And so I bought my low voltage company that has been dismissive of any online presence along with today's technology. Email? Webpage? Techy stuff?

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I didn't think of any type of posting of this personal topic til today when @SpacemanSpiff brought up a webpage for security installers by Sean Nelson.
Grab a coke and some popcorn. As those that know me here, I talk/explain alot as I think a backstory colors the upcoming questions I have. I do not visit many webpages often (well, single dating sites of course!)....IPCT and LumberJocks (which is home to my hobby woodworking) are about it. I assume, IPCT members have more technical thoughts than wood turners :)
Preface:
started as a cabling tech back in 1997. The goto cable back then was Cat5e and 62.5 multimode fiber. My first job was with a crew of 30 guys wiring one of the 4 story Cisco lab buildings around the Boston area. 18,000 Cat5e drops. I learned really fast how to terminate and pull cable. I soon moved to Nevada and was picked up by a smaller scale company, Sierra Telephone System that had 10 techs. Their goto cash cow was being a Toshiba business telephone system dealer with cabling being an after thought but still necessary (much much more profit in a phone system than cabling). I eventually learned how to be a Toshiba phone tech as well (with some minor programming of various systems like Partner and Nortel). I'm that type of guy that when I watch today's movies...one of the first things I look for to know the quality of the movie is to look at what phones are sitting on the office desks :) Being a super awesome dude, I survive the layoffs that came with the 2008 financial crash. Now the company is down to 2 techs: me as cabling tech that can also do phones, another guy who primary is phones but helps with cabling...and 1 boss man. We limp and survive til 2012 when bossman wants to retire and sell company. Everyone thought I would become boss (the other active tech and previous techs that still stayed in touch). But at that time, my credit score at the age of a life of immaturity and partying at 38, I think, sure felt like negative 900 would not allow me that kind of money to buy company. New bossman who already owned a Data-Tech Communications, a dedicated cabling-only business, purchased my company of Sierra Telephone Systems. He kept both companies intact (one was a C-corp, other was a S-corp), mainly for tax purposes. That meant, we had 2 different webpages, 2 different email & domains. He also had a crew of 2 dedicated cabling techs so I became a floater....the do-it-all super human tech. So we had bossman, 2 cabling techs, 1 phone tech, and me doing it all. To top it off, I started doing the 3rd party tickets. Such as going to Home Depot on behalf of Home Depot Corporate to do stuff I never done before: install router, switches, WAPs, IP cameras and learning all about PUTTY and console SSH access. That stuff came naturally to me so I was good at it to the point where I began to tell the IT help desk what was wrong and how to fix it (mind you...I am not a Cisco console programmer as that's waaaay too advanced).
2017, Toshiba decided to end their business telephony so that cash cow dried up. Cabling became our cash cow with support for Toshiba still in play. If someone wants a new phone sytsem, we play with the Grandstream IP phone sytsem (which I found to be a great business phone system).
Up comes 2022. We have 1 really excellent cable tech, myself doing it all, and 1 phone tech. Well, back in August, the really excellent cable tech had a fatal accident over the weekend. It is now down to the 72 year old bossman, 65 year old phone tech, and 53 year old me. We had a hiring ad in craigslist with maybe 1 applicant every 3 months so it was impossible to hire anyone (this was at the tail-end of COVID). Bossman comes to me and says he wants to retire. Either I find a way to buy from him (at a HUGE price discount than what he would post on some business broker page) or he is closing the doors at the end of the year and I have to end up flipping hamburgers at McDonalds. Through magic and voodoo, I bought the company.
However, it was a really bad time. Our 3 biggest clients needed large projects done within a short time frame so I had to work after hours & weekends for the last 2 months. This would of been a difficult challenge for 3 wiring techs. I only had myself. Well, things are a tad calmer now for me to think as President (our company is a.... C-corp so there HAS to be a board). Which now leads me up to today and future thinkings...

