Choosing a domain name:
What kind of domain name should I pick?
If you’re making a website for your business, your domain name should match your company name. For example: YourCompanyName.com
If you’re planning to set up a website for yourself, then YourName.com can be a great option.
Domain names usually end with .com, .org or .net, but in recent months, a huge amount of domain extensions (the end part of the web address, like .com) have come out, ranging from .agency to .pizza.
My best advice? Avoid the weird extensions and go with .com, .ca, .net or .org unless they perfectly describe what you have to offer – and even then, see if you can find a more common name.
While .com, .ca, .org and .net are commonly used and easily remembered, the domain extension craze hasn’t really gone mainstream yet – so people may not find you if you use a really different domain extension.
How should I choose my domain name?
A) Is it brandable? For example, if you make a site about poetry then best-poetry-website.net is not a good choice: poetryacademy.com or poetryfall.com is much better.
B) Is it memorable? Short, punchy and clear domain names are much easier to remember.If your domain name is too fuzzy, too long or spelled in a strange way, visitors may forget it.
C) Is it catchy? You want a name that rolls off the tongue, describes what you do and sticks head. Coming up with a cool name can be a bit tough since there are approximately 150 million active domain names in the world right now – but don’t give up.
There’s one rule that always applies to domain names: If you like it, go for it.
Choosing a domain name registrar
You’ve worked hard to come up with a catchy and meaningful domain name for your new website and now you want to register it. But the large number of domain registration companies, along with the myriad of add-ons and services they offer, confuses the relatively simple process of buying a domain name.
Price is no longer such a differentiating factor; most services charge about $10 per month and up. But domain registration providers do differ in the ease of use of their website and how they handle the registration process. In an industry rife with questionable business practices, it’s important to keep these considerations in mind when choosing a domain name registration service.
The biggest issue to watch out for is upselling. Once you register your domain, most companies will want to sell you more services as you check out, and after you complete the sale. GoDaddy.com is one of the biggest culprits in this area — while they offer lots of discounts, they’re constantly trying to get you to upgrade.
An alternative is to use a web host to register your domain name. Bundling the service together can potentially save you money and make managing your website a little easier. We discuss the pros and cons of this tactic later in this report. Our web hosting report outlines the different types of services that are available as well as how much you can expect to spend.
There’s a distinct lack of up-to-date, credible professional and user reviews of domain registration providers. DigitalTrends.com and Lifehacker.com offer short roundups of their favorite domain name registrars. User reviews at DomainBots.com rate domain name providers, but the reviews are undated. TopTenReviews.com’s roundup of domain hosting providers doesn’t indicate direct testing. CNET and PCWorld offer general advice about choosing a domain name registrar, without making specific recommendations.
My recommended domain name registrars:
Here’s my top three places to get a domain name:
Once you have your domain name, you will need to choose a web host. It is very important that you choose a good web host. Good doesn’t mean expensive. Good means reliable with great support.
Some people try to save money and choose to go with a free web host. They usually realize pretty quickly what a huge mistake that is.
What is a Web Host?
A web host stores the web site you create on their servers and transmits it to the internet so that when someone types in your domain name, your web site appears. A server is just a fancy computer that “serves up” your web site to the internet.
How to Choose a Good Web Host:
Again, I can’t stress how important it is that you choose a good web host. But, let’s face it – how do you know if a web host is good or not? They all look pretty much the same and they seem like they know what they are doing, right? Well, there is one thing you can check on before you sign up and luckily it’s one of the most important things.
When you choose a web host, make sure they have excellent support. If you have a problem with your web site you want help now, not in a day or two.
Personally, I refuse to choose a web host that I can’t get on the phone in an emergency. Some web hosts are sneaky and they put a phone number on their web site, but it’s just for show. They don’t always answer or they advertise 24/7 support but are actually only around Monday-Friday. When I first started out, my site went down on a Friday afternoon and I called ALL weekend and all I got was hold music. They put me on hold, but no one was there! Needless to say that was it for that web host.
So, how can you tell how responsive the web host you are considering actually is? You test them. If they have a phone number (and they should) call them late at night or on weekends to see if they are really there.
You can also send an e-mail to their support e-mail address (not their sales e-mail) and ask them a basic question like “How many e-mail addresses am I allowed?” or “Is there a limit on the number of autoresponders I’m allowed?” and see how long it takes them to get back to you. For a non-emergency email like that I think up to 12 hours is acceptable. If you send the e-mail on Saturday and they don’t get back to you until Monday, that isn’t good. If they take more than 12 hours and either don’t have phone support or aren’t answering, choose another web host.
Web Host Do’s and Don’ts:
Once you choose a web host, then you will have to decide what plan you want. Most web hosts offer you several different plans and obviously want you to buy the more expensive one.
1. You probably won’t need the most expensive plan. Most people buy the larger plans because they aren’t sure how much space they need and the space in the smaller plans just doesn’t sound like much. 10 mb is plenty for most first web sites, and you can always upgrade at any time.
2. Don’t get caught up in what the various hosts offer like PHP, MySQL and a bunch of other stuff like that. If you don’t know what those things are you don’t need them.
3. Ignore the upsells. Godaddy is the worst for upselling during their checkout process. They almost make you feel like you have to say yes to their offers. I’m not a fan of GoDaddy.
Web Hosts I Like:
Siteground – they have amazing customer support. I suggest the Grow Big package ($9.99/month) because it includes priority technical support, and website backups
GreenGeeks – only $3.96/month(reg. $9.99), offer a FREE domain name, and nightly backups of your website
Free landing page for your new business. A $200 value
-List what they get
– Tell them how to get it
Register your domain, signup for web hosting, and then send up your details.