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What small business need to know about domains, dns and domain parking

This is a complicated area, so I’ll take it step by step. There is 3 main steps :

Purchase Domain -> DNS delegation -> web hosting -> email

Purchase Domain

You should purchase a domain from somewhere reputable, and make sure you own the domain yourself. Some less reputable suppliers will buy the domain, allow your web hosting, but  they retain ownership.

I recommend crazydomains. They have reasonable prices, and do a good job of domain selling, and DNS delegation. When you buy your domain SKIP all the addon’s they offer. They are not needed, and some are a bit of a scam.

DNS delegation

DNS delegation is used to point your domain to who you want to do the DNS hosting, you have a few choices:

  1. use the domain registrar (crazydomains in our example), this is free
  2. delegate to cloudflare, these guys are doing the best DNS hosting on the planet IMHO, and its free. Cloudflare offer some security and performance enhancements for your website
  3. or delegate to your webhosting company. This is probably the least reliable, but it offers the most flexibility, and it’s also free

Web hosting

This is the supplier that will host your website. There are a LOT of choices, here is my write up about choosing WordPress web hosting for small business.

Basically you can choose

  • shared web hosting – this can be purchased directly, or via your web developer
  • VPS/dedicated hosting – this is only for corporates, or if you have a lot of domains, like 50+
  • specialist WordPress web hosting (like http://wpdone.com.au) – again can be purchased directly, or via your web developer

Email

With every domain you get email, like  scott@yournewdomain.com.au. Again, a few choices

  • By default the email heads to your web server. You can keep email on your web server, but it uses your usage. And web hosting companies aren’t super good at email.
  • You can use gmail for your domain email. This is a great idea if you have a few staff. You’ll need to follow instructions from gmail. It’s USD$5/month/user – which is good value.
  • You can also forward your email to your free gmail account. This can be done with an email forwarder from your webhosting, or from telling gmail to poll your POP3 email. Unless you’re good at all this, it’s a lot of mucking around – although you do save your fees to gmail, but you don’t get any support on it.

Domain Parking

If you aren’t ready to use your domain, domain parking is an option to avoid web hosting fees whilst you build your website.

Ask your web hosting company how to organise domain parking.

By on February 9th, 2016

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