Dec 192011
 

I get lots of email and a lot of it is from people who offer something interesting to get my name on their list and then send nothing but “buy this AWESOME THING RIGHT NOW BEFORE IT GOES AWAY!!!” offers. You know the type. And the hype. I’ll even admit that part of me wants it to be true and that I could push a button, or even a few buttons, and retire.

I’ve been doing a lot of unsubscribing over time. Some of the lists are actually pretty good, but that’s pretty uncommon.

Here’s a pretty good list that you can use to tell if maybe you should “just say no” to the next offer:

Top 10 Ways to Tell if You Are a Guru!

(10) You brag day in and day out about money or a launch you did 3 years ago…

(9) You launch a clickbank product per year and you use clickbank screen captures from your last product launch to sell your new product.

(8) You are part of a “mastermind”, “joint venture”, or “super millionaire” group.

(7) You promote a new product every week to your list.

(6) You promote a new product every week and you don’t know what it is?

(5) When you consider upselling and downselling your product before you care to think about your CUSTOMER.

(4) You create a “make money” product before you know how to make money.

(3) When the name of your product name or website has “fast”, “project”, “push button”, “cash”, “super”, “millionaire”, “quick”, “instant’, “crusher”, “launch”, “commission”, “system”, or “clickbank” in it.

(2) You claim that a product can help you earn $100,000+ in a month.

(1) For the rest, go here: Top 10 Ways to Tell if You Are a Guru

Check it out, have fun, add your own “How to tell if…” in the comments. Either over there or right here (though more people will see it if you do it over there.)

Nov 232011
 

I’ve been a member of Wealthy Affiliate (WA) for a looooong time. It’s an amazing resource for anyone interested in doing anything with Affiliate Marketing.

What’s Affiliate Marketing? Selling other people’s stuff for a commission, freelance.  There are a lot of ways to do that, from the simple to the advanced, and WA has training programs, webinars, forums, and an amazing amount of info dedicated to teaching you how to do this in a way that works best for you.

Coming up this weekend WA is having it’s Black Friday event, where you can test drive the whole thing for less than the price of an Espresso. One buck.

From Kyle on the WA blog:

In case for some crazy, estranged reason you needed more incentive to join Wealthy Affiliate for $1, for an entire month, then I am going to let you in on a few closely guarded secrets.

And I am typically not very good at leaking secrets, but in this case, I happily will.

So you know exactly what you are getting yourself into right?

If you have taken a look at our site, you will know we offer all members…from the training, the tools, the services, to the support…I could go on and on.

BUT we haven’t detailed exactly what is coming up. That is why I wanted to touch base with you today and let you know EXACTLY what you have to look forward to when parting with your hard earned $1 dollar.

Read it all, here – (Click the banner at the top of that page to get started)

Update: By the way, WA has a free Internet Wealth Guide that’s full of all kinds of good stuff. Get yours here.

 

 

Oct 052011
 

Why Facebook? Because Facebook is rivaling Google for top spot in the “how much traffic does your site get” game. Check out this Alexa page and you’ll see that G and FB are 1 and 2. Since Google also has YouTube and Blogger it probably has a bigger reach. Still, Facebook has insane traffic. It also has a few other virtues:

  • People go to google, search for whatever, find it, and leave google. Not Facebook. All of your browsing, linking, looking, and commenting is done within Facebook. Maybe even more that YouTube people stick within the FB system.
  • Facebook pages have a certain trust factor. You’re likely to hit some page because someone recommended it, less likely to hit one because a spammer put up some junk and got decent google rankings. (That said, Facebook’s general search doesn’t begin to touch Google’s. But then, FB isn’t a search engine,  is it? )
  • Some people say that Facebook has over 700 million users, worldwide. While I think that number is high there is certainly massive traffic through that site, people stick, and people love it.

Now as for getting onto Facebook to strut your own stuff. First off, you will need to have a Facebook profile. You probably already do, but in case you don’t you can check out the Facebook help pages and it should answer all of your questions.

  • A profile is you on FB. It’s sort of your hub. Profiles collect friends, Pages collect “likes”
  • A Page is dedicated to some topic, person. place, thing, etc. Like Pepsi? So do about 6 million other people.

Like any other page or profile, what gets posted to your “wall” is also sent to all of your friends or people who have “liked” your page. If Pepsi makes a post than all 6 million people who “liked” that page will see it. How’s that for an email list? Now, Facebook does have a variety of filters in place so some of those messages will not be seen. But they were all sent.

