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Frequently Asked Questions


 
      

1 What is a domain?
2 Do I need a domain?
3 How do I get a domain name?  
4 How do I know if the domain I want is available?
5 What do I do after I get my domain name registered?
6 What if I already have a domain registered with someone else.
7 How do I make my web site?
8 How do I get my web site on the Internet?
9 What do I do if I have problems?
10 What do I do if I don't like the hosting company I am with?
11 How much should I expect to pay for hosting and registration?
12 Should I get a guarantee with a hosting company?
13 Do I own my domain name after you register it?
14 Can I advertise on my site?
15 Do you put any banners on my site?
16 Can I put banners on my site and charge for it?
17 Do you give discounts if I have more than one domain hosted?
18 What are my total costs and what is this 10% discount all about?
19 How can you offer this hosting for $8.95/month and others charge $19.95/month or more?
20 What if I register and host with you and decide to switch to a different hosting company later?
21 Can I pay in advance?
22 Do you have a reseller program?
23 What if I go over my disk storage or data transfer per month?
24 Do you allow adult content?
25 Can I use my mailing list for MLM promotions?
26 Do you have any technical information on your servers?
27 Can you register any domain for me (such as .com, .net, etc.)?
28 Can you host any domain for me (such as .com, .net, etc.)?
29 Do you have a secure server?
30 I am a total rookie and am confused by all of this. Can I talk to you on the phone?
31 How do you handle my credit card information?
32 How do you handle my email address?

 

What is a domain?

A domain name is a unique name that identifies an Internet site. The Internet is made up of millions of computers and networks, all with their own domain name or unique address.

When the Internet was young all the nerds got together and decided that every computer on the Internet had to have an address. Of course that makes sense, doesn't it? How else could we find each other? The decision was to give every computer an IP number (Internet Protocol Number). This number consists of 4 parts separated by dots such as 123.45.67.89 or 12.345.678.910.

But as the Internet grew it became obvious to some that there must be an easier way to find someone than trying to remember a 10 or 12 digit number. Ah... Domain Names were born!

And the DNS was born! (Domain Name System) If everyone got together they could give names to each computer instead of a number. But someone has to keep track of what name goes with what IP number. The DNS keeps track of domain names. Everyone still has an IP number but the DNS automatically goes to that number when someone looks for your domain name.

So now we can get a domain name of our choice and not have to worry about any number. That is taken care of by the DNS.

Do I need a domain?

Not everyone needs a domain name.

We will assume you want a web presence and that means you want to have a web site where you can put information so the world or maybe even a select few can view it.

There are many free web hosts who will let you put your information on their servers. You will have some restrictions such as not being able to run your own scripts and you will have much less control then if you had your own domain being hosted on a server. But you may not need the extra services.

You will also find with a free service that the location (URL) of your site is harder to remember. It will look like www.freesites.com/users/~yourname. If you had a domain name the location would be www.yourname.com.

Usually the only request from a free service is that you allow them to place advertising of their choice on your pages. That is a small price to pay for a free hosting company if you have a personal web site. A business web site would never allow someone to place advertising on their site and not have any control over the content. Can you imagine a web site selling computers and the free hosting company being able to advertise other computer selling sites on the same site?

Another benefit of your own domain web site is being able to control your email accounts. You can have email such as info@yourdomain.com or mary@yourdomain.com.

If you would like to try a free hosting company go to www.yahoo.com or any search engine and use the keywords: free hosting. You will be able to find many sites that will take your business.

How do I get a domain name?

You must register a domain name with a registration company. You will need certain information from a hosting company to register a domain such as their nameservers. If you don't have a hosting company yet some registration companies will let you use their nameservers until you decide on a hosting company. There should not be any added cost for this service.

There are many registration companies and to find a list go to www.yahoo.com or any search engine and use the keywords: domain registration.

They all do about the same thing. You get your domain registered for so much a year which usually is between $10 to $35.

Your registration company should not charge extra if (when) you want to make changes in your domain records. They should also make it very easy to make changes.

Many have templates where you can change the info whenever you want. Some require you to mail or fax requests with a picture ID. We modify your domain registration records when you contact us by email or phone.

Almost all hosting companies will register a domain for you. You should know exactly what the registration is costing you and you should also know that they will not charge you any fees if you decide to switch hosting companies. You will still owe yearly registration fees but you should never have to pay to have your domain modified.

How do I know if the domain I want is available?

Go to one of the sites listed here.

What do I do after I get my domain name registered?

Usually you have registered a domain one of two ways.

1. You have registered your domain yourself and are now looking for a hosting company.
It is easy to find hosting companies but not so easy to understand what they are talking about. Many use terms such as 'unlimited' and '100% guarantee'. Somehow you are going to have to 'read between the lines' and decide on a hosting company. Sometimes it is not easy and you will later decide that you made a mistake. That is why your hosting company should make it very clear that you will not be charged a fee to switch companies and any monies paid in advance should be refunded.

