Category Archives: Web Design

Domain Name Tasting

A good domain name not only makes people more likely to visit a website, but it can also increase search engine rankings.  This is because search engine bots index websites based on keywords found both in its content and domain name.  Yet, how does a webmaster know if their domain name is going to be profitable?  Usually most don’t until they put it into practice.  Hence, there is the practice of domain name tasting. Does this sound interesting to you?  Well, before you decide to do domain name tasting for your site, first consider the ethics of the practice.  Domain name companies lose millions of dollars every year due to domain name tasting.  While some may not feel sympathy for them, if domain name tasting continues without any legal restrictions, DNS enterprises may strike back by making their prices higher.  Such a consequence would also hurt customers who intended on buying the domain name outright.
Another ethical dilemma involved with domain name tasting is the issue of good domain names not being eligible for more serious customers.  Some may feel that in a system of free capitalistic enterprise, domain name testers have every right to access however many domain names they can.  Yet, if they aren’t really going to buy them, why shouldn’t these domain names be available to individuals who may need them more?  Many would argue it is better to sell a domain name to a company that is serious about using it as their brand than selling it to a person thinking they can use it to get quick traffic.
It is also important to keep in mind that a good domain name is not a sole indicator of whether or not a site is going to be successful.  Domain name tasters are fooling themselves if they think their practice of domain tasting is what has brought about their success with website traffic.  Granted, an expired domain name might have a little bit of traffic associated with it, but to get one that is of value, a person would have to pay hundreds maybe even thousands of dollars.  Many domain name tasters wouldn’t have the funds for such a domain name, so they may instead deal with cheaper ones.  And most of these cheaper ones probably do not have their own traffic stream.
Indeed, the type of website that gets a lot of traffic is one that has: a decent domain name, keyword-enriched content and lots of inbound links.  Even if one doesn’t see anything ethically wrong with domain name tasting, doing it may not accurately reflect whether or not a domain name is valid.  In fact, if a person does domain name tasting and their website did not have the other elements that make for proper traffic-building, they could potentially be throwing away a domain name that could be a gold mine in the future.

Domain Name Servers The Basics

Technically, domain names aren’t necessary to access a website.  This is because with or without them, all websites can be accessed by their corresponding IP address.  What is an IP address?  It is a 32-bit numerical identifier that indicates what machine a website is on.  The only problem is that for a human these numbers, (which come in a series of 4 octets), can be extremely hard to remember.  This is why domain names were created.  With a domain name a person can access a website through a word or phrase, which offers much more convenience than decimated octets.
In order for domain names to work, they must use domain name servers, (also known as DNS).  These are special computers that store data pertaining to domain names and the IP addresses they point to.   It does this through a process known as reverse mapping.  What happens is after a domain name is entered, the domain name server will look up its corresponding IP address in a directory service.  It will also correspond with other domain name services to see if they have ‘knowledge’ of the IP address.  This process is known as a distributed database, since no ‘official’ entity is responsible for updating information on other domain name servers.
How can a computer be turned into a domain name server?  It has to run DNS software.  The most common DNS software is BIND, (which stands for Berkeley Internet Name Domain).  This, (along with other types of DNS software), works in a hierarchal fashion.  The beginning of the hierarchy contains the character ”.  It is called the system’s root.  Underneath the root there are the domain extension such as .com, .org, .net or .biz.
A domain name server must also have client computers to help conduct its operation.  These client computers are called nameservers and resolvers.  Nameservers are responsible for locating a domain name’s IP address.  The resolvers, on the other hand, stores a list of all other nameservers on the Internet.  This list is used to help contact these nameservers should a domain name’s IP address not be stored in the initial domain name server.
Should a web hosting company bother in investing in a domain name server?  It depends on how large their operation is.  Smaller-scale web hosting companies probably won’t get much from such an investment.  However, if a company wants to attain the type of status that sites like Godaddy.com have attained, it may want to consider spending the money.  Companies can get domain name servers from enterprises that sell regular servers.
In conclusion, the domain name server can be considered the heart of domain name functioning.  Without them there would be no way a domain name would be associated with an IP address, which is what is really responsible for identifying computers on a network.  This does not mean it’s essential for a web hosting company to invest in one, especially since there are so many cheap domain name services they could use instead.  Yet, if they do get a domain name server, they would have the ability to sell web hosting as well as domain names to their customers.

