Domain Name & Hosting Tips

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Domain name registration

This can seem like the small stuff – but in this case, do sweat it – get it right or face a lot of hassle in the future – trust me on this, whether you understand it or not. Simply put, the Domain name is your business name on the web, so protect it. Hosting is where you save the files or folders that contain your website information, photos & text on a server somewhere. The domain name or names are pointed, just like a phone number redirect, to the server where your website is hosted.

Protect your good name

Domain Name Registration – protecting your web name.

Every single week I meet someone who does not have control of their domain name. Sometimes a previous web company registered the domain for the client, but in their own account and name. Think of the problems if you fall out with your developer – which is very very common. (Not with us though, we are delightful)
Sometimes people register a domain name, but do not add Auto Renew or they ignore the repeated renewal demand emails which are automated. You will not get a nice letter or a phone call from the Registrar.

Ask yourself some questions:

1. Have you got a domain name ?
2. Where is it registered – who is the Registrar ?
3. Can you access the domain registration account ? Test it now !
4. When does it need renewing ?
5. Which credit card is on file?
6. Is it set to Auto Renew?
7. Are you the Registered Administrator ?
8.  Is it registered in your name or company name ? It should be.
9. Where does the Reminder email go to ? Make sure you will get it

Note: Expect a .com domain name to cost $10 annually and a .ie €20 if you register them yourself – add a €25 fee for someone else to do it for you (in your name).
Pointing – This is just where you buy a domain name and then point it to your Hosting company where your website is hosted. They give you the DNS Domain Name Server details which looks like a phone number and you add this in your Domain Name account settings, so that your domain name points to your website.

Domain Name Tips & advice

Tip 1: Register it for 10 years and ensure it is in your own name and with a non domain email for back up – use Gmail or Yahoo. Google likes to see that you believe you will be in business for a while.

Tip 2: By all means use two domains such as www.joesmoe.ie and www.photographergalway.com as an ‘exact name match’ or ENM. Your website can have more than one domain point to it.

Tip 3: Keep them short and memorable, they do not have to be specific to your business, as in Plumberlondon.co.uk or Physiciandublin.com, which is nice and simple, easy to remember, but you could use rooneyelectrical.com or boycephysio.com too. A short name that uses your keyword would be best.

Whoislookup for domain registration recordTip 4: As with deeds of a house, your domain needs to be in your own name. You can have your web partner or IT guy be the Technical Contact and your Accountant can be the Billing Contact, but ensure that you are the Registrant or Domain Name owner. Protect your asset. Check Whoislookup 

Tip 5: Sometimes the domain name settings need to be edited when you move hosting company or need to edit your mail or MX records or email records. So make sure you have these details as well as your ftp access to your hosting Control Panel.

Tip 6: Owning a Domain name gives you no rights to trade under that name or any protection if someone else decides to trade as that name. It is nothing more than just a domain name, which you rent. Get legal advice about trading names, patents etc.

Tip 7: Registering a domain should ideally be done in the country where you are trying to sell as it indicates to search engines that you are based there – or use a facility NAP Name postal address and Phone number.

Tip 8: Your domain name say www.meanit.ie needs to point to your hosting, but ensure that it does so as both http://www.meanit.ie and the root domain Http://meanit.ie  otherwise Google sees two websites and duplicate content which will wreck your rankings. Check too for https://www.meanit.ie/home and https://meanit.ie

Tip 9: Never use hypens like www.meanit-web.com or worse www.meanit-web-design.ie.

Tip 10: Once you have your domain name, structure your website navigation in a simple way, as in using categories and sub categories eg: https://meanit.ie |  https://meanit.ie/business-website-design/https://meanit.ie/business-websites/ecommerce

If you have covered your domain name, maybe you want to look at your hosting – see below when ready for that.

website-hosting-MeanIT-web-partnersHosting Tips

Hosting should be done in the country where you are trying to sell as it indicates to search engines that you are based there.

