Vera Kalbol, Cat Rescue Canada
Ah, the basics. If you have no knowledge of the Web it can be daunting. There are really just a few things you need to know and do yourself.
First, you need to register your domain. Let’s say your group is called “Hugs Rescue”. You might want to register a domain that would be hugs.com or hugsrescue.com. You can also choose among other TLDs (top level domains), with .org and .net being the most popular.
[Editor’s note: If Petfinder hosts your Web Site, we will do our best to provide answers to technical questions and point you in the right direction with design help. We also offer a unique address service to make your page easy to find.]
Once you decide on your name, find a registrar and check the name’s availability. If no one else is using it, then for a few dollars it can be yours (for at least the next year!). Registering a domain has dropped a lot in price and registrars are easy to find. Your registration can be completed for under $10 US.
Now that you’ve chosen and registered a name, it is yours for the time period you paid for. If you change your e-mail address, be sure to notify your registrar and have it changed on their record. This is really important because they will contact you when your renewal date is coming close, and you will likely need the reminder. Make sure they can reach you. Don’t let ANYONE change that information to their own address.
You have to choose a host for your site. There are many free hosts to choose from. Do a search for “free hosting” and choose one. Spend your money on helping the animals, not on hosting.
Now you have your domain and your host, and all you need is a Web page. By now you probably have a Webmaster in mind who can upload your page(s). The hosting company will provide a login name and password. Make sure you keep a copy.
It’s good to do the registration yourself because you can make sure it’s in your name and that YOU are the contact for the site. I also suggest arranging for your own hosting so that you know where the site is and what the costs are. You should also have the login/password information at all times.
Part I: Learn From Others Mistakes
Part II: You Need To Know The Basics
Part III: Get A Webmaster And Plan Your Site
Part IV: What To Do, And What Not To Do
Part V: Other Things You Need To Do