Launching Onto The Web:
A Small Business View
by William J Piniarski


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Launching Onto The Web: 
A Small Business View

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Recommended References:

[*] US domain registration
[*] Non-US domain registration

[*] HTML syntax guide
[*] HTML tricks
[*] HTML tools archive

[*] International trade law
[*] SPAM law

[*] Online payment options
[*] Online advertisement index
[*] Website hosting services
[*] Dialup services (56K and ISDN)


This page provides ongoing support and updates to this book as a service to its readers.  Please look over the following.  As technology and web links change we will post the updates here.  If you are aware of a link that no longer works please let us know.

Page 8: IP (Internet Protocol)

Preliminary work is now underway to expand the IP system which is currently based on a 32-bit system to a 128-bit system.  This will allow many more internet connection possibilities, much like adding an additional area code makes more phone numbers available to the physical community.  Currently IP numbers are in short supply and high demand, especially with the growth of hand-held computing devices.

The 128-bit system is called IPv6 (IP version 6) and will likely take a very long-time to implement fully because every major and minor internet carrier will have to support the new standard to make it viable.  It "will" eventually fall into place because with the growth of the internet there is no choice in the matter, but it is going to be a very, very long road. 

Page 33: Domain Registration Update

As promised, the domain name purchasing system has been de-regulated.  Network Solutions, the company that had total control over the registry system, is no longer the only domain registry.  Several dozen new registries are now online (tons more are coming), using a central database to control the flow of new name purchases.  Organizing this effort are the organizations of ICANN and CORE.

The cost of domains is in flux currently and the industry is suddenly undergoing a pricing war, as predicted.  The cost for domain registration is now anywhere from $10-$35 per year, depending on which registry you choose.  Also, you no longer need to register a name for two years in advance.  Instead, you pay by the year and can lock in your domain at the current price from one to ten years.

Which registry you should choose it a hard topic.  You should treat buying domain names like shopping for cars: haggle and shop around.  And by all means check for quality service.  Some infant registries may not have tight security on their names and may not have customer support that you have come to expect.  Paying a few dollars more may be in your best interest.

Links to many of the InterNIC utilities have changed since Network Solutions is no longer using the internic.net domain name.  The words InterNIC and Network Solutions now should be treated as completely separate entities.  Here are some new links of importance:

Network Solutions Homepage and WHOIS page
Domain Modification Utilities and forms have moved here:
InterNIC Website (includes their WHOIS page as well
as a list of new registries):
ICANN Website

Page 23: WHOIS Page Update

Due to changes in the domain registry system described above, the WHOIS system is now "not" centrally located.  Each registry now has its own WHOIS system which may or may not be entirely accurate at the time you check it.  It is suggested that when you try to search for a domain name that you double-check your selection at two or more whois servers to see if it truly is available.  The following is a link to two:

Page 23 and 27: New Domain Name Extensions

There is FINALLY word from ICANN that new U.S. domain name extensions are approved beyond dot com, net and org and will be available for purchase in early 2001.  After nearly three years of debate the first new extensions are finally official.

  • .info - general use
  • .biz - businesses
  • .name - persons and names
  • .pro - for professionals
  • .coop - for business cooperatives
  • .aero - for the aviation industry
  • .museum - for museums.
The above were selected out of nearly 50 choices and should allow the clogged domain name market a bit of space.  Although, the choices ICANN approved are curious.  The choice of MUSEUM and AERO will be under used and could have been better served through shorter extensions.

In any event, as stated, these new domain names will be available in early 2001.  A word of warning:  Many companies are advertising these for sale already.  They are not literally for sale.  If you purchase one you are just purchasing essentially a lottery ticket.  When these names officially go online every service buying them will buy them on a first-come-first-served basis.  So there is no guarentee a reserved name will be yours at rollout time.

Page 89: Web Rings

Just a little additional information on web rings.  The success or failure of such a system is dependent on the webmaster controlling the ring in question.  If that webmaster does not have the time to maintain the ring than it will fall apart.

I suggest emailing the webmaster of any ring ahead of time before joining.  See how fast he responds, how fully he responds, and gauge for yourself if you can depend on him.

Page 74: Goto.com Website Marketing

Goto.com, a radical search engine which was not expected to succeed when it launched is thriving.  Unlike other search engines, goto.com lists web sites on the basis of which webmaster pays them the most for such a listing!  For example, if a website deals with cooking, webmasters bid for the search term "cooking" in intervals of 1 cent.  The winning bidders are listed in order of highest bid when a person searches for that term.  When a user clicks on a listing the listing webmaster has to pay for the visit each and every time.

When goto was first launched the whole concept of paying for listing position seemed crazy, especially with dozens of major engines listing sites for free.  But the fact of the matter is that search engines have become cluttered and getting a listing high up is nearly impossible these days.  So, for commercial sites that need users, the pay concept makes sense.

Webmasters are paying anywhere from 1 cent to upwards of $5 per click!  It all depends how badly they want visitors.

And web visitors do come to goto.com to do their searching.  Although not as popular as the mainstream engines, goto does have enough of a following to be a success and is growing by the month.  Also, they have recently partnered with America Online and other internet giants to increase exposure.

From an advertising standpoint the goto.com pay model is actually more cost effective in some cases then buying banner advertisements which have no guarantee of success.  It is definitely an avenue you should explore when looking at your advertising choices.  At least with goto you pay for what you get.  And if visitors equal sales, then investing in getting visitors is worth a few cents per click. 

Page 105 and 109: Export of Encryption Software

The rules concerning the export of encryption software made in the United States to other countries have recently been changed.  New, relaxed rules meant to help keep the expansion of internet ecommerce rolling now allow encryption schemes, once illegal to export, potentially legal.  Those software firms wishing to export encryption software to other countries (such as with SSL software) must now go through the Bureau of Export Administration which will determine if such technology is safe for retail use out of the United States.

However, the rules concerning countries that are currently seen as a threat (such as Cuba, Iraq and North Korea) have not changed and remain strictly in place.

Page 115: New Paypal Payment System

A new company called Paypal has just launched which hopes of bringing credit card ecommerce into a new light.  The company acts as a go between from person to person and allows anyone possessing a credit card to open an account and feed money into such account using their credit card.  Money can then be sent to anyone on the internet.  The receiver gets an email notification and upon opening their own paypal account, can withdraw the money at anytime.

The catch to the Paypal system is there are no fees!  Account opening, deposits and withdrawals are all fee free!  This is a step no ecommerce company on the net has dared take.  It costs Paypal a few cents for every transaction that is made because credit card companies such as VISA, AMEX charge fixed fees.  However, Paypal hopes to recoup such fees by investing money that users deposit and by selling advertising space on their website.

The whole key to whether Paypal will succeed is volume.  They more money in their holdings, the more money can be invested.  Currently, after only being open for a few weeks, Paypal is signing up 9,000 new accounts per day.  If this trend continues other internet merchant systems, which are rich in high fees, may have to re-evaluate themselves or loose market share.  And to make things even more interesting, as of this writing date, Paypal is giving every new account holder $10 (now reduced to $5) out of their pocket just for signing up.

The system is in place only for individuals free of charge.  Businesses wishing to utilize the system may for very small transaction fees, in fact, smaller than most traditionally credit card transaction systems!

Page 187: Domain And Website Sale Update

There are now several web sites open that allows you to buy and sell domain names and complete web sites (and web businesses).  Here's a link to one new one: