interact with clients. You can offer people discounts the next time they shop with you if they are willing to answer some basic questions. This way, you not only get the information you’re after, but you may also gain a lifetime customer!

Online CRM

As mentioned above, cloud computing has really taken off lately. Cloud computing is basically a set of online tools that would normally be spanned across 3-5 software programs installed on your computer. For example, instead of using Outlook for your email, you use webmail from your company domain. For CRM, there are a plethora of online services that offer tool to manage your customer base. One of the larger ones is They offer services starting at just $5 per month.

The advantage of online CRM solutions, besides the fact that you don’t have to buy and rely on software, is the ability to grow your needs only when your business grows. You don’t have to buy one $5,000 package for the 5 clients that you have. You can start out small and add tools as needed.

More information

These sites have much more information on this topic and they’re worth a look if you’d like to move forward with a CRM plan.

<< Back to Content Management System (CMS) Forward to Portals >>

Site Creation – Content Management System (CMS)

Making a website can be a tedious project that incorporates many different facets of design and implementation. It may require that you learn the different web software and programming languages outlined previously. There are also just as many books on the subject as there are websites online.

This is why web design firms charge so much money to build a website. However, it doesn’t have to be expensive to start (or re-design) your website. You can now use a “cookie-cutter” backend structure to manage and maintain your content. Welcome to the world of CMS–or more specifically in this case, webCMS.

What is CMS?

Simply put, it’s a set of tools and/or software that is used to organize content for projects, presentations and reports while allowing multiple people to have access to these tools, add their own ideas, content and essentially just collaborate. For a website, think of it as a container or base structure for the content of your site. It’s wrapped with a theme of some sort and it allows you to focus on your content rather than your design.

There are a few types of systems you can get, but the most common is blogging software. A lot of people don’t consider a blog system part of the CMS group of software, but I do. The reason for this is because to me, it manages content–and pretty well I might add.

How does it work?

After your chosen software is installed, you’ll have access to an admin interface that allows you to configure and customize your new site. You can change the design, add themes, format text, setup categories, create static pages, manage uploads and downloads and create users. Here’s the basic breakdown of what a CMS is:

  • Templates – The base structure to your site is accomplished through the use of templates. These files (XML or HTML) are stored in a central location and they apply design traits to all content pages on your site. This allows you to edit or change your “theme” instantly and across all pages at once.
  • Editable Content – Because the content is not being stored in the design templates, it is easily edited using built-in content editors known as WYSIWYG editors. They contain basic formatting tools to make your content look nice and stand out.
  • Scalable Features – Most CMS software packages are compatible with plugins that add or enhance features of the system to allow your site to grow as needed. These plugins are often designed by the user community and are usually free.
  • Standards Upgrades – To keep up with web standards, popular CMS software programs are consistently updated and supported.
  • Workflow – If there are multiple contributors on one site, content can be written, but not published until it’s been reviewed by the appropriate person.
  • User Delegation – Users in the system can be delegated to specific roles that pertain to the various sections of the site. These users have only the access they need to get their work done.
  • Document Management – As content and documents change, the entire revision history is available at all times to ensure that any changes are properly recorded and can even be restored back if needed.
  • Virtualization – Some CMS software programs have options that allow users to work in a virtualized environment so they can edit and create pages and see how they will look online before actually publishing them online.
  • Syndication – All CMS programs offer the ability to syndicate your content. This is done through channels like RSS, email subscriptions or Atom data feeds.


If you have ever seen a website hosted or designed on WordPress, you’ve seen a blog. Essentially, you install a small out of software (a few PHP files and folders) on your webserver, follow a simple install process and start blogging. It’s really that easy and that’s exactly why it was created.

You can use a blog for any type of web content, so don’t think that just because you installed a blog that you have to post things everyday or talk about your personal life! You’ll find blogs that sell products, offer downloads or just have nothing but galleries of pictures.