2. You have already chosen a hosting company and had them register the domain for you.
All you have to do now is wait until your hosting company contacts you with the information to upload and maintain your site. You will be sent your IP number, username, password, and information on how to get to your control panel (almost all hosting companies supply you with a control panel).

What if I already have a domain registered with someone else.

All we have to do is modify your domain and you will be on our servers. Different registration companies require different procedures to modify domains but we will check everything for you. Of course there is no charge for this.

How do I make my web site?

1. You can use our SiteXpress Web Design Tool available with all domains we host. This tool will allow you to design a very nice web site using one of the design templates available. This is a very easy to use tool.

2. You learn HTML and design your site by hand coding your web pages. Your web site will be on your computer and you upload your site to the Internet when it is finished. You will be updating your site and making changes on a regular basis so whenever you make changes you will have to upload the new site to the Internet.

3. You use an HTML editor (such as Frontpage, Dreamweaver, etc.) to design your web site. While many of these editors say you don't need to know any HTML to use them it is far easier to use any editor if you know some HTML. Your HTML editor is on your computer and when your web site is finished you will upload it to the Internet. Once you have mastered your HTML editor it will be very easy to make changes and upload your site to the Internet.

We will also design your site using our Free Web Design.

 

How do I get my web site on the Internet?

After you have designed your site on your computer at home (or work) you will have to upload all the files and images to the hosting company on the Internet. After you have uploaded your files the world will be able to see your web site by going to www.yourdomain.com.

You upload your files with an FTP program.
FTP - File Transfer Protocol

You can get these programs for free on the Internet.

If you are using a HTML editor they will many times have a FTP program built into them. You will upload your files by using a 'publish' button on the program or something very similar.

What do I do if I have problems?

Everyone has problems. Even the so called 'experts' run into things they don't understand and they have to ask for help. If (when) you have problems getting your web site on the Internet your hosting company should be available on a fast and friendly basis.

All hosting companies provide support of some type.

We provide:
* Help Desk
* Help pages from your control panel with over 800 pages of answers
* Support by email
* Phone support
* Phone call backs (email us and ask for a call back at a time convenient to you)

What do I do if I don't like the hosting company I am with?

You should be able to change hosting companies at any time you wish and for any reason. Don't sign any contract that says otherwise. And you should also receive a refund of any monies paid in advance.

To change a hosting company you need to find another hosting company that you want to change to. Contact that company and tell them you are hosting with someone else now but you want to change to their company. The new hosting company may be able to modify your domain to point to their servers. You will have to authorize this modification by some means depending on which registration company you have. You should also contact your current hosting company and tell them what you are doing.

If you have registered your domain with us and we are hosting your domain we will help you change to a different hosting company if you ever decide to change. We will modify your domain for you and refund any money you have paid us in advance.

How much should I expect to pay for hosting and registration?

To register your .com, .net or .org domain you should expect to pay between $12 -$35 per year. To register a domain with a different extension the prices are usually much higher with some being around $100 per year and more.

Hosting prices depend on many variables. A personal or small business web site just starting out should expect to pay up to $35 per month. Many hosting companies offer expensive options that most web sites don't need. Options such as ASP, Cold Fusion, etc. Don't pay for options you will never use. If you are in any doubt contact the hosting company and ask them if they can host your site with what you need.

And you can get some pretty good prices if you pay a year in advance or sign a contract. We don't require a contract and we would suggest you don't sign a contract binding you to any one company for a period of time. You should be able to move if and when you want with no penalty!

We have also seen some unbelievable prices such as $4/month for hosting. Well... that is getting too low. We don't believe any company can offer any type of support or maintained machines at that price. If you see absolutely unbelievable pricing there is a reason. You only have to have your website go down for a few days or even weeks and you will quickly realize why some prices are so low. There are quite a few hosting companies around now that offer a starting package around $10 per month.

Should I get a guarantee with a hosting company?

Domain registration is non refundable with any registration company. Once a domain is registered it is paid for the contract length and no registration company refunds the fee.

Hosting fees that are used are usually non refundable. In other words if you use the service for a couple of months you can't say you haven't been satisfied and you want your money back. You should get a guarantee that you will receive any money back that you paid in advance if you haven't used those months of hosting.

We do guarantee that if you change hosting companies we will refund any money you have paid in advance for months you have not used.

Do I own my domain name after you register it?

Absolutely! Once we register your domain and you have paid for it the domain name is your property. Even if you transfer later to a different hosting company you still own the domain name. We are the administrators of the domain name and you will have to pay us a yearly fee for registration but you have to pay a yearly registration fee no matter who is hosting your domain. If you need your domain modified you contact us and your request will be taken care of as soon as possible. There is no modification fee.

Can I advertise on my site?

Of course you can advertise on your site. That is what most of the Internet is all about. If you are not advertising for someone else you are usually advertising for yourself.

Do you put any banners on my site?

We would never put anything on your site unless you requested it. You own the site and you decide what is on it.

