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The Small Business e-commerce solution

Your Web Address
Every web site on the internet has a web address. It doesn't matter whether it looks like this:
or this

They both perform the same function. They only difference being the ease of communication. The first would be an absolute nightmare to use, particularly if you wanted to use it on all of your stationery, or in your advertising activities. In fact, from an end point users point of view, it would be considered unprofessional and unusable. However, it is interesting to note that there are some small businesses out there attempting to use such cumbersome web addresses. The reality is that they know of no cost effective alternatives.

However, possibly the most insidious problem with the first web address example above is its total lack of 'portability'. By this we mean that should the owner of that web address decide to move their site to somewhere else on the internet, all references to their old web address will become obsolete. And yes, you guessed it. All their stationery needs to be redone and all previous promotions of their web address will have been a complete waste of time and money. I'm constantly amazed that very few people every give 'portability' a second thought until it's too late. This is something you'll not need worry about now that you are aware.

So why would anyone use the first example to start with. Simple answer! It's FREE!. Plus, they don't have enough knowledge to know of the alternatives or the future implications.

So, does that mean you need to pay to have a short web address? The answer is dependent on which option you decide to take up. The second web address example used above would be registered with the domain name authorities in Australia. The cost would be about $125 for the first two years if you do it yourself. You will initially pay more if you have someone else carry out the registration process for you . You would than need to either host this domain with a web space provider (minimum of $200 to $300 per year) or pay a redirection fee ($50+ per year) to point your web address at wherever your web site is located.

Registering a domain name does need serious consideration. You need to be mindful that once someone has registered a particular web address, no one else can use the same web address. There are already a large number of businesses kicking themselves for failing to register a domain name which would have been used to promote their business. It is possible to register a domain in Australia (as long as it closely resembles your registered business name) and place it on hold. You'll be up for the normal domain name registration fees but can forgo the added expense of having to host or redirect the domain name (web address) until you're fully ready.

A third alternative is to use a subdomain (web address) which provides many of the benefits of a short web address. Unfortunately, many of the providers of such services provide to many strings such as intrusive advertising and pop-up windows which many users find annoying and unprofessional.

To address this problem, we've set up a sub domain service based around For example, if we take the long web address example shown above, we can offer When this is set up, it is configured to point to:
. The person using will not know that they are actually being redirected to another web address. In simple terms, this can be compared to having your phone number redirected to another phone number without any inconvenience to a caller.

Possibly the greatest advantage of all, is the totally portability of such a web address. If you move your web site to any web space provider, you simply change the details for you sub domain web address and your visitors will never know the difference. All references to your web address will remain unchanged. When you
sign up for one of these shortened web addresses, you are issued with a password that allows you to modify the details pertaining to your web address whenever you need without any costs being involved.

In fact, we've been so impressed with this portability aspect that we now heavily use these web addresses in our own business to promote different parts of our web site. If we move a page or change a page name, we simply change the details of the sub domain and our visitors don't know the difference. We also know that people referring to past issues of our publications will still find what they're looking for even though we may have completely changed the structure of our web site.

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