Website Essentials

If creating a website from scratch, you’ll need a domain name and hosting before your site can go public. Here are some guidelines for this process. I’m glad to set these items up for you, or you can purchase the domain name and hosting yourself. Either way, let me know if you have any questions.

Domain name

Purchasing a domain name will give your company a unique url. A domain costs anywhere from $5 to $35/year, depending on your registrar and the number of years your purchase. Typically the more years you purchase, the greater discount you’ll receive.

Choosing a name requires some careful thought. Registrars such as godaddy.com allow you to check availability. You want the name to be short, meaningful, and easy for your customers to remember. Going with your company name (and the name of the website) is great choice. The .com version is generally preferable. If your business is a non-profit, you should opt for the .org extension. Are you in the planning stages of starting a business? You have an advantage. You can account for domain availability when deciding on your company name.

What if your preferred domain is taken? Don’t despair. You can try variations of the name or add a hyphen. If you searched for the .com version, you can try .net, .biz, or a country-specific version of the url. If you’re committed to a particular domain, try a service such as Go Daddy’s Domain Buy. An agent will contact the owner of the domain and attempt to negotiate and purchase the domain on your behalf.

Think your customers may make a common mistake when typing your url? If this second domain is available, it makes sense to purchase it as well and redirect visitors to the correct address.

Hosting

You’ll also need to buy hosting, which runs about $100/year. Your account will grant you space on a server to which your domain name can refer. This is where I’ll upload your site files, making your site public. I can also guide you through setting up email accounts with your domain name.

Choosing the right host is an important step since you’ll require excellent customer support and technical features which are compatible with your site. You should ensure that the host supports the WordPress platform. The hosting company I currently recommend is SiteGround.


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