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Then, I went along to the domain name registrar and
bought the domain name I wanted for $8.97. The domain
registrar I used offers a whole range of domain name
services completely free (domain parking, URL re-direction,
e-mail re-direction, etc.). If you shop around, you'll find
that there are lots of low-cost registrars that offer such
services for free.
Once I had the domain name, it took me just a couple of
minutes (via the domain registrar's website) to set up the
new domain name to point (or re-direct) to the folder I'd
I'm even able to 'cloak' the address shown on the browser's
address bar, so that, even though people are surfing on my
sub-folder, what shows up on the address bar is the proper
domain name I'd just purchased.
Finally, the domain name registrar even re-directs my e-mails
for free. This enables me to create new addresses and have
any messages that are sent to these addresses re-directed
to my regular e-mail address inbox.
And that's it! A brand new website -- hosted and all --
for less than $10.
Now there's no excuse not to create sales-focused
mini-websites for ALL your products!
--------Additional Info Added May 17th 2003--------
I've received quite a few questions regarding how to set up the 'cloaking'
and 're-direction' ideas mentioned in this article. To help clarify things,
here's a copy of a typical reply (in all its un-edited glory) that I've sent
in relation to these questions.
NOTE TO EDITORS: If you wish to re-publish this article in your publication,
you are not required to reproduce this note - although you can if you want.
"I'm delighted you like the hosting article.
Having just re-read it
for the first time in months, I can see that there's a need to add some
extra information. The cloaking is something that is taken care of
by the domain name registrar (they call it 'framing'). At the time of
writing I was using DNBuy.com, but now I use NameCheap.com
for all my domain names. Both these services include 'Framing' as
a free extra when you buy your domain name - once you have
the domain name you can set it up via your admin control panel.
There are probably other ways to do this using
such-like (if you already have your domain name and your registrar
doesn't offer 'framing'), but I'm afraid I don't have specific info on
this off the top of my head.
Likewise, both these registrars (and, doubtless, many
re-direction as part of the package. Again, this can be set up via
the admin control panel once you've bought the domain name.
If you're in doubt, as to whether a given registrar
will be able to
provide you with the necessary services to set yourself up, just
contact them and ask them these questions...
- Can I have my domain name re-direct to another URL
of my choice?
- Can I 'cloak' or 'mask' the real URL in the address bar
so that my new domain name shows up instead.
- Can I create email addresses with my new domain
name and then have those emails forwarded to my regular
(The first two are the most important. The third point
but not 100% necessary).
Another point worth noting (and that I need to add to
is that you should make a slight adjustment to the order links (if
you have any) that you place on the page.
On my website http://www.create-pdf-files.com which uses
this cloaking method, I noticed a problem. When someone clicked
the order link and were taken to ClickBank's payment window,
there were two problems. Firstly, the URL address in the address
bar still stays the same which may make a potential customer feel
uneasy - after all they would expect a ClickBank URL. Secondly,
the browser didn't recognize that it was entering a secure page and
didn't display the padlock towards the bottom of the screen. Again,
this would have a negative effect on customer confidence.
Fortunately, it's quite easy get around this problem.
For the order
links you should include target = 'parent' to the link. This will break
you out of cloaking and allow the user to continue payment in the
environment he/she expects. Here's how the URL for the order link
would look in HTML...
<a href=http://www.YOUR_ORDER_LINK.com" target="_parent">
I hope this helps. Please don't hesitate to contact me
if I can be of any
further help with anything."
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