Author Topic: Domain name?  (Read 907 times)

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Offline JennaWren

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Domain name?
« on: January 24, 2013, 08:25 AM »
Having the free blog at wordpress as my only website, this is an area I'm totally clueless about, so I turn to you!

DH and I both own domain names through a particular hosting site. We purchased them a couple of years ago, and I built him a very limited website for a local political campaign -- and was very frustrated by the hosting site, as spoiled as I am by the ease of wordpress. It's re-election time and I've encouraged him to perhaps use wp instead if he intends me to do the work again. We know we can keep paying for the domain names through the host site without having a website of our own through them, but I'm curious about alternatives. I don't think either of our names would be immediately snatched up should we cancel with host A to move elsewhere, so really, I'm trying to compare pricing.

Right now we pay $10.99 per year for each of our domain names. How does that compare to what you pay? Who's cheaper?

Again, I'm clueless. So very much appreciate any help you can give me!
 :thankyou

Offline dewsanddamps

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Re: Domain name?
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2013, 08:38 AM »
I know very, very little about this, but I did learn that there are people who check what domain names have been searched, and then buy them up. They figure--probably correctly--that someone who's searching is about to buy. They get your domain name, and instead of paying $25, you may need to fork over $300. So I guess I wouldn't let your domain name lapse with the assumption that no one would take it.

Doesn't matter for me, anyway--my name is Kathleen Kennedy, and all related domain names are taken, or cost 1K.
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Offline JennaWren

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Re: Domain name?
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2013, 08:40 AM »
Wow, really?  :faint That's very good to know....thanks!

Offline 217mom

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Re: Domain name?
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2013, 09:16 AM »
I know even less than you, JennaWren, as I didn't even build a site. DD did mine on what I think may be the same tools you used for your husband's, and kept saying it was "bad" to work with. However, she was twelve at the time.
I have been able (with some super frustrating moments) to manage/update it myself. I should say that if we are talking about the same site builder, (connected to a large domain name registrar,) it has been *much* improved to manage for those of us who are not versed in html of are tech-savvy. The tools are better now than they were even a year ago. But obviously, they are not WP. What you get is something less easily hacked or compromised, at least from what my techie DH tells me.
The cost is negligible unless you use a professional web designer. (I know all the reasons posted on these boards for a more polished look, but personally I have never bought them, nor see the justification. When I look at other less polished author sites, I actually prefer these. It would be different if rather than selling your writer self, you were selling yourself as a designer, web or not.)

I have heard the same about what dresamddamps said, regarding domain names. I don't know it for a fact, but I’ve heard this.

I hope someone who is in the know chimes in. Hopefully, not someone who is  selling their services as a designer.
 :goodluck
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Offline JennaWren

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Re: Domain name?
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2013, 09:27 AM »
Thanks, Mirka! His site is actually very simple and just for this particular purpose, which means he doesn't really need a professional to make him look uber-fancy. Layout-wise, it would be easy-peasy for me to do in WP, but for some reason, super hard on that site.

So, perhaps keeping the domain name with them and just using WP to host is the best thing?


Offline Anthony

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Re: Domain name?
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2013, 09:39 AM »
Absolutely do not let the domain names expire. It's probably unlikely they would be snatched up by someone else, but it's definitely possible, and would be a huge pain if it happened.

But that doesn't mean you have to stick with the same company. If you find someone else you want to use, you can sign up with the new company and then transfer the domain registration over to them. That way there's no lapse in the ownership of the domain. (Also, keep in mind that you don't always have to host your website at the same place you have the domain registered. For instance, my domains are registered at Dreamhost, but the websites themselves are actually hosted at MediaTemple. But that might be making things more complicated than you need. :) )

Also, $10 per year is a pretty standard price for a domain registration. That's what I pay for mine.

Offline JennaWren

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Re: Domain name?
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2013, 09:58 AM »
Ah! I had no idea that you could transfer domain name registration from one company to another.

I think the bottom line is that I want to just use WP, because I'm comfortable with it. The question is whether or not to keep the domain name registered with current host or not -- but, I guess I could just transfer it to WP? Or not, especially if price-wise, what I pay is standard, and if it's fine to use WP but keep the domain name registration elsewhere.

I love all you techies! I need all the help I can get!


