A Breath of Fresh Air
A Merry Heart
A Woman's World
A Word in Season
Acting Up
As I Imitate Christ
Cyber Walk
Faith Seekers
Golden Apples
Heaven Bound
Just Between Men
Take it to Heart
Teen Truth
The Joy of Family
The Parents'
Survival Guide

The Rhythm of Life
The Treehouse
Through Their Eyes
'Tis the Season
We Are the Church
Well Read

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An Insight Into Cyber Real Estate
By Patricia Ouellette

Looking for the right home, in the right location for your family is never an easy task. It is time consuming, often frustrating and more often than not overwhelming.

First you have to find the right Real Estate Agent; then research likely neighborhoods, making sure there are schools, shops and other necessities nearby. Then look at a number of homes within your price range until all the houses start to look the same.

One of the houses would be perfect, so you check out the neighbors to see if there are children close by who could be possible friends for your children. Check out the neighborhood watch group; research the crime rate of the area and local government services. Now this is just the tip of the iceberg.

You put in an offer on the house and banter back and forth until all parties are happy with the price. The agent writes up the contract and adds in all the taxes and sundry expenses involved in purchasing a home and you pay the deposit. Then it is a trip to the bank or finance company to get the mortgage.

Buying a family home can take anything from three weeks to a few months even a year in some cases.

Well I hate to say it, but it is no different when you set out to find a "home" on the Internet. There is still a lot of legwork to do, even if it is from the computer in your living room.

Back in the November Issue of Faith Writers Magazine, in Cyber Walk I wrote an article about building a home in cyber space. This month we are going to take this one step further by getting into some of the intricacies of Cyber Real Estate; setting up your Domain.

Before I start, let me explain as simply as possible some technical terms used in Cyber Real Estate:
  1. DOMAIN – A name of your choice, which is registered and dedicated for the use of you or your organization, e.g. yourdomain.com.
  2. SUB DOMAIN – An unregistered name of your choice, which is a subordinate or child of your host’s domain, e.g. yoursubdomain.hostdomain.com
  3. HOST – Internet Provider (IP). A cyber space landlord, who provides space for your website to be housed.

Registering Your Domain Name

Before you go about registering your domain name you will need to do your research. The first place to start your research is to do a WHOIS search to see if your desired name is free for use. Every registered domain name can technically only be registered to one organization or individual. If you wish to use JesusLives as your name and you do a WHOIS search and find that JesusLives.com or JesusLives.org have already been registered to someone, but JesusLives.net is available, you can register the .net version.

A WHOIS search can be done from any Domain Name Registrar. Some notable Registrars are:

1. Internic
2. Dotster
3. Stargate

Please Note: We are not recommending any organization or Registrar, but just naming a few to assist in your research.

Once you have determined that your desired name is available, your next course of action is to find a Registrar with the right price, the right service and terms. Do a search for "Domain Name Registrar." Read all the information available on their sites before you sign up and always look for traps and hidden costs. If you are unsure, use their contact form and ask them to clarify. Asking question also helps you to determine the type of service they provide. If they are helpful then you can also be certain they will look after you.

One of the hidden costs to be wary of is when they give a yearly price and at the last minute tell you that you have to register for two (2) years. That means you need to pay for two years registration fee as a start up. Most times after the first two years you will only need to be pay a renewal fee annually, however a couple do insist that each time you renew your registration you will have to pay for two years. So do your research, or you could end up paying too much.

When you register you will be required to pay via credit card from a secure site. Some will allow you to pay by check, but this will take a lot longer than the usual time for registration. Be aware that it can take up to 72 hours to have your domain name activated.

It is imperative that you read everything carefully when you go through the registration process and fill out all the required information.

Finding the Right Landlord

This is the most tedious and time consuming part of setting up your Internet home. There are a lot of Web Hosts out there. All of them have many features in their hosting plans.

Again I must stress the importance of doing your homework. I would suggest that if you come across something you do not understand, ask. If there is a technical term you do not understand, look it up. Personally, I would recommend that you use http://www.webopedia.com for all your lookups. They have an extensive technical encyclopedia, which is free to use.

It is very pleasing to see that there are more and more Christian Web Hosting Services becoming available. To find them search for ‘Christian Web Hosts’, you will find a wide range of them.

Be aware that some will have registration facilities for domain names within their services. This is good, but it is better if you do the registering yourself. Some will state they have free domain names, be vigilant with these. Although it is possible they do give this service honestly, it is also possible that they are supplying what I call copycat domains. These are not true domains, meaning they are not registered but are sub-domains made to look like domains. The problem with these is that if you become dissatisfied with their service and wish to change servers or hosts, you can’t use that name. Because they either have not registered it or they registered it in their own name and are leasing it to you while you host with them. This may be a little confusing, so to save any hassles, make sure that you register your own domain name personally.

When searching for a host, you can do a search in a search engine or you can use some web host databases for specific searches. Before you do your searches, have a base price per month that you can afford to pay and use that as a guideline.

Some directories of Web Host to assist you in your search:

1. Web Host Directory
2. Top Host
3. Host Index

Please Note: Once again, we are not recommending any organization or Directory, just naming a few to assist in your research.

Once you have found the hosting service that you are comfortable with joining, sign up using their online order form.

The hosting company will set up your site, ready for you to upload your pages for the public to view. If they have a good service they will send you all the information you require for FTP, Emails, etc in a confirmation email. This can take up to 24 hours to set up, so be patient. Every hosting service should have a FAQ and a Support Service. If you are in doubt at any time, contact them and ask. However, be sure to read everything carefully before doing anything.

One of the biggest problems my husband and I have with our hosting service is clients who have not read the information provided and rush ahead. In many cases, impatience and not reading has caused our clients a lot of frustration and problems.

What I have given here is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. There is a lot more involved in having your own web site, but what you have here is enough to get you started on the right track.

I wish you all well and pray that the Lord will reveal the Landlord and Domain Name of His choosing for you.
Trish Ouellette is a wife and step-mother of seven glorious children and three grand children. Trish and her husband Jim, run a small computer business from home, as well as two large Internet ministries, which keep her busy designing websites, fixing, upgrading and building computers and teaching computer and Internet technology. With every minute of her spare time she explores her talents in writing and art, which is available to view on her personal website Christ Driven Brush & Pen http://christdriven.evangel-list.com.
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