Ok, step by step page creation. This does not cover all the ins and outs, just getting a page up fast. Like any website, you can improve it later.

  1. Now or later you will want a 180 wide by 540 tall image that will be your profile pic, in the top, left corner. It should be catchy and in line with the topic of your page. I went to Pixlr and took a minute to put create an image. My artistic talent is nil, but it’s something.
  2. Go to FB Pages and don’t get distracted. Click “Create a Page” at the top, right corner.
  3. You will see a page with six options. Here’s the easy way to choose:
    1. Click “Brand or Product”
    2. Scroll through the menu and find “Website,” pick that
    3. Enter the topic of your page (you can change it later.)
    4. Agree to FBs terms (you might consider reading them. Or not.)
    5. You now have a page.
  4. Next you will have a chance to upload your image. If you have one then go for it, or you can do this later.
  5. One the next screen, below, if you think that this is something that some or all of your friends might be interested in then you can invite them to see your page. The same with any contact list you might have. FB will let you upload a spreadsheet with their info and/or scan your email contacts.

    Create a Facebook page, step 2

    Create a Facebook page, step 2

    1. There are two check boxes below the contacts section.
    2. If the first is checked then when your page is created it will be posted to your profile wall. All your friends will be able to see it. If, for example, your profile is very political and leans way over there, but your fan page leans all the way in the other direction, then you might not want to do check that box. 😉
    3. Ditto if you “like” this page. The “like” will be displayed on your profile, though “likes” aren’t as obvious as posts.
    4. Click “continue”
  6. Next, do you already have a website (blog, squidoo page, whatever) that you want to connect to this page?

    How to Create a Facebook page, step 3

    How to Create a Facebook page, step 3

    1. If you have a site, then insert the URL. It can also be an affiliate link. In this case, I will be inserting this site: http://websites.unixtools.com
    2. Say something catchy in the “About” section. Add your URL there, too, if you like.
  7. So here’s the finished product: How to build your own website, on Facebook.

Now, there are clearly some things to do, such as adding content, maybe adding an app or two. Photos are always nice.

When I get 25 likes then I can get a custom URL, something like

  • http://www.FaceBook.com/BuildYourOwnWebsite,
  • instead of http://www.facebook.com/pages/How-to-Build-Your-Own-Website/286042368090987.

These likes can come from any number of places. If you have a big friends list, and those friends generally like you, you can probably get all 25 by posting something to your profile.

One easy way is to go to fiverr and buy a bunch of likes. The goal here is to get the custom URL, so untargeted likes are Ok. Besides a page with 250 some odd like looks a lot better than one with 3, right? (Here’s one of mine, 300 likes for $5 ain’t bad!)

A later project will be to put an Opt-in App on the page. People will see a custom landing page and in exchange for “liking” the page, and/or providing an email, then they’ll get some kind of goodie. The app automates the email collections and goodies delivery, and is easier on people than going through the traditional process:  OptIn  form > provide email > get confirm email > click link to confirm > land on boring page that goes nowhere > get goodie in email.

Besides, OptIn Apps can be viral -people can pass around your page/app in a way that they could never do (and would never do) with a standard opt-in form.

The next step is to get traffic to that page in order to build more targeted likes and/or the list.

 

 Posted by at 7:01 am
May 262011
 

Ya know, it’s hard to find a “how to make a blogger blog” video on YouTube. I figure there have to be about a million of them, but for some reason other stuff floated to the top.

Creating a blogger.com blog is really pretty easy. It’s owned by Google and so you will need to have a google (gmail) account to get started, but if you don’t have one you can create one from the Blogger signup page.

Basically:

  • Go to blogger.com
  • Sign-in with your google/gmail account. If you don’t have one you will be given the chance to create one.
  • Fill in the blanks and hit submit and, if someone hasn’t already taken your names, you’ll be good to go.

This is a good video of the process. The narrator talks a bit fast, and zips through things, but covers a lot and covers it pretty clearly. She also covers how to customize your new blog. You can see my WoW blog, as an example.

Blogger has some advantages over WordPress.com. It’s more customizable and you can more easily add advertising, adsense, and so on. It also comes with a much larger number of widgets to play with. All in all, Blogger.com is a pretty nice way to put up a free, nice looking site.

