Introduction to Web Hosting Inverness
Muir Of Ord
Introduction to Web Hosting
Whether you want to promote a local karate club, flaunt your photography skills or raise the profile of your business, web hosting can give your site that professional feel. It doesn't have to be expensive or difficult to set up, either. Here we look at the free services and paid-for web-hosting options available.
In this feature, we will also be taking a look at buying a domain name, how a web address is made up, what the options are, and how to register your own name.
The email of the species
While this guide focuses primarily on choosing domains and packages for web hosting, you shouldn't forget about email. Buying your own domain name means that you can get your own personalised email address, such as email@example.com. This is often preferable to the generic email addresses that you get with your broadband connection and, if you change your internet service provider, you can keep the same email address.
Once you buy a domain name, you'll find you have two options for email. First is free email forwarding. This lets you pick a personal email address and the real email address to which it's forwarded. For example, you could have firstname.lastname@example.org forward to email@example.com. All email sent to the first email address is retrieved through your ISP address. Should you change ISPs, you could simply change the email address where all mail is forwarded, such as to firstname.lastname@example.org. This way, all your contacts email the same address regardless of your internet connection.
However, this system has a flaw with any email you send: it looks as though it's coming from your ISP email address. You can change this by altering your email program and changing your email address in it, but this doesn't always work and some ISPs block any email sent through them that isn't from one of their email addresses.
For the most flexible option, you can upgrade your domain name to a web-hosting package that provides just email and no web hosting. For around £15 a year or less, you get enough email addresses for you and your family, dedicated disk space and email settings independent of your ISP. If you change ISP, you don't have to make any configuration changes to your email account. You'll also get these more advanced email services when you register a paid-for web hosting account, so have a look at your account to see what you get.
If you've already registered a domain name but think that one of these web-hosting deals looks better than your existing one, don't panic: you can simply transfer your domain to a provider - usually for free. How you do this will depend on the type of domain that you have as well as your hosting provider.
In general, when you log on to your web host account, there'll be an option to transfer a domain. You'll need to follow the instructions provided there. You'll also need to have already created an account with your web host, so it can be instructed to receive your domain. Your web host will provide instructions on how to transfer a domain into your account.
How the domain is transferred will depend on the type of domain. For .co.uk domains, you'll need to provide the IPS tag of your web host; there's a full list at www.nic.uk/registrars/becomeregistrar/taglist. For .com addresses, you usually have to unlock your domain and make a note of the unique transfer code. This code has to be given to your web host.
Domain transfers take a few days to complete. It's important to note that transferring a domain does not transfer your content or your current web hosting. All content must be transferred manually. You'll also need to remember to cancel your existing web hosting account, or else you'll still be charged every month.
Author: Jim Martin