Be the RULER of your domain!

Don’t be held hostage by your website domain! Your domain name is your “address” on the internet. Redcarsoft.com is my domain (or one of them anyway). The “www” is added to them just for convention. A handful of companies have been authorized to manage the administration of these domain names. GoDaddy, Network Solutions and Yahoo are some of the big ones along with countless smaller companies. You or your small business pays these companies solely to let the rest of the world know that you own the rights to whatever your domain name happens to be.

 

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As a matter of convenience to you, the same company MAY also provide hosting services for your website. From your point of view, your hosting service provides you with an empty box on a web server connected to the internet. You will then build a website yourself (or contract out with someone to do it for you) and place the contents (text, pictures, graphics, logos, videos, hyperlinks, etc.) of your website into that empty box. Finally, when anyone enters “your domain name” in their browser, the internet “knows” how to find the contents of your website box and deliver it to that person’s web browser!

Voila! It’s pretty cool! Anyway, the point I am trying to make is that you are totally FREE to shift your website hosting company at any time you see fit! You should always be shopping around for better prices. Now, if you have pre-paid for 5 years (Why???) then you might want to stay with that company even if the service turns crappy or the introductory price has expired. You will have to pay for service at your new provider.

Anyway, I hope this post has been helpful because I detect frustration when I talk with small business owners. Good luck out there!

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What is the REAL cost of that $1 dollar down website?

So I’m at a networking event and a small business owner tells me “Johnny, I’m shocked at how much it costs to have a website! They keep charging my card for all these services! I had no idea it would be so much!” I’m curious now so I tell him my total costs and ask him if I can log into his account to see what the heck is going on! When I do, I become shocked as well! He is being charged for products and services he does not need for his one man business right now. Worse, even though he has prepaid for two years in advance, they are also putting monthly charges on the card as if they have started renewal fees 2 years early! Whoa!

 

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Because he’s great at his business but not an I/T nerd, they had talked him into buying crap he did not need. Privacy protection, SiteLock, Web Forwarding (really!), Premium DNS (I don’t even know what that is!), a Support Plan and finally “Acquisition” were all items being charged to his card. Whenever he would call them, he would just receive doubletalk and be told it was required. In short order, I helped him to move away from that “Big Box” service provider!

There are several lessons to be learned here:

  1.  Keep a constant vigil on your credit card charges. Do question unexpected charges.
  2. Consider making friends with an I/T nerd to help you understand techno-babble!
  3. Consider not pre-paying for more than 2 years tops, 1 year at a time is good enough and allows you to leave without much penalty.
  4. Remember that domain administration and website hosting are two separate services. Even if you have pre-paid for 5 years of domain administration, you are still free to host your website with a completely different provider (and not lose that domain registration). I will write and post an article on just this topic very soon.

I have created a worksheet detailing the prices of the Big Box provider and the provider I use. The worksheet also lists services to avoid paying for until your business becomes very large. Save your money for now! If you reply to my article, I will send you a copy of the worksheet for your review.

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Useful and helpful tips for the “technically challenged” business owner

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I have been attending small business networking events in an effort to start connecting with business owners in the metro Atlanta area. Now all small business owners have heard the advice of being different so that you stand out from the competition. That advice sounds great but carrying out that advice effectively is not the most simple of tasks. However, at a recent business social mixer, one guest speaker mentioned what I thought was a great idea. “Provide free helpful tips to potential customers!”

And so a new blog is born! It will be my intent to provide what I hope are useful and helpful tips concerning “I/T and tech support” topics for the “technically challenged” business owner! With luck, my articles will help to provide added value to the average small business out there.

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