Feb 222011
 

From time to time we need to pick up our sites and move to a new web host. There are several things that can go seriously wrong when you move to a new web hosting provider and here are some tips on how to fix a couple of those. Some of the issue that you encounter with the old host may involve:

  • There is some kind of problem with the site that the customer service can’t deal with, such as email issues.
  • The company has moved/changes/sold out and the new situation is inferior to the old one.
  • You’ve outgrown the old service
  • The old host decided to kick you off, for whatever reason
  • and so on.

Setting up a New Server

Setting up the new server correctly will easily solve most of these problems. First, set up the new server with your new hosting service and your existing main domain name details (but do NOT change the DNS settings – yet). You will still be able to access everything on the new host by IP, by using something like YourNewIpAddress/~YourAccountName, or by their domain, possibly like this: NewHost’sName/~YourName. They will be able to inform you of the exact access address.

Upload a copy of your site to the new host and make sure you can access it using that address. Once the new server is set up have your site uploaded, you can then park a different domain name at that server. For example, most servers with cPanel allow you to easily park one – or more – domains on top of an existing one (they’re usually called “addon domains”.) If you don’t happen to have a spare/unused domain name you can use, it won’t cost much to register a new domain just for this purpose.

Once you have the new domain registered, the one you will be parking at the new host, make sure that the DNS information for the domain at your domain name registry points to the new server. Once you can see your new web site under the new domain name, test it completely,  to make sure all the interactive routines – i.e. search routines, contact forms, forums, pages, etc., work as they should.

Once you are 100% certain that it works properly, and you’ve got your email sorted out (see next bit) then you can get ready to have the DNS for your main domain name changed to point to the new server. BIG TIP: Make a small change to the NEW home page so you can easily tell which site (old or new) you are looking at in your web browser. When you can see the change, it means your DNS has been updated.

How Not to Lose Any Email

Once you have changed your main domain name to the new host a problem is that it can take some time for that change to go through – up to 72 hours or longer for it to propagate across the whole Internet. During that time, some of your customers will be seeing the OLD version of your site, and if they send you email, it can be delivered to the OLD server, and you might not be able to check it because your ISP has updated the DNS and you can only see the new server.

This is easily fixed: at the old server, which you can still access using the IP address methode (shown above,) simply set up a forwarding (or redirection) for each of your emails that will send all of your your mail to your existing ISP email account, or perhaps even a new gmail type address. Once your domain name is fully transfered to the new host your email should be reliably arriving at the new domain.

If you don’t use your domain name for your email, because your already use gmail (or whatever) anyway, then you won’t need to change anything. If you do use your domain for email then you can set up Outlook (or whichever email program you use) to pick up emails from your gmail account in addition to your domain account. If the access information to the email account on the new server are the same as on the old server then you shouldn’t need to do anything with your email settings.

Between your regular email accounts and the gmail “inbetween” account you should have access to all of your email.If your new host uses different access codes for their email system (which will be the case if the old and new hosts have different types of control panels or operating systems) then you will need to update your email reader appropriately.

While the DNS System is Updating

If everything’s been set up correctly, then while the DNS is updating, several things will happen:

  • Any email being sent to the old server will be redirected to your ISP email address or gmail.
  • Any email that’s sent to the NEW server is ALSO being redirected to your ISP address, so you won’t lose any email during this period.
  • Your email client should keep checking the old server until the DNS change goes through. When that happens, it will most likely display an “unable to connect” error message, if the access codes are different, or it will seemlessly make the transition if they are the same.
  • Now, check to make sure you can see your new server in your web browser under your old domain name.
  • If you haven’t already, then change your email settings in Outlook to the new server settings and check that it works for both sending and receiving.
  • Now remove the redirections from the old and new servers, but keep the gmail account, just in case.

Finally, in about another week or so, contact your old hosting provider and close your account. It’s an important step, but so many people forget to do it, until they get re-billed for another month (and lots of luck trying to get a refund.)

 Posted by at 1:18 pm
Dec 192008
 

This article is by by Jon Norwood

Web hosting can be confusing for people just starting a new site for the first time, and even the pros need to read up now and again. Here we will discuss the basics of web hosting, as well as what to look for when setting up an account.

Web Hosting Basics

A web host has the server in which your website’s files, pages, and various documents are stored. When your site has a visitor, all data the visitor sees is being pulled from your web host. This means if your web host’s server is down, no data is being served.

The speed of the server may also be important depending on what is being hosted. If it’s a personal site that is for entertainment purposes only, then a slow server might not be so bad, but this could greatly impact a business.

