How to buy domain name?
What is domain name registration?
How to search for web hosting?
These are some common questions people generally ask. To make this second step easy for you to understand, I divided this post into two main components.
Part 1 where you'll know everything about domain names and part 2 where web hosting is discussed in step by step style.
PART 1: ALL ABOUT DOMAIN NAME
What is a Domain Name?
Google is a domain name. While .com is an extension.
When you write https://Google.com, this is called URL.
This diagram explains it all to you.
It means the main name of a website is called domain name.
.com, .net, .org and many others are called extensions or TLD (Top Level Domain).
Using www is now optional. It is your choice to select a domain name with or without www.
Your domain name is important as it is the first introduction of your blog to public and so this first impression is quite important.
5 Factors You Must Consider for Your Domain Name
Before you buy domain name, you must do some homework. Following are the 5 features your domain name MUST possess:
- Your domain name should reflect nature and type of your blog.
- It must be unique and must have some element which sticks in people’s minds.
- It should be easy to remember; neither a very difficult name nor have difficult spellings.
- The shorter the domain name, the better it is.
- It's better if your primary or main keyword is present in your domain name.
Domain names having these qualities are tested and proven to work better. The reason is these are easy to remember, give you an instant idea of the content of the site and rank extremely well in the search engines.
Let's study two examples of domain names which fulfill all these qualities.
Example 1: Shopify.com
Shopify is a well-known platform for e-commerce. The company, according to Wikipedia, reports that it has more than 500,000 merchants using its platform, with total merchandise volume over $45 billion.
Let's analyze this domain name as per our criteria:
- Shopify reflects nature and type of website. The name simply speaks that it's about shopping or e-commerce.
- It's unique and quickly stick to mind.
- Easily memorizable and recognizable.
- Shorter – only one word.
- Main or primary keyword (i.e. shop) is there.
Example 2: Backlinko.com
Brian Dean, a recognized SEO guru, is the founder of Backlinko. This is a website where he shares case studies and strategies on how to generate backlinks.
Let's study domain name backlinko.com:
- The name shows the nature and type of blog; that it is related to backlinks.
- Unique name.
- Easy to remember name. Whenever you think of getting traffic through backlinks, this name automatically pops up in mind.
- One word domain name.
- Main keyword ‘backlink’ is there in the domain name.
4 Donts For a Domain Name
- Never use dashes or numbers in your domain name as it causes confusions and makes it difficult to remember.
- Never use a domain name having some kind of relation to other company’s name or you may end up facing face legal issues. Avoid these trademarks related domain names. Think and brainstorm of something your own.
- Don’t use unknown and very strange extensions. There are three extensions which are considered best in the world of internet marketing and these are .com, .net and .org. The top of the list is .com, second on the list is .net and third is .org. These are called TLDs meaning Top Level Domains. You can look for other extensions related to your blog.
- Do not waste too much time on deciding on your domain name. Let me warn you from this very common pitfall: Majority of people enjoy this domain name searching process so much that they spend weeks or even months deciding for a perfect name ... and this acts as a barrier from moving forward. So do your home work first and then finalize one of the names you think suitable.
Registering A Domain Name
Before heading forward, I assume that till this point, you've selected your niche, finalized your main and secondary keywords (what you should do first), then do some paperwork and finalize three or four names ... before you buy domain name.
So, what is this registering a domain name?
It's a simple buying process of domain name and then registering it to your name so that no one else has authority to use it. You go to a domain registrar to buy domain name and register it.
There are many domain registrars like GoDaddy, Name Silo, Name Jet but I personally use Name Cheap. It is user-friendly, offer cheapest rates in the market and provide excellent customer service.
6 Easy to Follow Steps for Domain Registration
Following are simple and easy to follow steps for registering a domain name:
Step 1. Sign up: Go to NameCheap.com and sign up (fill in all personal details and register).
Step 2. Search Your Domain Name: In the search box, write your favorite domain name and press search button to check it is available or not.
After few seconds, their system will generate results that whether this domain name is available or not.
If your domain name is available then press the cart button and buy it.
Step 3. Options If Domain Name Not Available: If the domain name you want to register is not available then what to do?
For the sake of example, say you want to build a blog on sports and after research, you finalize the domain name 'sportsclub'. But when you search it in NameCheap, the domain name is already occupied.
Now you have three options:
Option A. Try other variations of this domain name.
Option B: Instead of .com extension, search 'sportsclub' in other extensions.
Option C. Add strange words or drop or add some spellings so it becomes unique and also relates to your niche. For instance,
Step 4. Cost of Domain Names: The cost of domain names is another important factor to consider. The top three extensions (.com, .net, .org) are usually expensive.
So my advice is that if you are doing this procedure as a beginner, then its better to keep your costs low. In this case, you should buy a domain with new TLDs (like .life, .info, .biz) as they are very cheap ($0.48 to $5 per year) and a good buy for experimental purposes.
Step 5. Buy Domain Name: Press the cart button and pay the registration fee which depends on your selected TLD (top level domains).
As you can see the screenshot below, the basic cost of domain 'sports4club.com' is $8.88. Then $0.18 added for ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) charges. This makes the total to $9.06/year for that domain name. Also, enable WhoisGuard which is a free offer.
You'll find many other extra features on this page (available for extra charges), but you don't need any of them. Stick to the basic domain name + ICANN fees and press cart button to buy this domain name.
You are now done with the registration process.
Step 6. Domain Name Servers: Next, you will need to point the domain name to your web hosting (by changing its DNS record). This step will be addressed in the last section of this post.
PART 2: ALL ABOUT WEB HOSTING
What is Web Hosting?
