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Can someone explain in very simple terms what I'll need to do to achieve the following ?
Basically, I get my broadband through NTL and as such has an allocation of webspace that comes free with my account. I'm interested in using this to set up my own webpage.
However, at the same time I'm interested in purchasing a "proper" domain name for myself. If I do this, will I be able to use the two together (i.e. by visiting click here, will people be able to access the content stored in my NTL webspace ?)
Please bear in mind that this is all new to me, so if this is a really daft question - I apologise in advance !
Normally your free webspace will have an address along the lines of http : // www . YourISPsName.com/~YourUserName or something similar.
You can register a domain name, say domtheboy.co.uk and then point it to your free web space, so anyone requesting your domain will have something to look at, but this has its downsides which are too numerous to mention.
If you want to do anything remotely useful you will quickly outgrow your free webspace. Most such space does not have FrontPage Server Extension support, you cannot run CGI scripts or PHP (vital if you want to have a feedback form that emails its results to you), you won't have web statistics to monitor your visitors and all kinds of other things.
Free ISP webspace is all well and good to play with simple sites or ideas and I almost always suggest that people start out this way. Sooner or later though, you will have to arrange a well specified hosting account if you want to progress beyond the simplest of sites.
Most web hosts that allow domain registration also have a simple control panel to allow you to alter the DNS settings of your domain to point to where you like, or an email to the support department with your log in details and the details of your ISPs named servers will be required. Keep in mind that manyt ISPs will refuse to give your your named server details for your free web space though.
The quick answer is that yes, you can register your domain and point it to any webspace you like. It may be possible but it isn't very practical.
Thanks for your replies chaps, please could you explain in a bit more detail how you get a domain name to "point" to a specific place ?
Let's say you go to 1&1 and register your site domain name through them. Let's say you decide to register domtheboy.co.uk and you pay your money (just a few pounds). You get an email from 1&1 with your log in details once the domain is ready to work with. Using the details supplied by 1&1, you log into your account and alter the DNS named servers to those of your ISP webspace using the 1&1 control panel. It will take between 24 and 48 hours for everything to alter to point your domain to the ISP name servers, and that's it.
The bad news is that most ISPs, as I said before, will refuse to suppy you with the name server details for your free space, so you may not be able to do this.
If you do not have access to your DNS settings for a domain name you will have to ask the support team of the company you registered it through to alter it for your.
An alternative is sometimes to use a page redirection which will reload your free webspace into the browser when someone types in your web address.
Why not just play with your free space until you outgrow its features ?
Once you find yourself needing feedback forms, dynamic language/database support or FrontPage Server Extensions you can always register a domain name and arrange a suitable web host account to go with it. All you do then is upload your site to the web host and off you go.
Perhaps others may be of more help to you. Domain forwarding and pointing a domain name to free ISP space is not something I tend to do, so maybe I am a bit out of touch with this area.
Good luck with it.
Thanks for all your help guys, you're the best.
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