1.) my email address is still with the Sierra Telephone Systems domain such as "xxxxxxxx@sierratelephonesystems.com". Old bossman (he still is presently employed due to his superior knowledge of Quicken, invoices, knowing customers by first names, etc) has his email with DataTech domain such as "xxxxxxx@datatechcom.com". I am unsure how to combine both email domains but use DataTech as primary and still receieve odd ball Sierra Telephone Systems email. As much as cabling and router/switch/ip camera experience I have, never really dabbled with email & website stuff. But did figure out how to add my own personal Gmail and STS to my Outlook so that is something :) I need to contact Integra to create my own DTC email address. And that started me thinking of webpage hosting price tags:
2a.) I'll share both links for folks to see how...delapitated both of these webpages are. www.sierratelephonesystems.com and www.datatechcomm.com . STS is hosted by Media Temple at $29 per month. DTC is hosted by our old Integra ISP at $120 per month. I am unsure of the webpage hosting + email hosting part. Since Media Temple hosts my STS internet webpage, does that mean they also host my email? If that is the case, great. I need to move DTC internet webpage and email from spendy Integra over to the cheaper Media Temple. Unsure how to do that or who do I call first. I know Charter Spectrum does this kind of hosting stuff too. Maybe they are cheaper out of all 3. They are our current internet provider. I am however skittish to tie myself to a provider incase I decide to move on to a different one later on, though. Who knows...AT&T could come in with a fiber connection and they become my ISP.
2b.) is it true....default price tag of paying someone to build a new webpage starts around $4,000-$5,000 ? My only experience is 20 years ago with Frontpage 2000 program :)
3.) calling. hmm...which then leads me to smartphone business usage. I used to use a Google Pixel 3 for years and years. Upgrade to a Pixel 4 due to the VPN always on bug (that never stayed on). The Pixel 4 was the best smartphone I've ever had....kinda like Windows XP as few bugs and it did I needed it to do, except for the crappy battery time. Looking for upgrade, I took a look at what's out there. Wow...everything is as spendy as first month of rent. I saw the Samsung Fold 4 (yep, a folding phone) and thought....I want that. A phone that turns into a tablet....very handy for business purposes! Til I saw the $1800 price tag. Was about pull trigger on Samsung S22+ til I saw a Google Fi cellular plan that included 60% off Samsung phones as long as I stayed on Google Fi for 120 days. So yep, that $1800 phone came to $800 and I bought it. Sure is nice to have a battery last 5-6 days. After 120 days of Google Fi, I'll swap back to Spectrum Charter mobile plans (the cheapest I've found). Also, I'll never go Iphone... I just can't. To me, that is like being tied to Ring camera system. Locked in the ecosystem with highly restrictive proprietary way of things. And yep....VPN stays always on now for my Blue Iris/UI3 purposes :) To the workers/business owners out there....what do you find that you love for apps? I actually tried "JOBBER" scheduling app (at $49 per month per user). Not too shabby and after the trial period, may retain it even though has some limitations. I know there will be not that many replies out there for this app discussion but eh....
4.) side note. taxes! business taxes! just wanted to ask a simple question. Old bossman said good idea to purchase a new/used vehicle every 5 years for the depreciation aspect. I have no idea what or why. But he has superior mad skillz when it comes to understanding the IRS and tax game. He tried to explain it to me but I thought he was talking German after 2 minutes.

ok...TLDR....
how does one combine 2 different company webpages from 2 different hosting platforms, onto a one hosting platform...either one of the original 2 platflorms or a new #3 platform? Same for email domains?

** side note again. That 'create business webpage for $19.99/month hosting' looks enticing by @AJ47 . May have to jump onboard. Which leads to a new question. What does one look for in a hosting platform?
 
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I can't really help with the technical issues, but one question--- Do YOU own the domain names--- or does the hosting company own the domain name and you just use it? They can do some stupid things to you if you don't own the domains. IF you own the domains, you can move those sites to any host you want. I kept a personal website and hosted several others on my site space through Hostgator. I couldn't justify the monthly expense any more though and finally dropped it a few years ago... Congrats on a ballsy move man-- May your business venture bring you prosperity and minimal headaches.
 

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I suggest you steer clear of using internet providers and an for web hosting. Their pricing is usually ridiculous for what they offer, and $120 per month is frankly insane for a small business website like yours. For that much money they should be building and updating the website for you and providing email for about 20 employees.

Media Temple is probably okay but I think you can do better.

Have a look at squarespace. Here is there pricing. I've never used them but they're a pretty popular web host that tries to make it really easy for people to build a modern looking web site.

You can transfer your domain(s) to them or to any other domain hosting service like Google Domains (about $12 annually per domain). Simpler probably if you let the web host handle the domain since you would likely not need to update the DNS records or even really understand how it works. During the domain transfer process you'll need to contact the people managing your domains currently and get them to unlock the domain, provide a secret password, stuff like that. The transfer process should guide you.

They don't do email services directly, but evidently they integrate with google workspace for email, which is great, Google is a good email host. Microsoft is a bad email host, avoid them. If you don't like google for some reason, then I would point you at fastmail.fm as an alternative -- I've had an email address with them for well over 10 years and no complaints.
 