Hosting offers 3 main options.
Shared server – Lowest cost is using a shared pre configured server, but speed and performance of your site can be affected by the other sites on the server, maybe thousands of them and an infected or blacklisted domain can affect your sites performance or email. Google will penalise all sites on the server, if one is iffy and it happens a lot.
DedicatedBest option is a dedicated host expensive from about €500 a month, but it is more dependable and offers support, so a better business option, especially for the non-technical. You can even set up your own server and have it located in a server farm, as in colocation service. If you are serious about your website this is the best option. Think about how much you pay for annual building maintenance.
VPS Virtual Private Server is also sharing, but where a section of a server is dedicated to your site – so this may be more practical for SMEs and costs about €120 a year upwards depending on speed and storage required. A good quad core server will probably cost about €240 pa.
*Cloud VPS is getting traction with Amazon AWS and similar such services, offering a Plesk server management tool, simple interface and great uptime with low monthly rates of about €20 and no contract.
Cost v Benefits – the more you pay, the newer the server hardware, the more you can expect to get in service, attention and response rate. And there is less chance of infection, hacking or downtime.

Warning: Your hosting hardware has to have software to allow you put up your website files and the software has to be kept up to date to allow you add your WordPress or Joomla, .Net or Drupal version. Use a dependable IT Manager to watch over your needs. Uptime is just that, where your hosting is working and it should be over 98% of time. Subscribe to uptime robot to get a message if the site goes down.

NB: For Domain and Hosting, it is good to have a knowledgeable IT Manager to look after this stuff, but always in your name. Speed is critical in SEO – a slow site will rank poorly and affect the user experience, thereby reducing conversions as in sales or enquiries. Ask to check monthly preferably weekly or even daily that your website home page delivers in under 5 seconds. This can gets harder to police as your site gets bigger. Watch the image sizing and video links.

Bottom Line: Proper hosting is like good foundation in a house, so get it right or pay someone to do it in your name. NEVER scrimp on hosting charges, just because so many companies claim to offer “cheap hosting”. Get this wrong and it will cost you a fortune ! Ensure that you have the right to contact for support queries, ideally by telephone, as email can be slow and frustrating when you are looking answers. Many people or “web experts” recommend a particular hosting company because they get an affiliate fee or commission – watch out for that trap. If you do not understand the whole hosting subject, pay someone to do it for you. How can you expect to get a good service when you are paying les than a fiver a month – no decent company can deliver a good service for that sort of money.

What can go wrong – Get a dependable Hosting service !

Hosting is something that is offered at a variety of prices, from dirt cheap at €3.98 a month to €500 a month. What is the difference, you might ask.

With poor hosting you run the risk of your web presence disappearing, possibly for weeks. Would that matter ?

What could happen if you do not get proper hosting?

1. Your site goes down – so you have no web presence or email
2. You lose your Google juice, all the history and traction and Google thinks you are inept
3. Customers think you are inept
4. Customers lose interest and stop visiting
5. You lose your site, its contents, everything
6. You have no backup or support
7. You fall out with your Web Partner
8. The ensuing stress is painful
9. You lose sales and potential sales
10. There is no one to sue for losses
11. If you are on shared hosting, one of the many other sites gets hacked and the whole server gets blacklisted
12. You have to start all over again creating a new website and content for it, plus do the SEO again – Nightmare on web street.
13. Your email stops working – consider hosting email separately, maybe use Google Suite. This would also reduce the demands on your hosting server space, so that your website can deliver faster. Email hogs up server resources. For US$5 a month you can get a Gsuite email facility with one terrabyte of space and you can still use your own domain email such as John@mycompany.ie

Tip – If any of stuff this scares you – Good ! Find a dependable service, pay for it and continually check that it is working, doing regular backups etc. Consider doing them daily and keep backups in different locations with a copy of the files in Dropbox or Google Suite as well.

