The presence of your business in cyberspace is important not only because of the immense opportunity to stimulate and develop your business across the world but also because of the unique way your corporate branding and marketing solution can complement each other.
In this article, you will find out about the two main steps in starting your corporate web site: registering a domain name and finding a web hosting solution.
Registering a .cy domain name
Registering a domain name with country code .cy is a relatively straightforward process but only available to natural and legal persons who have permanent residence in Cyprus. Furthermore, there is a restriction on the number of domains that can be registered: up to ten per company and one per individual. Despite these limitations, there is still plenty of choices out there to acquire a domain which is not .cy and often at a fraction of what you will pay in Cyprus. Just Google "buy domain name".
The domains ending on .cy are officially administered by the University of Cyprus within the framework directive 2002/21/EC of the European parliament and Order K.D.P. 380/2005, which was published in the Cyprus National Gazette on the 5th of August 2005.
Initially, you need to complete a domain name request form, which can be filled and processed online (http://www.nic.cy/nslookup/online_database.htm). Once the domain is approved, you will have to complete the "Domain name registration form" (http://www.nic.cy/applications_forms.htm#item2), which you can download online and submit to the University of Cyprus together with a copy of your company’s certificate of incorporation and certificate of authorised representative.
As from 1 January 2011 the license fees of .cy domain names have been further reduced. You should expect to pay €15 for a one-year license or €25 for a two-year license. Since all licenses expire on 31 December, your first fee will be prorated (for example €10 if you register between July and September).
Web hosting solutions
Once your business has an Internet address (i.e. domain name) you should consider the various options of providing a home (hosting) to your corporate website. In principle, you have two options: you either start with your own computer infrastructure (computers, software and internet) or you rent from a hosting company. Usually, large corporations decide to invest in their own IT infrastructure because they have a specific requirement and also to develop a strategic area that will put them above the competitors. The most cost-effective and hustle free solution for small and medium businesses is renting from a hosting company.
The hosting companies, which could be located anywhere in the world, will provide you with dedicated space on their computers. It is there, the files of your website will reside and accessed through the Internet. So, it is possible you have .cy domain with a computer physically located in England, Canada, Australia or anywhere in the world. Usually, the hosting company will give you the ability to create and administer your own email accounts as well as the support to build the content of your corporate website. All in all, when deciding where to host your website you should concentrate on the services, features, customer support and reputation and not that much on where physically the computer hardware is located.
Comparatively speaking, hosting in Cyprus will cost at least 5 times more than what you will be offered from hosting companies in Canada and the USA. You can Google "web hosting services" to find out the huge choice you have. With a hosting company from the USA or Canada, the monthly fee will be around $5-$7 and sometimes as low as $3.95.