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Each of these sites offers a WHOIS search feature that provides you a way to determine
if a potential domain name is available, and if it is owned, who owns it. Often the
domain name is already taken. If that's the case, the sites listed above will provide you
with alternate suggestions that may be appropriate. Don't give up; a domain name is
out there waiting for your business.
Once you've found your perfect domain name, don't waste any time in registering it.
The cost to register a domain name varies, but is quite reasonable. The top rate for a
.com one-year registration is currently $35 (and there are numerous opportunities for
discounts with multiyear packages or bundled Web hosting services). It's perfectly okay
to register a domain name even if you are not ready to publish your Web site immedi-
ately. There are many companies that provide domain registration services, as listed
above. When you register a domain name, your contact information (such as name,
phone number, mailing address, and e-mail address) will be entered into the WHOIS
database and available to anyone unless you choose the option for private registration.
While there is usually a small annual fee for private registration, it shields your personal
information from unwanted spam and curiosity seekers.
Obtaining a domain name is just one part of establishing a Web presence—you also
need to host your Web site somewhere. The next section introduces you to factors
involved in choosing a Web host.
Where is the appropriate place for your Web project to “live”? Choosing the most
appropriate Web host provider for your business or client could be one of the most
important decisions you make. A good Web hosting service will provide a robust,
reliable home for your Web site. A poor Web hosting service will be the source of
problems and complaints. Which would you prefer?
The types of Web host providers range from local ISPs who have some empty space on
their servers and Web developers who host sites on the side, to local hosting companies
and national companies that guarantee 99.999 percent uptime. Understandably, the fees
and the level of service are different. What does your business or client need? This sec-
tion looks at needs of various size businesses.
One word of caution: Never consider using a “free” Web host provider for a business
site. These free sites are great for kids, college students, and hobbyists, but they are
unprofessional. The last thing you or your client wants is to be perceived as unprofes-
sional or not serious about the business at hand.
As you consider different Web host providers, be sure to check references. Also, try
contacting their support phone numbers and e-mail addresses to determine just how
responsive they really are. It is common for Web host providers to charge a setup fee in
addition to the monthly hosting fee. Hosting fees vary widely. The cheapest hosting