The first decision to be made is what type of server to use. While this may look confusing while shopping around, there is really only two choices to make; Windows Web Hosting or Linux.

Linux is almost always the less expensive choice due to licensing and operational costs that inflate the price of Windows servers. Many times Linux servers also have the very popular Cpanel installed making server administration easy. Linux also makes the use of MYSQL database and PHP possible. For these reasons Linux tends to be the more popular choice.

Windows hosting allows users to take advantage of several technologies Linux cannot. These include Active Server Pages (ASP), COM development technology, and the growing .NET infrastructure. Although fewer users require these technologies, if they are needed there is no way around it; you need a Windows host. Although Cpanel is not available for a Windows host, comparable interfaces are available for administration purposes.

Of course price is always a concern, but it should probably not be the first. A solid web host can be found for between $7 and 25$ USD (per month.) It is possible to pay more, or even get free web hosting, but this is the range that someone who wants good service will shop in. Other than price, the following items should be considered:

1. Web Stats – Being able to track numbers like how many visitors you have, where they are coming from and where they are going can be very important. For a business it might be very important. Be certain this information is available (many times it’s free).

2. Web Storage – Make sure the host you choose is providing enough space to contain your site. Most often this isn’t an issue at all, but if large music or movie files need to be uploaded a user can run out of space.

3. Tech Support – For new and experienced users, eventually everyone will need tech support. Not surprisingly the more a web host costs, the more support is offered. 24 hour email support is standard, but a newer user might feel more comfortable with actually speaking with a technician.

About the Author

Jon Norwood is founder and managing partner of AccessHosts, a site dedicated to providing information on Windows Hosting, as well as guides on how to best choose a service.

Dec 192008
 

Web hosting goes by several names:  Hosting, domain hosting, webhosting, web site hosting, web domain hosting, and probably others.  They are all the same thing. What you are doing here is renting space on a Hosting Service’s computer(s,) and that space is where your site will live. You then upload your files to that site, or create them with a utility like Fantastico, and you’re good to go.

There are thousands of web hosts these days. Some tiny, some in the garage (or bedroom,) some pretty big (GoDaddy ,LiquidWeb, etc.) Some actually rent servers and or space from bigger companies and resell it, others have their own hardware.

They all have hosting packages that contain various features, usually ranging from a an inexpensive starter packages to expensive dedicated servers. Which one you pick will depend on your needs, but the starter package is a good first stop for most people. Skip the expensive packages for now, you can always move up later.

Ordering is really pretty simple, but let me cover a couple of definitions first:

  • Domain Names: The name of your site. Most hosting services will let you register a domain name when you sign up for their service, which is convenient. I prefer to use a third party which leaves me in control of the domain name. Can’t think of name for your site? Here are some tips on creating a domain name.
  • Web space: This is the amount of space on their computers that you can use for your stuff. While 100 megs will cover all the web pages you’re ever likely to put up there are other things that use that space. The two biggies are email and your web statistics logs. Unless you’re running some massive picture gallery or a site with a zillion pages you won’t have huge space requirements. 500 megs of space will cover everything you will do for awhile. Disk space on srvers grows cheaper year by year, so the amount of available space will keep increasing.
  • Bandwidth: This is a measure of how much data/stuff your server can send over a month and is usually measured in gigabtes. Every page or image on your site takes a certain amount of space. Someone comes to your site and looks at four pages. You’ve served them four pages of data. If each page is 100 kilobytes in size then you’ve served 400 kilobytes of data. 10,000 megs (10 gigs) of bandwith is a minimum, but if you start getting lots of traffic you’ll want to upgrade. We have three sites that greatly exceed the 10 gigs mark.
  • Cpanel: Cpanel is the interface that you use to manage your site. There are a lot of different user interfaces out there, but Cpanel is pretty common and we like it a lot.
  • Fantastico: is a nifty little device. It will let you install software (scripts,) such as a WordPress blog, into your webspace with a couple of clicks. It can save a lot of work. I believe it only comes with cpanel setups, other systems might have something similar. Anyone care to comment on that?
  • Shared Hosting: this is hosting where several accounts share one computer/server and all of its total resources. This is perfectly fine for most websites. Big sites with a lot of traffic will want to move up to a ….
  • Dedicated Server: This baby is all yours. One account, one computer, and the hosting company handles all the hardware issues. A dedicated server costs a lot more and is far beyond what most sites need. Build that big site that gets lots of traffic and you might want one, though.
  • Cloud Server: Computing services are spread over many machine, the “cloud.” Resources are shared transparently. The sweet thing about this is that is you have a busy site with predictable spikes in traffic then you can upgrade your server on demand and then resize it back down when the spike is over. Resources can be shifted on the fly which means that changes are quick and easy. Doing a massive upgrade to your site? Need a new server? You can do it in a couple of minutes, instead of hours. Pretty slick. Not for the new guy, but if you’re going to be the next Engadget, you might want to think about it. This little site is on Storm’s cloud server, not because I gets that much traffic here, but because my other site does.

