Frequently Asked Questions | General Questions
What is a Domain Name?
Why should I register a Domain Name?
If your organization's name is Example, Inc., you could register the Domain Name EXAMPLE.COM and your e-mail address could be email@example.com. Your customers would also be able to access your organization's Web site by visiting "www.example.com" or "example.com" with their Web browser.
Like any trade name, logo, or brand name, your Domain Name represents a part of your business identity - something customers and business associates can recognize, remember, and positively associate with your services or products. Registering your Domain Name will at the very least prevent someone else from using it.
With your own Domain Name, access on the World Wide Web becomes a simple matter of entering Yourname.com. No one has to write it down, they remember it.
Similarly, every Email message affirms your name as your address becomes firstname.lastname@example.org. - simple, elegant, and effective.
Also, by doing business under your own Domain Name, a good service provider can offer you multiple Email "aliases," all going to a single or multiple parties. They can even be forwarded to people outside your physical location.
Finally....ITS PORTABLE! If you've ever had to change your service provider, or even move your physical business address, you know what an incredible hassle it is to notify everyone. Remember, that without your own Domain Name, your Internet address is tied to that of your service provider. Thus, if you want to change providers you also change your Web address and probably Email address as well.
Consider for a moment: Are your ready to print new cards, brochures, etc., or contact all your clients, suppliers, business associates, etc. and inform them of your new address? Can you even remember them all or reach them if you want to in a timely and cost-effective manner? And, every day you're in business the list gets longer. Your own Domain Name lets you avoid all that, giving you a permanent Internet address. You can change your service providers every month if you want, and your address will always remain yourname.com.
What are the currently available Domain Names extensions?
What costs are associated with registering a Domain Name?
What are the valid characters for a Domain Name and how long can it be?
A Domain Name can be up to 66 characters long including the 4 characters used to identify the Top Level Domain (.NET, .COM, .ORG, or .EDU).
The following are valid Examples of Domain Names:
example.com (11 characters)
another-example.net (19 characters)
example-thats-really-longggggggg.com (36 characters)
Note: The path http://www.example.com is not a Domain Name. It is a uniform resource locator (URL) used by Web browsers to find documents and resources.
How do I find out if a Domain Name is available?
What if someone is already using a Domain Name I want?
If the name you want is already registered, consider registering variations of the name desired. For example, example.com, could be registered as example.net, or examples.com.
Our FREE search engine allows you to search for Domain Names that you may wish to register. Once you find a suitable Domain Name, you may want to consider registering variants of that Domain Name to prevent someone else from benefiting from a Domain Name similar to your chosen Domain Name. We can direct the additional domains to your primary domain.
Can I just register my domain name myself?
Sidetrips will be happy to complete the registration process for you, based on the information you provide on the online signup form . Sidetrips will be the technical/zone contact, and you can choose the administrative and billing contacts. Generally, the administrative contact is the person responsible for day-to day operations of your website, (i.e., your support). The billing contact should be the personal responsible for payables in your organization. Please fill out all information completely. If you do not have a fax, leave this entry blank.
What is DNS or Domain Name Service?
How long will it take to process my registration?
Following the registration, updates to the Internet's root name servers are propagated seven days a week at which time the DNS information for the newly registered name becomes visible to the DNS system. Domain Names processed prior to 5 p.m. Eastern Time should be accessible on the Internet within 2 days.
Once a Domain is registered, who "owns" the Domain Name?
I already have a domain name on someone else's server. Can I transfer it to Sidetrips?
What if I want to point two domains to the same Website?
Can I use a canonical domain, such as sales.example.com?
I'm not ready for a Web site yet, but I want to reserve my domain name before someone else gets it.
What is Hosting?
Can I host my own Domain Name and web site myself?
Can I keep my current dial-up provider (ISP)?
How do I choose a hosting service for my Website?
Bandwidth is the size of the "pipe" your hosting partner has to the internet. For, example, your dialup connection to the internet is probably communicating at 56,000 bits per second (56kbs)
Our hosting and colocation solutions provide high-speed, high-bandwidth connectivity to the UUNET global network. We have the most rigorously engineered, reliable TCP/IP network backbone. UUNET's fully meshed multimegabit backbone has been expanded to include OC-12 (644 MBps) and OC-48 (2.45 GBps) links, enabling us to offer some of the fastest speeds available today.
