Domains and Website Hosting for Authors

Are you ready to get an author website for your book? Actually there are a lot of advantages to getting your site up and established before you have your book in your hand!

Getting indexed by Google and other search engines may take weeks, and it would be great to build an email list from visitors to your website in preparation for your marketing. So don’t wait!

If you are new to the world of websites, there may be some elements you aren’t familiar with for creating a website to sell your book. Firstly, there are two core elements that are needed.

1.  Your domain name
2.  A website

Both elements have to be hosted on a server somewhere.

Website hosting and Domain names

Website hosting is needed to store all the files, like photos, page content, blog articles, pdf downloads and code stuff like css, html, php, javascript etc, that make up your website. 

The domain name also has to be hosted on a server somewhere.  It acts like the post office mail redirection service – when you enter a website domain name into a browser window, it needs to know where to send you to find those files that belong to your website.

Domain names and a website don’t have to be hosted at the same place.  It can be an advantage to have them hosted together, however, it’s not a rule.  

Both the domain name and a website hosting have a term of registration… you may pay for 1, 2 or more years to keep your domain name registered. 

Website hosting companies can charge you monthly, annually or longer.

Currently, there are about 330,000 web hosting providers around the world! The thing to know is that they are not all equal!

Some are definitely similar or the same in what they offer, but prices, services, and support will vary.

Be alert to the hosting deals. Many hosting companies offer a lower price for domain registration and hosting so the first year or two will be cheaper, but when it comes around to renewing, the prices they charge will go back to their normal priced hosting, and that can be quite a bit of difference.

I can't emphasise this enough!

A very important thing to remember is the security of your domain name. 

It can only be owned or registered by one person at a time.

Every domain name has a password or sometimes called an EPP code or an auth code.  When you first register your domain name, the password will be provided to you.

As long as you have that, you can do whatever you like with the domain name. You can change the registered name, change the registered email address, move it to be hosted at another server, redirect it to another website, or cancel it.

But, if you give that password to someone else, they too will then have full control of your domain name.  

Unfortunately, I have seen several instances where a ‘trusted’ person has been given the domain’s password and that person has accessed it and moved it, changed the registration name and then they own it. 

And it is rare they can retrieve it back to you, the rightful owner.

So make sure you retain the domain password and be very careful what you do with it.

The next important thing is customer service.  Will you want to access the server regularly to add new email addresses, create a subdomain, clear caches or access backups?  Or will you be engaging someone to manage the site for you so you don’t need to go anywhere near the server?

Many companies provide 24×7 support, so if you have a large website that is critical to stay up and without errors, you will be able to get help no matter where you are and what time of day it is.  But if your website is fairly static without a lot of content changes, except maybe adding a new blog article each month, then maybe 24×7 support won’t be necessary for you to have.  

Speed is a very important consideration for where your site is hosted.  Some companies will put masses of websites on the one server, which is called a share server, so that all the resources get drained as they are all sharing the same resources, so your website runs slow.  This isn’t good for your customers and also Google.  Google does not like a slow website and will not promote it in search results.

If you would like any further clarification about author websites, domain names or website hosting….it can be a minefield as there is a lot to remember so please call us if you need any guidance.

domain names, website hosting, author websites

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