There are other alternatives, depending on the host. A Virtual Private Server is one. It’s a cross between shared and dedicated. Meaning that you get more control and more resources, but you don’t get the whole machine to yourself.

Ok, Here we go…

Most hosting services will be very similar in how you buy hosting. It’s pretty straightforward and is much like buying anything else off the web.

  1. Figure your your needs and pick a package that works for you. Usually the starter shared hosting package will be fine, and you can usually get it for a few bucks a month, but if you need more then go for it. If it’s me, I want…
    1. Real customer service that isn’t outsourced to India (nothing against india, but their people aren’t located in the server room. :) )
    2. A cpanel interface for the flexibility and because that’s what I’m used to.
    3. Fantastico comes with most cpanel hosts, make sure yours has it. This gadget makes installing blogs, forums, and a lot of other stuff almost trivial.
    4. At least three databases. You’ll want one for your blog, maybe one for a fourm, another for a link tracking script…
    5. As much bandwidth as I can afford. 10 gigs is a good start, more is better. If you start getting withing shouting distance of the limit they’ll force you to upgrade, so get it now.
    6. Disc space.. 500 megs gives you lots of room for your blogs, logs, misc files, and so on. It’s not as important as bandwidth, but it’s nice if you’re going to be uploading big files, like video.
  2. Look for the section on their site which says, web hosting or shared hosting. You will generally see three or more package choices. Pick the one that fits your needs. There will be a button or link that says “add to cart” or something similar. Click that.
  3. You may hit a page which asks you to create an account. Make sure all the contact info you enter is real and that your email is one you will check on occasion.
  4. Most likely the next page is where you finalize your package choice and enter your payment info. Keep in mind that this will be a monthly payment. You’re renting space on the system, not buying it. If it’s me and it’s a new host (for me) then I want a short term package to make sure that I’ll like their system. If I do then I might sign up for the longer term package, which should be cheaper overall. I’ll be with Storm until they kick me off, their service rules.
  5. Once payment is made the host will get to work setting up your account. Sometimes it’s not instant, but it should be live in a few hours, tops. A cloud server should be up in minutes.

When the account is live you’ll get an email with complete instructions for accessing that account. That’s why you need to give them a real email address. You will need to make a note of:

  • their nameservers
  • the url to get to your cpanel (or other admin section.)
  • their support url or email
  • your username and password
  • any other details you feel you need.

Store that in a safe place.

Most hosting services are pretty similar to the above. Pick your package and order. Some will offer some added bells and whistles and some will give you a free, or greatly discounted, domain name if you order that domain name through their service. I prefer to order my domains elsewhere, then point them at the new host. Use whichever method works best for you. Sites like BlogSuccess will, among many other things, do 100% of your blog set up for you (if you’re a member.) All you do is tell them your domain name, fill out a short form, follow any instructions, and you’re good.

Dec 192008
 

In the wild and wooly days of the early internet people would occasionally find their domain names in the “hands” of another owner. The process is called hijacking and is as illegal as any other form of theft. The problem is that it was (and is) very hard to prove.

These days registrars take a few more precautions and have greatly updated security. If your domain lands in someone else’s hands today it’s likely because the domain expired and you just lost the rights to it. Make sure you keep your registration up to date and that won’t be a problem.

Still, hijacking is, in theory, possible and the following article goes into the problem and the solution in more detail.

The following article is by Subhash Kumar

Domain hijacking is the process by which internet domains are basically stolen. Many people confuse domain hijacking with the “reuse” of an expired domain. One is a legal process and one is not. Domain hijacking is theft, reuse of an expired domain is “opportunity usage”.

Domain theft is an aggressive form of that usually involves an illegal act. In most cases, identity theft is used to trick the domain registrar into allowing the hijacker to change the registration information to steal control of an unexpired domain from the legitimate owner.

