Category Archives: Blog

website design

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April-30, 2012: With all Google updates (Panda, Webspam, Penguin), algorithm roll outs and changes, search results are not the same and so is ranking. SEO has changed altogether in the last couple of months. Google has been quality conscious since its start, and that explains why it grabbed over 70% of the market share shortly after its launch, however recent changes are far more than “quality user experience” as Google claims. There must be some political, financial or socioeconomic factors that a simple user might not imagine, but technically speaking, the most recent Penguin changes harmed more that it fixed the “so called” quality of search as it has been evident after many comparisons you can find on different blogs/forums. I have also did extensive comparisons and research for my clients in different niche, ran several reports to see the authority or the quality of current ranking sites and most of the results I found were of poor quality.

Having said that, this post is not explaining the recent Google changes or the Penguin update, but here I will discuss more in general the future of SEO and how the future SEO is going to be done and whether or not SEO still exists?

SEO is Dead vs SEO is not Dead!

You will read this in many posts/forums that SEO is dead. From my personal view point, SEO is dead for those who were mainly relying on standard SEO process that includes, keyword rich content and URL, related METAs, keyword stuffing and placement, and then building link to appropriate anchor text for each URL on high PR blogs, or paid sites to raise ranking. This is not going to work anymore, and SEO is really dead for such a process.

SEO is not dead, if you still believe in quality sites, better user experience and natural flow to your websites in its content, URL structure, METAs and how you link to your site. Starting April 25, with the recent Penguin update, Google is primarily looking at site authority and page authority and accordingly benefit in SERP. Going forward, it won’t make much sense to optimize a single keywords or keywords for that matter. Going forward, it will matter how strong your page is that you are trying to rank for a given set of keywords.

Future of SEO:

Even though Matt Cutts says we would encourage only white hat SEO or even no SEO, I wonder how those million dollar sites will rank at the first place? How are those sites going to sit and hold on ranking solely on the mercy of Google to get there expenses met? So the point is, that the white hat SEO has to exist, but it has to be done more discreetly, naturally and slowly without focusing on keywords and much longer wait time for a page to increase in ranking, having a little control over SEO SERP.

No doubt, SEO has to stay, but not in the same form it used to be in the past several years. Now the job of an SEO consultant or company has become more tactful than ever. Job of SEO is now to improve your site authority based on how unique and interesting content it has, how little emphasis has been done on pinpointing keywords for search engines, how strong social signals it gets, and which authority sites are linking to it using the site URL, and not the anchor text. These linking sites, must be of the same niche and must have an apparent natural interest in linking back to your site (genuine press release with a link back to your new product page www.example.com/product-x is a good example)

If you are an SEO company or your sites are mainly depending on organic traffic and you need your site to be in good books of Google, here is a list of future SEO steps that you need to take to make sure, nothing shakes your site even with another one hundred Google roll outs during the course of coming years.

Start with a fresh new domain or site name if you can, to make sure that you know you are doing it right from the start.
If you are engaged (or married) to your old site, then remove all the old links you had on it (as much as you can), make it off-line, change DNS, IP/hosting, a new design, URL structure with fresh content based on above recommendations or Google quality guidelines and make a fresh start.
Make a structure of the site that is logical, and as you would want this structure to be like for your visitors/users if search engines didn’t exist. Use WordPress example, make categories, subcategories to put your products/service under proper URL. Make your homepage targeting general services you provide in your niche.
Create a blog and write thoughtful, researched articles on it at least twice a week. Link these articles to your social media and tweet them so you get social signals to your valuable content, that’s one important thing to raise your immunity against web-spam curse.
Each page (or URL) on your site must be very specific to one of the products or services or a category. If you are selling used phones, then make a category for each brand and then subcategory for each version/model of it. The MOST important thing here to remember is that don’t mix several keywords in different URLs or you will never rank in this new changing Google search algo. This is what Google calls poor quality or repeated content.
Have a strong presence in social networks and engage users to get back to your site through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube etc. Write valuable articles in your blog and post excerpts on your social network and link to URL on your site for “read more”, this is a good way of increasing your site and content authority and let people spend more time on your site.
Do a monthly genuine press release about anything that you have started or accomplished in your business and get a legitimate link back to your site (using URL not the anchor text)
Submit your site do different niche directories using URL, the directories that have visitors and not the SEO optimized directories just to get a link back. Find local business directories to spread word about your services.
Don’t worry about PR of the page you get link to, do worry about the relativity of the site that links to you. High PR still has effect on your site authority but the old myth of having lot of high PR links getting you higher in SERP doesn’t work anymore. Two top ranking sites in financial industry in Google UK, have only 2 backlinks and zero PR.
Do research, a lot of research, to find sites that relate to your niche and request a link back using a guest blog or partnership. Make majority of your links using your URL (home or subpages) and not the anchor texts. I would suggest 70% at least. Google will determine the keywords through your content and META to promote them once your page gets authority, that’s why it makes sense to keep each page very specific to a single keyword or a group of similar keywords.
Create some genuine profile links, genuine means that fill in all the data in the profile link, and update it weekly with any fresh news from your site and link these profiles to your site and social media, make it more social by linking to other similar profiles.
Don’t over optimize your content, or METAs. 3-5% of keyword density rule doesn’t work anymore. See how naturally you can keep your keywords as you write. Try not to write a lot of content on your homepage, rather make it to the point as an introduction to your services and site, give details in subpages.
Try putting any industry seals, certificates, badges, buttons etc that can produce authority to your site. Creating an SSL certificate to make it a trustworthy site is a great idea as well. Get memberships in your industry and mention it on your homepage.
Avoid any sort of paid links, link schemes, or links to any sites that are not quality sites based on new Google algorithm, means they are not providing user experience, rather they are there to give links back to one who wants them, this includes blog networks etc etc.
Check for Alexa ranking of the sites you link to, to make sure they have reasonable visits and just not high PR websites to get a backlink.
Don’t link to any site that you are not 100% sure even if you are offered a free link and even if it’s a high PR site.
Make announcements on your homepage every now and then for any updates in your business, just don’t leave it as a static page.
Participate in active forums and blogs (commenting) for a long-term strategy. Become authority members or old members in those forums/blogs and give your genuine, authentic opinion of the post, having a link to your URL after getting a good place in such forums will help your site greatly. Try posting at least 10 authority comments in each forum or blog to start with to get confidence of the forum owner.
Research for blogs in your niche and offer them high quality researched content as guest blog, even against a fee. That should be considered contextual link and should give your site good authority.
Monitor your ranking regularly and see the behaviour of Google or other search engines and tweak your strategy based on that regularly.
Dont worry about number of links, just the quality, relevancy and frequency. Increase backlinks frequency gradually and maintain it month after month so it doesn’t sound unnatural to Google. Having 100 links in May and zero links in June can raise “doubts” in search engines.
Protect your site from outside attacks, hacks and unauthorized access and links. Keep a track of all your links and monitor for any unnatural links that you didn’t create to make sure no one is using negative SEO as a tool to tank your site. There are plenty of tools that can give you timely reporting on who is linking to you.
More to come as time permits …. thanks for reading and if you like it share it with your friends.

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Hosting and Term definitions

.COM: The top-level domain originally intended for “commercial” entities, but anyone can register a .com domain. This is the most recognized top-level domain worldwide. Domains that are purchased that end in .com are generally worth more in value that .net or .org.

.NET: The top-level domain originally intended for internet or computer related domains, but any person can register a domain with a .net extension.

.ORG: The top-level domain originally intended for non-profit organizations, but anyone may now register a domain ending in .org.

.EDU: The top-level domain created for four-year, degree-granting colleges and universities. Only colleges and universities can register .edu domains.

.GOV: The top-level domain created for agencies and branches of the United States Federal Government. The General Services Administration (GSA) handles the registration of .gov domain names.

.MIL: The top-level domain created for United States military entities.

Other Top Level Domains: A top-level domain is the part of the domain name located to the right of the dot (” . “). The most common TLDs are .com, .net and .org. Several new top-level domains have been added to the menu recently, including, .biz, .info, .name, and .ws. The top-level domains have certain guidelines attached, but are for the most part available to any registrant, anywhere in the world. Exceptions are the restricted TLDs (rTLDs) — which include .aero, .biz, .edu, .mil, .museum, .name, and .pro — that require the registrant to represent a certain type of entity, or to belong to a certain community. The .name TLD is available strictly for individuals, while .edu is reserved for educational entities, such as universities or high schools. Where appropriate, a top-level domain name can be of geographic significance and hence only available to registrants in the locale defined by the TLD. These are called country-code TLDs (ccTLDs) and include such top-level domains as .bz (Belize),.ca (Canada), .dk (Denmark), .ec (Ecuador), ie (Republic of Ireland), .uk (United Kingdom), .us (United States), and .zw (Zimbabwe).

Add-on Domain: An add-on domain is a domain name that that points to a subdirectory within your account. For example, you may want innovation.org.nz to point to business.org.nz/innovation/. The add-on domain will look completely independent to the outside world with no means for anyone to know that this is running on an account under another site. Add-on domains must be registered domain names that you own and must be configured to point to a name server in order to work.

Administrative Contact: The administrative contact is an individual authorized to interact with the domain registrar on behalf of the domain name registrant. The administrative contact should be able to answer questions about the domain name’s registration and the domain name registrant.

Alias: Alternate name.

Anonymous FTP: Anonymous FTP is a means by which archive sites allow general access to their archives of information. These sites create a special account called “anonymous”. User “anonymous” has limited access rights to the archive host, as well as some operating restrictions. In fact, the only operations allowed are logging in using FTP, listing the contents of a limited set of directories, and retrieving files. Some sites limit the contents of a directory listing an anonymous user can see as well. Note that “anonymous” users are not usually allowed to transfer files TO the archive site, but can only retrieve files from such a site.