Domain Name Redirect Services

It’s no secret that a short, memorable domain name is what is needed to help visitors to a website.  It also helps if the domain name contains keywords that are likely to rank high in search engines.  So, what does a webmaster do if they are promoting an affiliate program or a website created from a free web hosting service such as Geocities?  The most affordable answer lies in taking advantage of a domain name redirect service.
What is a domain name redirect service?  It is one in which a long, cumbersome URL is ‘masked’ by a more memorable domain name.  Instead of having to type in the longer URL, the website visitor would type in the new domain name.  This domain name would then redirect to the original URL.  The visitor would then see the original URL in their browser.  However, most won’t pay that much attention.
Domain name redirect services can be free or paid.  An example of a free service is Tiny URL.  In order to use this service, all a person has to do is enter in whatever URL they need to have shortened.  Tiny URL would then return a domain name that is much more convenient for website visitors.  This URL would have ‘tiny url’ as part of the domain name followed by a number.  An example is the following: tinyurl.com/3.  Granted, it’s not perfect, but it is a lot better than what one would typically get with an affiliate program or a free web hosting service.
If a person wants a more customized domain name, they will need to use pay for a redirect service.  One of the best is Namestick.  The process for using Namestick is similar to Tiny URL except webmasters must first choose the domain name they want to use for their redirect.  They can choose any domain name they wish, just like if they were getting it through their web host or a domain name company.  Namestick even provides suggestions if a person’s desired domain name is taken.  Once that is done, a person will have to enter in their URL they want redirected.  After about 72 hours, the new domain name will be ready for use.
Can a person get away with not using a domain name redirect service?  It depends on how they do their marketing.  For instance, if a person does a lot of offline marketing, a short, meaningful domain name is essential.  However, if a person uses a lot of hyperlinks, a domain name redirect service may not be as important.  What are hyperlinks?  They are simply words or phrases that are linked to a particular URL.  When the visitor clicks on them, they are taken to the website that is hyperlinked within.  Hyperlinks can easily be created in HTML editors or by use of the anchor tag.
In conclusion, a person’s life can be made easier if they decide to hide their long URL with a more normal-looking domain name available through a domain name redirect service.  This is if they aren’t marketing through hyperlinks, which do not require an official domain name.

Domain Name Generators

The process of registering a domain name can be quite annoying.  Why?  It’s because many times the domain name a webmaster hopes to register has already been taken.  So, they have to ponder again what their domain name should be.  But what do they do if that domain name has been taken as well?  The best solution involves getting it right the first time with a domain name generator.  This is a program or service that suggests domain names that are not likely to have been used by other webmasters.  They can work in three ways including: giving random listings, giving listings based on input or using human suggestions.
The first type of domain name generator gives random domain name suggestions.  Examples of sites that offer these types of domain name generators include Makewords.com and Domain-Generator.net.  The only thing a visitor has to do to see a suggested domain name is click a button or, (in the case of Makewords.com), just visit the site.  Depending on the complexity of the domain name generator, visitors will be able to see if the domain name has previously been registered and/or how valuable they would be if they decided to buy them.
The second type of domain name generator offers suggestions based on user input.  123Finder.com is an example.  What happens is a user enters a keyword that describes the purpose of their website.  The domain name generator will then return domain names that contain this keyword.  A variant of this service could require a user to enter in more than one keyword.  From this input the domain name generator would return a domain name that contains a mixture of these keywords.
The final type of domain name generator offers suggestions from human creativity.  An example of such a service is Pickydomains.com.  With this service, (along with others like it), customers have to pay a fee.  Part of the fee goes to the person responsible for coming up with the domain name.  After the fee is sent, customers must provide information related to their website.
Employees will use this info to choose a domain name.  When the process is complete, the customer will receive a list of several domain names, each of which came from a human mind rather than a computer program, (which is used by the other types of domain name generators featured in this article).
Are there any downsides to using a domain name generator?  Well, human-based domain name generators usually require a fee, while automated ones might not seem as creative.  Other than that domain name generators are an excellent way for webmasters to determine what their domain name should be.  Even if they don’t use the suggested domain name in its entirety, they can still use these types of services to generate ideas.
From there they can use their own mind to come up with an appropriate domain name.  So, at the very least, domain name generators can serve as a tool for domain name brainstorming.  They definitely should not be overlooked by any webmaster.

