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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

FAQ 1459:

Domain Names

What is a custom domain? Why would I want one?
I have neither a domain name nor a personal web site. What options are available to me?
I have a custom web page but no domain name. What should I do?
I already have a domain name!
If your B&B domain name expires....

What is a custom domain? Why would I want one?

A custom domain ("www.yourbbname.com") is your address on the Internet. There are several good reasons to have your own domain name:

  1. A domain name makes your business look professional and web-savvy. For example, printing "www.yourbbname.com" in your advertising looks more polished and professional than "www.isp.com/~13532412/yourbbname"
  2. Domain names are memorable: the custom domain "www.yourbbname.com" is much easier to remember than "www.isp.com/~13532412/yourbbname", which means more people may visit your site.
  3. Domain names are portable -- you can have your domain name point to your BBCanada listing now and have it point to your custom website later. Your domain is yours, and you can use it as you wish!
  4. Domain names are reliable -- if your regular email address is changed or abandonned, all of your marketing will be out of date. By using your own domain name for an email address (ex. "info@yourbbname.com"), you never have to worry about losing correspondence!

Purchasing your domain name early ensures that it will be available when you need it; it also prevents someone else from purchasing it and using it inappropriately.

You can even start using your domain name right away! If you don't have a custom website, we can point your domain to your BBCanada listing. This means that when people type "www.yourbbname.com" into their web browser, they will be brought directly to your BBCanada page.

Choose a domain name that describes your business; for instance, an example of a good domain name is "www.haydenwexfordhouse.com". If you need help choosing one, we can give you some ideas and let you know what's available.

We currently support and can register the following domain extensions:

  • .com
  • .net
  • .org
  • .ca
  • .tv
  • .biz **
  • .info **

BBCanada recommends choosing a ".com" domain since they are the most common and most people "guess" them first.

** ".biz" and ".info" domains can only be registered for 2 years at a time, so we must ask our subscribers to pay for two years in advance ($200 + applicable taxes). All other domains above are registered and renewed yearly.

I have neither a domain name nor a personal web site. What options are available to me?

We highly recommend that you purchase a domain name, even if you don't have a custom website. If you wait too long, your best domain names may not be available any more.

If you don't have a custom website, we can point your domain name to your BBCanada page! This means that when someone types your domain name in their Internet browser, they will be brought immediately to your listing. Later on, if you choose to have a custom site created, your domain name will be ready and waiting.

I have a custom web page but no domain name. What should I do?

Some B&B's host their personal web sites with a free service. In some cases it's with their Internet Service Provider, and sometimes its on a site like Geocities. This type of hosting is without doubt the cheapest way to host your site.

The disadvantages? You are at the mercy of your provider. If they go out of business, or if you change Internet Service Providers, all of your advertising will be incorrect. Also, many free hosting sites use annoying advertising pop-ups or ads directly on your page, which can be irritating for users. You are far better off with the freedom and reliability of your own domain and email address!

I already have a domain name!

If you have already purchased a domain name and you would like to have us host your website, you have two options:

  1. You can modify your DNS so that it points to our server.
  2. You can transfer control of your domain to us and let us take care of the yearly renewal fees and the technical work.

The price of your domain name is included in your hosting package. If you have already purchased one, we will simply add an extra year to the domain name registration. For example, if you have paid up until 2010 and transfer the domain to us, we will add a year so that your domain is paid up until 2011.

If your B&B domain name expires....

Many of you either have purchased or have considered purchasing your own domain name for your website. Despite the advantages of having your own domain, there may come a time when you choose to let it expire, such as a change of your B&B name (making the domain incompatible) or a decision to go out of business entirely. Normally the domain can expire without incident, but there's another possibility: it can be bought by a third party monitoring recently expired domains and put to a less than honorable use, such as advertising adult websites.

This is a problem on the rise, one that's almost as bad as the spam phenomenon. Someone trying to visit your old site (and unaware that you no longer own/control the domain) can be confronted with a pornography or casino web page. Although this is not your fault, such an incident can reflect negatively on your business.

So what can you do about it? A few things.

If you are still in business:

  • Contact every web listings service that you subscribe to, such as BBCanada, and request removal of all instances of the domain. BBDug allows you to take off outside web links yourself.
  • If you are advertising in a tourism guide or local paper, make sure that your latest ad does not include the domain.
  • Many B&B owners have an online mailing list to keep previous and prospective guests up to date on current specials, weekend packages, etc. Advising all your list subscribers that your old domain name is no longer valid can prevent future embarrassment. If you have a guestbook that people sign upon arrival, you can also do a small mail-out.

If you are planning to cease operations, you can still do a general mailout, either print or online, to advise past guests that you will no longer be doing Bed and Breakfast and that your site will be going offline.

There's no way to prevent the hijacking of an expired domain name, but with careful planning and action, you can minimize the negative impact.

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