Applet: An applet is an embedded program on a web site. Applets are usually written in the coding language called Java. They are mainly used for creating a virtual or 3-dimensional object that may move or interact with the web site. It is a small executable module, that normally doesn’t have the complete features and user interface of a normal application. Java is the language most commonly associated with applets. An applet is like a small piece of executable code that needs a full application to contain it. The applet runs inside of the application in a “sand box” or “virtual machine,” which is a set of computer resources and instructions that make up an environment for the applet’s execution.

ASP (Active Server Pages): Active Server Pages enable web developers to make their sites dynamic with database driven content. The code is mainly written in VB Script, and it is produced on the server of the web site instead of the browser of your web site visitors. The server reads the ASP code and then translates it to raw HTML. This means that the web site owner doesn’t have to worry about the visitor having the right tools to view the web site’s dynamic content. The only downfall to ASP is that since it is run from the server, it takes longer for the pages to load because there are more steps involved in translating the code.

Audio Streaming: The process of providing audio content on a web site. This takes up a nice amount of bandwidth, especially if you get a lot of visitors at your site. Some hosts do not allow audio or video streaming because of this. If you are going to want audio on your site, you should make sure that your host supports audio streaming first. This is usually stated in their plans.

Auto Responder: An automated program that acknowledges receipt of an e-mail message, and then sends back a previously prepared email to the sender, letting them know it was received or that certain actions are being taken. Most of you probably already have a basic idea of what this is when you go on vacation and you create an auto response at your work to let everyone that emails you know that you will be away for the next week. Autoresponders are frequently used to handle requests for additional information or to confirm sales or other online transactions. Once you configure your autoresponder, it sends e-mail with no further action required on your part, making your web site interactive around the clock.

Backbone: In the general sense, this means the main network connections that comprise the Internet.

Backups: Web hosts back up data on their servers. Many host packages offer backups every 24 hours. This is supposed to prevent the loss of data should something happen to the server.

Bandwidth: This is the amount of data that is sent through a connection during a set period of time. It is usually measured in bits per second. If you have a large web site, with many visitors, you will need a lot more bandwidth than someone with a one page web site that gets 2 visitors a month. Some hosting plans offer unlimited bandwidth, but most have limits or will just make you pay for extra bandwidth because if a site is clogging their servers with visitors, they want to get compensated for that.

Billing Contact: The billing contact is the person designated to receive the invoice for domain name registration and re-registration fees. The billing contact must be a reliable, trustworthy source that will pay the re-registration dues on time. If you decide to register your domain through a host where THEY fill out the information, please make sure that they specify YOU as administrative and billing contacts and not THEM.

Browser (Web Browser):It is software used to locate web pages on the WWW and then display them on your computer monitor. Once connected to the Internet, your browser fetches documents from various web servers, translates the HTML, and displays the results for you.

Bulletin Board: A method of communication where topics or questions are posted to a website and participants can respond.

Catch-all Email Account: A lot of hosts offer a Catch-all Email account. This means that [email protected] will go to you. This way, you can have [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], and so on – with all of it going to the root email account. This also helps when a user makes a typo in the email address, as long as they get the domain correct.

CGI: (Common Gateway Interface): A CGI is a program that tanslates data from a web server and then displays that data on a web page or in an email. CGI involves the transfer of data between a server and a CGI program (called a script). This allows HTML pages to interact with other programming applications. These scripts make web pages interactive. Page counters, forms, guest books, random text/images and other features can be driven by CGI scripts. Some servers have pre-installed/pre-defined CGI scripts, meaning that the scripts are already installed on the server for you to use on your site. Some servers permit user-defined or custom CGI scripts, which means the site owner creates his/her own CGI script and runs this custom made script on the web site. Not all servers allow user-defined (custom) scripts for security reasons..

Chat Server: The web host will allow you to develop a chat room or other type of chat service for your visitors. Be sure to check with the web host company about the details of the chat services offered. Some servers permit you to configure the service, and others pre-configure everything for you while others do not allow chat rooms at all.

Click Through: This term is used to describe the ratio of clicks to impressions on an advertisement, usually a banner ad. If a banner has been shown 100 times and 3 people click on it, it will have a 3% click through ratio.

Cold Fusion: An application which simplifies database queries by allowing for a simpler programming language to handle functions between the user’s browser, the server, and the database.

Co-location: Basically this is just owning a server but having it at another location for the use of their internet connection. This is great for people who want to own their own server, but do not want the hassle or security risk of maintaining that server in their environment.

Control Panel: An online package of tools permitting easy site management and editing.

Cookie: A message given to a Web browser by a Web server. The browser stores the message in a text file called cookie.txt. The message is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server. The main purpose of cookies is to identify users and possibly prepare customized Web pages for them. When you enter a Web site using cookies, you may be asked to fill out a form providing such information as your name and interests. This information is packaged into a cookie and sent to your Web browser which stores it for later use. The next time you go to the same Web site, your browser will send the cookie to the Web server. The server can use this information to present you with custom Web pages. So, for example, instead of seeing just a generic welcome page you might see a welcome page with your name on it.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets): Used to add more functionality to simple HTML pages. Internet Explorer 3.0 and up support a good portion of CSS, while Netscape 4.0 and up supports a small amount of CSS – a fully compliant browser does not exist yet.

Database Support: General way of saying the server supports various database functions. Some commonly used database programs are MySQL, Access, Oracle, and FoxPro. Databases can be very difficult to configure properly. Before you sign up with a web host, first inquire if the host can support your database needs.

Data Transfer: Data transfer is related to the number of page downloads that a web site receives. Every time someone visits your Web site, the data is transferred from our server out to the Internet. Each Web hosting plan includes a specific amount of data transfer in the base price. Any number of visitors can go to the site, but if the amount of data transfer included in the plan is exceeded, there will be extra charges. Just as we were able to estimate the number of pages that could be stored in a given amount of space, we can estimate the number of “page views” that a Web plan might support. If, as we estimated above, the average Web page is a tenth of a megabyte or less, then we can multiply the amount of data transfer by ten to get an estimate of the number of page views. For example, if a plan includes 10 Gigabytes of data transfer per month (which is 10,000 MBs), it might then allow up to 100,000 page views in a month. However, like the amount of pages a site can hold, this is only a estimate. If the site contains larger image files, audio, video, etc., then each time one of those files is downloaded, it will count towards data transfer. For example, if there is a 2 MB video file on the site, each time that file is downloaded there will be 2 MBs of data transfer. One other point to realize is that a page view is defined as the download of a single page, and does not equate to the number of visitors to a Web site. It is harder to estimate the number of visitors a Web site can support, since we cannot know how many pages an average visitor might download. The number of pages someone might download will depend on factors such as ease of navigation, the type of content, and how interesting your site is. One reason to look at an Enhanced_Pro hosting over the Value_Pro is because it includes twice the amount of data transfer. Unlike disk space, you have much less control over the amount of data transfer that you will have in a month. Factors that determine how much data transfer a site experiences include how well the site is publicized, and the type and amount of content available. The more popular their Web site, the more visitors you will get, and thus the more data transfer you will have. In addition, if other Web sites link to your site, that will drive additional traffic. However, in general, most small to medium business sites do not receive a large amount data transfer unless the site is entertainment oriented.

Dedicated Servers: A more expensive type of account in which the web hosting company provides you with an ENTIRE set-up of server hardware for your use. This usually means a much faster loading time for your site because the entire computer is “dedicated” to running the server software. This is different from most other hosting accounts in which your web site will share space on a server with many other web sites, called a virtual server.

DNS Parking: DNS service for a domain is provided without there being a web site for that domain.

Domain Name: The unique name that identifies an Internet site. Domain Names always have 2 or more parts, separated by dots. The part on the left is the most specific, and the part on the right is the most general. A given machine may have more than one Domain Name but a given Domain Name points to only one machine. For example, the domain names:

webhostsonline.com
database.webhostsonline.com
can all refer to the same machine, but each domain name can refer to no more than one machine.

It is also possible for a Domain Name to exist but not be connected to an actual machine. This is often done so that a group or business can have an Internet e-mail address without having to establish a real Internet site. In these cases, some real Internet machine must handle the mail on behalf of the listed Domain Name. Also, just to note, the .com extensions are worth more in value because they are the most widely used and the most well known. It is also a smart marketing decision. If your ebusiness should ever move up to television and/or radio advertising, and even Internet advertising, most of the general Internet public remembers .com extensions. And if they don’t remember the extension at all but they do remember the domain name, they will more than likely type the .com in their browser. Technically, the domain name is a name that identifies an IP address. To most of us, it simply means www.yourname.com. Because the Internet is based on IP addresses, not domain names, web servers depend on a Domain Name System (DNS) to translate domain names into IP addresses. Simply stated, domain names allow people to find your web site by name rather than by numerical address.

Domain Name System (DNS): A distributed database of information that is used to translate domain names into Internet Protocol (IP) numbers (usually looks something like 123.456.789.101). In other words, computers need numbers in order to function. The computer itself does not care whether you are ebay.com or yahoo.com. It has no idea how to find the name, it needs a number that identifies that name. So when you buy a domain, say www.yourname.com, it is nothing until you get it hosted somewhere and until that host assigns a number to your domain

E-Commerce: Seems to be an overused term. It usually refers to doing business on the WWW. E-commerce packages offered by web host companies often include a shopping cart (lets shoppers select purchases), secure server for credit card transactions, etc. Other options are often included, such as software to develop an online product catalog and marketing services.

E-Mail: Electronic mail permits the sending of primarily text-based information and html across the Internet.

