Print Friendly

Featured Image

Attachments

None at this time

Show Extras

With my vision for DannyEckes.com complete my next step is to take care of the domain registration and hosting. I have used GoDaddy for many years and it wasn’t until I decided to actually create a dynamic site that I became completely frustrated with them. I have written about this here and will not waste time in this post talking about it. I am using Bluehost as my hosting company now. The main reason for going with bluehost was the low price, countless “unlimited” features, and they locally host their MySQL server allowing for faster service. The speed of the MySQL server is by far the most important part of selecting a hosting company when using WordPress or any database driven website. Keep in mind the following process is useful for bluehost and some other similar hosting sites. Some hosting sites, however, allow you to assign root folders to all your domain names. Here at bluehost and other similar hosting companies, you must have one domain name assigned as your main account that directly links to the main hosting folder. You can then assign all other domains to subfolders. The problem with this is, if you want to host more than one website on your unlimited account, you need each name to link to a specific folder. Here is how I worked around the issue.


Domain Name

First let’s define Domain Name. Your domain name is the address name of your site. In reality your website is an IP address, which basically is a set of 4 numbers which is the address on the internet of the server that your site’s files are stored on. In other words think of an IP address as your street address. If you wanted to send a letter you need to have the street number, street name, city, and state of your specific location. This is very similar with IP addresses except a server address is a set of 32 bits, or 4 sets of 8 1’s and 0’s. Since as humans we can remember words a lot easier than numbers, a domain name is used as a reference to that IP address. For example my server’s binary address might be 01100001.01111101.01010111.00101010 or IP 97.125.87.42. Because that nubmer would be almost impossible for people to memorize, in order to get to my site, a common name, or word, is used. This is the Domain Name. So when you type dannyeckes.com into your web browser a server is referenced to find the IP address associated with dannyeckes.com and then you are taken to my server. Using the home address example it would be compared to the old style phone book. You look up someone’s name and get their phone number and address. This all happens behind what you see in order to keep things simple and less confusing. There is a lot more to this topic and this is a generalization of domain names I encourage you to research more if you are interested.

Selecting your domain name is an important part of your site. It is what most people will call your site and think of when they associate with your content. For DannyEckes.com I decided to just use my common nickname, Danny, and my last name, Eckes. This would allow people to find me easily through web searching, as most people know me by Danny. Using my full name was the best thing I could come up with for a personal website. The tricky part is the registration. I registered DannyEckes.com and DannyEckes.net. I want my .com to be the name of the site and the main address everyone uses. Registering the .net helps make sure no one will create a spoof of my site (although that risk is very very low it is still possible, imagine if someone besides Amazon.com owned Amazon.net). However the main reason for registering my .net is to help with the organization of files on my hosting server.

Hosting

The term Hosting refers to the physical computer that my site’s files are located, or hosted, on. This is the computer, or server, that the IP address points to when my domain name is used. With bluehost I have unlimited storage. So in reality I can, in the future, create other websites and host them all from my bluehost server. The problem with this is that one of my domains must be the main domain associated with my hosting account. To help visualize this think of the hosting account as a file cabinet. Inside that cabinet you can have as many folders as you’d like. Then your domain name is like a Tab Label for each folder that holds all the files for that specific site. The problem with having one domain name as the main name for your account is one domain name will point to the cabinet while all the rest will point to folders within the cabinet. So if I registered Dannyeckes.com (the common name for my site) as the main domain name, then when people typed in DannyEckes.com they would get a list of folders on my hosting account (or the cabinet) instead of all the files for my site within the folder. Likewise if someone typed in Dannyeckes.net, which linked to a folder, they would get my website. This is obviously unacceptable because I want them both to point to the same folder and have my site represented as DannyEckes.com. There are several ways to fix this but here is what I have found to be the simplest way.

