I’m back!

rogersgeorge on October 27th, 2009

Whew! Oof! Wow. Hmpf.  Sorry to have been down so long. I never thought a change of registrar would take so long.

I own a couple domains, registered in several places, and moved them all to 1and1.com so I’d have the same registrar for them all, and need to go to only one place. I think the culprit in the delay was GoDaddy, whom I don’t particularly recommend, and of whom I have several times heard my colleagues speak disparagingly. I like 1and1’s interface and outstanding customer support. I happen to like HostGator for a hosting service, so all my domains are hosted there, and I have an account with them that enables me to have my own domain name server. Everything is nice and organized, as documentation should be.

Look for a resumption of my grammatical witticisms on Twitter. Follow me here: rogersgeorge

Meanwhile, here’s a little glossary of some of the technical terms I used in that big paragraph. Instead of alphabetical, I’ll put them in logical order.

  • url—internet address. Not the site you see when you type in a url. Also called a domain name.
  • domain name—Technically, the url is a string of numbers interspersed with periods, and the domain name is the meaningful string of letters that you see, typically ending with something like .com or .net or .org.  Domain name and url are used interchangeably.
  • registrar—the place (company) that makes your url exist. They register it with the organization that manages the structure of the internet. You pay them typically less than $10 per year to have your url. Changing registrars is discouraged, and somewhat awkward to do. I started out with a fair amount of ignorance, so I registered domains in several places, making it easy for me to lose track of what I was doing. So I bit the bullet and moved everything to one place. 1and1 is a highly respected registrar. GoDaddy is a highly advertized one.
  • hosting—where the web site is. Companies that do registration will also be happy to host your site. Think of it this way: Once you have the address, you probably want to put a house there. Hosting is fairly easy to change, especially if you haven’t built the site yet. Hosting normally costs as little as maybe $7 or $8 per month, but you can pay a lot more, depending on what you want or need.
  • site—or web site, or website. A bunch of computer code (especially html) that a browser can read and present to you on your computer. You can see this code if you click on, say, this site, and choose View Page Source from the pop-up menu.
  • DNS—or domain name server. The DNS is what connects your site to your url. Your host tells you the name of your DNS. You go to your registrar and assign your DNS to your url. If you host your sited where you have it registered, you don’t have to do this—the registrar assigns their own domain name servers to your url, and you’re all fixed up.
  • down—when your site can’t be seen. Usually somebody else’s fault.

This system isn’t so hard to follow when you get used to it, and probably a lot of you reading this already know how these things work better than I do. I’m a beginner. But I invite you to add to this too-brief glossary, make corrections, or ask questions.  Use the comment link.

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