E-Mail Alias: Also called a forwarding account (see below). Allows you to appear to have an e-mail address on a certain domain, yet in reality the e-mail is forwarded to your real e-mail account. It allows you to have your e-mail automatically forwarded to any e-mail address you specify. This is a great way to get your mail when you’re out of town, etc.

E-Mail POP Account: An actual e-mail account on your web host’s e-mail server. POP stands for Post Office Protocol.

Encrypted Password: A password that has been scrambled to protect it from being discovered and used by someone other than the person to whom it belongs.

Exposure: Term used to describe when a banner advertisement is loaded on a web page and displayed to a user. Also refered to as Impression.

Finger: An Internet software tool for locating people on other Internet sites. Finger is also sometimes used to give access to non-personal information, but the most common use is to see if a person has an account at a particular Internet site. Many sites do not allow incoming Finger requests, but many do.

FP (Frontpage) Extensions:This simply refers to Microsoft Front Page server extensions. The FP2K indicates that the server supports the latest version of the program, MS Front Page 2000. These extensions can be thought of as “mini programs” that allow features of a web site created with MS Front Page to operate smoothly. It is possible to use MS Front Page to create a web site and host that site on a server that doesn’t offer FP extensions, however some of the powerful features of the program cannot be used in these web sites. See Microsoft’s Front Page site for more information.

Front Page: Front Page is an HTML editor made by Microsoft. It is commonly used to create web pages.

Front Page Extensions: A set of server-side applications that enable you to incorporate the following advanced features without having to write complex server-side programs typically required: Collaborate simultaneously with other users on the same Web site. Create a Web page directly on a Web server. Save directoy to a Web server using Office programs.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol): It is a way of uploading and downloading files across the Internet. Most web sites are uploaded to the Internet by means of an FTP program. This is how the web site you create on your computer at home is transferred (uploaded) to the Internet. Some software, such as Microsoft Front Page, does not require use of an FTP program but the use of most any other HTML editor requites the use of and FTP Program. There is a free FTP program called WS_FTP and you can download it at download.com. There are many Internet sites that have established publicly accessible repositories of material that can be obtained using FTP, by logging in using the account name anonymous, thus these sites are called anonymous FTP servers.

Gigabyte (Gig): Equivalent to approximately 1000 megabytes.

Host (Name Server): When you hear the term “host” in the Internet world, it is referring to an Internet company that has the required servers and software to connect domain names to (IP) Internet Protocol numbers so that your site can be viewed by the public when they type your domain in their browser window. Basically this is where you house your site, and you usually have to pay a monthly or annual fee for this service. There are free hosts, but in most cases, in order to use their services you must put one of their advertisement banners on your site, and most of them limit what you can do with your site. Sometimes it is better to pay $8/month for a host because it gives you more freedom and is ad free with the exception of the ads you post yourself.

HTML: Stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. This is the code that web pages are written in. The next time you visit a web site, go to View > Source on your browser to take a look at what the coding of a web site looks like.

HTTP (HyperText Transport Protocol):The protocol for transfering hypertext files across the Internet. Requires a HTTP client program on one end, and an HTTP server program on the other end. HTTP is the most important protocol used in the World Wide Web (WWW). You see it everytime you type a web site in your browser http://…

Hypertext Link:A way to embed a URL into an object (such as text or an image) so that when the object is clicked, the browser retrieves the file specified. When you click them, you are taken to other files or another portion of a same file or to another website.

IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol): A protocol for retrieving e-mail messages from an e-mail server. Some versions allow you to search your e-mail messages for keywords while those messages are still on your server. Then you can decide which messages you choose to download to your computer.

Impression: Term used to describe when a banner advertisement is loaded on a web page and displayed to a user. Also refered to as Exposure.

Internet:A global network of millions of connected computers.

Internet Protocol (IP) Numbers (IP addresses): A unique number used to specify hosts and networks. Internet Protocol (IP) numbers are used for identifying machines that are connected to the Internet. They are sometimes called a dotted quad and are unique numbers consisting of 4 parts separated by dots, They would look something like this 123.456.789.101. Every machine that is on the Internet has a unique IP number – if a machine does not have an IP number, it is not really on the Internet. Most machines also have one or more Domain Names that are easier for people to remember.

ISP (Internet Service Provider): A company or institution that provides access to the Internet in some form, usually for money. They will usually allow users to dial up through a modem, DSL, or cable connection to view the information on the internet. Access is via SLIP, PPP, or TCP/IP.

InterNIC: InterNIC was the name given to a project that provided domain name registration services in com, net, org, and edu. Now that the project has ended, other companies can now offer domain registration. Companies such as Network Solutions and Register.com now do what InterNic used to do.

IRC (Internet Relay Channel): A massive network of text-based chat channels (chat rooms) across the world.

Java (Java Script): A programming language developed by Sun Microsystems. Originally was named OAK. Small Java applications are called applets. It is a scripting language which enables web designers to add dynamic, interactive elements to a web site.

Mailing lists:Many web host providers offer software to assist you in operating a mailing list. This software usually includes automated subscription requests and subscriber database management.

Megabyte:Approximately a million bytes or 1024 kilobytes.

MS-SQL: This means that the server offers the components you need to use Microsoft SQL database in your web site. Other databases of importance are MySQL, ODBC and Oracle.

MySQL: MySQL is a database server. It is commonly coupled with PHP to provide a way for users to access data stored in the database from the web. It is commonly found on Unix servers.

Name Server: Also called a host or a name server. A computer that has both the software and the data needed to resolve domain names to Internet Protocol (IP) numbers. Most name servers have names like NS1.whatever.com.

NIC Handle: A unique identifier, which can be up to 10 alpha-numeric characters, assigned to each domain name record, contact record, and network record in Network Solutions’ domain name database. Note that NIC Handles are specific to Network Solutions and is not a term used for Registrars in general.

NT servers Servers: Computers that run Microsoft NT server software as their Operating System.

Operating System: A program on your computer which runs your other programs and your hardware. It’s what makes everything work from the data you enter on your keyboard to the output you see on your monitor. It organizes your programs and data files, and manages your disk drives and peripheral devices. Windows, DOS and UNIX are examples of operating systems.

Parked Domain: A Parked Domain is an inactive domain reserved for later use or one that points to another existing domain. For example, the domain name for your hosting account is “domain.com” and you also have registered “domain.net” through your domain.com Domain Manager. You may point domain.net to the domain.com IP address. Internet users can now access your Web site using either domain name.

PERL (Practical Extraction and Report Language): A popular programming language which has strong text processing capabilities.

PHP: PHP is another scripting language. Like ASP, it’s commands are embeded within the HTML of a web page. The commands are executed on the web server, making it browser independant. The web browser only sees the resulting HTML output of the PHP code.

PHPNuke: PHP-Nuke is a news automated system specially designed to be used in Intranets and Internet. The Administrator has total control of his web site, registered users, and he will have in the hand a powerful assembly of tools to maintain an active and 100% interactive web site using databases.

POP (Post Office Protocol): It’s a method of retrieving e-mail from an e-mail server. Most e-mail applications (sometimes called an e-mail client) use the POP protocol, although some can use the newer IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol). There are two versions of POP. The first, called POP2, became a standard in the mid-80’s and requires SMTP to send messages. The newer version, POP3, can be used with or without SMTP. The newest and most widely used version of POP email is POP3 email. You will see the term POP3 in most of the web hosting plans available today.

PPP (Point to Point Protocol): A method of connecting a computer to the Internet.

Primary Server: The designation of “primary” means that this name server will be used first and will be relied upon before any of the other name servers.

Protocol: The format by which data is transferred between two computers.

Real Audio/Video: A RealServer stream, which allows a web site owner to broadcast audio and video. Site visitors can experience this audio and/or video by installing a simple plug-in into their browser. To find out more, please visit Real.com.

Redundant Internet Connection:The web host company has more than one main connection to the Internet, ensuring that if one becomes non-functional, Internet connectivity remains intact via the other main connections.

Registrant: The individual or organization that registers a specific domain name. This individual or organization holds the right to use that specific domain name for a specified period of time, provided certain conditions are met and the registration fees are paid. This person or organization is the “legal entity” of that web site.

Registration: The process through which individuals and organizations obtain a domain name. Registration of a domain name enables the individual or organization to use that particular domain name for a specified period of time, or as long as the required fees are paid.

Registration Fee: The charge for registering a Web Address or domain name.

Registration Forms: Forms that are used to submit and process registration requests. These forms, which include the Domain Name Registration Agreement, Contact Form, and Host Form, are used to register new domain names, new contacts for domain names, and new hosts (name servers) as well as to update domain name, contact, and host records. There are both Web versions and plain text (ASCII) versions of the forms.

Re-registration: The process of renewing a domain name’s registration for a specified period of time. This is accomplished by paying the re-registration fee which covers the amount of years you are renewing the domain for.

Resellable Space: Your web host provider will allow you to sell all or portions of of the web space (which you are paying for) to others who want web space. Many web hosting companies have reseller programs.

Resolve: The term used to describe the process by which domain names are matched with corresponding Internet Protocol (IP) numbers. “Resolution” is accomplished by a combination of computers and software, which use the data in the Domain Name System to determine which IP numbers correspond to a particular domain name. Basically, it is translating a number to the name you see in your browser for the web site you are visiting.

Root server: A machine that has the software and data needed to locate name servers that contain authoritative data for the top-level domains.

Script: List of commands that can be executed without user interaction. Sometimes used as another term for macro or batch file.

Second Level Domain: In the Domain Name System (DNS), the next lower level of the hierarchy underneath the top level domains. In a domain name, that portion of the domain name that appears immediately to the left of the .com, .net, .org, etc…) For example, the webhostsonline.com would be the second level domain for this web site. The top-level domain is .com.