Offline Anthony

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Re: Domain name?
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2013, 10:35 AM »
Hmm... it looks like wordpress.com will let you register a new domain with them, but will not let you transfer a domain to them:

http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/transfer-domain-to-wordpress-ordering-of-events

So it looks like your easiest option would be to keep your domain registered where it is, but map it (point it towards) your wordpress.com blog. Here's a page telling you how to do that:

http://en.support.wordpress.com/domains/map-existing-domain/

So, your domain name would stay registered at the existing company, but whenever someone visited that address, they would get your current wordpress blog.

The only potential downside is that the wordpress domain mapping is a paid upgrade - it's $13 per year. So you would be paying your $10.99 to the domain registrar company and $13 to wordpress for pointing the domain at them.

$13 per year isn't very much money if you're considering this a business expense for your web presence, IMO.

The other (more dicey) option would be to let the domain expire, then register it as a new domain with wordpress. They charge $18 per year for the domain registration and hosting in that case. So, you'd save a few bucks, but risk losing the domain if someone scooped it up when it lapsed.

Offline JennaWren

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Re: Domain name?
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2013, 11:30 AM »
Thanks, Anthony! DH and I will do some discussing about which makes the most sense.  :thankyou

Offline Shannywriter

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Re: Domain name?
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2013, 06:39 PM »
I'm so glad you posted this, Jenna! I am in need of a website and I have a WordPress blog. When I set it up last year it offered to put my name into a  .com for a small yearly fee (I can't remember) I didn't and now for some reason its unavailable! Yet when I try the address it comes up with nothing. Grrr... Now its only offering a .me address with my name. I'm so annoyed.  :ranting:
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Offline Shannywriter

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Re: Domain name?
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2013, 06:45 PM »
Jenna or anyone familiar with WP, do you know how to turn it into a website where your blog is not the first thing people see? Just asking because I've been told this week I need a real website and not just the blog. Right now I have pages set up, but it goes right to the blog. Ok, any info is awesome.
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Offline Jeff Carney

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Re: Domain name?
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2013, 06:10 AM »
I'm a bit of a geek and a control freak as well, so my model is not for everyone. Anyway, my web site is a conventional website, and I installed all the WP software in a directory that I control. That is, the blog lives on my site, not the WP site.
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Offline Bobi Martin

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Re: Domain name?
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2013, 10:53 PM »
If it's any help, for comparison of prices at least, the Author's Guild charges $18 per year to register/maintain domain names. So $11 or $13 sounds pretty economical. If you can, you might want to purchase your domain name in a .com, a .net and a .org  so that someone doesn't come along to try to scoop away some of your husband's business with a look-alike name.
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Offline Jerry

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Re: Domain name?
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2013, 12:51 PM »
Ah! I had no idea that you could transfer domain name registration from one company to another.

Not only can you transfer a domain name from one registrar to another, it is often much cheaper. (They offer you 99¢ domain registration in the hopes that next year you will pay $14.99 to register.)

Also domain registration is decoupled from web hosting. So you can register with whoever and "point" your domains to a different web host. Most registrars allow you to "point" your domain to any url. So you can point MyCoolDomain.com to something.wordpress.com.

Hope that is helpful without being too geeky.

Offline Bobi Martin

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Re: Domain name?
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2013, 06:08 PM »
See, this is why the BBs are so cool. Whatever the question, someone has an answer or an explanation.
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Offline yellow_submarine

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Re: Domain name?
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2013, 08:03 PM »
Jenna or anyone familiar with WP, do you know how to turn it into a website where your blog is not the first thing people see? Just asking because I've been told this week I need a real website and not just the blog. Right now I have pages set up, but it goes right to the blog. Ok, any info is awesome.

When you're looking at your site (not your dashboard), click on "customize." (It's in the drop-down menu from the top bar.)

There should be an option to set a "static front page." Choose the page you want as your homepage.

Hope that helps!  ::-)

Edit to add: Just checked and you can also access the drop-down menu from your dashboard if you'd prefer.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2013, 08:09 PM by yellow_submarine »
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Offline Betsy

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Re: Domain name?
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2013, 11:34 PM »
I used to have my web page hosted by people who were not too responsible. They forgot to register my domain name and it was snatched up by someone who demanded that I pay him about $1000 to get it back. I insisted that this was the responsibility of the host, as our agreement had been that he would renew it every year. 

At first he resisted paying for it, but eventually he agreed that he was at fault and began negotiating with the party that now owned the name. I wanted him to fight paying that much to someone who was basically blackmailing us, but he wanted to be done with it. He finally negotiated them down to about $800 or so, which he paid. I got the name back, but I learned my lesson:  DON'T EVER LET YOUR DOMAIN NAME EXPIRE!!!
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Offline Abracabarbara

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Re: Domain name?
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2013, 06:07 AM »
"I used to have my web page hosted by people who were not too responsible."