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I can't really help with the technical issues, but one question--- Do YOU own the domain names--- or does the hosting company own the domain name and you just use it? They can do some stupid things to you if you don't own the domains. IF you own the domains, you can move those sites to any host you want. I kept a personal website and hosted several others on my site space through Hostgator. I couldn't justify the monthly expense any more though and finally dropped it a few years ago... Congrats on a ballsy move man-- May your business venture bring you prosperity and minimal headaches.
ah. Did not know they could own it. I'll have to look into that.
 
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I suggest you steer clear of using internet providers and an for web hosting. Their pricing is usually ridiculous for what they offer, and $120 per month is frankly insane for a small business website like yours. For that much money they should be building and updating the website for you and providing email for about 20 employees.

Media Temple is probably okay but I think you can do better.

Have a look at squarespace. Here is there pricing. I've never used them but they're a pretty popular web host that tries to make it really easy for people to build a modern looking web site.

You can transfer your domain(s) to them or to any other domain hosting service like Google Domains (about $12 annually per domain). Simpler probably if you let the web host handle the domain since you would likely not need to update the DNS records or even really understand how it works. During the domain transfer process you'll need to contact the people managing your domains currently and get them to unlock the domain, provide a secret password, stuff like that. The transfer process should guide you.

They don't do email services directly, but evidently they integrate with google workspace for email, which is great, Google is a good email host. Microsoft is a bad email host, avoid them. If you don't like google for some reason, then I would point you at fastmail.fm as an alternative -- I've had an email address with them for well over 10 years and no complaints.
Yep, took a look at some reviews of Squarespace. Business plans are up to $27/month (if pay for year). That's fine by me. I am not looking for a massive webpage, but just a simple one. I know I'll have to dabble with....SEO? Whatever it's called to make your website more visible for searches.
 
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They don't do email services directly, but evidently they integrate with google workspace for email, which is great, Google is a good email host. Microsoft is a bad email host, avoid them. If you don't like google for some reason, then I would point you at fastmail.fm as an alternative -- I've had an email address with them for well over 10 years and no complaints.
missed that comment. So email server hosting COULD be different from webpage webhosting. Gotcha. My current email is actually hosted by Media Temple. I mean, it works. Ug...now I need to research what makes a good email provider :) I use gmail for personal. Unsure for business aspects (mind you, I am hoping to have 5-6 employees by spring so will have more people to add).
 

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missed that comment. So email server hosting COULD be different from webpage webhosting. Gotcha. My current email is actually hosted by Media Temple. I mean, it works. Ug...now I need to research what makes a good email provider :) I use gmail for personal. Unsure for business aspects (mind you, I am hoping to have 5-6 employees by spring so will have more people to add).
That's where the DNS domain ownership comes in. You point your email DNS entries to whichever provider is hosting the email. Have you found out yet who "owns" the domains? There should be a transfer process at most domain registrars that you would need to follow to "take over" the domain.
 
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That's where the DNS domain ownership comes in. You point your email DNS entries to whichever provider is hosting the email. Have you found out yet who "owns" the domains? There should be a transfer process at most domain registrars that you would need to follow to "take over" the domain.
With the 'whois' websites out there, I just verified both Media Temple and Integra host the DNS and email. I guess I have to call them and ask if I own the DNS domain today or early next week.
 

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Hoping someone could provide more detail on what they mean by "owning the domain".

Live example with names changed to hopefully simplify:
If I buy spacemanspiff.org from godaddy, they (go daddy) are not the owner of the domain, they were simply the broker. I own it until I forget to renew the annual payment. If I wish to.... I can choose any service to host my web content, a completely different entity to host my email service, etc. I have yet another entity for the company ISP, through which I manage my MX and DNS, and www records, and point them to various the respective service.
 

SpacemanSpiff

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Shopping for a web host? I suggest giving thought to what you want to do on your site. Will it be simply informational, with only an occasional refresh of images or information for folks to see? Or will you eventually want to have a customer portal that they will log in to for customer only resources? How about online commerce? Whether it's simply for selling 'Holbs kick a$$ security' hats, jackets & t-shirts, or to allow customers to pay their bills online. How many email addresses does a web hosting company offer with each package?

My point being, sometimes you might want to spend a bit more time researching to find one service that might offer either a specific combination of (or all) the services you see yourself eventually using.
 

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^ This. I've run several sites of various sorts for 20+ years. Better or worse services depending on what and how you want to operate. Requirements for my online retail store are different vs my B2B presence and different vs some informational and hobby sites that I run.