Secondary Server: The name server will be used as a backup for the primary name server in the event that the primary server becomes unavailable.

Secure Server: A secure server is one which takes advantage of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology. SSL is a protocol designed to enable secure transmission of information on the Internet. SSL provides encryption and integrity of communications along with strong authentication using digital certificates. SSL uses a private key to encrypt data being submitted from a browser before it is transferred over the Internet via the SSL connection. When the data reaches the SSL-enabled web server, it is decrypted. If the data were to be stolen during this transmission, it would remain unreadable. Many web sites use SSL to obtain confidential user information, such as credit card numbers. Web pages that incorporate SSL have a web address starting with “https://” instead of the usual “http://”.

Server: A computer, or software package, that provides a specific kind of service to client software running on other computers. The term can refer to a particular piece of software, such as a WWW or HTTP server, or to the machine on which the software is running. A single server machine could have several different server software packages running on it, thus providing many different servers to clients on the network. More specifically, a server is a computer that manages network resources. For example, a network server would manage network traffic. A file server would store and serve files.

Server Logs (Traffic Logs): This is raw statistical data stored on the server. It contains information such as how many visitors accessed certain pages of your site, what web sites referred those visitors to your site, and the domain name of the visitor. This information is very useful in determining which sections of your web site are more heavily traveled and what sites are referring traffic to yours.

Shell Account: Something experienced computer users often request. Permits you to edit your files online in real-time, rather than making changes to your site offline and then uploading the changes.

Shopping Cart: A shopping cart program is a way to sell products online. It tracks all the items that the shopper wants to buy and then enables the customer to purchase them from the comforts of their own home. When shoppers are ready to buy, they head to the checkout counter. This is where they review all the items in their shopping cart, make changes, decide on things like gift wrapping and shipping, and finally pay for their items.

SLIP (Serial Line Internet Protocol): A way of connecting a computer to the Internet.

SMTP (Simple Mail Transport Protocol): The main protocol used to send electronic mail on the Internet. Most Internet email is sent and received using SMTP. SMTP consists of a set of rules for how a program sending mail and a program receiving mail should interact.

SPAM (Electronic Junk Mail a.k.a. UCE (Unsolicted Commercial Email)): Often used to refer to the practice of sending out massive amounts of e-mail promotions or ads which the recipient has not asked to receive. It is a waste of people’s time and network bandwidth and is simply illegal in some part of the world.

SSI (Server Side Includes): Commands that can be included in web pages that are processed by the web server when a user requests a file. The command takes the form . A common use for SSI commands is to insert a universal menu into all of the pages of the web site so that the menu only has to be changed once and inserted with SSI instead of changing the menu on every page.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer): A protocol designed by Netscape Communications to enable encrypted, authenticated communications across the Internet. It is used mostly (but not exclusively) in communications between web browsers and web servers. URL’s that begin with “https” indicate that an SSL connection will be used. SSL provides 3 important things: Privacy, Authentication, and Message Integrity. In an SSL connection each side of the connection must have a Security Certificate, which each side’s software sends to the other. Each side then encrypts what it sends using information from both its own and the other side’s Certificate, ensuring that only the intended recipient can de-crypt it, and that the other side can be sure the data came from the place it claims to have come from, and that the message has not been tampered with.

Statistics: Many servers take the information from your server/traffic log and compile it in a user-friendly, easy-to-read format for you to analyze trends about your web site.

Sub-Domain: A subdomain, also known as a “third-level” domain, is a great way to create memorable web addresses for various sub-sites of your site. For instance, Millry.Net uses a subdomain for its wemail service: “webmail.millry.net”. The basic syntax is: “http://subdomain.domain.com”.

Support:Telephone or e-mail technical support provided to a web hosting company’s customers. When there’s a problem with your site or your e-mail, you want to be able to get an answer promptly by e-mail or on the phone.

T-1: A connection capable of carrying data at 1,544,000 bits-per-second. At maximum theoretical capacity, a T-1 line could move a megabyte in less than 10 seconds. That is still not fast enough for full-screen, full-motion video, for which you need at least 10,000,000 bits-per-second. T-1 is the fastest speed commonly used to connect networks to the Internet.

T-3: A leased-line connection capable of carrying data at 44,736,000 bits-per-second. This is more than enough to do full-screen, full-motion video.

TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol): This is a set of communications protocols to connect hosts on the Internet.

Telnet: The command and program used to login from one Internet site to another. The telnet command/program gets you to the login: prompt of another host.

Technical Contact/Agent:The technical contact is the person or organization who maintains the primary domain name server. The technical contact should be able to answer technical questions about the domain name’s primary domain name server.

Third Level Domain: The next highest level of the hierarchy underneath the second level domains. In a domain name, that portion of the domain name that appears two segments to the left of the top-level domain. For example, the your in your.domain.com.

TLD (Top Level Domain): This is the suffix on a domain name, such as .com or .org or .edu. It is the highest level of the hierarchy after the root. That portion of the domain name that appears to the far right such as the com in webhostsonline.com.

UNIX: A computer operating system designed to be used by many people at the same time (it is multi-user) and has TCP/IP built-in. It is the most common operating system for servers on the Internet.

Unlimited Hits: This indicates whether or not you will incur additional charges from your web hosting company for high levels of traffic at your site. Make sure you understand clearly how much traffic you are allowed to receive monthly before additional charges are assessed against your account.

URL(Uniform Resource Locator): The standard way to give the address of any resource on the Internet that is part of the World Wide Web (WWW). Think of it as a unique address for each of your files in your web site. A URL looks like this:

http://www.webhostsonline.com/index.html

The most common way to use a URL is to enter into a WWW browser program, such as Internet Explorer, Netscape, or Lynx.

Video Streaming: The process of providing video data or content via a web page.

Virtual Server: A web server which shares its resources with multiple users. It’s another way of saying that multiple web sites share the resources of one server.

Web Design: Some servers offer to create your web site in addition to hosting it on their server. Be sure to check about the extent of their expertise, and ask to see sites they’ve created.

Web Page: A document on the World Wide Web, identified by an unique URL.

Web Server: A computer that serves up (delivers to your computer) web pages. Web hosting companies offer virtual servers and dedicated servers.

Web Space: The disk space included with a Web plan determines how much information can be stored on the site. This information can be in the form of Web pages and other files, as well as email, since the email sent to a your domain is usually stored on the Web server (the exception being if you plan on directing your email to another mail server). How much space you need depends on the amount and type of content you place on the site and the amount of email stored and not yet deleted. You will have the ability to assign an independent storage quota for each email account through the Control Panel. This way you will know the total amount of disk space that might be used for email.

Whois: A searchable database maintained by Registrars which contain information about networks, networking organizations, domain names, and the contacts associated with them for the com, org, net, edu, and ISO 3166 country code top-level domains. Also, the protocol, or set of rules, that describes the application used to access the database.

WWW (World Wide Web): A portion of the Internet designated to support documents in HTML format.
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Being a freelancer can be a huge challenge for us all. A lot of things have to be considered, and it can be tough to come to the point where you’re able to earn enough to cover all of your expenses. There’s always hope though, if you’re prepared to work hard and stay focused. Today we’ve decided to give you ten great tips that can help you earn more money and succeed in the world of freelancing. Let’s have a look! 1. Do your best – always! Picture by Kostya Kisleyko It sounds logical and is something you always should aim for, but it can be hard to remember this at all times. By always doing your best you’ll get happy clients. Happy clients come back for a second and third buy, they could give you new clients from talking good about you – and they are great to add in your portfolio. 2. Build a great portfolio We’ve said it over and over and it can’t be said enough. Taking the time, money and effort to build a great portfolio will definitely help you get more customers and that way help you earn more. 3. Spend money on marketing Picture by Jeff Hire A certain amount of what you make should go back into building your business. To have more clients notice you, you have to spend some money in getting your name out there. This could be anything from leaving business-cards with everyone you talk to, making brochures for your services, advertising in a local newspaper, buying ad space on bigger websites and so on. You’ll quickly notice that this is a great way of finding new clients and that way earning more. 4. Stop under-pricing your work A lot of freelance workers, especially those that are newly started, tend to price themselves too low compared to competitors. This could give you an extra client here and there – but in the long run it’s bad for business. Make sure that you check out the prices of your competitors, keep budgets and keep track of how your time is spent. 5. Don’t be too expensive Picture by Michal Ufniak Under-pricing your work is more common than being too expensive, but make sure you don’t do either. By asking too much, you’ll get fewer projects and your clients are more likely to be unhappy. Just like in #4 – remember to check out who you’re up against and how much everything costs. 6. Be open to including more products and services If you’re working with design, it’s very likely that you have a couple of specialties. This is always good. Be aware though, that by including one or two more related products to your repertoire you could look at a potential income boost. This means more products/services that can earn you money, and more things to sell to every client. They’ll see that you have a more complete package to offer, which can be what has them choose you over your competitors. 7. Working with others Picture by Jana Kollarova By working together with other freelancers on bigger projects, you will be able to serve bigger clients and give more complete packages together. This gives more work and often better prices as well. I’ve seen more and more of these solutions in my area the last years, like logo designers and web designers working together. What I’ve seen and heard so far, witnesses of great possibilities from this. 8. Increase your online presence New projects and new clients can come from everywhere, all over the world. By making sure you have a portfolio and galleries displaying your work in communities like deviantART, Behance and so on. You should also make sure to be part of social media, like Twitter, Facebook – and so on. This way you’ll get a lot of valuable new contacts, get feedback, become inspired and pick up some tips on how others do things. 9. Contests & crowd-sourcing Picture by ilker I’ve never advised anyone to give prioritize design contests and crowd-sourcing concepts above regular work projects. BUT if you’re short of work for a period, these can be great ways of getting your name out there, possible earning a few bucks, making new contacts and practising your skills. Many websites are available, and especially if you work with web design or logo design, you’ll find plenty of projects to join. This has a potential for you to earn some extra money and is definitely better than just sitting around hoping for projects to appear. Some places to check out if this is of interest would be Crowdspring and 99designs. 10. Write articles If you’re good at what you do, explain it well and like to write – this can be a great source of extra income. Lots of websites related to design are looking for guest authors all the time and if you’re effective and deliver high quality you can earn a good chunck of money writing about it. Absolutely something to consider, and it gives quick results in form of payment and often a link bank to your website. Conclusion These were our 10 tips on how to make more money as a freelance designer. We hope this can be of help to you either all the time or during dry periods. Remember that working hard and looking for options will get you far. Good luck! …

