Home – New Forums Tech talk HELP! Newbie needs advice Domain/Internet

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  • #982260
    cbdgal
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    Hi there

    I’m new to this forum and would appreciate some help / advice.
    I’ve just created a website using weebly to create my online clothing store. I have got my ABN number and want a proper http://www.... com.au site and to have a proper email associated with the business name rather than a yahoo one. (Hope I’m making sense).

    I am naive about this hosting stuff that I’m reading about and basically want everything with one company as opposed to registering with say, netregistry and getting a domain with someone else.

    I’m only doing online selling (so obviously not expecting to make huge $$$) but I don’t like the idea of people googling the business name and it doesn’t even bring up the company name immediately because there are others that have paid for, say example a http://www.websitename.com.au and therefore it pops up first in the google search. My site at the moment if you google the name goes through weebly – nothing wrong with Weebly of course, and its not even prominent (understandable b/c I have not yet registered a .com.au domain) but I need people to ‘trust’ the website I want to be able to use.

    I would appreciate any advice. I thought that “Cove” aka VentraIP could be ok but I don’t understand what cPanel hosting etc is and do I pay for those type of services?

    Many thanks
    :)

    #1135863
    Mesa Paradigm
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    Hi there,

    You will be able to get a lot of help from people in the forums, my own business deals with Websites, E-commerce and any other aspect of online presence you can think of including things such as hosting.

    May I ask why you are choosing to use Weebly? A service such as Weebly is able to offer a lot of assistance for a beginner, but if you are serious about your business I would look at a long term solution from the beginning rather than investing time and effort into something that you will not maintain for long.

    You’re welcome to give me a call or send me an email to have a chat if you wish and I would be happy to help. 1300 885 464 or [email protected] are our preferred contact methods (or pm me and I shall give you my mobile).

    Cheers

    #1135864
    Greg_M
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    I’m not a huge fan of Weebly, but I know a business that uses it successfully, including building sites for other businesses.

    They can’t code, but are trained graphic designers, so seems to suit them and their clients … this particular business has a .com.au domain, so there must be an internal process in Weebly for pointing a domain at your site.

    You do not need cPanel, or anything else, apart from registering the domain, and DNS (Domain Name Server) to deliver it across the web.

    Your domain is basically no more than a unique address. Your DNS tells the world where your domain is currently living, no different to a mail redirect at the local post office.

    Once you own the domain, how or where you host a site is irrelevant, as is your email which can be separate again from site hosting. In Weebly’s case the site hosting is part of the package.

    In theory you can have as many unique email addresses associated with the domain as you like … the only restriction will be how much capacity you pay for, often a package, setting an address no. and storage limit.

    Some domain registrars offer DNS hosting as part of the domain listing, others charge for it … you can separate the two, but getting your head around altering DNS records is a pain if you haven’t done it before, so having it with one company is not a bad call.

    I use Godaddy for domains (notice they now do, .com.au) and DNS, everything else they do I’m not so sure about, their shared hosting is rubbish, but I have never had an issue with DNS and you can manage all records in one interface.

    As one of the biggest registrars many other providers (Google comes to mind) have semi automated processes, or thorough “how to’s” on setting DNS records at Godaddy. Pretty handy unless you know someone familiar with the process.

    Another “gotcha” with DNS is that an address needs to “propagate” ie. find it’s way around the internet so other domain name servers recognise it and respond, this can take from under an hour, to several days … more than one person has torn their hair out wondering what they’ve done wrong when their site’s not working, only to find the only missing ingredient was patience.

    Typically my Godaddy domains propagate in well under an hour.

    On the email front there’s a million options, current flavour of the month is Google (you can use your own domain). I was using Google Apps, but find I get better bang for my buck using (surprisingly) Godaddy, 8 email addresses (can be spread across different domains), unlimited storage, IMAP (synced across multiple machines) with Asia Pacific Servers, costs about $60 per year.

    Because they are my DNS provider, set up is a couple of button clicks.

    There may be other equivalent service providers here (and I’m sure someone will promote them), but I’ve always found Australian providers very expensive (or crap) for no real reason I can see, except leveraging off a market that is often naive about what they’re actually offering.

    #1135865
    cbdgal
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    Mesa Paradigm, post: 154695 wrote:
    May I ask why you are choosing to use Weebly? A service such as Weebly is able to offer a lot of assistance for a beginner, but if you are serious about your business I would look at a long term solution from the beginning rather than investing time and effort into something that you will not maintain for long.

    Cheers

    I used Weebly as an interim measure whilst waiting for my ABN to be reactivated – took nearly a month so I wanted something up and running in the short term. It’s a great little site for a small business like mine but now I want to move from that hence me asking the original question :)

    #1135866
    cbdgal
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    estim8, post: 154696 wrote:
    There may be other equivalent service providers here (and I’m sure someone will promote them), but I’ve always found Australian providers very expensive (or crap) for no real reason I can see, except leveraging off a market that is often naive about what they’re actually offering.

