Step Three – Internet Basics 101

There are three things you will need for your Author page:

  • Web Hosting – Somewhere to put your author page.
  • Domain Name – Something people type into the address bar of their browser to see your author page.
  • Email Address – You probably already have one of these, but people are going to want to say “hi” somehow.

Server = Computer
Servers are actually programs that run on computers, but let’s keep things simple

Domain Name Servers (DNS) behave like the Yellow Pages

An IP Address is used to find computers
It behaves like the postal service

  1. Someone sends you a letter asking to see your author page.
  2. Their letter has a return address.
  3. You send them a letter with your author page inside.

The whole thing is a lot quicker but probably less complex than the postal service.

A lot of websites live on the same computer

In this case, the web server is like a hotel.

  • In this analogy, the rooms belong to different websites.
  • The hotel concierge at the front desk knows where everybody is.
  • Phew! Our letters reach the right person.

Why are you talking about hotels and snail mail?

Because the analogy is very apt.

  • You have to hire one of the rooms in the hotel to keep your Author page.
  • The hotel has an address
  • The hotel can receive letters asking to see your Author page and pass them along.
  • Hotel rooms cost money.
  • The same applies for keeping an Author page on a web server. It will cost you money.
  • The more money you pay, the more fancy the hotel room and it might have extra features, like a mini-bar!

But…. what if your friend has a room in the hotel?

This is how you can get web hosting for free.

The offer from the Writers of the Far South Coast is to host your Author page for free on OUR web server. We’ve already paid for a swanky hotel room, and sharing is caring. There’s plenty of room for all our authors! Web hosting is not a domain name

“There’s this offer on the Internet that says I can get both”

I know. And you can. Just know they are not the same thing. The company you purchase from will set everything up to point in all the right directions.

What is the difference between a sub-domain name and a domain name?

There are two types of domain name that you are likely to run into:

A few things to note:

  • The “country code” at the end signifies that the Writers of the Far South Coast are in Australia.
    • Specifying a country is only useful if your customers want to buy Australian and care that you are Australian.
    • As an author, you will likely have a worldwide market. You shouldn’t restrict yourself in this way.
  • You can kind of choose your “top level domain”.
    • There are conditions you may have to meet.
      • .org is for organisations, the WFSC had to prove we were an organisation
      • .net is for networks. Anyone can get one of these.
      • .gov is restricted for the government
      • .com is for companies or commercial enterprises
    • There are more Top Level Domains (TLDs) coming out all the time.
    • Each variant of a TLD will cost a different amount. Some are cheap, some will cost you thousands.
  • Your “domain” should be short and descriptive.
  • If you’re stuck with a “sub-domain”, hope the domain name of the company or organisation, that you cannot change, isn’t something weird, long or obnoxious and make your sub-domain short and descriptive.

The difference between a sub-domain name and a domain name is vanity and length.

Everyone knows vanity costs money.
And size does matter.

Vanity Email Addresses

If you have a vanity domain name, you can easily create a vanity email address.

eg: amanda@dalziel.net.au

You can do this in one of two ways

  • Have your vanity email address forward to your regular email address
  • Set up a mailbox on an email server to collect your email.
    • This usually costs money

Which ever way you choose to receive your email, with a vanity domain, you should set up a “catch-all” email address so that any email sent to any email address attached to your vanity domain will get to you, without setting up accounts or forwarding each possible combination.

eg: rainbowsarepretty@dalziel.net.au

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