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As freelancers, we all want to make more money. But freelancing doesn’t scale, so there’s always a ceiling. There’s a limit as to how many clients you can take on, right? So how do you make more money, if you can’t or don’t want to take on more clients? Well, if you’re better than average in what you do and can put in just a little bit of extra effort, you can get paid more by clients. Yep, there are 3 simple ways you can get paid more by clients – the same clients you’re currently contacting. You’ll be expanding vertically rather than horizontally, as they say. No, there’s no scammy tricks, or magic pills, or sleazy sales tactics. There are simple tweaks to what you’re already doing that’ll make your clients want to pay you more – either by you being able to charge more now or raise the price for the next project. So without further ado, here are 3 simple ways to get paid more by clients: 1. Make Life Easier for Your Clients If you make life easier for your client, you’ll increase the chances that they’ll pay you more. Because that’s ultimately what they’re paying for – convenience. Making their life easier so they don’t have to do something. Even if they could learn and become proficient in it, they’d rather pay you to do it. The more your client has to do themselves, the less they’ll want to pay you. After all, why should they pay you more, when they’re doing part of the work? Your mission as a freelancer is to make your client’s life easier. So the more you focus on your benefits to your client and specifically how it makes their life easier, rather than simply features that you offer, the more likely they’ll want to pay you more. Who cares that you’re able to design technical thing X or implement widget Y? How do those things make life easy? Focus on that – in your pitches, in your proposals, in your conversations, and in your actual work. Be willing to do as much as possible to make your client’s life easier. Don’t tell them they have to do something themselves – unless it’s unavoidable, and even then, don’t highlight it but instead word it in a way that it becomes a prerequisite or requirement for a task rather than work for the client. 2. Use More Convincing Wording The more convincing the wording of your offer, the higher likelihood that you’ll get paid more for it. Yeah yeah, it’s forehead-slapping common sense. No surprises there. But it still bears stating. How can a client want to pay you more if they’re not convinced you’re worth the money? So, convince them – in your wording, on the phone, in your pitch, your proposal, everywhere: Replace “maybe” with “guaranteed or *risk-free deal*” Use “I’ll definitely” instead of “I’ll try” Focus on benefits over features… How you’ll make your client’s life easier… And how you’ll increase their chance of their desired result Use more convincing wording to make your offer seem like a steal. Now, this isn’t to say that you should lie in your freelancing. No, never. Lying and being fake sucks, so don’t do it. Rather, you’re not deceiving your clients but simply making it more clear why you’re worth the money you’re charging. You’re elegantly reminding them why they’re about to pay you more than a cheaper but lower quality alternative. If you’re confident in your offer, then show it. Don’t shy away from your self-belief. Don’t be arrogant, but don’t be overly modest and meager either – that’s just sabotaging yourself. 3. Bundle Easy-to-Do Freebies When you over-deliver in value, it makes it seem like you have a great deal. Y’know, like those corny-but-it-works lines like “but wait, order now and we’ll throw in A, B, and C for FREE!” Of course, you don’t have to sound corny or sales-y. But you can bundle easy-to-do freebies to over-deliver at the price you’re asking for, all the while being able to confidently raise that price just enough so you’re still over-delivering but charging more than you used to. You see non-salesy companies and offers do this all the time: Buy 2 of something, get the 3rd free. Buy our main app, and we’ll throw in this other app at 1/2 off. Sign up for the premium level, and we’ll give you our thing over here for free. Every order for A comes with a complimentary B and C. And so forth. So you can do the same with your freelancing. Offer your clients the same type of deal. That you’ll not only do the main benefit, but you’ll also do task B and C for no additional cost. And those little extras will make it seem like the client is getting a great deal. Even if you’re charging a little more than the competition. And it should be a great deal, since you’ll be providing even more benefits at the asking price, no matter how small those benefits are. Hold on. That means more work though, right? The trick is to make sure that those additional tasks are really easy for you to do. Stuff that you can do in your sleep but would still be an effort for your client. That way, at not much extra work, you’ll be able to charge a little more than usual. Or, your client will be so impressed the first time around that they’ll be willing to pay more the next time. So, since it’ll take barely any time and effort on your part to do, but it’ll still provide a real benefit to the client, why not bundle them into your offer at no additional cost? Your client wins because they get extra value for the price you’re asking. You win because you get to charge more (or earn more the next time around), since you’re over-delivering on value. You also win because it won’t take that much more time and effort for you to work on those freebies. By bundling easy-to-do freebies, you’re increasing the chances of getting paid more by your clients. Get Paid More by Clients No tricks or facades or schemes. Just simple tweaks to what you’re already doing that’ll make your clients want to pay you more. To recap – you can get paid more by clients using these 3 simple ways: Make life easy for your clients Use more convincing wording Bundle easy-to-do freebies Now get out there and start getting paid more. How about you? How have these ways worked for you? What other ways have you been able to get paid more by clients?…

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When your livelihood is dependent on your ability to be creative whether as a web designer . article writer, or something else, it’s important to leverage what little time you have to maximize your idea input and output workflow. With this in mind we shall examine how cram sessions (otherwise known as the “I need an idea right now” approach) can aid us to produce wonderful ideas which can reflect upon our designs, our services and the many constructive mediums we use on a regular basis. Knowing Where to Start In the beginning, there was nothing. That pretty much sums up our sheets of paper, web browsers or word processors when we first decide that we need an idea to run with. How many times I’ve looked at a blank document and thought to myself “that is probably the most depressing digital sight I’ve ever seen” is beyond my weak math abilities. Luckily for us, this frustrating white scene can quickly become a landscape of words that sprout ideas, if you just know where to begin your examination. Image credit: Marcio Eugenio Figure 1: Coming up with ideas seems almost impossible with blank documents. The method we shall use within this article focuses primarily on the concept that you can get ideas in a hurry which works for the vast majority of us, though it’s worth pointing out that a considered and well researched process will yield the best results. This is why I recommend having a post cram session evolution period in which you can weed out the ideas which don’t make the grade, can’t do what you need and simply aren’t of a high enough standard – as let’s face it, we all need standards! Materialistic Methodology Every great battle needs a good strategy, and this one is no different. Before we even start trying to come up with some cool ideas, you’ll first need the right materials to do your job. Ideas can come at any point during your day even when you’re in the toilet, so it makes sense to always carry a pen and paper or your trusty handheld device to deal with sudden bursts of inspiration – however rare they may be. In fact, the best tools we have are natural things which can spark our imagination. Image credit: gabrieleoropallo Figure 2: Don’t get caught out, you could forget what pops into your head. Some people like to work with mind mapping software, others prefer the use of word processors or project management applications, and some even use sticky notes! The main point for consideration is with this approach, you’ll want to ensure that any idea can be added quickly, ordered well and the structure won’t be so complex that it’ll take you half an hour a piece. When undertaking a one night cram session, we want to be able to dump the contents of our brain somewhere solid with ease. Research and Scribbles So where are we going to get the inspiration for all of these things, well some people enjoy going to inspiration galleries on the web, some even enjoy sleeping on the matter (who doesn’t!). If you need ideas in a hurry, it’s better to start conceptualising something quick and easy, even if it doesn’t make a lot of sense right now. If you need to come up with ideas related to a specific subject or even if you need to come up with something totally unique, the key to everything is researching the subject. Image credit: Kristina B Figure 3: No idea is unique. Examine your options to find a good starting point. For those of you who are missing a subject, your best resource is Google. Seek out things that you find personally interesting and from this you may then discover something cool which could use additional explanation. You would be surprised how many ideas I’ve managed to get by simply visiting random sites using StumbleUpon or by browsing the pages of Wikipedia. If you do have a subject you’re keen to work from, but don’t have the idea, then it’s time to blurb some words! Inspired Idea Gathering This is where things really begin to get fun, the idea behind blurbing is you think of any words that relate to the subject you want to design for or write about and just randomly scribble them down for future reference. If you can’t think of any, perhaps searching for keywords via Google or synonyms via a dictionary may help. The idea behind this isn’t really about having something concrete just yet; it’s about opening your mind and dissolving that white screen paralysis which affects many of us. Image credit: sirwiseowl Figure 4: You can use mind maps to scribble down related concepts. With these ideas written down, you now want to pick out some of the scribbles that have some basic potential. If you (for example) wanted to help a client build a photography site, you could have come up with some words which associate to the subject like “gallery, frames, color, cameras and film”. These potentially could give you stylistic ideas or even layout thoughts. Speaking with clients before the session can give you those initial ideas to build upon, as can looking at the site’s competition. Prototyping and Testing Let’s face facts here, it’s all well and good getting you to fire down random thoughts onto the page and hope that some make the final cut, but the quality of ideas can be very different depending on lots of factors from how many of you are involved in the session to where you look for related materials, and even to what extent and how long you spend just trying to build upon the concepts you have. It’s therefore worth saying that you need to test your ideas post getting them to paper. Image credit: nkzs Figure 5: Are these concepts too silly to consider? If so, dump the dead weight! Post writing down all of those words as quickly and effectively as possible, you now want to refer to the analysis phase. As the majority of ideas come as a result of careful planning, the thing many of us have problems with is simply getting started. Because we have pushed all of those words to paper it gives us a starting point to investigate the terms, ideas and implementations that exist to which a complete picture of the finished product can be produced – just don’t be too quick to say yes or no. Expectations of a One Night Stand As a matter of discourse, the average cram session probably takes me an average of about 6 hours, and it gives me one hour to scribble down random thoughts, and another 5 hours to evolve and beef up the subject beyond such terms. While it can be tough to flick through Google and produce words which match the subject, it’s much easier to build upon each layer using something like this than hoping to just think up that “finished project” with little more than a flourish of creative thinking. Image credit: nussprofessor Figure 6: Forming ideas is never straightforward, but forward we must go. When it comes to idea forming, the best approach to take is to not over think the problem, try and start by relating words and ideas together and then find a strong subject based on the level of interest it provides, the unique selling point being offered or the appeal it will have to visitors. It’s quite likely that you won’t come up with the million dollar idea, but the great thing is that with time and constantly having fresh idea sessions, you’ll have a decent place to begin evolving a model. The Fruits of Your Labour Hopefully this article will get you thinking, and by applying the keywords first, then evolve and refine later model you can stop getting trapped in the stage of having nowhere to begin. When trying to work out the best solution to a client’s problem or article I find that having something however primitive to work from is better than having nothing at all. Idea sessions are best left to being as abstract as possible and taking small steps rather than expecting an idea to simply fall into your lap. Figure 7: Whatever your project, manage your ideas properly – there are lots of apps for that! For the next time you require an idea, remember to seek inspiration from the websites you frequent, the galleries that provide unique visual identities and the power that your mind has to offer when you don’t try and force it to produce results. The fruits of your labour may start off looking like a bunch of quickly scribbled concepts that have little to show for themselves as a finished product, but with enough time, care and attention, they may just become the very thing you were looking for. Always remember to keep your audience in mind for whatever you produce, try to get your clients to give you as much information as possible to help reduce the abstract nature of idea gathering, and to research your subject well. You cannot hope to produce winning ideas if you have no clues, direction or creative control on a project – and this is where so many sites fail due to unoriginality. The best ideas take shape over time and are based on research, not cloning or brain voodoo! More Resources Brainstorming Site Inspiration Writers block Questions How do you go about coming up with fresh ideas for designs or blog posts? Do you ever get writers block and how do you get over the problem? How much time do you spend researching before attempting to implement one of your ideas? Let us know in the comment section below! Designing Your Blog with User Interface in MindHow to Become an Eco web designerWeb development: Don’t Just Keep Up With Everyone ElseWeb Project: Weighing Cost vs Speed vs QualityHow to Write an Effective About Me Page Written by: Alexander Dawson for Onextrapixel – Showcasing Web Treats Without A Hitch | No comment Post Topic(s): Articles …