    Out of interest, VentraIP have had fantastic reviews on Whirlpool forums and Godaddy have been so – so…. I’m not wanting to go crazy in spending big $$$ especially during start up phase. Want something that’s secure for shopping, shopping cart, SSL certificate, email, own domain and less than 10 domain parking. I know the extra add ons end up costing and hence me getting advice. Appreciate your reply though and have looked up Godaddy – like what they offer but hesitant when reading some of the scathing reviews from Godaddy users who are bagging them and not happy with their service here in Australia etc….

    #1135867
    Mesa Paradigm
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    • Total posts: 26
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    I personally like a company called Web24 for VPS, if your looking at only running a single business and don’t know what CPanel is however I would suggest you stay away from things like that and just go with someone who will do everything for you?

    #1135868
    Brent@Ontrax
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    This will probably make a few people upset at me but for a startup and only looking at small amounts of traffic and very limited funds, why not use CrazyDomains? I have got about 11 client sites using them and they have been for quite a few years now without any problems, they are sites ranging from basic coded HTML pages to WordPress and Joomla Shopper/Booking sites. Sure their support can be hard to get hold of sometimes but I find calling through to their sales or billing department gets you support as well.

    Have a look at their plans, you can do everything you are looking to do, register domain(s), website hosting, email hosting, SSL, databases, DNS delegation etc and they use CPanel, which is a VERY easy to use front end for novice users, even I like using it and I know Linux commands, it’s just easy.

    When the business grows and more website traffic demand is required, then you can easily get a new webhost account with someone better, and just re-locate your site and change the DNS pointers. As far as I’m aware who you host your website with has no impact on Search Engine results.

    You will need to determine what your website and shopper system will be written in/with to determine whether you need a Linux or Windows Operating system, but Honestly keep it simple at first and then expand as required. Look at not just your immediate needs but the future plans and get a website solution that will grow with you, rather than using a simple , say WordPress, solution and then trying to make it to something like a complex Shopping site.

    Hope this helps and makes sense.
    Brent

    #1135869
    Greg_M
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    cbdgal, post: 154738 wrote:
    Out of interest, VentraIP have had fantastic reviews on Whirlpool forums and Godaddy have been so – so…. I’m not wanting to go crazy in spending big $$$ especially during start up phase. Want something that’s secure for shopping, shopping cart, SSL certificate, email, own domain and less than 10 domain parking. I know the extra add ons end up costing and hence me getting advice. Appreciate your reply though and have looked up Godaddy – like what they offer but hesitant when reading some of the scathing reviews from Godaddy users who are bagging them and not happy with their service here in Australia etc….

    I have a few domains, including some for client sites I’ve built and manage. I’ve used Godaddy for about 5 years, and never had an issue with DNS, or anything related to domain registration. I also have a couple of clients with reasonable size businesses that have had Godaddy email accounts I set up for them at least 5 years ago, and never had an issue with any of them either, can’t say the same for Google Apps … which is why my email is back there.

    DNS is a pretty automated process at Godaddy, I’ve never needed support so can’t really say if it’s good or bad, I’d suspect the latter, but I find their systems quick and well integrated (maybe a bit convoluted till you get the hang of them, but hard to make serious stuff up).

    I did venture away from them once, mainly because the way they promote their product sucks, haven’t noticed it as much lately.

    Were the Whirlpool comments based on their DNS hosting, or site hosting? Their site hosting is truly awful in my experience, so much so, it led me to setting up my own VPS at Linode … I now find the whole server thing a pain in the butt, and only use Cloud platforms … but that’s a whole other post/thread I think.

    Surprisingly maybe, I’ll back Brent on the Crazy Domains thing … I’ve only ever used it to register a domain, and set up a wordpress site for a local sporting club, it ticked away nicely for over a year (they were doing everything, which means no maintenance or updates), recently there was a bit of a disaster with the site and their support was brilliant, quick and friendly … maybe they’ve listened to the noise?

    #1135870
    lofo
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    If you’re goint to DIY, expect a lot of difficulty in trying to do the things you want to do eg. get to the top of google etc. My recommendation is that you use someone like ‘BigCommerce’ to set up a basic shop for you – they’re not too expensive, or pay a web developer to do a basic site for you eg. oscommerce. The alternative is to read up on the technical side of things, and set up a site for yourself using cPanel with your hosting provider, which is not difficult and is included as part of your hosting package (eg. with VentraIP), although you’ll need a bit more technical knowledge than you’ve got – it’s not too hard though, so if you’re willing to invest the time, I’m sure you’ll be able to do it, particularly if you’ve got a technical friend who can help. Weebly is probably fine for now, but you’ll outgrow it very quickly if your business gets going, and you’re unlikely to get much google traction until your site gets recognised. This takes time, and despite what people might tell you, you can’t just get to the top of google search without your site becoming popular. A bit of SEO can help you get there, but in my view, most of these people overpromise and underdeliver.

