Category Archives: web hosting

Choosing a Domain

Your web site is located by an IP (Internet Protocol) address such as 67.15.4.94 and is accessible on the Internet by typing http://67.15.4.94. Instead of typing a series of numbers which are difficult to remember, you can register an easier to remember domain name which becomes associated with your IP address. Visitors typing an easy to remember domain name will be pointed to your IP address. Similar to a 1-800 vanity phone number, some domain names pertain to the subject of the web site, while others may simply be the name or an abbreviation of your firm.

Lawyer-Advertising-Blog.com is the primary domain name for my blog, which is instantly obvious that it is a blog concerning lawyer advertising. When you type that domain name into the address bar of your browser, the domain name servers on the Internet know that you’re looking for http://67.15.4.94 and take you there. You can have multiple domain names pointing to the same web site. For instance, I also registered LawyerAdvertisingBlog.com (without hyphens) which is used for branding because people never type hyphens. Because some people may remember the name incorrectly, I also registered many other domain names such as AttorneyAdvertisingBlog.com, LawFirmAdvertisingBlog.com and others, all of which will bring the visitor to Lawyer-Advertising-Blog.com.

Tips to help you pick a domain name:

1) Choosing: Choosing a domain name is a lot like choosing a name for your company or law firm. Ideally the name should be consistent with your branding. Determine whether you are branding the name of your company, product or service. Your domain name should be good for branding – short, easy to remember, and has a “ring” to it or creates an image in the mind of the consumer.

2) Trademark: Before registering your domain name, be sure to check the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to make sure that the name has not been trademarked. You can check at www.uspto.gov, click on Search under Trademarks. Assuming that your choice has not been trademarked and you have now registered a non-generic domain name, you may want to protect your name by filing a Trademark or Service mark application.

3) Ownership: When you register a domain name, make sure that you are the registrant of your domain name. Some web site design firms will register your domain name with their name as the registrant. This will give them ownership of your name keeping you hostage. You can easily register your domain name yourself for $8.95 per year at 8.95Domains.com or GoDaddy.com.

4) Hyphens: There have been misunderstandings about whether to use hyphens in a domain name. First of all, the domain name you give out to the public must not have hyphens. The domain name without hyphens is the domain name that everyone will type in the address bar of their Internet browser.

The reason that some people say that you should have a domain name with hyphens is to force the search engines to see keywords in your domain name so that your web site does better in search engine results. The bigger search engines can now see individual words without hyphens, however, smaller search engines may not and even the bigger ones may see a word differently than you want.

Thus, the importance of using a hyphenated domain name has diminished. If you wish to use a hyphenated domain name as I did with Lawyer-Advertising-Blog.com, you should also register the unhyphenated domain name which you will forward to the hyphenated domain name. Use the unhyphenated domain name in print and advertising.

5) Extensions: Domain names are available with various extensions, such as .com, .net, .org and many other extensions. If it’s really important to you, you can register domain names in several extensions, however, for most firms only the .com extension is important. If you feel that you need to use .org, you should also register your name in the .com extension.

The .com extension is similar to 1-800 for telephone numbers. Most people automatically dial 1-800 even when they see 1-888. Likewise, most people will type
.com even when they see .net or .org. Additionally, many people including myself simply type in the domain name without http://www. or .com and press “Control, Enter”. Pressing “Control, Enter” will type http://www. and .com for you, automatically taking you to a web site with .com.

6) Top Level Domain vs. Sub-Level Domains: A sub level domain is a second level domain under a first level domain name and can look like yourfirm.freehosting.com. You must have your own domain name. Do not under any circumstances use a free hosting service, since free hosting services will only give you a sub level domain. No one will ever remember it and it’s sort of like handwriting your own letterhead.

7) Ethics for Law Firm Domain Names: A website name should be used as an address, not a trade name which is prohibited. Advertise your web site name as an address, a means for people to find your web site, not a trade name. Like a vanity telephone number, some web site domain names can violate legal ethics. Make sure that your web site name avoids use of certain words which could create a potentially incorrect expectation in the mind of the consumer or violate one of the other ethics rules.

Your domain name should not imply that you are better than another lawyer or that you can accomplish something that may not actually occur. Use of words such as “BEST”, “TOP”, “FOREMOST, “LEADING”, “WIN” and similar words in a web site domain name could create a misleading expectation in the mind of the consumer and will violate ethics rules in most states.

For instance, LeadingLawyer.com or BestLawyer.com will likely violate lawyer ethics rules by implying that you are a leading lawyer or the best lawyer. The question is by what standards are you leading or the best and in what? WinningLawyer.com or WinningCase.com may be better for a casino, because it will imply that the person who becomes a client of the firm will win money when, that may not happen and even if it does, it’s an award for just compensation, not gambling.

Laura Hodes in her article for the ABA Journal entitled Vanity Phone Numbers Make Your Firm Less Forgettable, at http://www.hurt911.org/hurt-911-articles/ABAJournal.htm, quoted Will Hornsby, an expert on lawyer advertising and staff counsel in the ABA Division for Legal Services, who said that while there is nothing unethical about vanity numbers, “1-800-I-WIN-CASES would be unethical because it is making an unsubstantiated claim, creating unjustified expectations that can be true but still be misleading.” The same can be said about domain names.