A couple of years ago, a common bandwidth for internet hosts was T1 (1.5 MBps). As the internet's popularity grows, the once standard T1 has become the "snail" in terms of hosting connections. More and more providers have so-called 'fast' T3 connections (45 MBps), which provides a "pipe" 27 times faster than a T1. UUNET's OC-12 connections are 14 times faster than a T3 connection and OC-48 is 54 times faster than the same T3 connection used by 'average' hosting companies. At Sidetrips, we recognize that while this faster connectivity is probably sufficient for now, with the internet's rapid growth, in a very short time, this just will not be enough. That's why we use state of the art connections made directly to the backbone of the Internet so speed is no longer an issue. Sidetrips can deliver your site with blazing speed and reliability.
For maximum reliability, our network links are fully redundant to eliminate single points of failure. Plus, we use high-capacity fiber to build our network over an existing infrastructure and support it with diverse fiber paths and uninterruptable power supplies at every node.
What's more, our average peak bandwidth utilization is very low. We have lots of available bandwidth for your Web site.
What other factors affect Website performance?
Another factor to consider is the equipment used to host the sites. Operating System software, processor speed, server memory, and the number of sites placed on each server are all important factors. At Sidetrips we use Dell Servers with maximum RAM and fast Pentium processors. We run RedHat Linux 7.0 and Windows NT/2000 Operating Systems. And to guarantee optimal performance, we limit the number of accounts on each box.
One final note about performance. Each hosting provider has an internal network, which your website is connected to. Your pages must make a trip through that internal network before they are sent out to the internet and ultimately to your customers. The speed of this internal network is a critical factor, and ours is a 100 Megabit/second etherswitched network. Most others that you'll find are operating at just one-tenth that speed.
You mentioned reliability. Can you expand on that?
As hardware can fail, so can connections. We peer with all major backbone providers so that if one should fail, we can quickly switch to another. We can do this in a matter of seconds. We use state of the art BGP ( Border Gateway Protocol ) multihoming to ensure the reliability of your connection to the internet.
The power can go out, too. We use UPS backup power, so that voltage fluctuations, brownouts, and blackouts will not affect your site's operation. And for prolonged outages, if one should occur, we have generator power on standby.
What about Microsoft FrontPage?
What about "E-Commerce"? What is SSL?
Sidetrips offers the ability to provide ultra-secure, 128-bit (high-grade) digital security using ordinary Web browsers to customers in the United States and Canada. Many other ISPs offer only medium-grade 40-bit security, and many, many more offer no security at all. Using SSL (Secure Socket Layers) and digital certification from Thawte, you can be confident that your secure transactions will be authentic and private. What's more, this service is available to you absolutely free with your own certificate.
I've seen hosting advertised at $5/month and you're charging $20 - $30. What's up with that?
For example, we followed one banner and found that for $5 you don't even get domain registration, you're allowed only 1 MB disk space, and your site has only a slow T1 access. We added up what it would cost to bring this $5 Web site up to Sidetrips's $30 Web site using the provider's own a-la-carte pricing. We added the things we include as standard, such as SSL and FrontPage. Their total was $65/month!
What should I pay for hosting?
Always read the "fine print" very carefully. In many cases, what seems like a good price really isn't. Many hosting providers charge extra for SSL, FrontPage, email, and so on. In many cases, once you've added up all the "extras", you'll be paying two to three times the "advertised" price.
At Sidetrips, you pay one price. No gimmicks, no games, no surprises.
Some hosting providers are advertising unlimited disk space. Why does Sidetrips only offer up to 1000 Mb?
We do not play games with your resources. When we offer you 50MB of disk space, we give it to you -- whether you use it or not, it's there, you've paid for it, it's always available, it's yours. We do not oversell disk space, or bandwidth, or any other resources.
Of course, should you need extra disc space you can always add extra space to your existing account.
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