If you are ready to purchase a domain name and get a website (which will require both a domain name + web hosting) I’d like to give you a few tips and save you some time and money. I’ve been doing this for over 16 years (back when there was only one place to buy a domain – Network Solutions), and you needed a technical background to get your domain, server, and website up and running.
Currently there are hundreds of companies offering domain name + hosting services. I’ve witnessed dozens of past clients who have unintentionally registered their own domain names in a puzzle of confusing registrar affiliates, sub-registars, etc. Consequently, the process of getting their hosting or domain moved and into their own control post purchase was quite time consuming and frustrating due to lack of control over domain locking, having the correct rights to your domain, etc. Please save your time and money by purchasing your domain and hosting in your own name and from reputable companies.
Here’s how to do it simply and easily.
The Basics: What is a domain name, and where do I purchase one?
A domain name is simply a user-friendly IP name with an extension like .com at the end used for blogs or websites. (For example, one of my personal scrapbook sites is createscrapbooks.com.) The domain name when typed in a web browser will be routed to your web hosting account that displays your blog and/or website. There are many technical aspects of IP addresses, DNS networks, etc. but you don’t need to know how the domain really works for you to get your domain purchased and working. I recommend everyone having ownership of their personal name and business domain names if they are still available.
Where do I recommend to buy your domain and hosting at? DreamHost.com
Why? It is a bit confusing on where you purchase domains reputably, making sure they are in YOUR name as the registrant, and that you have complete control over all aspects of it (DNS, being able to lock or unlock it, etc.), finding great customer service, and being confident you are getting the best service at a fair price.
Find your domain by simply do a free search at what is available and always try to purchase a .com address (.com was originally established for businesses: .com=commercial, .net=network, .org=non-profit organization). There are several other extensions including several country ones (.ca=Canada for example), and although you may or may not be a business, get a .com address if it is available! It is the easiest, most recognizable, standardized extension.
You can get both your domain and hosting together.
Next Step: Getting your domain + web hosting set up
From experience, this is the easiest setup of hosting I have found in my many years as a designer. It’s important to not only have a highly secure host, but one that is reliable, has great customer service, and you can easily navigate your options and DIY options in your account. I currently host under DreamHost and their interface is so clean and professional, I can host several domains under the same account for one price, I pay only about $10/month, have unlimited disk space and bandwidth so I never have to pay additional fees or are forced to upgrade, plus you can install WordPress and other robust applications by simply doing a “one-click” installation. It can’t get easier to get started. Seriously!
What’s next? You’ll need to setup your domain email and get going on your logo, graphic design, website, social media, and… well, it can be overwhelming!
(Links in this post are affiliate links, which do not in any way make you pay more for the services, but it’s like the companies are giving me an little tip for my years of knowledge because I chose to share and recommend them with you. I use DreamHost myself and truly want to promote them because they are the best! I hope this post helped you, and if it did and you sign up with my links above, I will get a few bucks to send my kiddo some money to eat at college while you got the free help you needed on your domain and hosting inquiries. No need to put in a referring name or anything additional when you’re checking out there. Thank you so much!)