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Through our process, we will find out what your looking for and work with you to achieve the feel you want. You can even give us references of other sites you’ve seen and tell us what you do and dont like.

To get the best possible results, we recommend to use your current branding elements like Logos and look and feel ; and build a new site with our Content Management System and Search focussed architecture and structure, giving you the best result possible. We would then copy and paste existing content where possible in to your new site.

Depending on how your current site is built and set up we could use it as a platform to build our search engine campaign.We would have to assess this on a site by site basis.

Yes, we can! We can design a new brand identity for you a like logo design, packaging, brochures, stationery and more.

Basically, we get an understanding of what you want, you agree and sign up to one of our packages, then one of our account managers will start the process with you via a few emails and easy online forms. All of this will be be done in our handy online Grouphub where all notes, designs and communications are kept.

You can log in to see your designs to give approval as well as to upload content and any other information we require. Once the design is approved we build the whole website, place in the content and make the website live! We also at the same time set up all your Search Engine Campaign strategies and Pay-Per-Click campaigns if necessary.

We will need from you all the content for the website, like the copy, your logos and any photography you want to use. We have a large collection of stock photography we can use for your project at affordable rates.

Depending on complexity of your website we estimate it taking between 3-4 weeks from when you sign up to when your website goes live. Generally, we work on a 30 day turnaround where possible.

So, we can keep our rates affordable to you, we run the whole process online via our Live Chat. Any questions, just jump on the live chat and we’ll answer whatever it is you need to know, if however you need to speak to someone directly, kindly fill in the form given on the right side of these questions.

Hosting is the area of space of the internet where your website is stored. WebDesignCompany has access to hosting platfroms, and will recommend the best hosting solution for you, that suits your hosting requirements. Your basic websites hosting is FREE and included in your package for the life of when sign up with us.

Yes, you can get hosting space somewhere else. In this case you will be charged setup fee from us. You have added advantage of not paying set up fees or hosting your website while with us. Our hosting setup has best-of-the-breed technology in place so that your website won’t of the go down and information won’t be lost.

Web Hosting is the space on a server you rent for your website, where as the domain name is the website address of your site.

If you are a new business you will need to register a new domain name. We recommend using Net Registry to buy affordable domain names. However, if you already have one we can transfer it, and set up your new website. No worries!

We develop our solutions on open source CMS platforms like WordPress, Magento or Joomla. This allows you to take your website anywhere and continue to use your website as normal. You pay a licence to use it and in return get all the systems updates for free.

With the CMS systems we use, you can change all the copy on your website as well as changing some of the images. If you have products on your website you will be able to add / edit / delete as many times as you want, when and where ever you want.

Through Google Analytics you will see all you need to know on how your website is performing. Where traffic is coming from, how many visitors, most popular pages, conversion paths on desired actions, as well as what people are typing in to Google to find you…. as well as much much more.

Being found for relative search terms to your business is very important. It is also very important that there are very clear call to actions on your website like to call a number, fill out a form, make an enquiry or even just buy a product.

Optimising your website so people can find your business / website easily, then convert to a desired result is crucial in having a successful website. Precisely, there’s no point having lots of users / visitors, if no one does anything on your website, that can get converted into that makes business sense.

We have a top notch support system in place and are ready to support you in whatever you need. Simply click on our live chat “Chat now” button and we’ll get you sorted. Simple. Or if you want to speak to somone, kindly fill in the form given on the right side of these questions.

You will always own the website. At the end of the 12 months you will see the great results you’ll be getting from WebDesignCompany.com and we hope you continue to use our service to manage and maintain the search engine optimisation (SEO) campaign. If you do want to stop, no problems, we hand over the files and you can take the entire website anywhere you want.

Well, we don’t think that will happen, but If you want to stop before the 12 month period is up , we will simply charge you the balance of the 12 months, and when paid, you can take your site and CMS anywhere you want. Please note, that you will need to organise new hosting for your website.

How important is the website in your business? Is it the main tool to sell your product or service? Using all our design, strategy and Search Engine smarts we give you a powerful tool that will pay for itself in no time. Yes, there are cheaper websites out there, but in the end you will just get a website.. WebDesignCompany.com will give you a custom designed, content managed, e-commerce ready, search engine optimised, planned out website all hosted for free! Resulting in a site that will generate traffic, traffic that will convert to leads, which ultimately convert to sales. Growth in your business!
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Search Engine Optimization and Pay-Per-Click strategies are a solid way to grow your websites traffic and make the most out of your web presence. With the strategy we help you create, you’ll turn those leads into sales!

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing your website so search engines like Google, Yahoo & Bing rank your site for important keywords or phrases that your potential customers are searching for.

So if you sell unlocked cell phones, you would want your website to be in top for “unlocked cell phones”. These “organic” or “natural’ search engine results are free for you opposed to pay-per-click (PPC) where it costs you a pre-determined amount of your choosing every time someone clicks on your ad.

The natural/organic results are displayed right below the PPC ads which you see on the top highlighted in different color (yellow for Google) and to the left of the right side separate column with more ads.

There are no secrets to SEO, but it is a time consuming and tedious process that should be done by a professional. It’s taken our SEO team many years of practice and endless reading to keep up to date with all the changes the search engines make to their ranking algorithms.

Don’t be fooled by someone telling you that all you need to do is add some meta tags and that’s it. That won’t do much for you alone. Extensive content optimization, link building, proper URL structures and many more variables are involved for your site to rank well.

Star a live chat today to see exactly how we can help you…read more

Search Engine Marketing is the combination of different marketing avenues and techniques. It encompasses, SEO, PPC, banner ads, re-targeting and much more.

Buying ads on Youtube or Facebook is also considered SEM as they are both essentially search engines as well.

Did you know Youtube is the 2nd most popular search engine after Google, it has more traffic than Yahoo!

Contact us today to find out how we can help you with different forms of search engine marketing.

When your customers search for a particular keyword or phrase, Google, Yahoo and Bing show both natural/organic results + paid / sponsored ads above the organic results and to the right of them as well.

You pay only when someone clicks on your Ad (not every time it’s shown), driving targeted traffic. We can set a daily & monthly budget for your ads. We’ll help you do keyword research to find out which keywords and how often they are searched for every month.

Consumers who click on PPC ads are highly targeted and already far down the buying funnel. Your conversion rate for these visitors can be very high.
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Pros
The prime advantages of using Magento include the following:

1. Feature-Rich

Offers a plethora of out-of-the-box feature set. New options are continuously added as the business community adopts Magento and forces development of new features to meet the full range of eCommerce retailers.

2. Scalable

Offers high integration capabilities and can seamlessly be integrated with sales, inventory, and invoicing software such as QuickBooks and SalesForce. Furthermore, it’s templating architecture offers enhances flexibility for your website as well as complete control over its source code.