8) Advertising Your Domain Name: Be sure to include your domain name on your business cards, letterhead, and all advertising. When advertising in off-line media, always advertise your domain name with www. and without http://, such as www.LawyerAdvertisingBlog.com. Note that when publishing your domain name on the Internet, you may sometimes want to use http:// to ensure that you create a link back to your web site. When advertising in off-line media, always advertise a domain name without hyphens.

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How To Choose The Right Blog Platform

Starting a blog is one of the most accessible ways to make money online. If you are starting your first blog, you are being confronted with many choices about how to set up your blog, including selecting your blogging platform. A blogging platform is the software that will help you turn your writing into a website that can be easily navigated and accessed by visitors from around the world.

There are two basic platforms to choose from when it comes to successful blogging: WordPress and Blogger. Both of these options have advantages and disadvantages. Before you make your decision, you should read through the pros and cons of each and think about which will be best for your needs.

Blogger has several advantages. It’s very easy for new bloggers to use. Setting up a blog with Blogger is as simple as following a few prompts. There is nothing to install. Some of the other advantages include:
Price: Blogger is totally free to use. You don’t have to purchase a domain name as the system will give you an address based on the name of your blog.

Ease of use: Posting to your blog is easy. You can also change the look of your blog very easily. This is all done through Blogger’s dashboard. If you have more than one blog with Blogger, you can access all of the blogs from the same dashboard.

However, Blogger does have some major disadvantages when it comes to creating money making blogs.
Lack of flexibility: Compared to other options out there, the design and function of a Blogger blog is very limited. You can download and install custom themes for the blog, but most look very similar. This means your blog won’t stand out as well in your niche.

Domain name: You will get a free domain name with your Blogger blog, but the domain name will be “yourblogname.blogspot.com” instead of “yourblogname.com.”

Ownership: You will never truly own your Blogger blog because the files and content are hosted on Blogger’s server.
Wordpress is the other popular platform for blogging. There is a free option that functions similarly to Blogger. However, there is also a free option that allows you to have your own website name. You install WordPress on you website hosting and hook it up to a domain name that you own. If you don’t know how to do this, your hosting company should be able to walk you through the process.
Other advantages include:
Customization: WordPress themes are diverse and plentiful. Some themes will even make your blog look like an online newspaper.

Features: WordPress users have created tons of “plugins” that will increase the functionality of your blog and help you make the most out of your site.

However, WordPress is not without it’s problems. It is not as user friendly as Blogger, which can make it intimidating for newbies. You will also have to spend money to get your domain name and your website hosting.
Despite these disadvantages, most professional bloggers go with the WordPress option because they maintain ownership of their blogs and can customize them to their heart’s content.

This article was sponsored by Albert Grande’s Digital Store. Check out the latest e-books, software and more right here.




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Web Host Nightmare: A True Story

I wish all of my web hosting companies were as good as Hostgator

Let me explain.

All I was trying to do was update my site. I’ve done this hundreds of times before. No problem.

I have a number of sites with different hosting companies. And this particular company is usually pretty good when I have problems. But not this time.

Here was the issue. I could not update my website. I kept getting a server error each time I tried. Frustrating.

I then did what every other web owner does when they have a problem. I contacted customer support. I emailed my request. An autosponder came back with the following message: “Sorry you are having a support issue, we’ll get back to you with-in 48 hours.”

48 hours? Are these guys crazy? I don’t have 48 hours. I want the issue resolved now. Immediately. I didn’t think I was aksing to much… I have an issue and I want it resolved, pronto.

Like right now.

I got on the phone immediately. I spoke to a service tech. He was a nice person, but he said, he couldn’t help me. He had to wait until his boss came in. The issue was to complicated he said.

Hey, I don’t want you to rebuld an entire database: I just want to update my site.

“Sorry”, he said “you are just going to have to wait.”

And so I waited until the boss came in and resolved my problem.

I wish these guys had taken lessons from my favorite web hosting company:
Hostgator

When I have issues, I get a quick resolution. With Hostgator I don’t have to wait. My problems are usually fixed right then and there.

I recommend Hostgator without hesitation or reservation.

Here’s why:

Help with set up
99.9% Uptime Guarantee
CGI, PHP 5, RoR, Perl
MySQL, SSH, SSL, IMAP, POP

Another great reason is C panel. I have been able to set up blogs, forums and data bases, with no problems. And if I do have a problem (hey I usually make my own problems), the support staff is right there to help me out.

The biggest reason why I love Hostgator is because I can set up multiple websites using multiple domains. That alone makes them my webhosting company of choice.

Remember; if you are going to do anything on the Internet, you need to throw out a big net: you need multiple websites and blogs. And Hostgator, will help you do that.

Remember: if you need hosting for your blog or website. And you want multiple sites (believe me, you do!) just contact the best hosing company on the Internet: Hostgator.

You’ll be glad you did.