DOMAIN NAMES 101

April 23, 2013 — Leave a comment


We are often asked to explain how domain names work (your website address) and how a person or company goes about getting one.

Let us start by saying that any person or company can very easily purchase a domain name for as little as $7.00 per year by clicking on one of the links below. In addition to the companies listed below, you could google “purchase a domain” and get pages of results. The Catholic Web Company does not endorse any specific company however we happen to use Hostgator and godaddy for 90% of our domain registrations.

domains

Now let’s get nerdy!

A domain name represents a physical point on the Internet — an IP address The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) governs coordination of the links between IP addresses and domain names across the Internet. With this standardized coordination, you can find websites on the Internet by entering domain names instead of IP addresses into your Web browser.

Here’s an example: Think of a street address for a house or business — let’s say the White House. The street address, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, is an exact location — like an IP address. You might not know the exact street address, but when you visit Washington, D.C., you can tell your cab driver that you want to visit the White House and still get there. This is how a domain name is used: It’s an easy way to reach the exact location of a website without having to remember the numeric address.

Domain Pointing

When you purchase a domain, it will default to a parked position until you tell it where to go. Parked just means it’s not pointing to any particular web page or site and if the address is entered you’ll receive a message from the company you purchased it from the says “this page is parked for free” at so and so company…. “Click here to purchase hosting for your domain”. After your website is hosted (published on a web server), you can point your domain to that hosting account very easily. Regardless of the company that your domain is registered with, you can point the domain to any host you want. You can even point to a specific page on your existing website.

Sometimes parishes or organizations will find it beneficial to add or change their web site 
domain name to make it easier for people to remember. For example saintmarkscatholicparish.org can be shortened to smcp.org. This is particularly helpful
for email accounts. someone@smcp.org is a lot easier to type than someone@saintmarkscatholicparish.org. Remember, the domain simply points to the website, so in theory (although not a good a idea) you could have 50 domain names 
all pointing to your website. If you do want change your domain,The Catholic Web Company recommends using both your new and old domain for a minimum of 2 years before retiring the old one.

Because domains are so inexpensive , it can be very beneficial to purchase a domain for a specific event or cause and point it to a specific page on your website. For example, if you were having a canned food drive you could, assuming the names were available, purchase the domain stmarkfooddrive.com or stmarkdrive.org. Or for your youth retreat you could purchase the name onfireforhim.com. If the name you want is not available, you can simply play with the words until you find a variation that is available. You can purchase a domain today for an event you are having next year -
If you find the name you want, it’s best to purchase it before someone else does.
When you are promoting your event, you’ll discover that using the domain onfireforhim.com is a lot easier for people to remember than stmarkcatholicchurch.com/onfireforhim.php.

Please contact The Catholic Web Company to get your new domain name set up and working for your next event or cause!

When it comes to Catholic Youth Ministry nothing much has changed- Youth leaders must be present to the teens where the teens are. Youth ministers are well accustomed to  spending time at Sporting events, Jr. High and High School campuses, Shopping Malls and where ever teens congregate. These days, it is also essential that Youth ministers embrace social media because the teens they are trying to reach are spending a whole lot of time on social networks. Studies show that the average teen spends about 2 hours a day online. 80% of their time online is spent on a social network. Although girls tend to be more active than boys, there is no doubt a tremendous evangelization opportunity for youth leaders.

social

Over the years The Catholic Web Company has noticed a common trait among all good youth ministers, they do what they need to do to get the job done! Today, this means plugging into social networking even if they are intimidated by it. For many youth leaders, using technology doesn’t intimidate them in the least. Some have even become quite good at setting up blogs, sending alerts through twitter, making videos, and even creating flashy graphics.

While Youth Ministers are to be commended for their zeal and enthusiasm, they also have to be careful that they are not operating on an island. It’s always been vital that all ministries in a parish work together for the good of the whole. For example, when youth ministers and Catechetical directors are on the same page, families have a better overall experience of parish life and young kids are more likely to stay connected to the church as they enter their teenage years. When it comes to websites, youth leaders have specific needs and it’s understandable that they would not want to be part of the parish website because the reality is, teens will not visit it unless it’s useful to them.
It’s also important that youth ministers follow Diocesan guidelines regarding the protection of youth, most Diocese require that the parish have control over all digital communications including emails and websites.

The Catholic web company has come up with a solution to the dilemma faced by youth leaders. We have developed a youth ministry page that can be incorporated into the parish website that is both attractive and appealing to youth, and is cohesive with the parish.
 
When Zack Hohenberg from Saint Joan of Arc Parish contacted us and asked us if we could remodel the youth ministry page so to speak, we were excited about the challenge because we were already developing a new product specifically for youth leaders. Zack explained that he wanted a webpage that included links and feeds to/from social media websites, embedded video players, the ability to make custom slideshows with music, a calendar, contact info, and information about his core team presented in a big, bold, modern-looking youth format. We are pleased to announce that we were able to accomplish all of the objectives. Please check out the Saint Joan of Arc Youth and Young Adult Pages Below.

 Saint Joan of Arc Youth

 Saint Joan of Arc Young Adults

Although our youth web site can stand alone, it is best when it is presented in conjunction with a parish website (our youth ministry webpage is included at no additional charge to all of our customers who subscribe to our level two service level). The Catholic web company recommends that all ministries work together when presenting information on their website as to increase evangelization efforts. You never know when a donor, sibling, parent, or church shopper, may be browsing your website to see what kind of programs you offer. If the user sees a well presented cohesive website, it makes it easy for them to plug into the overall life of the Parish. Imagine that somebody logs on to the parish website to find out what time a wedding or funeral is. The calendar feed is nicely displayed on the front page of the website. The user notices that there is a youth meeting at 7 PM the same night and clicks the link. As they browse about the youth ministry page they are very impressed by what they see. They may begin to think how wonderful it would be if their child were involved in such a youth group. After a while they navigate back to the homepage and notice a program for Catholics who have been away from the church or those who want to join the church. All of this opportunity existed because they simply log on to a church website to find out what time a funeral was. It is this kind of cohesiveness that helps support the overall objective of a parish.

Please contact The Catholic Web Company today for more information about youth webpages.