3. The largest eCommerce Marketplace

Magento Connect is the leading online eCommerce marketplace. It offers thousands of extensions that can answer nearly every customization you may have in mind. Whether its Magento Plugins or Magento Themes, fewer and fewer customizations are being left in the hands of developers.

4. Extensive Support

Magento offers a support team and community that is available 24/7. As a result, continuous development and upgrades from thousands of developers are making Magento bigger, better, and even more customizable every day. This makes it remain market competitive, and also offer robust and cost efficient solutions.

5. User-Friendly

Offers a simple admin area with intuitive navigational system and organized store management features. Furthermore, it’s modular structure lets you easily and separately customize both front-end (templates and layout) and back-end (responsive grid system, site architecture, etc.).

Cons
Some barriers to Magento development include:

1. Resource Intensiveness

— Magento packs in a punch and can support multiple domains from one end, but this requires a robust back-end infrastructure to support it. While it is possible to use it on shared web hosting account, but once the traffic increases to your website, your website’s response is likely to get slower. Hence, if you are hoping to scale then you’d have to host it on a dedicated server.

2. Developers are Rare

Magento is a complex platform with over 20,000 files and 200 database tables. Unless you hire a team of developers with sound understanding of the Magento platform, you risk causing problems for your store in the future, and hence for your business in turn.

3. Development Time

Magento is unforgiving if the backend programming, and use of system modules and databases is not integrated properly. Hence, all modules have to be thoroughly tested with additional care, adding to the development time.

4. Budget Constraints

Complex platform, backend- programming, the cost of the Magento Suite (EE), and the development time needed to build a robust eCommerce CMS can be taxing on budget.
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PROS
Preview-Able

Get a complete feel of what the site will look like once set up: it’s layout, navigation bars, and how visitors will interact with it. No design work and mock up required. You can easily preview and interact with the template before buying it.

Speed

Set up your eCommerce website within minutes. Simply select the template that meets your requirements, purchase, and install. Developing a custom website from scratch requires investment of time, money, and supervision. Depending on your requirements and complexity of the task, it may take months before the site is ready for launch.

Cost

Templates can be purchased at a fraction of the cost of developing a website from scratch. This is because custom website designs are unique products, and its owner alone holds complete rights to its use and customizability. Templates on the other hand are non-unique products, sold and licensed to multiple interested parties. Hence, developers can dramatically reduce the cost of a single template.

Diversity

Templates offer customers the option of previewing and selecting from thousands of different eCommerce website templates. You are not restricted to work around the concept designs offered by the team of developers you have hired to develop your website.

Pre-Tested

With an eCommerce template you don’t have to worry about troubleshooting and debugging bugs inherent in the design. You can easily review and research the templates and find if they have shown any problems in features such as chat, credit card processing, online ordering, etc.

CONS
Unsecure

eCommerce templates can be purchased by anyone. This includes digital hackers apt in committing online theft, and whose primary targets are websites where digital transactions occur often, i.e. eCommerce websites. Once a template has been downloaded, hackers can easily break the code, common to all websites using the same template.

Uniqueness

eCommerce website creates an online marketplace, and like normal brick-and-mortar stores, unique layout and design affects visitor engagement. Since your eCommerce website design is not unique, you lose a level of engagement on your website. Chances are that visitors may have come across similar designs.

Lack of Customizability

Templates do not offer the exclusivity of having a team of developers dedicated to a single web design. You cannot ask, nor direct the original developers change or add features to your template. To customize your website, you will have to either shop for a new template or hire a team of developers.

Lack of Support

Most eCommerce website templates are a one-time sold products. Hence, they do not come with troubleshooting or debugging support. In case the website experiences problems, you will still need to hire a remote or in-house support team to manage your website.

Scalability

Templates are generic. They are designed to cater a limited amount of user traffic, activity, and transactions. Consequently, in case of heavy seasonal traffic, rapid growth, or expansion, you cannot rely on the template to hold up. With a proper eCommerce website, your team of developers can stay abreast of changing needs and scale your eCommerce platform accordingly.
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What is a Professional Website?
Simple

Website design and layout must be non-cluttered. It must make navigating from and in between pages easy. The new, unique visitor, must be able to decipher the layout at a glance, and easily find relevant information within seconds. Websites with too many features complicate access, and result in high bounce rates.

Informative

It must readily communicate the message. This requires placing content areas such that it is the first thing that a new user engages with. Best practices include: avoiding banner look-alike content areas, selecting the proper font and font size, adding the right amount of content space, and adding crisp and to-the-point information.

Unique

The website must stand out from the crowd. The design and layout should be unique and hence grant users a more engaging user experience. Using standard templates makes the business appear as less interested in its online existence. This causes visitors to assume that the business is not really approachable through their website.

Fast

On average, people spend a maximum of 8 seconds to decide whether a website is engaging enough. If the website design, layout, and coding is heavy it automatically translates into higher loading times, and hence reduce the time your visitor gets to spend engaging with the website itself.

Flexible

A vast majority of potential visitors are accessing websites through smart devices including mobile-phones, tablets, etc. Hence, a professional website is one that can easily recognize the screen size and re-align itself to display and makes it easily accessible on all screen sizes, without much effort.

What our clients are saying:
We had a great experience with NexGen Web Studios and would readily recommend it to our friends and colleagues who are building start-ups. The team was resilient and worked effectively with our agile/parallel sprints methodology. The programmers were very good, project management was very efficient and QC team was thorough. Our experience with designing was also great.

– Paul

Frequently Asked Questions
1. How to choose the right web design company?

Before choosing a web design company, know what your bottom line is as a business and what you want to accomplish. Next, do your research on the company portfolio, from there you can ask the designer for cost vs value of each project. Engage in a clear line of communication, ask about their process and why they are making certain recommendations. Most importantly, educate yourself on the tools used to drive measurable traffic. Lastly, is the company a quality of investment, will they continue ongoing maintenance?

2. Should I use a web design template?

Choosing a design template is beneficial for startup businesses as this option will be relatively affordable compared to a custom web design. Alternatively, creating a custom design website will be unique to only you and your business, giving you greater control over the tools and technologies utilized to grow as your business continues to grow as well. If time is a constraint then a web design template will surely save you time, as custom template may take up to several weeks to complete until satisfaction.

3. Is it important to have a responsive website?

With technological advancements of mobile devices, smart phones and tablets it is more evident people have greater accessibility of completing everyday tasks from the palm of their hands. Mobile is taking over the Internet and with that more people are surfing, browsing, shopping etc from their handheld devices. Using a responsive website ensures to maintain a consistent look and feel of your website regardless of which smart device it is viewed in.

4. Are there any hidden charges with the web design services?

Absolutely not. We ensure our customers are well informed in advance and educated on the suggestions we make regarding your website set up. As mentioned above, a clear line of communication between you and us is our primary value. We are here to build long-lasting relationships through our impressionable website design. If you have any questions or concerns we provide 24/7-customer support to maintain a transparent and trusting partnership.

5. What is a Parallax web design?

Parallax web design is a new and upcoming web design. Parallax offers a 3D effect, which involves the background of your page to move at a slower rate than the foreground page as you scroll through. This new phenomenon in the web design world allows you to offer a new level of interactive viewing experience; as a result engaging your clients for longer periods of time through creative visual design.

Our Mission is to make the Internet more accessible for consumers across the world.

We are doing this by dedicating our efforts and expertise in developing great websites that are:

Light
our coding makes them go easy on the bandwidth and hence load faster
Engaging
our designs are simple, stunning, and easy to use and navigate
Secure
our architectural designs leave no loopholes and makes them impervious to attacks
Cost Effective
Our quotes are always market competitive
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SEO Tips for your Website
The internet is overloaded with information regarding SEO. Some say to do this, others say to do that, how do you know what to believe? Think back to high-school, did you ever hear the acronym “K.I.S.S.”? It was mostly related to mathematics. “Keep it simple stupid”. Try not to over complicate it. It really comes down to Onpage and Offpage SEO.

Onpage SEO: This is information on your site the search engines read such as: meta tags, keyword density, bolding, italicizing, alt image tags etc.

Offpage SEO: This refers to links coming into your site. One way links, backlinks, text links. There are so many different words for it but in the end it comes down to links pointing to your site. This counts as a “vote” in the eyes of Google. The more “votes” you have the higher you begin to rank.

Not all links are created equal.

Here are 10 tips to get you started:

1) Only rank one keyword per page, not per website.

2) Same anchor text to your website. This may go against what you’ve read and some say doesn’t look ‘natural’ but neither does a news site getting 40k links coming in all at once from a hit story.

3) Make sure that your backlinks sites are not all hosted on the same IP Address

4) It’s necessary to continue building links to your site. Don’t expect to stop link building for 3 months and keep your ranking.

5) Do research to ensure your SEO rankings are obtainable. If you are going to compete in a competitive market be prepared to be in for the long-run.

6) Keep your rankings realistic. 3 months is about right to start ranking for a keyword. Some will tell you a few weeks but in reality that won’t work.

7) Your links do NOT need to be relevant, we have done a lot of real time testing and the relevancy makes no difference at all.

8) Article directory links have the least value, don’t let anyone fool into thinking you’ll obtain front page rankings from directory links/submissions.

9) You can help backlinks become more powerful by linking other sites to already made links, this is called “supercharging” your backlinks.

10) Use aged High Page Rank domains. The older the domain the more authority it carries with it. (Generally, not always)

The list could truly go on and on.
There are many ways to obtain links but not a lot of people know how to obtain the ‘right’ kind of links.
Some will tell you to buy an auto poster ‘spam’ tool for quick links. The downfall about this type of software is you could end up putting your link in a bad neighborhood.

(TIP: Stay away from PLIGG sites)

Our service takes care of everything for you. The Onpage/Offpage SEO and everything else that comes with it. If you’re interested in more tips on SEO and how to obtain better rankings sign up for our Newsletter. (We hate spam just as much as you)
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What is a Domain Name?

A Domain Name is the website address by which your product or service can be found on the Internet. (www.YourDomainName.com)

Similar to your home address, a Domain Name is the address that is assigned to you that allows someone to locate you on the World Wide Web. It is your permanent address that can follow you no matter where in the world you might move. This is a very powerful tool for individuals as well as businesses. It allows for email addresses such as ([email protected]), website addresses (such as this site) personal and business.

What is a URL?

A Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is a line of text that uniquely specifies a resource such as a complete file. Each computer (called a server) that hosts a web site is assigned it’s own unique IP (Internet Protocol) address — a string of numbers and dots such as 25.14.144.25. You could type in the string of numbers and dots, but entering and remembering the name is a lot easier. Let the DNS which has special software do the work.

What is a TLD?

A name is the rightmost set of characters following the rightmost “dot” in the unique name by which a computer is known on the Internet. For information on emerging top-level Domain Names and registrars, see The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.he Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

What is a Domain Name extension?

It is the (.com, .net, .org, .biz, .info, etc.) that follows the Domain Name that you have selected. It can indicate the kind of organization that is hosting the site .com/commercial, .net/network, .org/nonprofit, .biz/business, .info/informational. These are the most common top level extensions used by individuals and businesses today. More and more people are buying all five to protect their name from others taking advantage of their hard work. Anyone can register a Domain Name in any of the five extensions if they are available.

What is DNS?

Your Domain Name is a long set of numbers that would be very hard to remember so we use descriptive words (URL) and let the (DNS) Domain Name Server software translate the Domain Name into sets of numbers (IP address xxx.xx.xxx.xx) so that a browser can locate your site. Two servers a primary and a secondary DNS. Your Domain Name is considered parked at the servers you specify. When you register a Domain Name with Political Website Design it is parked free for you until you are ready for it.

What is ICANN?

ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is a non-profit organization. It is responsible for overseeing the management of Internet Domain Names. Choosing a Doman Name

How long can a Domain Name be?

The new long format allows for a minimum of 2 characters up to 63 characters plus the extension. Valid characters are (a-z) and (0-9) and the dash (-) as long as it is contained with in the other characters. It can not be a leading or trailing character. If you use capital letters they will be translated into lower case which is what the Domain Name system (DNS) recognizes.

What if the name I want is taken?

Considering that over 50,000 Domain Names are registered every day, you may just find that the name you want is already taken. That is why it is so important to register your Domain Name today – even if you may not actually be ready to use it today. The best solution is to just retry another name until you find a name that is available. With Political Website Design the search is FREE and you can search as often as you like.

Who should register a Domain Name?

All businesses especially small businesses need to have a presents right now, not necessarily to gain market share but simply to survive and to be compatible in an environment that eventually will be the primary way that buyer and sellers communicate. This is also the way individuals will communicate. You should have Domain Names for both you and your business. More and more people are registering Domain Names for their family while there are still choices. If you are creative and look hard enough you will find a good name.
Names are being registered at an incredible rate of over 50,000 a day, but the real rush is yet to come. Some projections are a 93% increase over the next three years.

Registering all the names within your budget that you think you might want in the future is not a bad idea. The cost is a lot lower than trying to buy them from someone else in the future. Besides, if you decide later that you don’t want them, you can choose to not renew them and they will go back in the pool of available names. Some names go for big money, example: business.com/$7,500,000, AsSeenOnTV.com/$835,000 very few names sell at this high rate but their is a big market in reselling Domain Names.

What does it mean to register a Domain Name?

When you register a Domain Name it is assigned/licensed to you and associated with a (DNS) computer on the Internet that you designate during the effective period of registration.

What about registering all three extensions? Should I?

It’s a good idea if you’re a business. At today’s low prices domain registration is a minor cost compared to the marketing expense over the long term. Someone could cash in on your efforts. If someone else registers the names you could be in a legal fight with no guarantee of success. You know your attorney fees, registration fees in comparison is vary cheap insurance. We have businesses registering many variations of their name. Some businesses have registered as many as 250 Domain Names.

How long does a registration last? Can it be renewed?

Domain Names can be registered for up to ten years – and in some cases, even longer. The registration will expire at the end of the time period you have selected.

You should renew your registration about 30 days before the end of the current term. You will have up to the end of the current term to do so but early is better. You can renew at anytime prior to the end of the registration current term.

Where do I get information about the DNS?

There are two DNS fields in the registration form which are optional. You may register a Domain Name without DNS information and Political Website Design will park your domain for FREE on the servers that we use until you are ready to use it. This will typically occur when you find your web hosting company. Your new web host will supply you with the information needed for your new DNS location.

What method of payment can I use with Political Website Design?

All prices are in U.S. currency with transactions processed with a 100% secure connection. You can use credit or bank cards.

I just registered a Domain Name but when I type it in my browser nothing came up?

Your domain name is just that, a domain name. It is not a web site rather it is a name for your web site. When your web hosting company has your web site ready they will supply you with and address and we can point the domain name to the site. It may take a few days for the routing to point to your new host.

After Political Website Design registers my Domain Name, then what?

There are many things that you can do with your Domain Name.
Build a personal web site
Use it for an email site ([email protected])
Build a corporate presence on the world wide web
Re-direct it to another web site (URL forwarding)
Resale your names for a profit
Start their own online business
Share photos with family and friends
Post a daily diary or “blog”
Display artwork
Start a club or share their hobby
Display and sell crafts
Organize events
Copyright creative ideas
Publish their own writing
Exchange recipes
The list goes on and on!
Are the names we get with Political Website Design the same quality as interNIC?

All registrars write names to the same registry. Their is only one registry for each of the .com .net .org .biz .info domains. All registrars write to the same one, this includes interNIC. Since all registrars use the same protocol and software their is nothing a registrar can do in regards to the performance of a domain once it has been submitted. Registrars just hold the WHOIS information. If a registrar server should go down for some reason the only thing that could happen is that the Whois information would not be available for a while. With the automated system that Political Website Design uses the submission is captured exactly as you entered it.

Domain Name Ownership
Can anyone register a top-level domain (.com .net .org .biz .info) worldwide?

Yes. The top-level Domain Names .com .net .org .biz .info Domain Names are available to anyone worldwide.

Can I sell my Domain Name?

Yes. You have complete control of your names and if you find a buyer you can sell it.
Privacy

Will my name and contact information be publicly available?

Yes. The information that you provide on the registration form (except for your secure payment information) is publicly available on the Whois site. This information has been deemed necessary to facilitate the enforcement of consumer protection, trademark issues and other laws and technical problems and allows for rapid resolution of these problems.

If privacy is a concern, for a small additional fee, youe personal information may be selected to be kept confidential.

Why doesn’t my Domain Name show up in Whois?

It usually takes about 48 hours for the registry to activate a new domain. This is referred to as propagation. The amount of time it takes to update the DNS. You should not be concerned about strange messages or no response for a few days. Not all WHOIS searches produce the same results. Just disregard any messages and try again later.
keep this——–credit: https://www.kristofcreative.com/articles/technology/ questions-website-domain-names/

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How do domain names work?

A domain name basically works like an address forwarding service.

All of your web site content sits on a computer with a unique address. This is called an IP address. An IP address is made up of a series of numbers, such as 123.23.234.45. Your domain name directs visitors to your site using this IP address.

We use domain names instead of IP addresses because most people find it easier to remember a name rather than a series of numbers.

What is a top-level domain (TLD)?

A top-level domain (TLD) is the basic part of the domain name located to the right of the dot (” . “). The most common top-level domains are .com, .net, and .org. Some other popular top-level domains are .biz, .info, .name, and .ws. These common top-level domains have certain guidelines attached, but are for the most part available to any registrant, anywhere in the world.

There are also restricted top-level domains (rTLDs), like .aero, .biz, .edu, .mil, .museum, .name, .ca, .bk, and .pro, that require the registrant to represent a certain type of entity or country, or to belong to a certain community. For example, the .name TLD is reserved for individuals and .edu is reserved for educational entities.

What is a second-level domain (SLD)?

Located immediately to the left of the dot (” . “), the second-level domain is the readable part of the domain name. The registrant defines the second-level domain. It typically refers to the organization or entity associated with the IP address. For example, in www.cnn.com “cnn” is a second-level domain.

Checking if a Domain Name is Available

Go to our domain name registration home page.

In the Enter a domain name search box, type in the domain name you are interested in.

Select a top-level domain from the drop-down list (.com, .org, .net).

Click Search.

What do I do with my domain name once it’s been registered?

Setup a web site. In order to setup a website you will need to do the following:

Buy a web hosting account.

Create web pages for your web site.

Website Creation Software

Templates

Website Design Companies

Upload your web pages to your web hosting account.
Sell it.Domain names can be a great investment. If you have registered a domain name that you are not using, maybe someone else can. Go to the our domain name registration home page to login and set up a For Sale parked page for your domain name. Don’t forget to include your contact information.

Protect your brand online.The more domain names you register, the better. Prevent others from registering a similar domain name to yours—just to steal your customers. What to do with all these names? Forward them to your main domain name.

Hold on to it.Maybe you haven’t decided what to do with your new domain name. You can leave it parked with Political Website Design for the length of your registration.

Can I register a domain name without having a web hosting provider yet?

Yes, you can register as many domain names as you’d like and choose to have them parked until you find a hosting provider.
Credit: http://www.sslcatacombnetworking.com/faq/domain-name-basics/
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