  1. Use my uncommon site name (dannyeckes.net) as the main domain name for the the account. (This will reference the cabinet and not the folders)
  2. Create a folder “dannyeckes” in my hosting account that will hold all the files for dannyeckes.com 
  3. Assign the folder “dannyeckes” created above as the root directory for dannyeckes.com (remember you cannot assign the main domain’s root folder so it is important to make your uncommon site name the main domain name)
  4. Create a permanent redirect for dannyeckes.net to dannyeckes.com This will ensure that when someone does, by the off chance, type dannyeckes.net they will be redirected to dannyeckes.com. Or in other words when someone types in the address that takes them to the cabinet they are redirected to the folder within the cabinet.

Setting up my site by following the previous steps will ensure that when people visit my site the address will always show www.dannyeckes.com/whaterver_page instead of the full address www.dannyeckes.com/public_html/dannyeckes/whatever_page. To me this looks more professional and a lot cleaner. It will also fix issues with links and file references as dannyeckes.net will require one additional directory in all it’s links because it is not inside the folder. Yes, it cost an extra $10 to register the second domain but it really helps simplify the URL’s and linking to specific content. This is a cost that cannot be avoided when starting a website. The 4th step from above is really the only step that requires you to do anything. Up until now everything is conceptual. A redirect must be established to forward all vistors to my site from the cabinet to the folder within where my site’s files are stored. This is known as a Permanent Redirect with server code 301.

301 Redirect

To create a 301 redirect you need to edit your .htaccess file. The .htaccess file is a file that is stored on web servers that holds a set of instructions on how to handle certain requests. For instance you can specify a custom error page when someone mistypes a URL or have a page redirected. For more info on .htaccess please visit the wikipedia entry. In my case I want the server to redirect people who type in dannyeckes.net to dannyeckes.com. This is done by adding the following lines to the .htaccess file.

  • RewriteEngine on
  • RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^wrong_domain.net$ [OR]
  • RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.wrong_domain.net$
  • RewriteRule ^/?$ “http\:\/\/www\.right_domain\.com” [R=301,L]

Note: change wrong_domain.net to the name of the domain that needs to be forwarded. In my instance it was dannyeckes.net. Then change right_domain to the correct domain. In my instance this was dannyeckes.com

Using the [OR] statement I am redirecting both www.dannyeckes.net and dannyeckes.net. The RewriteCond is the condition of what is being redirected. So when someone types in dannyeckes.net OR www.dannyeckes.net (with www.) it will apply the rule to change it to www.dannyeckes.com.

At the end, [R=301,L] simply tells the server that this is a permanent 301 Redirect and that this is the Last line of the redirect statement. Using 301 will also help with Search Engine Optimization by notifying search engines that this change is permanent. Some people may want to make a temporary change, this is done with a 302 redirect.

Or if that is too complicated, and you use bluehost or your hosting company uses cPanel for site management, follow these instructions. This is the wizard way of doing it but I suggest trying it on your own first and using the wizard as a last resort. This will help you learn more about how your site works and give you an additional skill you didn’t have before you started your site.

Conclusion

That is basically it. After adding the 4 lines above to your .htaccess file, you will have all requests going to your main hosting account, or cabinet, forwarded to the actual folder holding your site. If you are a novice at web-design this might seem a little challenging. It is more of the concept that might intimidate you than the actual work. In reality once you get in and do it you’ll realize this shouldn’t take longer than 20 minutes to conquer. Yet I emphasize the importance of understanding what you are doing before just diving in and adding a few lines to your .htaccess file.

To conclude this post I now have the hosting, or cabinet, setup to contain countless new websites, each in its own folder. My main domain name registered to my hosting account now forwards to a specific folder making DannyEckes.net appear the same as DannyEckes.com. Again, sorry for the plug but I really do suggest Bluehost to help anyone getting started with a website. Besides the countless features, they have an excellent support staff to guide you if by chance you do get stuck. I hope this was useful to you and wish you the best of luck setting up your Domain Name and Hosting Account.

Series Navigation<< WordPress Site Design – VisionWordPress Site Design – CMS >>

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

Copyright © 2013 DannyEckes.com. All rights reserved. | Site design by Daniel J. Eckes | Privacy