That stinks.

You usually get a reminder that your domain name will expire if the domain company has your email. But if you change your email, they won't know.

A friend of mine does everything for my site... which reminds me I have to have him change my email addy. And do some website revisions.

Don't let your domain name lapse!!
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Offline Jeff Carney

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Re: Domain name?
« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2013, 06:16 AM »
I did not register mine as a dot-com before it was taken. I offered to buy it from the owner, but he wanted crazy money. I declined. He's done nothing with it in 12 years. Nothing.
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Offline annemleone

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Re: Domain name?
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2013, 04:20 PM »
I know some of you might think I'm crazy for saying this, but lately I've been wondering if domain names are anywhere near as important as they used to be. For example, when I want to find Holly Black's website, I google Holly Black. I don't type hollyblack.com (I'm not sure if that even is her site!). Laurie Halse Anderson's website is madwomanintheforest.com, but it's the first site that comes up when I google her. Obviously you don't want your name.com to turn into a porn site, but with the prevalence of search engines, are website addresses that important anymore? Or am I missing something?
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Offline Bobi Martin

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Re: Domain name?
« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2013, 09:29 PM »
For a children's writer, you definitely wouldn't want your domain name to be snapped up and used by a porn site, or anything else that would shock/offend/totally confuse people who are trying to find your books or your site.

Even an unusual spelling of a name isn't enough--there's another Bobi Martin on Facebook, spelled exactly the same way. It came up for me once when I thought I was accessing my own FB page (from another computer). Quite a shock!

But perhaps this doesn't fully answer your question. Will be interesting to see how others weigh in on this.
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Offline Betsy

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Re: Domain name?
« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2013, 11:20 PM »
Anne--I've been thinking the same thing. It's not quite as important as it used to be. BUT, if you have a presence on the web and your domain name is everywhere, then it's a real inconvenience to have to change it.
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Offline macdibble

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Re: Domain name?
« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2013, 11:51 PM »
I sell domain names and I can't match those prices.

I just run a conventional website and fiddle with the XHTML... I know, so old school. You know I even just manipulate the code?

There are so many beautiful XHTML sites where you can download the code for free. I don't even bother building them from the ground up anymore. And I can manipulate all the meta tags so that any search engine finds my site on the front page. I must be the easiest to find person in the world!  :grin3

I find Wordpress are just too bossy.

Offline JennaWren

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Re: Domain name?
« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2013, 05:23 AM »
Guys, this has been an amazingly helpful thread (even if I am still a little clueless about Mac's comments about XHTML and all that, which is why I like wordpress, lol). I think the easiest thing to do will be to keep the host where it is, then just have the site redirect it to wordpress.

Now, I just have to figure out how to do that! I haven't touched his site since '10, when he ran for office. I just peeked at it, and I hate the look of it. I did back then, but now it's even worse. So hopefully I can make it more sparkly now. Or, at least better! (I mean, this is just for a local political campaign....)

Thank you all so much for the discussion, feedback and advice!  :flowers2

Offline macdibble

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Re: Domain name?
« Reply #24 on: February 06, 2013, 05:31 PM »
You have two separate services. You have purchased a domain name, and you have purchased website hosting. If you get Wordpress to host you might not need to keep your website hosting. Or you can move Wordpress to your hosting space and have more control as Jeff did.

XHTML is easy... I taught my kids to do HTML when they were 8 and 9. Anyone can learn it and produce a simple site in just a couple of hours. You can make a site by typing code into notepad. People don't realise how simple it is.



Offline Bobi Martin

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Re: Domain name?
« Reply #25 on: February 06, 2013, 08:30 PM »
Ah, but what seems easy to one may be a mountain to another, lol.
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Offline Abracabarbara

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Re: Domain name?
« Reply #26 on: February 07, 2013, 04:41 AM »
"You have two separate services. You have purchased a domain name, and you have purchased website hosting."

Just be careful if your "independent" webmaster purchases the domain name on your behalf.

If he/she drops dead you will have to find someone who knows the password/has permission to re-new your domain. This happened to us at work and it was a headache.
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Offline Bobi Martin

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Re: Domain name?
« Reply #27 on: February 07, 2013, 09:09 PM »
Such a good point, AE!  A reputable organization, such as the Author's Guild, or something similar is a much better way to go.
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