Web hosts are companies with heavy-duty servers which store all your files, data, documents, videos and images on their servers. Then through the internet, they provide access to all persons who visit your website or blog.
In other words, these companies host your website on their servers. Without web hosting companies, it’s simply not possible to build and upload your website.
Which is The Best Hosting Company?
This is a common mistake committed by newbies that they go to google and search ‘Best Web Hosting Companies’ and as a result gathered so much data and exposed to so many strange terms that they ended up confused with a headache.
Fortunately, I am here again to cover you. As a newbie, I also passed through this phase and, as I’ve mentioned earlier, the focus of this website is to make your internet marketing journey as much easy as possible.
There is a long list of companies offering webhosting. I can present here the list and then write another long article to compare and analyze merits and demerits of each company. But it’s of no practical value to you. I know this will do more harm than good for you.
So instead of wasting time and energies, I think it’s better for beginners to directly jump to the final conclusion. Out of hundreds of hosting companies, I found Host Gator the best of all and since long I also personally use their hosting.
They host over 8 million websites.
They’ve been officially recommended by WordPress since 2005.
They are unique in their promise of 99.9% uptime, and 24/7/365 support.
They have one-click WordPress installation, which makes it easy to get started.
They’re super cheap, only $3.95/month.
They offer “unmetered" bandwidth.
(*Bandwidth means the number of visitors to your site or traffic to your site. Unmetered bandwidth means you have unlimited access and send any number of visitors.)
HostGator vs. BlueHost
The next to HostGator is BlueHost, another big name in webhosting industry. However, Bluehost offers two such features which are very attractive for newbies and they, very often, get trapped in them and opt for Bluehost.
You know why I'm explaining all this? Yes, because I also committed this mistake and later repented. And I don't want this for you. The two deceptive features are:
a. Bluehost is cheaper than HostGator (charging $2.95/year vs HostGator $5.95/year).
b. Bluehost offers one FREE domain name along with hosting.
Don't You Get Attracted To This Amazing Offer of BlueHost!!
Yes, that's what I'm talking about! But why do I call them deceptive?
What I've found is that although BlueHost is cheaper than HostGator, they only charge annually and do not have any monthly packages. The annual amount, including other charges, becomes difficult for a newbie to afford.
Now let's talk about the second attractive feature of Bluehost and that is, they offer free domain name without charging you any cost of it. It means that you don't have to go to NameCheap and pay to them.
This, again, seems quite attractive to a beginner but this offer has no practical value. It's because you have to build quite a number of sites/blogs while you learn internet marketing. And when you go for buying another domain on BlueHost, they charge much more.
So take my advice and simply go to HostGator for web hosting.
3 Questions You Should Know Their Answers Before Going to Web Hosting:
1. What is the type of hosting you want?
A beginner usually gets confused when a hosting company asks this question, as he doesn't know a bit about types of hosting. So it's better to know these basics, not in detail and in a technical way, but having a slight idea is essential.
Generally, there are three types of hosting each company provides. These are:
i. Shared Hosting:
Shared hosting simply means that many websites are hosting on a single server (remember server just means computer). The advantage to using shared hosting is it makes it extremely cheap because of the shared resources.
A shared host can handle up to 30,000 visitors per month, which covers most websites. For newbies, this is the best choice for its value and performance.
ii. Dedicated Hosting
Dedicated hosting, as the name shows, is where an entire server is dedicated to a single website. This is suitable for websites of big companies where they have to handle big amount of data and a lot of traffic (100,000 visitors per month). This is a costly choice but also gives maximum control and better server performance.
iii. VPS (Virtual Private Server)
Consider it just opposite to shared hosting. VPS means a team of servers (called a cloud) work together to host a group of websites. Here, a large number of virtual servers available for your website.
2. At HostGator, Which Hosting Plan To Select?
HostGator offers following three plans:
To save my costs, I had made this mistake to go for hatching plan. Later I realized this and transferred it to Baby Plan.
If you are serious about making money online, then you have to go for Baby Plan because it offered an unlimited number of domains. It means that with this plan, you can host the unlimited number of websites without ever worrying about hosting cost.
Believe me, when you are learning all this stuff, you’ll come across many new ideas. You’ll gradually figure out your natural passion; you’ll do many experiments and you’ll go on and buy new domains and launch new blogs and websites after every few months. And with Baby Plan, you can add up unlimited websites with the same hosting cost.
3. How to Point Domain Name to Your Web Hosting (Configuring DNS)?
Your domain name is registered with NameCheap and your hosting company is HostGator. So how to connect these two? It's difficult when you don’t know, and very easy if you figure it out with me.
Let me first give you an overall view what we are trying to do here.
After buying hosting from HostGator, it provides us nameservers (special codes - like our registration number). We just go to NameCheap and change nameservers present there with the HostGator’s nameservers and --- BANG! Now our domain name gets connected to our web host. The speed is the beauty of technology!
To make it more easy for you, follow these steps:
- When the order is completed, Name Cheap shows Next Steps --- Go to change DNS.
- Next Screen shows detail process (no need to read it); On top left, go to your – drop down – Dashboard
- Go to “Domain List” on the left bar menu and click your new domain name.
- Go to “Name Servers” and from the drop-down menu, select “Custom DNS”.
- Login to Hostgator Customer portal (https://portal.hostgator.com/domain/manage)
- Go to “Domain” at Top Bar Menu and click your domain name.
- Domain Overview appeared showing name servers
- Copy these name servers and go back to NameCheap and paste there.
- Click 'Tick Mark' next to name servers to save.
Congratulations! Completing this step means that you are way ahead than 55% of internet marketers. Research shows that 55% of online earning seekers left half way and never able to reach this point.
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