    Regarding hosting, you can’t go past VentraIP from my own experience. They’re great, and have second to none technical support. I’ve used a few of these providers, and have migrated all my customers to VentraIP with no complaints, and a big improvement in service levels.

    #1135871
    cbdgal
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    lofo, post: 154944 wrote:
    My recommendation is that you use someone like ‘BigCommerce’ to set up a basic shop for you – they’re not too expensive, or pay a web developer to do a basic site for you eg. oscommerce.

    Regarding hosting, you can’t go past VentraIP from my own experience. They’re great, and have second to none technical support. I’ve used a few of these providers, and have migrated all my customers to VentraIP with no complaints, and a big improvement in service levels.

    Thanks LOFO – I’ve just looked up bigCommerce & oscommerce and I feel that the monthly payment for me as a start up is a little on the high side. As much as I would love to go with BigCommerce (love the look of their templates and they are right up my alley of what I’m after), its the initial outlay which makes me hesitate, hence we wanting something I can initially work with for a year before I move up a scale.

    I’m really REALLY confused with who I go with – so many opinions, so many sites to look over (and no, I don’t want to pay for a developer as I don’t have the $$$ to do that so pls no one say “contact my co, we can do it etc”).

    So…. basically do I register with a domain like VentraIP or CrazyDomains and set up a online site with another co?

    Thanks

    #1135872
    Brent@Ontrax
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    If we compare the 2 companies for Support then Sure Crazy Domains isn’t the best but really how often has anyone had to contact their Hosting Companies Technical Support? They aren’t going to help you with your website, they aren’t going to setup your site or email accounts. Primarily it is their job to make sure their systems have a great up time, is being backed up and IF for any reason you want them to change the PHP.ini file, then sure but even though we can directly access the PHP.ini file from cPanel, we can create our own file in the root folder with the values that we want to change and all done in 2 minutes. Really should we be choosing our hosting company on support (which we may only use once or twice ever) or on their hosting capabilities to grow with my business.

    Keep it all simple and inexpensive for Day 1 and once business is booming then migrate to a hosting company which offers you better seek times and/or support.

    Look at what your website requirements are, eCommerce only or do you want a Blog etc, WordPress has WooCommerce, Joomla has x-Cart or VirtuMart and other, there’s Magento and so on but look at what YOUR requirements are namely in the Shipping and Payment options. Not ALL eCommerce solutions come standard with Australia Shipping and Payment capabilities, Eg: Australia Post shipping or even an API for your Bank to accept payments.

    Brent

    #1135873
    John Templeton
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    cbdgal, post: 155545 wrote:
    So…. basically do I register with a domain like VentraIP or CrazyDomains and set up a online site with another co?

    In a nutshell, yes that would be the easiest and most cost effective way to go. All of the suggested hosts and providers in this thread and merits and downsides but at the end of the day, go with what you can afford.

    #1135874
    Zava Design
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    Brent@Ontrax, post: 155568 wrote:
    If we compare the 2 companies for Support then Sure Crazy Domains isn’t the best but really how often has anyone had to contact their Hosting Companies Technical Support? They aren’t going to help you with your website, they aren’t going to setup your site or email accounts. Primarily it is their job to make sure their systems have a great up time, is being backed up and IF for any reason you want them to change the PHP.ini file, then sure but even though we can directly access the PHP.ini file from cPanel, we can create our own file in the root folder with the values that we want to change and all done in 2 minutes. Really should we be choosing our hosting company on support (which we may only use once or twice ever) or on their hosting capabilities to grow with my business.
    (isn’t this a repeat of another thread?)

    The two most important aspects when choosing a host:
    1) Reliability
    2) Support, support, support.

    (As I wrote in the other thread) I have dealt with dozens of web hosts of every shape and form over the past decade or so, and every single time I have needed to contact them for support, for reasons big and small, and that is common for most people in the industry. Good support is essential for a web host, and those with a bad reputation in this area should be avoided like the plague.

    #1135875
    3thingsdigital
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    There 3 distinct roles involved in domain / website setup.

    1. Domain Registrar – Responsible for registration of your domain name. .COM.AU requires an ABN.

    2. DNS Host – Responsible for hosting your DNS records which route traffic to your web and email hosts.

    3. Web hosts – Responsible for hosting your website, business email and other services.

    There are providers that serve one, two or three of these roles. My recommendation is to select a different provider for each. There are technical, marketing and strategic reasons for this which I can elaborate on in a separate post if anyone is interested.

    #1135876
    inveress
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    jimyiapanis, post: 157005 wrote:
    My recommendation is to select a different provider for each. There are technical, marketing and strategic reasons for this which I can elaborate on in a separate post if anyone is interested.

    Jim, in my experience, small businesses don’t have the time, knowledge, budget or inclination to seek out and then deal with three separate providers for what are relatively simple services. I would be interested to hear what you think the advantages of diversification might be.

    Cheers,
    Peter.

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