In domain hijacking, or domain slamming, for some reason, you can’t get into your own domain, you’re not receiving email from that domain, and you discover that it’s now registered to someone else. Needless to say, to a small online business this can be devastating.

It could happen for a number of reasons. Maybe you have a particularly valuable domain name that someone wants to sell. In fact, .com domains are supposedly more likely to be stolen than any others. It’s also possible, though unlikely, that whoever stole your domain did it as an attack on your business or you personally.

This is also done by sending a forged fax to the domain registrar, impersonating you (the registrant.) Other attacks are more subtle: the email that tells you your domain name is about to expire, and that you need to renew. Are you sure that email is actually from your registrar? That last form of attack is called domain slamming, after a similar and now illegal practice formerly engaged in by certain phone companies, which switched user’s long distance phone companies without their knowledge or consent.

Domains can also be hijacked when registrars don’t follow all the procedures. The gaining registrar (to whom the domain is transferred) is supposed to get the approval of the domain name registrant or administrative contact before going forward with the transfer.

Likewise, the losing registrar (from whom the domain is being transferred) is supposed to notify the registrant of the transfer during the five-day grace period before the transfer is completed. Either way, that’s YOU if it’s your business. You can deny approval of the transfer, but only if you know about it.

Protection from Domain Hijacking

All it takes is one easy step to protect yourself from potentially losing your domain name in this manner. You can place a ‘lock ‘ on your domain name. Your domain name registrar should allow you to lock your domain name either by phone, fax, email, or online domain manager using your login and password . Your domain registrar will let you know which method they require. Once a lock is placed on your domain name, a transfer of registrar cannot be completed unless the lock is removed by you.

To check if your domain is locked or not, visit www.NetSol.com, click on the ‘Who-Is’ section of the site, then enter your domain name. Scroll down below the registration information and look for the section that says, ‘Lock Status’. If this says, ‘REGISTRAR-LOCK ‘ then your name is protected. If this says, ‘ACTIVE’ then your domain name is not locked and your domain name is not protected.

Most, if not all, registrars provide domain locking functionality. They may or may not charge for it and they may or may not activate it by default. Make sure that you verify for yourself that all your domains are locked.

End of Mr. Kumar’s article.

Losing your domain to a hijacker is, at best, annoying. At worst it can kill your business, or at least one of the sites connected to that biz.

A far more likely problem than theft is if you let your domain expire. You might face similar problems as it the name were hijacked, but at least it’s not an theft issue. Heck, even Microsoft has been known to forget to renew their various domains (check this out.)

So keep your domain contact info current, keep it locked (at least until you sell it,) and make sure the email address you have with your registrar is current. If they can’t contact you when your renewal is due, well, someone else will have your name.

Dec 172008
 

Ok, you’ve bought your domain name and you’ve bought your hosting and now you have to connect the two into a happy union. How you do this depends on exactly what you want to do.

  1. If you bought your domain name at a 3rd party registrar, meaning you didn’t buy it from the hosting company, and you want to point that name to the host. Or…
  2. You actually want to transfer the domain from whichever registrar you happen to have to your hosting service. The hosting service then becomes the new registrar of the domain.

Pointing the Way

I’m going to assume that you want to connect your domain and your web host, but you want to keep your and your host separate. Which I think is a good idea since you get a lot more control over your domain doing it this way.

I’ll cover the other option later.

All web hosts have something called a nameserver. This is the magic that connects your domain to the computer that you’re renting space on. The tech’s will guffaw at this definition of mine, but it works for this discussion.

What you want to do is grab the nameserver domains from your host and enter them into your domain name administration panel. The nameservers probably came in the email that you received when you signed up for your new hosting service. They look something like this:

  • ns1.YourHostingService.com and
  • ns2.YourHostingService.com.

If they aren’t in the emails or you can’t find them in your host’s documentation then contact customer service.

Ok, You’ve Got Your Nameservers

Log into your domain administration account and look for a button or link that says something like: edit nameservers, change nameservers, assign nameservers, etc. If your registrar is GoDaddy then you log in and look for the tiny Manage Domains link, on the left side, under the My Products bar.

  • Click that link and you’ll hit the page with a list of your domain name(s.)
  • Click the domain name you want to point to your new host.
  • You’ll hit a page with all kinds of domain details. There’s a line of icons above that. Click the one that says Nameservers.
  • Enter the first nameserver name, for example: ns1.YourHostingService.com, into the first box. Enter the other, eg: ns2.YourHostingService.com, into the second box. I suggest using the ol’ copy and paste method. Fewer typos that way.
  • Hit the OK button (down and to the right.)
  • Give it a minute or three to think about it.
  • You will get the “finished” screen and you’re done.

