One of the most important things you need to do to build an online presence (whether you’re a blogger, service provider, etc.), is to choose a domain and web hosting for your website.
It’s not always easy to choose a domain name. This is one area where a lot of people struggle.
But it doesn’t have to be complicated; this post will show you some best practices for choosing a domain and hosting for your business with ease.
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First, let’s get a better understanding of what a domain and web hosting are
Your domain is where your website lives. Think about your home, a place where you return to each day that holds your possessions. And your domain name is like your home address; it directs visitors to your domain and legitimizes your home.
Web hosting is where you store your website’s files. When you type in your domain name, you’ll be directed to your web hosting provider to grab the relevant data needed. So, you have to have a web host for your site to function actively.
Like I mentioned earlier, choosing your domain name isn’t as easy as it may sound. Sure, you can just pick your name or that of your favorite pet, but you’ll want to verify a few things first before making your final choice.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when choosing your domain name:
- Try to choose a ‘.com’ – most of us automatically pull up websites using .com as the suffix, so selecting this option will make it easier for folks to find your site.
- Shorter is always better.
- It needs to be easy to remember and easy to say.
- Try not to include any hyphens in the name – people will forget to include it and not find your site.
- Avoid cutesy or unusual spellings – for example, “catzcraydul.com” for “catscradle.com.” Keep things simple and straightforward
- Does the domain seem to match your business?
- What does the domain convey about you and your business?
- Is it available for purchase?
Once you’ve decided on your domain name, it’s time to register it. You can do this through the same place you’ve chosen for web hosting, or it can be done separately through any domain registrar.
Something to keep in mind – when you’re searching to see if a domain name is available, be ready to purchase it as soon as possible. If not, you could go back to try to buy at a later date only to find that it’s no longer available. There are people out there who monitor domain name searches, pick them up and then try to sell it to you later for a profit.
Once you’ve chosen your domain name and purchased it, it’s time to set up your web hosting and website.
Setting Up Web Hosting
Let me just say here that I know we love free stuff (I know I do) but please resist the urge to sign up for free hosting! You could run into all sorts of issues including having annoying ads on your site or sketchy technical support.
Even if you’re trying to be frugal or build a business on a barebones budget, I urge you not to succumb to free hosting!
Have I hammered this home enough? Ha! Trust me, I get it but web hosting isn’t a huge expense. SiteGround (whom I highly recommend) has plans that start at just $3.95 a month for a single domain. And there are other hosting providers with similar rates. Shop around, ask questions, and get the best bang for your buck.
Another thing to look out for when searching for a web host provider is to find a company that has a fast and responsive support team. It’s not going to do you any good to sign up with a company that offers a ton of bells and whistles, but if your site goes down, you can’t get ahold of anyone to help you.
If your site does go down or some other trouble comes up, you must have a provider that’s ready to assist you or you’ll be majorly frustrated.
Here are a few of the basic features you should be looking for when it comes to web hosting:
- Disk Storage Space
- Bandwidth Allowance
- Number of Email Accounts Permitted
- Security and reliability
If you want a website that’s easily accessible and comes with superior support, it’s best to do some research first. Once you have everything in place, you can confidently establish a terrific online presence in no time.
- SiteGround – Oustanding web hosting and support for your website
- Click here for more tips on creating your online presence