Where to Host a Club/Society Home Page
First, what is a URL? URL is an acronym for Universal Resource Locator, also sometimes known as Uniform Resource Locator. The URL is a means of specifying the location of information on the Internet for WWW (World Wide Web) clients. The home page of your club would have an URL and all the other pages would have different URLs. The URL for the AFMS web site home page is http://www.amfed.org
A couple of more quick definitions. An Internet Access Provider provides you a means to access the Internet. They usually give you other services as part of the package such as email and web space to host a home page. A Host Provider provides space on their computers for hosting a web site and makes it available on the Internet. They are not required to provide Internet access for you to access the Internet with your computer, but only your site, which they are hosting on their computer(s).
The first obvious solution to provide a home for the club home page has sometimes been to use the web space provided by a personal Internet access account. The personal account was probably provided by an outstanding member that is doing above the call of duty. While this may be a free solution to the Club or Society, it also has some concerns that may not be initially obvious. The WWW is very dynamic and the available resources are always changing. Therefore as you look for a home or happen to be looking to update your site, there are several things to look at now. If you already have a home page, you may not want to change it right now, but keep some of following items in mind for the future. Some of the items of concern when using a personal Internet access accountís web space feature are:
So what is a better solution for an URL? There are a lot of host providers on the Internet willing to host your clubs web site for free. If you use
one of these providers, then your URL will contain their domain name in your URL. http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/Trails/3085/ is an example of this
type of URL provided by GeoCities. Most of these providers are willing to host your site for free if you will allow them to advertise on your site.
Therefore advertising actually pays for your site. Different providers have different requirements for advertising and you will need to evaluate their
terms. For a fee, some of these providers, as well as other providers will host your site without any advertising. Fees might range from $30 or more
per year. You may even find a provider willing to host your site for free without any advertising. The market is constantly changing. There are a
lot of new providers every week and also a lot of providers dropping out. So look at the providerís history. This type of solution allows you to
maintain a constant URL that is not dependent on using a specific Internet Access Provider and allows different people to act as webmaster. It does
require using the specific provider to host the site, since your site will be a part of their domain. Changing host providers will change your URL.
Why Own a Domain Name
Picking a Domain Name
Probably the shortest name that makes sense is the best recommendation. Since so many domain names have already been taken, you may have to get a little creative picking an unused name. Since most clubs and societies are not-for-profit, the .org top level domain is probably the best choice.
Top level domains generally used:
The .ws is actually for the country Samoa, .tv is for Tuvala, and .cc is Cocos (Keeling) Islands. These 3 top level domains are quite often being misrepresented.
Common Terms Simplified
Access Provider Provides access to the Internet. This service is required to browse the WWW. Many access providers are also a host provider and provide email accounts as part of their service.
Host Provider Provides space for web pages as well as connectivity of those pages to the Internet.
HTML (HyperText Markup Language) Special instructions included in a web page text to tell a web browser how to view the page.
POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) Software protocol used to receive email.
SMTP (Simple Mail Text Protocol) Software protocol used to send email.
URL (Uniform Resource Locator) Address for a web page such as http://www.amfed.org/
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