Other registrars will be similar. Log in, find the place to modify your domains, then hit the link to edit/change nameservers. Plug in the new names, hit ok, and you’re done.

Note: Your domain will not connect to your new site immediately. It will take a few hours to a day or two for your new domain to properly resolve to your site. All registrars are pretty much the same in this. It just has to do with the way the internet works. Give it time, it’ll hook up, and you’re good.

You Want to Transfer Your Domain Name?

Why would you want to do that? If you’re not selling that domain name? The only advantage to having your domain registered with the same place that hosts your site is that you may get the domain for free as part of your hosting package and you won’t have to deal with nameservers.

If you have to fire your host then you may find that a third party registrar was a good idea after all, but here we go with the transfer:

The Process of Transferring

Transferring a name from Registrar A to Registrar B is not the same thing as pointing it to your host. When you transfer the name to another registrar you’re transfering the actual listing of the name from A to B.

You’re doing the same thing if you sell the name, it’s just that you have to coordinate money and registrar with the buyer.

So here’s what you need to do:

Log into the admin panel of the registrar listing your domain and unlock that domain. Domains are locked to prevent transfers. In the past scammers could hijack domains and locking prevents this. So you’re going to need to unlock it.

At the new registrar find the link that says Transfer Domain.

Enter the name of the domain that you wish to transfer and take careful note of any instructions on the page. You must have access to the email address that you used when you first registered the domain.

The transfer isn’t free. You will be paying for at least a year with your new registrar.

The transfer isn’t fast. It will take around 7 days to complete.

Once you’ve requested the transfer and paid your money you will get emails from both the new registrar and the old. Each one will want you to verify the transfer. Read those emails very carefully because they will contain instructions to on how to deny the transfer, as well as to approve it. YOU want to make sure you’re giving them the right instruction.

If you replied yes to the emails you might receive another email, from one or both registrars, acknowledging and verifying that the transfer will take place.

Then you wait a few days and the name will settle nicely into it’s new home.

Buying and Selling Domains

The process of buying and selling doman names is similar. The domain has to be unlocked and both the old and new registrars with send their emails requesting approval.

The buyer will, depending on the negotiations, pay the transfer fees.

Of course, there are a few potential pitfalls here. You might want to look into an escrow service to facilitate the transfer of both the name and the payment. AfterNic.com is one such service.

Do you want to play the buy/sell domain name game? Smart players make some pretty good money doing just this, but there are pitfalls. A good start might be to check out the domain appraisals at GoDaddy.com for any domains that you might have or want to buy. Start by looking for names that are easy to say out loud and that aren’t trademarked. A lack of numbers and hyphens is also good. GoDaddy.com, for example, hits nicely on all but the trademarked part. 😉

Good luck!

Summing Up

Once all the “paperwork” is done the domain name officially transfers to the new registrar and that part is done. If the new registrar is your hosting company then you are probably all done, if it’s not then you still need to set your nameservers.

Then you’re done.

Dec 172008
 

It time to actually buy your domain name. It’s really pretty easy, the hardest thing being to say no to all the addons that you might see.

Here’s how to go through it with GoDaddy, but most registrars will be similar, and frequently a lot simpler (fewer addons.) GoDaddy is the big name in the park, so that’s why I’m using them.

Buying and Registering

Buying and registering a domain name are exactly the same thing. Acutally registering is a better term since you’re not buying it as such. It’s more like you’re leasing it.

What’s this? You don’t have permanent ownership of your new domain name. When you go to a domain name registrar and “buy” your new domain name you’ll notice a part of the form that asks you how many years you want it for, usually it’s for 1 to 10 years.

After that time is up the domain name expires and you have a choice: you can either renew the name (and pay for another 1 to 10 years) or let it go.

This allows domains to go back into the pool when the owner is done with them which allows us to get a shot at them. Many of them are junk, but there are some pretty good names out there that expire and go up for grabs.

So anyway, if you’ve made up your list of 10 domains (see: how to create your domain name) hop on over to a domain name registrar and check on their availability.

I’ll use www.GoDaddy.com, because it’s pretty popular, but there are a lot of registrars out there. Do a google search for domain name registrar or register domain name and you’ll find them.