If you want something quick, easy and free (or very cheap with paid) that supports mobile just to get up and running with something take a look at:
 
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Shopping for a web host? I suggest giving thought to what you want to do on your site. Will it be simply informational, with only an occasional refresh of images or information for folks to see? Or will you eventually want to have a customer portal that they will log in to for customer only resources? How about online commerce? Whether it's simply for selling 'Holbs kick a$$ security' hats, jackets & t-shirts, or to allow customers to pay their bills online. How many email addresses does a web hosting company offer with each package?

My point being, sometimes you might want to spend a bit more time researching to find one service that might offer either a specific combination of (or all) the services you see yourself eventually using.
yep. for now, easy and informational for time being. We are so slammed by word-of-mouth already and our frequent clients. However, I know that to expand a business, an online presence is needed with whatever bells & whistles that come with that. Mainly, I just want off the $120 per month for hosting. Even if off to a temporary host. Come spring or summer, that is when I'll look to expand things further.
 

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To avoid potential problems and uncontrollable cost increases in the future it is critical that you own the domain name you use.
sierratelephonesystems.com and datatechcomm.com appear to be owned by different entities.
You can look them up at ICANN Lookup

sierratelephonesystems.com
Is registered to
Organization: Noble Studios
Kind: individual
Mailing Address: Nevada, United States
Dates
Registry Expiration: 2023-11-04 04:00:00 UTC
Updated: 2018-07-30 14:58:11 UTC
Created: 1996-11-05 05:00:00 UTC

and

datatechcomm.com
Is registered to
Name: PERFECT PRIVACY, LLC
Email: ev9a95ww7pt@networksolutionsprivateregistration.com
Dates
Registry Expiration: 2023-09-26 18:12:03 UTC
Updated: 2022-09-25 10:04:59 UTC
Created: 2003-09-26 18:12:03 UTC
datatechcomm.com is registered to someone that has paid extra to keep their name and address unlisted.

If you can get current owners to transfer ownership to you then go with your favorite current domain name
Any domain name you control you can change DNS records.
- To forward to the other domain name or a new third name.
- This works for the website and email address.
- To change to a different service provider.
If you use a domain name that someone else owns they control who sends and receives email from that domain name and what your website says.
If they want to change the price, you pay what they want, or they can disconnect you email and website.
Or they can sell you email address to your competitor across town.
Most companies would just turn your domain off, yet do you want to take a chance?

Domain name change can be as simple as.
sierra-telephonesystems.com
sierratelephones.com
both of these are unowned
Or look for your favorite name at ICANN Lookup
If unowned will reply "The requested domain was not found in the Registry or Registrar's RDAP server".
 
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sierratelephonesystems.com
Is registered to
Organization: Noble Studios
datatechcomm.com
Is registered to
Name: PERFECT PRIVACY, LLC
Well, I know Noble Studios so I can work with them if they own Sierra Telephone Systems. We program their phone system :)
I think 'networksolutions' is Integra.
Things to research this coming week.
 

