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Chapter four. Getting Ready to Say It > It's All About Control - Pg. 52

Getting Ready to Say It 52 It's All About Control "I have a question," Claude began. "Why can't I just use the free Web space my Internet service provider gives me? They claim it's all that most people need, and they even give me unlimited storage for pictures. Or couldn't I set up a Web server on my own computer, the way Stef has?" "My blog's not running on my computer," Stef objected. "I know," Claude replied, "but you're not paying to have it run. Seems like a pretty good deal to me." "Except that she doesn't really control her site," I said. Stef and I described the problems she'd been having with the current system. "Don't forget," I added, "that you're going to be running what is effectively a business, whether you think of it that way or not. Do you really want it controlled by someone who's not accountable to you?" "But it's free!" Claude asserted again. "Not really," I explained, "because it costs you time and effort to run and maintain the Web server. In any case, running a Web server on your home Internet connection likely violates the terms of service you agreed to when you signed up for the connection. You'd have to upgrade to a business plan, but it'll cost you more." "But if they provide free Web space you can use," Anita said, "how is that any different?" "It's very different because that free Web space is on a Web server in a dedicated data center, monitored and maintained by professionals." Finding Domain Names Good places to search for domain names are www.networksolutions.com, www.regis- ter.com, and www.web.com. "But you still get your own Web site," Anita maintained. "Yes," I agreed, "but it'll have an ugly Web address based on your account name. And the size of your site will be limited. More important, the bandwidth -the amount of data transferred from your Web site to the browsers accessing it-is likely capped, so if too many people access your site they'll eventually get a message saying that the site's exceeded its bandwidth and to come back next month." Domain Name Prices Check www.buydomains.com and www.dynonames.com for low-cost domain names. "So how do we get started, then?" she asked. "You start by getting a Web address for your site," I answered, "and you do that by buying a domain name." How Domain Names Work "Is that hard to do?" Anita asked. "The buying is easy, actually," I replied. "The hard part is finding the domain name in the first place. A few years ago, domain names were hot properties that sometimes sold for astronomical amounts. In 1999, for example, the business.com domain sold for $7.5 million, a huge price by any measure." "Um, that's a bit out of my price range," Claude said quietly. "Yeah, especially when you're a poor college student," Stef added.