Twenty years ago, the World Wide Web didn't exist, and today it's hard to imagine our lives without it. We're at the verge of using the Web for almost everything, from business to entertainment, and increasingly for basic functions of modern life, such as paying bills, booking trips, and following our children's progress in school. Yet, despite this ever increasing importance of the Web, many people remain unsure about doing things like a domain name registration, setting up a website, or using the web for business.
In a sense, that's not surprising. Statistics show that some of today's most attractive jobs did not even exist a mere ten years ago, so learning about them and mastering them is a matter of personal initiative. The same goes for many of today's enabling technologies. It's one thing to learn how to use Facebook or Twitter, but even setting up a wireless home network can get pretty involved if you go beyond the basics. The same is true with domain name registration, setting up websites and all the tools and services that are involved with setting up shop online, or even just having a small website.
In essence, just like initially learning how to use a computer, learning about the Internet and how to use it for business is a process. If all you want to do is have a vanity site to show your pictures you don't need to know a lot, but anything beyond that requires at least a basic understanding of webhosting, email, e-commerce, and how to use a variety of tools to set up a website. It also comes in handy to know a bit about security (like using certificates, passwords, ssl and such) and marketing (like email campaigns or online newsletters).
Other areas it makes sense to investigate are the details of domain registrations, such as transferring domains, transferring websites, monitoring the availability of domain names you're interested in, masking and forwarding, search engine optimization, and the (somewhat arcane) art of using name servers. You don't need to be an expert in all this, but it's good to know the basics, and to deal with a web hosting company that can help you out with whatever it is you want to get accomplished.
If all of this sounds complicated and expensive, it can be, but it doesn't have to be. Making a bit of an effort to learn the basics of being online and doing business online can yield surprising results. People have started successful companies, found fulfillment in self employment, and became engaged in profitable web marketing, all starting from ground zero. And it doesn't have to be expensive at all. Running even a whole suite of business websites can cost less per month than one single meal in a restaurant.
That's because there's an incredible wealth of services and tools out there, and most come free or at very low cost with domain name registration and even basic web hosting packages. There are tools to build websites, free website templates, systems to create online stores, email marketing, affiliate and reseller programs, and an incredible wealth of free and low-cost services, and tons more. For those who do not shy away from learning and taking advantage of everything the Web has to offer, it's your own personal gold rush with virtually unlimited opportunity.
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Chris Robertson is an author of Majon International, one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing companies.
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