The Groves
Computer Users Group


Registrar, WEB Host, URL Forwarding


I prefer and think it is a good idea to use one company as registrar of your URL and a separate provider as the host of your web site. That way it is simple to change web hosts if things go wrong or a better deal comes along.

Registrar
My registrar of choice is GoDaddy.com . They have a good price for registering URL's but most important they have a good interface for changing things like your DNS settings. They will try to sell you all sorts of extra services like e-mail and web hosting. I do not use any of these services nor do I recommend them.

WEB Host
My current WEB host is GoDaddy.com they are web hosts not a blog site. They have many plan depending how much space and bandwidth you might need. Our main site http://Musser.us is on the $6.29 a month Delux Plan by the way I have only ever used the Linux Hosting Plans (they are more solid). These low cost sites are all on shared servers as a consequence you will have more outages than if you were on a dedicated server ($150 or so a month). In the past year I have had one whole day outage and eight or ten 20 minute ones. I only know of the short ones for the most part because I use a free web site watching service InternetSeer.com they e-mail me whenever my site is not responding.

I have signed up for FREE e-mail with Gmail.com they have the best SPAM protection I have seen, they great web based e-mail access, and provide free POP3 and IMAP e-mail. Allowing you to use Outlook or Outlook Express to manage your e-mail.
Instead of setting up a pop3 mailbox on my web host I simply use my host to forward email sent to glenn@musser.us to my glenn.musser@gmail.com address. My email users only know my address as glenn@musser.us but I actually get my mail via the gmail.com account. With all of the SPAM filtering and other features Google provides.

I have a throw away e-mail address to use when signing up for things online. I use reg@musser.us when it gets to mush spam I just change it to reg1@musser.us ... Having a throwaway address is something anyone can do to reduce the flow of SPAM.

URL Forwarding
One of the best and cheapest (free not even any adds) way to use your URL is to sign up as a user at http://www.zoneedit.com/ . They provide a forwarding service at no charge I use them to forward http://ladyheads.com to a sub-domain at our main web site. It also forwards e-mail sent to sales@ladyheads.com to my mail box at glenn@musser.us . This is the perfect tool to use with Gmail if you only want to use e-mail with your newly registered URL. Several friends use ZoneEdit to have e-mail sent to Fred@Family.com or Sue@Family.com ... forwarded to FredF@Gmail.com or SueF@Gmail.com ... This is very inexpensive to implement for example. At my registrar GoDaddy.com a .com URL is just $8.95 a year. Using free Gmail that is the total cost per year for as many e-mail accounts you want (xx1@MyName.com, xx2@MyName.com, xx3....).

ZoneEdit
To sign up for ZoneEdit go to their site http://www.zoneedit.com/ and choose free sign up. You will choose a username and password they will send conformation by a-mail along with the URL's of the DNS servers at zoneedit (something like ns3.zoneedit.com and ns4.zoneedit.com). You will then go to the Control Panel at the registrar (I recommend GoDaddy.com) of your domain. What you need to do is change the DNS (domain name Server) from (ns3.onelineaccess.net - ns3.onelineaccess.net) default name they provided to the DNS server addresses provided by ZoneEdit (ns3.zoneedit.com and ns4.zoneedit.com). They should have given you a username and password for managing your domain. The change to the DNS server will take effect in 24 to 72 hours (the time required for it to propagate across the entire net).

When you have taken the steps above you are ready to put ZoneEdit to work for you. You log into your ZoneEdit account and choose the zone you setup. The first thing you can setup is MailForwards.

Mail Forwarding

You will probably want something like Name@MyURL.xx us to be forwarded to your e-mail ( Name@MyISP.com ) with the ISP (Internet Service Provider) you use. Then when someone sends mail to Name@MyURL.xx it will forward toName@MyISP.com . You can have as many forward as you want.

WebForwards

If you want to play around with a web site your
ISP probably has free space for you to use. The free hosting sites will provide a web address that is long and not personalized (http://mysite.verizon.net/gmusser/) but with ZoneEdit you can set up forward to send requests to http://myURL.us to forward to the mysite.verizon.net/gmusser address. The cloaked option of web forward even hides the mysite.verizon.net/gmusser/ and shows http://myURL.us. It is really a great tool.

Playing with a web page is the best way to learn. I really enjoy it. Let me know if you get stuck.


Updated August 25, 2007

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