Once you have decided to build your website or take your business online, your first requirement is to purchase a domain name and subsequently the hosting space. So, in this blog, I will explain, step by step, on how to buy a domain name and hosting.
Too technical? Ok, rewind!
In the offline world, how do you get to a location? Well, apart from using the famous Google Maps, we check out the physical address. Which typically has a crossroad, main road, Pincode, etc. On similar lines, in the online world, we refer to this address as Domain name. What’s my web address? That’s right, www.tariqsp.com. That’s my domain name.
Once you have your address (domain name), we then need to build your house (website). Your house, which includes the windows, doors, bricks, etc., are all built on the land. In the online space, we equate the land to our hosting space. All our files, images, videos, etc., are uploaded or rather stored in our hosting space.
So I guess we are clear on what the domain name and hosting space is now.
You can either purchase the domain name and hosting space together or independently. If you are buying a domain for the first time and not very comfortable with the technical stuff, I suggest going in for a package that clubs both your domain and hosting.
While, being completely honest, it is very simple to link the domain name and hosting even if you have purchased them independently, we will stick to the combined package for the first time around.
Deciding on your brand name
Before we go ahead to purchase a domain name, it’s important that you decide on a brand name. The brand name is typically related to your niche. And honestly, this can be confusing. You are not sure if it’s something you like doing or if it’s going to work online.
While it’s but natural to be confused and you’d like to give it time before deciding on your niche business, it would make sense to kickstart a business which you have an interest in, enter the market, and learn from the success or failure of it.
I’ve discussed more on how to decide on a niche and building a brand name in my eBook – ‘How To Build An Online Lifestyle Business & Make Money’.
How to check if your domain name is available
It’s one thing to decide on a name. And it’s another to have your domain name available. And if you are planning on having your domain name and your social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.,) in sync and uniform, you could start off by checking Namecheckr.
Namecheckr is a great tool to help you identify if your preferred domain name and the mentioned social media pages are available. If it’s not, try different options and combinations of your brand name.
For e.g., I will check if the domain name ‘tariqsfitness.com’ is available. (psst… it’s one way to openly admit I have to hit the gym)
And what do you know? It’s available!
As you can see, all the icons with a ‘tick’ on the top right corner, indicates that the particular option (domain or social media page) is available.
And now that we have an idea of what’s available and what’s not, we can proceed accordingly on how to buy a domain name and hosting.
While it’s not a mandate that all your social media pages must be in lines with your domain name, it does help to maintain the same across all platforms. It helps for an easier brand recall and assists in building your brand name too.
Alright then, let’s go ahead and learn how to buy a domain name and hosting.
Domain & Hosting
There are a number of service providers in the market.
Fun Fact: Did you know? Based on ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), there are more than 2500 registrars currently available worldwide. (https://www.icann.org/registrar-reports/accredited-list.html)
You can visit BlueHost and complete the process of buying your domain and hosting as we run through the next few steps here.
In my next article, I will be building the website and blog on WordPress. WordPress is the best Content Management System (CMS) that’s currently available and trusted by 75 Million website owners. So we will follow suit and build our website on WordPress.
Hence, I will select “WordPress Hosting” under the ‘WordPress’ option on the top menu.
Select ‘WordPress Hosting’. Click on “Choose Plan”. You will find the following screen.
Since we will be building one website, you can select the “Basic” plan at this point in time. If you do have plans for building multiple websites, you could choose the “Plus” or “Choice Plus” plans.
Click on Select under the “Basic” plan. You will come to the following page.
If you have an existing domain name, you could mention the same under “Use a domain you own” option. You will have to make some changes in the “Name Server” to point the hosting service to your domain.
Since we are starting off and need to book a domain, enter the domain name of your choice under the “Create a new domain” option. Select the domain name extension of your choice too.
Typically the first preference of domain name extensions followed by most is the ‘.com’ extension. ‘.com’ is the most common extension. It stands for ‘commercial’. Having said that, it doesn’t stop an individual or a non-commercial user from registering a ‘.com’ domain.
In addition to the ‘.com’ domain, we have a whole range of alternate extensions too. Some examples of it being the ‘.net’, ‘.org’, ‘.in’, ‘.co.uk’, ‘.co’, ‘.store’, ‘.blog’, ‘.us’, etc. While domains such as ‘.net’ (stands for network), and ‘.org’ (stands for organization), these domains can be purchased by just about anyone.
Fun Fact: Did you know?
The domain name ‘.tv’ is the Internet country code top-level domain for Tuvalu. The lease of its highly fortuitous ‘.tv’ Top-Level Domain (TLD) also contributes to revenue. With a capital value of about 2.5 times GDP, the Trust Fund provides an important cushion for Tuvalu’s volatile income sources from fishing and royalties from the sale of the .tv domain.
Once you have entered your domain name and click “Next”, you get to know if your domain name exists or not. If it doesn’t exist, try other options and combinations. But since we have already completed this step earlier, we are sure that our domain name is available.
If your domain name exists, you will reach the “Create Your Account” page. Here you can either sign in with your Google account or create a new account and fill in the details.
Now, coming to the Package information.
It’s a call you can take if you would like to register your domain + hosting for either 12, 24 or 36 months. Your price varies accordingly.
Your ‘Domain Privacy’ option allows anyone on the web to get your contact details. If you uncheck this option, your email ID, address and a contact number will be visible.
If you would like to hide this information, which is a good practice, you can check this option.
Once you have completed the purchase, you will reach your BlueHost Dashboard.
You will be prompted to select the theme that best suits your brand or business. You could select a theme here or skip this step for the time being.
The next screen will ask if you are building your website for Personal or Business reasons. This will help Bluehost provide you with accurate recommendations to help with your website building journal.
￼￼￼Now that you are ready to start working, you should find yourself on the Dashboard, or the back-end, for your new website. This is the service area that allows you to control what your website visitors will see when they land on your pages.
Congratulations. You’ve just booked your domain name, your hosting space and ready to launch WordPress to build your website.
And now that you’ve completed this step, go ahead and post your domain name on our Facebook Group – “Build A Lifestyle Business”. And do mention what your business is about.