How I Am Creating Handshake Websites in Q1 2022
Let us Discuss Making a Handshake Website (in April 2022)
One of the top questions we see in the Handshake community is:
How do I build a website on Handshake?
So at SkyInclude we have made hundreds of videos now, and what happens is people are lost on which video to follow. There are specific videos for various tools and solutions, but today I thought it would be helpful to go through what is our more common way of setting up a Handshake site, wrapping up the first quarter of 2022.
But here is the quick answer:
IT IS ESSENTIALLY the same as making a website on the normal internet.
The only real “trick” or “hack” is making sure the hosting and/or the DNS service provider you are using support pointing to a Handshake domain (and if you require it to be on a “bare TLD” or a SLD). So let’s go through that thought process.
So the latest tools and tactics I am using as of April 2022, let’s go!
Note - you can also go through “Handshake 101” we made at https://skyinclude.com/start/
Choosing a “bare” TLD or SLD For your Handshake Website
First, what domain will you be using? We have a video and blog with images to explain this at https://skyinclude.com/sld/. To summarize, as the ecosystem has grown, you have a few choices:
1) Opening an auction on the HNS blockchain for a TLD. This will take time and you need to be careful not to get sniped at the end. Check our tutorial on Handshake TLD auctions here. Renewal: While it is “free forever” technically every 2 year’s you need to send a “heartbeat” transaction to show you are still “alive” and have access to your wallet, which is about 0.02 HNS as of the time typing this.
2) Buying a TLD on the secondary - you can pick up names from Namebase or Shakedex.
3) Buying a SLD (“normal domain”) from Gateway, Porkbun, Namecheap, Encirca, Forever Domains, and a growing list of registrars. It has been amazing to see more and more registrars adding Handshake domain support. These will be yearly renewal
Regardless of the choice, I normally recommend you still make your “Handshake website” a SLD - not a “bare TLD” - as most hosting providers do not support a “bare TLD” as in the current ecosystem of web2, websites are all SLD-only.
So when you are reading this, think of which SLD you would want, and if you are buying it on a registrar where they have the TLD, or are you first buying the TLD (in an aftermarket or in an auction).
This will become second nature for you shortly- but it takes a bit of a mindset shift from those used to the web2 domain structure for decades.
Checking with the Hosting Company You Will Use If It can Point to a Handshake Domain
Once you have decided the domain name you’ll use - the next is what hosting you will use for the website. We at SkyInclude are providing hosting services for clients (we also have helped setup quite a few Handshake websites in our SkyInclude port service here).
As you can image, there are so many choices and options. I hate to say the “it depends” but it really depends on your needs and goals.
One of the easiest hosting companies we have found for hosting a Handshake domain is Cloudways (you can read and watch our guide here) or if you want to go ahead and signup for Cloudways, you can use this link (affiliate link, no extra cost to you)
Here are some questions you need to ask yourself:
1) Static or Database driven? Many like Wordpress, but that needs to run on a database. If you need that there are less options for hosting. Akash is one and then there is Cloudways. But if you are only looking to host a “flat” site on html and css, there are plenty of options.
2) Centralized or Decentralized hosting? Akash is decentralized and paid in crypto, and Cloudways is “traditional” hosting on Digital Ocean or others via a normal cloud server. Amazon aws, the list goes on.
Setting up SSL (There Is No Business Without Security)
Now, one part that has been skipped quite a bit in the first couple years of HNS is DANE and SSL and https and security in general.
In Summary - Handshake Domains + Websites “Almost the same”
So we hope this guide is a bit helpful for you to make a website on Handshake. As the protocol expands and more tools integrate it, we envision a world where this is simply another domain name you can point your hosting too.
Of course as of writing this in April 2022, there is a ways to go. But by each of us doing our part, building on it, opening a support ticket to a hosting provider asking if they support Handshake, and spreading the good word, will help us get there.