If you’ve never had a website before, there’s going to be a couple of things to think about. These are the two big things you’ll need. It’s often not included in web design/development packages (but this depends, so check!): 1) a domain, and 2) web hosting.
You need a domain name first. This will be the URL for your website. If you already have a business name, it’s best to go with that. My favourite for domain registrar is Namecheap. Domains typically are around $10-15 – but it depends…they can go into the thousands if it’s something really in demand!
- Go to Namecheap (or any domain register) and check if what you desire is available. For example, mine is supportbyvivian.com.
- Sometimes it might be taken, try it with another extension (e.g., .net, .org, etc.), or a variation of it.
- Once you’ve selected a domain, checkout – you likely don’t need any of the extras except the WhoisGuard privacy protection (which comes free through Namecheap) – this protects your privacy (your personal name, address, phone number) from being looked up publically.
- Congrats! You have your domain!
The other thing you need for a website is web hosting – the servers where your website will be stored. This can either be by the same company as your domain registration, but definitely don’t have to be, and usually is recommended that they be from different providers.
My personal favourite and recommendation is Siteground. I’ve been with a few, and Siteground has excellent customer service and reliable uptime, no complaints! They’re not the cheapest on the market, but having a reliable and good web host is so important. Pricing ranges from ~$5-30/month…you do get what you pay for, though!
- Go to Siteground (or any web host), and look for a suitable plan. If you’re just starting out, the cheapest plan is probably sufficient for you. This probably means being on shared hosting — meaning multiple websites are on one server. Again, that’s probably sufficient if you’re starting.
- Checkout with your plan.
- Find your account DNS address. For Siteground users, login and under “Information & Settings,” you’ll see something similar to:
Now that you have your domain and web hosting, we can put them together.
- In your domain account (e.g., Namecheap), login and go to your dashboard.
- Under your domain, go to “Manage”
- Under Nameservers, select “custom” and add in the two DNS addresses.
- Yay! Now you’re ready to set up your website! Just note that it can take up to 48 hours for the domain to point to your new host.
In my upcoming posts, I’ll share how to install WordPress onto your website.
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