SSL Cert or Secure Socket Layer Certificate

This is a Digital Certificate made up of some small data files that work to tie in a cryptographic key as a security measure on your website. It is responsible for generating that little black padlock you see when you are shopping online. Such secure websites also have https:// instead of https:// at the start of their domain url, as in https://meanit.ie as opposed to https://meanit.ie The S is to identify the security protocol that is in place when you have an SSL employed. This is all to create a secure connection between a web browser such as Chrome with the web server where we host websites. That authenticates the identity of the website for the shoppers.

Which sites need an SSL cert or https:// ?
Any site that needs passwords or username or credit cards, should have an SSL cert for security reasons. It will ensure that any data input at that site will only be read by the intended recipient or server. Google rewards websites for having an SSL cert and punishes those that do not when they should have one. Indeed it looks as if Google recommends all sites should have it nowadays. Any site that should have it, but fails to add it are punished by Google. So it is broadly accepted that this is just a normal part of basic website security going forwards. They are not expensive but range from around €100 to €500 plus depending on the value of the warranty or cover you want to get in case of a hack or break in. Get one from your Hosting company and ask them to install it and configure it for you. We recommend Siteground for decent secure hosting, with good quality 24/7support when you need to talk to them.

Now, it is time to pick a good solid CMS Content Management System, Joomla, WordPress etc.
siteground logoSSL Cert Secure Socket Layer Certificate

Darren Donaghy
Darren Donaghy
11:05 01 May 19
I have referred Michael to a number of my clients and everyone of them has said that Mean IT are the best web agency they have ever worked with, no jargon, no messing around just top class service from start to finish. Great work guys!
Gary O'Brien
Gary O'Brien
23:00 26 Jan 19
Have only been working with these guys for a few days and can already say they are fantastic at what they do.
MLMG Accountants
MLMG Accountants
15:48 17 Jul 18
Years of experience coupled with up to the minute technical expertise and a real desire to deliver for their clients puts Michael & his team at the head of their field. We have referred clients to MeanIT and without exception they have all been impressed with the results. Highly recommended.
Heather Peoples
Heather Peoples
11:36 11 Jul 18
Michael & his team at Mean IT build great websites, most definitely the best in their field. They recommend what is best for you and your business, even though you may not understand why. They’re very approachable, easy to talk to, no task is too big or too small and great to work with. I highly recommend MeanIT for developing and maintaining your websites!
Kenneth Lee
Kenneth Lee
11:01 10 Jun 18
As a complete novice when it comes to websites, Michael and John are a breath of fresh air. From start to finish they talked me through everything I needed to know. And then showed my wife and daughter how to edit site to keep it up to date. Definitely deserve 5 stars.
Anthony Lavin
Anthony Lavin
20:23 17 Apr 18
Michael and his team provide not just great service, but great after service and support. They do exactly what they say on the tin!!
Gareth
Gareth
13:53 11 Dec 17
Highly recommend Michael and his team for their professional service and advice. Michael's experience in website design and support is second to none.
Shaun Hamilton
Shaun Hamilton
13:52 13 Sep 17
Michael and the MeanIT team are leaders in the website design business. If you need a professional, effective and well functioning website for your business....and hey, who doesn't.... these are the guys to talk to. Highly recommended!!
Darren Donaghy
Darren Donaghy
12:31 19 Jul 17
I have referred Michael and the team @ MeanIT to a number of my clients and have heard nothing but amazing reports, MeanIT specialise in delivering bespoke web design, great advice and fantastic aftersales service to everyone of them.
Michael McMahon
Michael McMahon
14:08 15 Nov 16
I recommended MeanIT to some of our customers looking for a productive website and they come back to thanks us..!! Michael guided them through the process from start to finish and produced a website that suited their needs and more importantly help increase their business. If you are looking for a new website or someone to look over your current site I would highly recommend MeanIT.
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