Putting it all together

Get yourself a content management system. You will save yourself some major headaches in the future if you start on the right foot now. Using WordPress as an example, here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Web hosting plan – Your web hosting plan needs to offer you the ability to have at least one SQL database and the ability to run PHP. Check out GoDaddy or MediaTemple for great pricing and service.
  2. WordPress software – WordPress is free and can be downloaded from
  3. FTP client – You need to be able to upload your WordPress files to your server. Using an FTP client for this will make life much easier. You can get away without one, but you’ll need to learn how to use your online file manager.
  4. Website theme – Unless you want to spend your time making your own design, I’d suggest you look into getting a theme or two to spice up your website’s look. I’ve gotten themes from both and (search only for WordPress themes).
  5. Content – This is where your creativity comes in! Write your own stuff about things you care about. Make it original and make it interesting.
<< Back to Ruby on Rails Forward to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) >>

Site Creation – Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails is another programming language for faster web development. It is also known as Rails or RoR and is the newest programming language as of this writing since it first came out in 2004. The purpose of the Rails project was to make the process of creating web applications much easier and less time-consuming. This is accomplished by using the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture to organize application programming.

By using various packages like ActiveRecord (an object-relational mapping system for database access), ActiveResource (provides web services), ActionPack, ActiveSupport and ActionMailer, Rails make programming a web script very easy. In fact, when I was researching Rails, I found a video on their website that shows a blog being made in 15 minutes! If the video is still online, you can view it here. Unlike Java, Rails requires a web server to run on, which makes it a great choice for building web apps.

Rails Resources

  • Official Rails Website – There’s no better place to start than here! Get all the latest news and updates from the developers. Get screencasts, code and documentation as well.
  • Ruby on Rails Cheat Sheet – To get a nice little quick reference guide for Rails created by, go here. You can print out this one-page guide to aid you in your Rails programming ventures.
  • Rails Tutorials – There are three really good tutorials on this site that go into depth about how Rails works and how you can get started.

Who uses Rails?

The biggest site known to use Rails is Twitter! I’d have to say that for a website as large as that, Rails must be pretty useful, not to mention stable. Other known sites are BaseCampHQ and Shopify.

<< Back to Java Forward to Content Management System (CMS) >>

Site Creation – Java

Java is a programming language that was born out of frustration over the complexity and size of C++ programs. It’s commonly used throughout the Internet as well as mobile devices. It is much simpler than C++ and it uses an object-oriented programming model. Java is used to create web applications called applets that can be used in a variety of ways to add functionality to a website. These applets are what make it possible for users to directly interact with a web page. You most likely have been running some sort of Java software for the last 10+ years and didn’t even know it!

When creating a website, you can add many different types of functionality to help users use your site easier. These features can be things such as stylized menus, data forms, counters, clocks, etc. Check out for a sampling of the things you can do with Java.

Characteristics of Java

  • You can develop portable programs in a network by compiling them into “bytecode”. This bytecode can be run on any client computer that runs the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). JVM interprets the bytecode into code that the computer understands. Most computer software is designed for specific operating systems, whereas Java software is executed on the fly by the virtual machine. This enabled Sun Microsystems to create the various OS versions of Java Virtual Machine, but only one Java app.
  • Java software is written so that it cannot pull references and objects from external data sources. Essentially, all of its instructions are contained within the Java code. This ensures that the Java Virtual Machine does not crash. Every object is inspected by JVM to be of the highest quality to maintain a functional environment. All of this makes Java a very robust programming language.
  • Because Java is object-oriented, it allows an object to be part of a group (or class) or other objects, which can then inherit any code that’s part of that class. A way to describe this would be to compare it to Microsoft Active Directory, where you can have a group of users that all have individual permissions, but they also all inherit the permissions of the whole group.
  • Java runs very fast because it’s ran locally from the client’s computer rather than from a server.
  • Compared to C++, Java is a much easier programming language to learn.

Java was first created by Sun Microsystems in 1990 as part of the Stealth Project. It soon grew into what we know of Java today and all major web browsers now include the Java Virtual Machine to parse Java code

This is a small sample of Java code
on websites. Mobile devices and smartphones all utilize Java as well. On cell phones, Java is more commonly used to support game play.

Java and JavaScript: the same?

Contrary to what you might have thought, these two are not the same. JavaScript originated at Netscape as a programming language used to run smaller applications on webservers or client machines. Java is able to run apps without needing an operating system requirement and because of this, it’s considered a better solution, even for web apps. JavaScript, however, is much easier to learn than Java.

