Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ask Candy: Domain Registration info for Artists and Crafters

Hey there, it's Candy! I've got another web-type question from Vicki, a quilter who blogs over at Sew Inspired asks:

Dear Candy,

I got a thing in the mail from Domain Registry of America to renew my domain name for $35 for a year. I bought it for $10 or $12 from godaddy.com. Can't I renew it at go daddy? And is it really going to cost $35?

Vicki! I am SO glad you asked me this question! This is a scam! You registered your domain (SewInspiredBlog.com) with GoDaddy, so they will send reminder emails to you when it's close to the time when you have to renew. As long as you are paying a registry fee to a company who has received permission from ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), you own that domain.

Internet Access Here Sign
Domain name registration should cost you between 9-13$/year. It's very cheap because this is a very competitive business, if a company charged more, people would just go elsewhere.

You CAN take your domain elsewhere if you don't like the company you're dealing with, it's called doing a "Domain Name Transfer" and that's what these folks were trying to get you to do. They've gotten in trouble doing it but obviously enough people fall for that official looking piece of paper in the mail that they can continue to pay that postage and try to trick folks into paying about 3 times as much for domain registration as they need to! (In fact, the bookkeeper at the Redlands Art Association website I designed and maintain got the same letter you did a couple of months ago and asked me the very same question you just did!)

IT Technician With Server Cables

What most of the big companies who sell domain name registration try to do is to get you to buy other things before you check out: differnt versions of your domain name, email addresses at your domain name, hosting, etc...

My advice to anyone starting out is to either do their homework and buy the registration with the web hosting company they want to use, OR just buy that genius domain name you've just thought of (quick! before anyone else registers your genius idea), and deal with everything else later.

The important things to look for in a domain registrar is that they are certified by ICANN and that they offer DNS hosting. DNS stands for Domain Name Server. When you're ready to build your website, you're going to buy room on a host server: which is a physical computer (or network of computers) that will store all your files for your website. Each host has a differnt DNS...in order for the world to know where the information is located when they type in yourdomain.com into a web browser, your Domain Registrar has to be able to tell those computers where your host is - and this is done by the DNS information.

Servers

Yup - scary rows of computers = servers where all our pretty blogs live! :-)

Vicki, I hope this answers your question! And because all these photos of servers are very boring, lets look at your modern interpretation of a very old quilt pattern:

No Prints Allowed challenge quilt

Ah, that's better! A "Dear Jane" quilt in all solids, LOVE!

OK, who's next? Got a question for me? Ask away!

[Candy lives in California with her husband, 2 boys, and dog. Aside from being wife, mom, teacher, crafter, web guru and all around doer extraordinaire she manages her own business, Candied Fabrics. You can read her blog here.]

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