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    Answers to Common Questions about Web Sites

      What is a web site?

A set of interconnected webpages, usually including a homepage, generally located on the same server, and prepared and maintained as a collection of information by a person, group, or organization. 
The word ‘site’ comes from the idea that it has a location. When people talk about web sites they talk about ‘where’ it is and about what else is ‘there’ at the site.

      What is a domain?

A group of networked computers that share a common communications address.
A domain refers to a web site’s location. Every web site in the world has an IP
address, which looks like a phone number.

      What is hosting?

The computer where your web site physically resides is called the host server. When we register your domain, we find out the IP address to dial up (like a phone number) the computer or server where it will be kept. Then we register your domain name with that number, or IP address. Then, whenever someone types your domain name into their web browser, it automatically dials up your host computer and sends them your web site.

When you purchase web hosting, you are really taking out a shared lease on a host server. Host server computers are very large and expensive, compared to personal computers. They also take a lot of work to maintain, and there are huge access fees that they pay to link up to the web at speeds many times faster than your home modem. Costs are so high that, for the price of a single commercial web server for one year, you could buy an airline ticket to fly around the world. Fortunately, most web sites only need a tiny portion of all that power. So the owners of the host computers allow their customers to combine many web sites onto a single computer and share the cost.

The actual location of your host computer is not very important, because of the ethereal nature of the worldwide web . It could be anywhere in the world, and you and your customers could find it just the same. All you really need is a reputable company with a fast Internet link. Some people are insecure about buying into a service that is not local, even though they have no way of verifying the quality of the product. Most host providers and ISP’s know this and respond by raising prices and reducing services. At Nova Star, our goal is to make it easy for business, large or small, to put their presence on the web by offering premium service at the lowest prices.

      What am I buying with hosting?

When you buy hosting service you get storage space on a hard disk, e-mail forward to your ISP and the right to send data back and forth. When you own your own domain, your e-mail addresses are yours to keep. You can pick any user name you want, and you don’t have to tack a four-digit number on the end. Best of all, your e-mail addresses won’t change, no matter who you use for an ISP.

      Should I drop my Internet Service Provider?

No. You will always need an Internet service provider. Hosting service only provides access for your web site to enter the Internet. Although your web site is on the Internet remotely, you still need to access the Internet on your end. But you don’t have to use the e-mail address given to you by your ISP. Most people with web sites tell their ISP to forward all their e-mail to their web site to make things easier.

      Should I advertise my website?

If you are expecting thousands of people to view your web site every month, they you’ll probably be disappointed. While there are thousands of ‘web crawling’ programs scanning the Internet for new web sites and information, chances are no one will visit your web site unless you tell them about it. That’s why so many Internet companies have gone bankrupt advertising their services.

There are ways to publicize your web site without advertising. You can submit your web site to search engines that are used by the people you want to find you. You can also add to your web site’s code, or just lots of valuable content, which will also make your site more digestible and attractive to search engines. Still, this will only increase your visits or ‘hits’ incrementally.

      Why have a web site at all?

Think of your web site as an extra store front, one that people can access from their own homes and businesses, and one that is extremely cheap to use and manage. Your customers still have to know how to get there, just like they have to know how to get to a physical store. Still, it’s like having extra real estate for your business. Once you understand this idea, then ideas will come to you on how to use it, just as people always find ways to use extra space.

There are many ways to use your web site that will add value to your business. First and foremost, it provides an added avenue for your customers to reach you, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can use it to provide visitors with answers to their questions, price lists, pictures and descriptions of your services and past work. You can display your successes and publicize reports from satisfied customers.
It’s all up to you. It’s your web site. We’ll do all the work.

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