<< Back to PHP Forward to Ruby on Rails >>

Site Creation – PHP

PHP is a programming language used for creating dynamic webpages. Dynamic, as opposed to static, simply means that pages are created on the fly based on data from a database, user input or some other “call” for information. Originally created in 1995 as a set of CGI binaries, PHP has withstood the test of time and is currently in its 5th incarnation as PHP5.

Personally, I find that it’s the easiest programming language to work with when dealing with websites. This is because PHP gets integrated directly within HTML code and uses similar tags for performing functions. I’m no genus at coding PHP, but for creating basic scripts or even making changes to advanced scripts, I can hold my own! I also find that it’s a much speedier code when compared to others like CGI or Java and it’s also compatible with many different operating systems, webservers and all web browsers.

Above all, the best part about PHP is that it’s free! There is no cost to run PHP on your webserver and it’s already installed on practically every webhosting plan you can buy.

How does it work?

As mentioned earlier, PHP can be integrated directly within HTML code. By using dilemeters, you can tell PHP where to find code to parse on the page. Here’s an example of some PHP code within a webpage:
<title<PHP Test</title>
echo "Hello World";
/* echo("Hello World"); works as well, although echo isn't a
function (it's a language construct). In some cases, such
as when multiple parameters are passed to echo, parameters
cannot be enclosed in parentheses */

The above code would display the words “Hello World” directly on a blank web page titled, PHP Test. By looking at this example, you can see how easy it is to have a standard HTML page, while integrating PHP within. Since the PHP parser only recognizes code inside the <?php ?> tags, everything else is sent to the browser as it normally would.

Why would I need it?

If you plan to use a CMS package like WordPress, you’ll be dealing with PHP in some form. Besides that, PHP offers a whole new world of functionality for your website and ultimately your users. Here are some common uses for PHP:

  • Web forms – Have you ever filled out a form on a site asking you for information like email address, name and phone number? These are all sent dynamically through a POST command to the website owner so they can collect your information.
  • Shopping carts – Every time you’ve bought something online, you more than likely were using PHP to place an order, fill out your information and send a payment.
  • Security – If you ever needed to access a secured area for a website, you may have seen PHP in action protecting the secured area.
  • Message boards – The majority of message board software is written in PHP.

This list can literally go on and on because just about anything you can think of can be written in PHP. That’s what makes it such a great language to use! It’s also very easy to learn. In fact, what little I know about PHP has all be learned by just looking at code and trying to figure out what it’s trying to do.

Where do I get PHP scripts?

Since its licensing is free (and open), scripts can come in all shapes and sizes from large corporations down to the guy in his basement and can cost anywhere from zero dollars to many thousands of dollars. When looking for PHP scripts to use, you first want to establish your goals.

To begin your search, start looking for scripts at They not only have a very large PHP database, but they house every other major programming language as well. Once you get to the site, you’ll notice that their PHP collection is the largest (many times over) than every other collection! This tells you just how popular PHP is.

More information

To get much more information as well as all the nitty, gritty details behind PHP, visit the official PHP website at

<< Back to Email Forward to Java >>

Site Creation – Email

We obviously know what email is, so this one’s going to be short. However, it’s how you use it that makes the difference. The difference between your company looking professional and looking like a fly-by-night operation. How many times have you seen an advertisement, sticker on a car or a business card that had a company name followed by an email address from or

How much better would it look to have an email address from your company’s domain name? As an example, if you changed your email address from to you just took your image to a whole new level.

If you’ve been using an email address from a free web service, you need to change it now. And if you’re stuck on the idea that you can check your email anywhere there’s an Internet connection, you no longer have to worry with a service called IMAP. Let’s take a look at some differences in email services.