Domain Name Arbitration

After several minutes of pondering and looking at keyword analyzers, you find the perfect domain name for your new website.  You see if it is available through your desired domain name company.  When you find that it is, you get excited because it seems that it is going to be quite profitable for your site.  So, you sign up for it, thinking that it is up for grabs, since your domain name company has said it is available.
Then after a few months you get correspondence from an attorney saying that your new domain name has violated another company’s trademark.  You are now stuck with a potential legal battle that could cause you to lose your domain name, your reputation and maybe even worse.  Fortunately, with domain name arbitration, there’s a chance you can get out of such a situation and avoid any possible legal consequences.
What is domain name arbitration?  It is a process in which the complainant and the original holder of the domain name try to work out a reasonable agreement as to who actually has the rights to the domain name in question.  The arbitration in itself is done through the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, (also known as UDRP).  This is a special arbitration method set forth by the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) organization.  It is used for most domain name disputes, because it is cheaper and less time-consuming than ‘traditional’ litigation.
In order to initiate a domain name arbitration proceeding, a webmaster must go through a provider that has been approved by ICANN to handle such disputes.  Once the arbitration begins, the provider will first determine if the complainant has merit in their claim.  They will do this by evaluating whether the domain name in question is similar to a trademark or domain name set forth by the claimant.
They will then determine what rights the claimant has to the title along with whether or not the domain was chosen accidentally or with the intention of taking advantage of the claimant’s brand popularity.  If it is found the domain name was chosen in bad faith, rights to it will be granted to the claimant.  Otherwise, the original owner will retain possession of the disputed domain name.
If either party is not satisfied with a domain name arbitration proceeding, they can challenge the findings in a regular courtroom.  An example of this happened with Robert De Niro, when he tried to claim the rights to any domain name containing the phrase ‘Tribeca.’  He is still in court trying to retain the rights to Tribeca.net, which has been claimed by another person.
In conclusion, domain name arbitration is a great alternative to avoiding taking a domain name dispute into a courtroom, at least initially.  There is the option to go to court if either side feels an arbitration isn’t fair.  Yet, for most webmasters, the decisions made by the UDRP panel are good enough for them, since getting their consul is a lot cheaper than going to a judge.

The Importance Of Blog Design

Blogs have increased popularity over this past months.  Many people have started to create their personal blogs to express their thoughts and feelings.  Internet companies have also started their blogs to inform consumers on the latest product news and reviews.
Because of this, blogs are also being used as internet marketing media.  Before, internet marketing is done by placing banners and links on popular websites, such as news and information sites.  Links were also included on newsletters and marketing letters sent to the members of their mailing lists.
Many people spend time reading blogs.  People read their friend’s blogs, their favorite author’s blogs, blogs on topics that they are interested in, and blogs on product reviews.  With the increasing popularity of blogging, it is even feared that people rely on blogs to get the latest news.
While getting news reports from blogs isn’t reliable, some people look for product reviews through blogs.  In some cases, this is more dependable.  While it is true that some media persons are being paid to write good reviews about a certain product, blog writers write about their actual experiences on products and services from a company.
Since there are many people who read and start their own blogs, blogs are a good medium to market a product.  With the increasing blog traffic means increase in product sales.
Blog traffic can be increased by joining affiliate programs and sites, which will list your blog under a certain search category or name.  You can also have your blog advertised in popular websites.  This, however, will cost some money and is not advisable if you have just started blogging.
A writer who has just launched his/her blog will want as much traffic as possible to increase advertisements on the site.  Also, some advertisers pay every time their link is clicked or the page that has their link is viewed. This can be done by having informative or amusing content and good blog layout and design.  You may develop your blog’s content or you can also acquire the services of a web content writer to provide you with the blog articles.
The blog’s layout and design also plays a big role.  While most of the companies offering free blog hosting offer pre-selected templates, there are also some that allows customization that if you utilize this feature correctly can increase your blog’s traffic.
Here are a few tips to make your blog stand out from the millions of blogs out there that have standard designs.
* Customize the banner
The banner usually has the most generic designs that are common to the blogs from a blogging company or service.
You can personalize this banner by having a graphic with the dimensions of the banner.  You can also edit the graphic so that it will also include the title of your blog.
In this case, you can create your own graphic or you can purchase professional looking graphics online for less than $10.
* Personalizing photos
Of course, most of the photos that you will be posting will be your own.  However, if you don’t customize the photos before posting them, you may miss maximizing the enhancing benefits graphics can add to the page.  Adding photo borders can help the photo stand out from the page.
It can also add to the design of your blog.  You can choose a standard border or you can also create your own border which can be associated with your blog’s templates.
* Add a favicon
Don’t you think sites with icons on the address bar before the website’s URL are cool?  Many people do.  These favicons add a professional look to the URL.  These easy to do using photo or graphic editing softwares.
* Check out blog templates, layouts, backgrounds, textures and skins from sites
There are sites that offer free blog templates, layouts, backgrounds, textures and skins.  You can make use of these so your blog will not look generic like most of the blogs hosted by the service provider.
* Include RSS feeds
This is a cool way to inform people with newsreaders about your blog headlines.  Tutorials on RSS feeds are available on the internet.
* Audio makes your blog more personal
Not only does audio personalizes the blog; it can also keep your visitors coming back.  You can try having streaming radio stations, mp3 file or playlists loading with your blog.
* Advertisements
If you have signed-up with Google Ad-Sense, which I am sure you would like to do, make sure that the ads are conveniently placed that these will not hinder your readers’ ease in accessing the information on your blog.
Try using these tips and you can definitely increase and retain traffic on your blog.