Note: the GoDaddy procedure is more complicated than most other registrars. They offer a lot of goodies along with just the name. If you don’t want them then just keep clicking to the next page. Eventually you’ll hit the checkout page.

Is Your Domain Name Available?

Ok, so you’re at Godaddy.com. You’ll see a box at the very top of the page and another in the middle. Each box is labeled Domain Name Search. Just type in one of your prospective domains and hit the “Go” button. Note that you are not limited to .com names. You can pick from a whole list of domain name extensions.

In just a moment GoDaddy will let you know whether or not someone else has taken the name (how dare they!) I’ll use the 43dogs.com name, which I mentioned on the creating domains post. As of this writing the name is available. I can’t guarantee that it’ll still be there when you read this.

GoDaddy will also offer some alternative names. Check them over, you might see something you like. Here are some that came up for 43dogs.com, with GoDaddy’s prices.

  • 43DOGS.INFO for 99 cents,
  • 43DOGS.BIZ Just $14.99*/yr,
  • 43DOGS.US Just $12.99/yr,
  • DogsPets.com $1,900.00 (this is a premium name, hence the price)
  • YOUR43DOGS.COM $9.99*/yr,
  • EASY43DOGS.COM $9.99*/yr,
  • 43DOGSLIVE.COM $9.99*/yr

Generally premium names were bought by someone else, probably not GoDaddy, and are being resold at a premium price. Some people make quite a nice living at that game, others lose their shorts.

Ok, so let’s say you’ve checked your domain and it’s available. Give the page a quick look over and make sure that only the domains you want are checked. It’s easy to sign up for 13 variations of your name, so make sure you’re only getting what you want.

If you’re done then find the button that says something like Proceed to Checkout, or Buy Your Domain Now. For GoDaddy there is a big orange button at the bottom of the checklist which says, Proceed to Checkout.

Do You Want Fries With That Domain Name?

The next page depends on the registrar. GoDaddy will probably offer up a great deal on additional, related, names. If you don’t want them, hit the “No thanks. Continue to checkout…” link that’s under the big green YES! button. Otherwise hit that YES! button and the other names will be added to your order.

Other registrars may or may not have that upsell, but the general process will be similar. Add the name to whatever shopping cart system they have and proceed to the next page.

So I’ll hit “no thanks” on the GoDaddy page and continue. On most registrars you’ll now hit a page which asks for your contact info.

Name and Address Please

Email note: When filling out the forms use an email address that you will still have when the domain name expires. This email is used if the registrar needs to contact you for any reason, such as to tell you that your name needs to be renewed. Don’t use your primary personal email for this, don’t use a free email account (such as HotMail,) do use one that you’re going to keep.

After entering your contact info you’ll hit the continue/next button. In GoDaddy’s case they’ll suggest various services to help protect your new domain name(s.) Others registrars may, or may not, do this.

Double check to make sure that only the services you want, if any, are checked. There are two more buttons right above the big orange continue button.

  • Customize my order.
  • No thanks. I’m ready to checkout.

Pick the first one if you want the extras, pick the second if you don’t. Then hit that continue button.

Would You Like to Supersize Your Order?

With most registrars you’ll have hit the enter your payment info page. GoDaddy will offer you various hosting, email, and ecommerce plans. Skip all of them and go to the bottom of the page and hit the “No thanks. Continue to checkout…” link that’s under the continue button.

Double Checking, Make Sure It’s Right

You’re now at the check your order page. Make sure that everything is cool, that you understand what you’re paying for, and how much you’re paying. Verify that only the correct boxes and buttons are clicked. Make sure the two boxes in step 3 are checked (verifying that you read a couple of really long legal documents.)

Did you read them? I didn’t. Might be a good idea to do so at some point.

Finally you’re at the enter your payment info page.

  • Make sure all the contact info is accurate
  • Make sure the total price is correct
  • Enter your credit card info and double check it. GoDaddy, like the other registrars, uses a secure payment processing system. Your card info is safer being entered here than it is being given to a waitress at a restaurant. Much safer.

Hit the checkout now button. Your card will be processed and you’ll have the rights to your new domain name. Keep all the emails that GoDaddy (or the other registrars) send to you. They’ll contain your receipt, account info, etc. I use a special folder in my email program for those emails.

About That Account…

Account info?

Yes. Once you have your domain you’ll have an account (with GoDaddy or whoever.) This account is where you’ll log in to administer your domain name(s.) This is where you’ll go when you want to point your domain name to your new host. Keep your login info (it will be in one of those emails) in a safe place.