Types of email services

  • POP3 – POP email is the most basic of email services that allows you to simply download your messages to a third party software program such as Outlook, Entourage or Thunderbird. This is a great advantage given the fact that your email is stored on your computer, but this can also be the downside because if you’re not around your computer, you won’t have access to it. The major drawback, however is that if have more than one computer and you download your email on one computer, you won’t have access to it on another.
  • IMAP – IMAP allows you to use your third party software to map it to your email account(s) on the server. This means that all your emails are synced between your software and your server. You still need your computer and an Internet connection, but unlike POP3, your email isn’t moved from the server and therefore can be accessed on multiple computers that contain your mail settings. One drawback with IMAP is that your email always stays on the server until it’s deleted, which can fill up any storage quota you may have.
  • Webmail – All web hosting plans and services you can buy come with free webmail services. This is the best choice for getting your email if you like the idea of being able to access email truly anywhere. This service works exactly like Hotmail or Yahoo!, but it may be limited in features. One of the only drawbacks with webmail would be storage limits. You can also use webmail and IMAP together since any changes you make on one or the other will affect both.

When running a business, you always want to be in contact with your customers. If you have to, get yourself a smartphone so your messages can come is as soon as they’re sent. After choosing your preferred way to get email, stick with it as you don’t want to become confused later or have email stored in more than one location.

<< Back to File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Forward to PHP >>

Site Creation – File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

Once you have your web host configured, you need to upload your website’s files or install your CMS software. The easiest way to do this is through File Transfer Protocol (FTP). FTP makes it so simple to send files to your hosting account. Alternatively, you can use the file manager included with your website control panel, but it has its limitations.

With FTP, you’ll be able to instantly send files to your server all at the same time as opposed to individually. The only catch is you have to download and install an FTP browser. But trust me, once you have this, you’ll never go back to your control panel file manager!

What is it?

FTP is a standard network protocol used only for transferring files. If you understand that HTTP is for transferring web documents like pictures, html files, sound, video, etc. then you can see the relation. It was created back in 1971 as a way to promote the sharing of files, computer programs and other data. It also streamlines the upload process by using multiple connection methods so the user doesn’t need to know what filesystem they’re connecting to; the software automatically detects it and makes applicable adjustments.

How does it work?

It utilizes a client-server configuration where a server has been setup on a remote site and the user connects to it via an IP address or domain name to begin a transfer session. More than likely, connecting to your server will require a connection to FTP.(yourdomain).COM using the port number: 21. Of course, different configurations will yield different settings.

Inherently, FTP is not secure and therefore, a user on the same network as the FTP session could use a packet sniffer program to see passwords, usernames and data as it’s being transferred. Today, FTP sessions can be used with the addition of an SSL certificate over the FTPS protocol. Most FTP software can also handle SSH connections.

You can even set up your own FTP server at home and have access to all of your files whenever you need them. I remember years ago (and long before torrents), FTP servers were the number one way to download software, although some of it wasn’t exactly legal!

What do I need?

For simply connecting to your webserver and uploading files, you only need one thing: FTP client software. Here’s a list of some of the most popular programs out there:

  • Globalscape CuteFTP Pro – This is my favorite and I’ve used it for over 10 years. The Pro version is the way to go because it offers SFTP, FTPS, HTTPS and SSH connections. Normally it costs $59.99, but it’s worth it. However, I noticed they added an academic licensed version that you can buy for only $3!
  • SmartFTP Pro – I haven’t used this one myself, but at only $49.99, its not a bad price. Again, I’d recommend the Pro version for the added security features. They also have an Ultimate edition that includes a terminal client. I wish CuteFTP Pro had this feature!
  • BulletProof FTP – This recommendation really only made this list because I used BulletProof FTP Server for a number of years and I loved it. This program is only $34.95, but it can hold its own against the others in features.

Once you install your client of choice, all you have to do is plug in your server’s IP address or domain name, your username and password and you’re connected! You’ll instantly have access to the location of all your website files and you can begin uploading your content.

If you’re not sure about your server settings, contact your web host to get the applicable information.

<< Back to Domain Name System (DNS) Forward to Email >>

Site Creation – Domain Name System (DNS)

Understanding the Domain Name System, or DNS is an important part of understanding web hosting as well as the Internet in general. Without it, we wouldn’t have domains and the Internet would not be what it is today. You may not have known it, but underneath the entire infrastructure, lies DNS.

What does it do?

