Web Services
eBusiness for Every Business

Frequently Asked Questions


What are web services?
Web service refer to the provision of an internet-based commercial service like email or web hosting. Although far from complete, the following is a list of services typically provided by a web service provider like InnovaIT (the list is generally in order of most common business needs):
  1. Web Hosting
  2. Email Services
  3. Domain Registration
  4. Web Development (e.g. website design, content creation)
  5. Application Development  (e.g. online line-of-business applications, registration, event management, database applications)
  6. Application hosting (e.g. web-accessible document creation/ management, bookkeeping/ accounting software)
  7. E-Commerce provisioning (online catalogue, shopping cart, payment gateway)
  8. Secure certificate provisioning  (SSL site verification and encryption tools)
  9. Web site/application optimization (e.g. search engine optimization, database tuning and administration)
  10. Maintenance packages or Service Level Agreements (see the response to the following question)
What is a service level agreement or SLA?
A service level agreement (SLA) refers to a package of services which - in addition to the services noted above - may include additional services such as offsite data backup, helpdesk/ tech support provisioning, website analysis, and so on.
 
What is a domain name?
A domain name is used to identify the location of a website on the Internet. Here are some example domain names you might be already familiar with:

InnovaIT.ca - InnovaIT Web Services
microsoft.com - Microsoft
ucla.edu - University of California Los Angeles

What is an IP address?
Every computer on the Internet has a numeric address called IP-Address that is used to identify the location of the computer. An example of an IP address is 24.222.53.221. This kind of addressing system is cumbersome and hard to remember for humans. Having a domain name eliminates the need to remember an IP address.

What are the components of a domain name?
A domain name consists of two or more words separated by a period. The last word (the far right) is called a "top-level domain". Here are some common top-level domains and their use:

.COM
Used for commercial entities. It is the most popular top-level domain. Anyone can register a .com domain.

.NET
Originally used for networking organizations such as Internet Service Providers and backbone providers. Today, anyone can register a .net domain.

.ORG
Designed for miscellaneous organizations, including non-profit groups. Today, anyone can register a .org domain.

.EDU
Four-year, accredited colleges and universities.

Country Codes
Other top-level domains include those for countries (.CA for Canada, .UK for the United Kingdom, .HK for Hong Kong, etc.), which are based on the International Standards Organization's 3166 standard for country abbreviations.

To the left of the top-level domain is what is called the "second-level domain." In innovait.ca, "innovait" represents a second-level domain within the top-level domain of .ca.

It is also possible to have a domain name in the form of something.innovait.ca. In this case the "something" is called a "host" name or a "sub-domain". It is not necessary to register a host or sub-domain with a registry before being able to use it.

How long can a domain name be and what are the restrictions?
A domain can have a maximum of 67 characters including the extensions (.com, .net, org, etc). A domain name can contain numbers, letters or dashes. A domain can not start or end with a dash.

What is a DNS?
DNS stands for "Domain Name Server". It translates domain names into IP addresses that computers understand. For example, if someone wants to access InnovaIT's website (www.innovait.ca), the DNS will translate the domain into the IP address 24.222.53.221, which will allows a computer to locate InnovaIT's web server.

What is a registry?
Organizations similar to InterNIC are called Registries. They register domain names into central computers which are accessed by individual DNS servers. InterNIC is responsible for the domains .com, .net, .org, .edu and .gov. Other common registries include Nominet for .uk, and CaNet for .ca. Some registries like InterNIC process new domain name registrations through accredited registrars. InnovaIT sends all new domain name registration requests to DomainPeople, Inc. an ICANN accredited registrar. Please check our Domain Registration Services page for prices and other details.

What is a URL?
It stands for Universal Resource Locator. Some people refer to it as a web address (although URL is not limited to the web). An example of a URL is http://www.northseassoftware.com. Please note that a URL is a unique identifier. No two websites can have the same URL. This is the reason why you should register your domain name before someone else does.

What if the name I want to use is already taken?
You can choose an alternative domain name, or if you feel that you a right to that domain name you could follow DomainPeople's domain dispute policy and try to regain your domain name.

How long does it take to register a domain name?
If the information provided is correct, it should take less than 24 hrs. You can check any whois database such as http://www.netsol.com or use our on-line domain registration system to see whether your domain name is registered or not.

Once a domain is registered, who "owns" the domain name?
The domain name is owned by the organization that is on the whois database. InnovaIT registers domain names in such a way to make it easy for customers to move domain names to their favourite web hosting or ISP company in the future.
 
What is Hosting?
Hosting is a service that provides a location on the internet for your website or web-based application, so that it can be visited by browsers. Hosting typically includes one or more web addresses called URLs associated with your domain, and may also include the provision of one or more email addresses for the domain. If you are going to have a web address, you must host it somewhere. Some individuals and companies host their own domains, but most will host with a commercial service - an Internet Service Provider or ISP. InnovaIT can host your website on one of our world-class data centres or, if you prefer, we can help you to self-host your application.