Can I put banners on my site and charge for it?

You sure can!

Do you give discounts if I have more than one domain hosted?

We do not give discounts if you have more than one site being hosted with us.

What are my total costs and what is this 10% discount all about?

As low as $8.95 per month for our hosting. You will also have to pay to have your domain registered which is as low as $13.50/yr if you register and host your site with us. Our basic price is $15/year for domain registration and $9.95/month for hosting but if you give us a credit card on file or pay for a year in advance you will receive a 10% discount which lowers your cost to $13.50/year registration and $8.95/month hosting.

The 10% discount applies if you are hosting your web site with us and you have given us a credit card on file for billing or you have paid 1 year in advance. The 10% discount would apply to your domain hosting and also to the domain registration.

How can you offer this hosting for $8.95/month and others charge $19.95/month or more?

We offer one basic hosting plan and one email/starter hosting plan which makes it easier for us and our customers. We also only bill by email which cuts costs. You will also find our help pages easy to use which means less labor for us. We also do not spend huge sums of money advertising by TV or mail. Probably the biggest reason our prices are low is that we spend money on machines and techs that pays off in the end. We have very few problems compared to many hosting companies.

What if I register and host with you and decide to switch to a different hosting company later?

That is your choice. You still own your domain and you are in total control of what hosting company you use. We will help you modify your domain immediately. No Hassle! We Promise!

Can I pay in advance?

Yes. We accept payment up to 1 year in advance. You will also receive a 10% discount for payment 1 year in advance.

Do you have a reseller program?

We do not have a reseller program but you can host a domain for someone else with us and be the designer and maintainer of that domain. You will pay our prices (probably $8.95 per month) and you can charge whatever you like to your client. We do have many who do this and their rates to their clients are usually between $20 - $30 per month.

What if I go over my disk storage or data transfer per month?

Your site doesn't automatically shut down. There are alerts you will see and we will see them also. You can contact us if you need to add something or you can add options yourself from your control panel.

Do you allow adult content?

We do not allow adult content. Our software monitors all sites daily and will disable any site found to contain adult content. We then review your site and if it is found to contain adult content we will permanently remove your domain from our servers with no refund. There is no second chance.

Can I use my mailing list for MLM promotions?

You can not use your mailing program from our server for any unsolicited emails of any type. We consider this 'spam' and it is treated the same as 'adult content'. We have very sophisticated software that monitors all bulk mailings and this software can determine if the emails are spam. Your site will be disabled with no refund.

Can you register any domain for me (such as .com, .net, etc.)?

We currently are only able to register .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz and .us domains and receive the pricing that we advertise.

Can you host any domain for me (such as .com, .net, etc.)?

Yes, we can host any domain with any extension.

Do you have a secure server?

Yes. We are a secure server and all of our basic hosting accounts can make pages secure through SSL using our server wide certificate at no extra cost. This service is almost always an added cost on other hosting companies and the added cost is usually between $5.00 and $15.00 per month!

I am a total rookie and am confused by all of this. Can I talk to you on the phone?

Of course you can. Call us at 218-331-2314 or email us with your phone number and a good time to call you. We'll answer your questions and we promise no high pressure sales talk.

How do you handle my credit card information?

When you send us your credit card info from our secure site (www.minnesotashopper.net) it is encrypted using SSL. This is one of the best and most widely used formats on the Internet. Information sent this way is very secure and there are very few problems with security at this point. If there is a problem with security it is usually after the order is received and how the credit card info is stored. Many (if not most) Internet companies will store your credit card info on their server. This database will store all credit card numbers and info on their customers. Although this does allow easy and convenient access for the business it does create some security risks. Even with the sophisticated software that most use to stop unauthorized access it is possible (although unlikely) that your credit card and personal info can be accessed by unauthorized viewers. A security risk as simple as a disgruntled employee could cause your credit card to be 'stolen'.

We do not store your credit card info on our servers. Once we receive your order we treat your credit card info as we would like our credit card info treated. All credit card info is stored off our servers and on a computer (with a backup) that is inaccessible to the public. And this info is password protected to allow access only by our billing department.

Once your credit card info is sent to us through our secure server it is never open to intrusion from our servers. 

How do you handle my email address?

We do not believe it should be legal to sell your email address and we know for sure it is not ethical. Your email address should never be given to anyone without your permission.

We will never sell or give your email address to anyone without your permission.

There are companies who collect email addresses and sell them to marketing firms. Many times they will use very sophisticated software to collect email addresses from the Internet. They will use 'robots' such as those used by search engines. It is almost impossible to stop this type of questionable business practice. And the firms who buy these email addresses use them in bulk mailings which are usually known as 'spam'.

With our options available to you on your control panel you will have the capability of making a mailing list. With this mailing list you could send out 'spam'. We do not allow spam of any type from our server. Our software detects these type of mailings almost immediately and your domain will be deleted without a refund. That is what we think of spam. Don't do it on our servers!


 
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