In short, DNS takes domain names such as and translates them into an IP address like: Imagine if you had to remember how to find websites based on their IP address? Even if you did, imagine what would happen if that website changed its physical location, thereby changing the IP address? DNS was created to bypass these problems and allow for the creation of what I call aliases that are understandable to humans.

How does it work?

When you register a domain name, you’re placing a record in the domain registry that tells the Internet how to find your website. If someone types in, this is what happens:

  1. Your computer asks your ISP (Verizon, Time Warner, AOL, etc.) if it knows what and where is.
  2. If your ISP doesn’t know, it asks the Top Level Domain server. In this case it’s .com and of course .com knows that there is an entry for “ledfrog”.
  3. It returns the IP address of the server that Ledfrog is located on and tells your computer where to connect.
  4. Your web browser then connects to the IP address and you now see the website on your screen.

Of course, that’s a very basic look at the process because there are thousands of DNS servers out on the Internet that do search queries to help with the processing of domain names.

How does this apply to me?

Once you register your domain name, you need to point it the name servers of the web host you’ve chosen to host your site. As an example, the name servers for my site are: NS1.MEDIATEMPLE.NET and NS2.MEDIATEMPLE.NET because hosts my site. Those nameservers are responsible for telling the world that my website is located there and to display it to everyone who asks for it.

Another main advantage to DNS is the ability to change your web host at any time. Since the web host isn’t going anywhere, their IP addresses will never change. If your site moves, your nameservers change and therefore get updated with the new IP addresses. Because you have a registered domain name, there’s nothing more you have to do once you update your nameservers.

<< Back to Webhosting Forward to FTP >>

Site Creation – Web Hosting

It goes without saying, but you do need a web host in order to have a website. A web host is a company that provides a server that all of your website’s files are stored on and then served up to the visitors that come see your page. There are literally thousands of web hosting companies out there that range from huge corporations down to the guy running a server in his bedroom. So how do you choose just one?

Most web hosts get their customers through referrals, so if you happen to hear some good reviews about a particular company, you should look into it. However, opinions on quality, speed, price and customer service vary significantly. It’s important that you decide for yourself how these factors rank on your list. As an example, you may find that paying more per month to get better customer support is worth it, but someone else might feel speed is more valuable.

Finding the perfect host

This process is really based on what your site’s needs are. If you’re running a simple blog and don’t expect a lot of traffic (at least in the beginning), you can get away with a hosting plan that’s as low as $4.99 per month. In fact, GoDaddy offers hosting plans tailored specifically for WordPress blogs. The advantage to using GoDaddy is that if you also register your domains here, all of your services will be under one roof.

On the other hand, if your site is going to be serving up lots of content to lots of traffic, you’re going to need something bigger. Here’s a breakdown of some ideal hosting types and their intended use:

Hosting Type Description Selling Points Price Range
Free Hosting Since nothing is free in this world, what few remaining “free” hosts there are, simply add some type of advertisement to your site. This can be a pop-up window, a link on every page, a banner somewhere on your site, etc. Stay away from free hosts if you’re shooting for a professional image! Upside: no costs. Downside: not a professional image None $0
Shared Hosting Shared hosting is the most common way of hosting a website. It allows a hosting company to place multiple customers on a single server, therefore “sharing” system resources with other websites. Upside: the cost of the server is spread over lots of users, reducing your monthly bill. Downside: you don’t have control over advanced back-end features. Cheap, basic, easy $20-50+
Virtual Private Server (VPS) VPS hosting gives you full control of your server. Think of it as a hybrid between dedicated hosting and shared hosting. VPS allows a hosting company to create multiple “virtual” servers on one physical server so each client has complete access to their own private server, but the clients still share hardware resources. Some hosting companies will dedicated certain hardware to each virtual server such as system memory. Upside: shared costs for dedicated access. Downside: shared hardware resources Root access, faster, advanced, flexible $50-150+
Dedicated Hosting If you want to have a server all to yourself, opt for dedicated hosting. This will give you your own server to do with it what you will. A word of caution: this may be too advanced for some users! However, if you run a high traffic site that requires stability and speed, this is the option for you. Upside: no resources shared. Downside: requires routine maintenance on your part. No shared resources, highly advanced, stable, flexible $150-750+
Managed Hosting Having a dedicated server can take a lot out of you if you’re managing it yourself. Most hosting companies offer managed services so you don’t have to worry about day-to-day tasks such as hardware monitoring, backups, virus scanning, etc. Also, if you have any issues, you can get help much faster. Upside: maintenance done by company. Downside: costs more per month. No shared resources, highly advanced, stable, flexible, managed $250-750+
Server Co-location Now you’re one step away from running your own hosting company! Co-location allows you to build your own physical server and install it at a data center. This option provides 100% flexibility and customization while gaining all the features of a managed dedicated server. If you’re running a site that requires this setup, you probably wouldn’t be needing my help! Upside: complete control. Downside: complete responsibility. 100% flexibility, super advanced, no shared resources Custom Quote
Reseller Hosting With reseller hosting plans, you’re essentially purchasing a hosting plan (usually higher end) and the company allows you to re-sell your services to your own clients under your brand. I’d estimate a guess that about 80% of the “cheap” webhosts you find are nothing more than resellers. In most cases, a re-sold hosting plan is part of a larger shared hosting plan. Upside: sell services using your own name. Downside: you have to manage and support your clients. Cheap, various options, start your own hosting business $30-200

The above list is just a sample and is not considered exhaustive.

My recommendation

Since I’ve only hosted with 3 different companies, I can only comment on them. But of those 3, my personal recommendation is There are a few things I love about this company, but the biggest one is that you can start off small (as low as $20/month) and upgrade at any time without upsetting your service. They are also home to some of the biggest sites on the Internet. So far, they’re customer support has been impeccable and the service is great.

Ultimately, choose the host that you feel will serve your website the way you want and don’t be lured in by insane claims such as “unlimited bandwidth” or “unlimited server space”. Stick with a tried and true company.

<< Back to Domain Registration Forward to DNS >>

Site Creation – Domain Registration

Today, domain names are everywhere and they aren’t always used for a company’s website such as or Domains are now registered to capitalize on all sorts of things like catch phrases, movie titles, personal names, marketing jargon and just about everything else. When it comes to registering your own domain, you’ll want to ask yourself a few questions:

  • What message will the domain convey to other people?
  • Does it make me sound professional?
  • Is it easy to remember?
  • Does it infringe on a registered trademark?
  • Does it have branding potential?

The most important question is: Is it available? There are millions and millions of domain names out there already, so finding one you like may be a larger process than you anticipated. However, there are plenty of after-market places to buy registered domain names for sale.

How do I decide what to get?

After answering the questions above, you should have a clearer path to finding the right domain. If this site is going to be your personal website, try using your name or nickname. If you’re using this domain as a business, obviously use your business name, or find something generic that relates to you business. As time goes on, more and more traffic will be coming to your site, so pick a domain that you won’t want to change a year from now. Your domain name is also part of building your brand name.

There are also lots of top level domains (TLDs) to choose from. You might know the top three: .com, .net and .org, but there are over 1600 TLDs worldwide! Each country has at least one like the United States (.US), Tuvalu (.TV), Montenegro (.ME), United Kingdom (.CO.UK) and Western Samoa (.WS). Picking your TLD can be a matter of geographical location, preference or necessity. Keep in mind that foreign domain extensions often cost more and might carry specific restrictions.

Where do I get a domain?

To search for an available domain name and register it, I recommend GoDaddy. I use them for all of my domain services and setting up an account is free. The best part is that, compared to others, they still offer the cheapest domains when you consider all the free services you get.

If the domain you want is already registered, you might be out of luck unless the owner is holding the domain for the “right price”. Yes, domains are sold as commodities these days and some can command millions of dollars. The best advice I can give in this situation is to contact the owner and see if they’re willing to sell. You can do this by finding out the registrant’s email address using

Alternatively, you can search after-market domains on sites such as,,,,, and just to name a few!


Use your best judgement when registering or buying a domain. When buying, know that there are a lot of scammers out there that will try to steal your money or make a domain seem worth more than it really is. When registering, make sure you’re not treading on someone’s trademark. This can lead to you not only losing the domain name, but also paying huge lawyer’s fees and fines.

A complete list of domain extensions can be found on Wikipedia.

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