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1.) my email address is still with the Sierra Telephone Systems domain such as "xxxxxxxx@sierratelephonesystems.com". Old bossman (he still is presently employed due to his superior knowledge of Quicken, invoices, knowing customers by first names, etc) has his email with DataTech domain such as "xxxxxxx@datatechcom.com". I am unsure how to combine both email domains but use DataTech as primary and still receieve odd ball Sierra Telephone Systems email. As much as cabling and router/switch/ip camera experience I have, never really dabbled with email & website stuff. But did figure out how to add my own personal Gmail and STS to my Outlook so that is something :) I need to contact Integra to create my own DTC email address. And that started me thinking of webpage hosting price tags:
2a.) I'll share both links for folks to see how...delapitated both of these webpages are. www.sierratelephonesystems.com and www.datatechcomm.com . STS is hosted by Media Temple at $29 per month. DTC is hosted by our old Integra ISP at $120 per month. I am unsure of the webpage hosting + email hosting part. Since Media Temple hosts my STS internet webpage, does that mean they also host my email? If that is the case, great. I need to move DTC internet webpage and email from spendy Integra over to the cheaper Media Temple. Unsure how to do that or who do I call first. I know Charter Spectrum does this kind of hosting stuff too. Maybe they are cheaper out of all 3. They are our current internet provider. I am however skittish to tie myself to a provider incase I decide to move on to a different one later on, though. Who knows...AT&T could come in with a fiber connection and they become my ISP.
2b.) is it true....default price tag of paying someone to build a new webpage starts around $4,000-$5,000 ? My only experience is 20 years ago with Frontpage 2000 program :)
3.) calling. hmm...which then leads me to smartphone business usage. I used to use a Google Pixel 3 for years and years. Upgrade to a Pixel 4 due to the VPN always on bug (that never stayed on). The Pixel 4 was the best smartphone I've ever had....kinda like Windows XP as few bugs and it did I needed it to do, except for the crappy battery time. Looking for upgrade, I took a look at what's out there. Wow...everything is as spendy as first month of rent. I saw the Samsung Fold 4 (yep, a folding phone) and thought....I want that. A phone that turns into a tablet....very handy for business purposes! Til I saw the $1800 price tag. Was about pull trigger on Samsung S22+ til I saw a Google Fi cellular plan that included 60% off Samsung phones as long as I stayed on Google Fi for 120 days. So yep, that $1800 phone came to $800 and I bought it. Sure is nice to have a battery last 5-6 days. After 120 days of Google Fi, I'll swap back to Spectrum Charter mobile plans (the cheapest I've found). Also, I'll never go Iphone... I just can't. To me, that is like being tied to Ring camera system. Locked in the ecosystem with highly restrictive proprietary way of things. And yep....VPN stays always on now for my Blue Iris/UI3 purposes :) To the workers/business owners out there....what do you find that you love for apps? I actually tried "JOBBER" scheduling app (at $49 per month per user). Not too shabby and after the trial period, may retain it even though has some limitations. I know there will be not that many replies out there for this app discussion but eh....
4.) side note. taxes! business taxes! just wanted to ask a simple question. Old bossman said good idea to purchase a new/used vehicle every 5 years for the depreciation aspect. I have no idea what or why. But he has superior mad skillz when it comes to understanding the IRS and tax game. He tried to explain it to me but I thought he was talking German after 2 minutes.

ok...TLDR....
how does one combine 2 different company webpages from 2 different hosting platforms, onto a one hosting platform...either one of the original 2 platflorms or a new #3 platform? Same for email domains?

** side note again. That 'create business webpage for $19.99/month hosting' looks enticing by @AJ47 . May have to jump onboard. Which leads to a new question. What does one look for in a hosting platform?
Ok, lets look at your server you wanted to move to in detail. You will see, that they are sub-contracting web coders, and not an ISP.
Screenshot_20221126_094026.png

If you want to know, the average going rate for html pages is $150/page and usually $50 to edit them afterwards. I would expect a $4000-$5000 web site would be more than just the web pages. I have several web site creator templates, but some find it easier to hire someone that can write them.

You are leasing a machine at integra. That is why its expensive and its quite overkill for hosting a simple web site.

For something like this, I would charge you $65/year plus a one time fee of $12.50 per site to move all of it to my servers in the US. With two email servers with a total of 500 addresses and can put 3 more web sites on the same package.
A $110/yr gets you 100TB of space, unlimited amount of web addresses, unlimited amount of email servers, and 25Gb of private VPN traffic (if you were doing remote database, and other back-end stuff)
after that, I charge more for other powerful features.





There are two basic types of web pages, ones that are prewritten and ones that use a database content manager. Prewritten pages are automatically indexed by search engines. The database content managers (wordpress, dupal, etc) require an external file to be written and not always picked up by search engines and you have to submit the site to the search engine.
 
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Ok, lets look at your server you wanted to move to in detail. You will see, that they are sub-contracting web coders, and not an ISP.
View attachment 146628

If you want to know, the average going rate for html pages is $150/page and usually $50 to edit them afterwards. I would expect a $4000-$5000 web site would be more than just the web pages. I have several web site creator templates, but some find it easier to hire someone that can write them.

You are leasing a machine at integra. That is why its expensive and its quite overkill for hosting a simple web site.

For something like this, I would charge you $65/year plus a one time fee of $12.50 per site to move all of it to my servers in the US. With two email servers with a total of 500 addresses and can put 3 more web sites on the same package.
A $110/yr gets you 100TB of space, unlimited amount of web addresses, unlimited amount of email servers, and 25Gb of private VPN traffic (if you were doing remote database, and other back-end stuff)
after that, I charge more for other powerful features.


Will be contacting you about this.
As a new business owner, I am just super log-jammed at work to even begin learning how to dabble with DNS and MX and hosting and email servers and this and that. Way over my head right now and probably for 6 more months. I love DIY stuff, but I have limits :)
Sounds like a great price. And moving of sites with email servers to boot.
Plus... I lived in Rapid City for 5 years and have a fondness for anything Black Hills :)
 
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