Friday, April 22, 2011

UK Domains and Web Hosting

Network Solutions, one of the largest domain registrars and web hosting services companies in the world, now offers a complete array of services especially for users in the United Kingdom. These include not just domain names, but web hosting, e-commerce email hosting, SSL security certificates and custom design and marketing services. It’s everything you need to be successful whether you are targeting visitors from the UK or operating a worldwide enterprise.

Get UK Domains and While .uk is the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) assigned to the United Kingdom, you can’t register .uk domains the way you register a .com or .net. Instead, you need to register one of the approved second-level domains. The most popular of these is which is intended for commercial use but available for general registration. Of course, you are free to use the more general .com, .net and .org domains.

By the way, you can also register a .eu domain if you would rather be identified with the European Union. Unlike the unrestricted availability of the domain, as a registrant you must be located within the EU to register a .eu domain name.

Once you have a domain name, you’ll want hosting to put that name to use. Most users want web hosting, but it is possible to skip the website and just have email hosting for a very low cost. You pay by the number of mailboxes you want. Then you have a choice of whether to pickup your email using the email program on your computer that downloads the messages, or to keep everything in the cloud and access your messages from anywhere using webmail. Spam and virus protection are included.

Network Solutions UK also offers a business email service to host your domain name. It works like the personal email solution, but includes more storage and the ability to sync email, contacts, calendars and tasks so you can work remotely and the ability to share calendars and collaborate on group projects.

Web hosting comes in a range of sizes to accommodate every user from those just starting out to major enterprises. The most popular packages are shared hosting, where you and a number of other clients share the same server. Of course, your files are kept separate in your own account. It’s the sharing of computing resources that keeps this service low cost.

For most hosting needs, shared hosting is the way to go. You get a lot for your money. Most plans are general hosting packages that include buckets of monthly bandwidth and disk storage. There are also specialized hosting options that include Hosting for WordPress that is designed specifically for bloggers and SharePoint hosting that is specifically designed to work with Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) collaboration for small businesses.

You can generally add e-commerce capability to any general hosting package. Network Solutions UK has gone a step further by creating specialized CommerceSpace packages for online stores. You get customizable storefront templates that you can edit online or using web design software such as Dreamweaver or FrontPage. You have the ability to accept PayPal and Google Check payments and can add a merchant account to accept credit cards. The packages are priced by the maximum number of products from 25 to 100,000. A domain name is included with an annual purchase.

A step up from shared hosting is VPS or Virtual Private Server hosting. Intended for more demanding uses, these virtual servers give you root access to install whatever software you want, including different operating systems. You have a guaranteed amount of RAM and ample amounts of storage and bandwidth. VPS has become popular because it offers the flexibility of a dedicated server at a lower cost through virtualization than shared physical computing resources.

One additional type of hosting you should consider is mobile website hosting. More and more traffic and commerce is moving to smartphones. How does your website work on the small screen of a mobile phone? Not so well? You may benefit from a mobile-specific website with a .mobi extension. The advantage of a mobile site is that it is optimized for mobile screens and loads much faster than a full website. The user interface features the familiar icon appearance.

Are you interested in hosting to support your UK business, or are you conducting business internationally and want to focus on UK customers? If so, learn more about UK Domains and Web Hosting from Network Solutions.

Note: Map of the United Kingdom courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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