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Choosing A Domain Name and Web Hosting Service
Building a website or a blog is a bit intimidating in the beginning, and there is a learning curve when it comes to this topic. Before your start to build your website there are some things that you will need to take into consideration.
You should spend a fair amount of time planning what your website will be about. Another point, It is more effective to stick to a specific theme or a niche rather than jumping all over the place with different or very broad, general topics.
For instance, let’s say that you want to create a blog about the martial arts. Unless you hire a staff of writers working in your behalf, you’d probably find that this is an overwhelming subject to tackle. Perhaps, sticking to a more narrow topic, like kung fu techniques and jiu jitsu would be more feasible to work with. Also, choose a niche that you are passionate about and one which is in demand.
Also, what will you name your website or blog? The name of your website will be the domain name or web address. Domain names usually end in .com, .net, .org, or .edu. This is what people will need to type in to the web browser to arrive at your website. It will be your “www.whatevernameyouchooseforyourwebsite.com”. I know that is a little long, but you get the drift.
You should also choose a domain that is related to the website niche and includes key words for that niche. This will help the website to rank better in the search engines. It also helps if the domain name is easy to spell, easy to remember, and is not too long. You can purchase a domain name fairly cheap at hundreds of different web hosting companies like, Godaddy, Bluehost, HostGator, and DreamHost.
After purchasing a domain name, you will need hosting for your website or blog. The website can be hosted for free or it can be self-hosted (paid). I get into some of the differences between these two services in another post. Some web hosting companies offer free domain names with the purchase of web hosting. On average, a domain name costs $15 or less for a year.
A web host stores the website or blog on a server (high powered computer that remains connected to the internet 24/7). So you are paying for the space that your website occupies on the server. There are many types of self-hosting service available. For the sake of simplicity I will list the three main services used by new website owners:
Shared Hosting: The website is stored on a server along with thousands of other websites. This solution is usually sufficient for small websites with small to moderate amounts of traffic. Shared hosting is the lowest cost hosting service available.
Virtual Private Network: This is similar to shared hosting, but is more suited to websites with huge amounts of traffic. A greater level of access to the server is offered to clients. This service costs more than shared hosting.
Dedicated Server: Your website (or websites) is stored on its own server. Some people prefer this option, because of concerns about potential malware infection from other websites, which can occur with shared hosting service. These servers are capable of handling massive amounts of traffic. This is much more expensive than the other two services.
Shared web hosting is available for as low as $7-9 per month. Some web hosting companies offer billing on a monthly basis. Others offer the option to pay yearly or semi-yearly at a lower cost than the monthly billing option.
I purchase my domain names from Godaddy. This blog is hosted with Blue Host hosting service. So far, I haven’t experienced any major technical problems with either company. Both companies have a c-panel dashboard for easy installation of software, like WordPress.
I received good customer support with GoDaddy when I first started with blogging. I can’t speak to the quality of Blue Host’s customer service, since I never had to contact them. Their Knowledge Base was pretty helpful to me when I sought out information on how to set up and transfer hosting.
Horror stories are prevalent from people who had problems transferring their domain name and hosting service over to a different company. This happens most frequently when the domain name and web hosting service is purchased from the same company. So, it may be better to order these services from separate companies.
Make sure that you do your research and shop around for the best plan to suit your needs. The level of customer service and technical support that you will receive are very important things to consider. Ask for recommendations from other website owners.
© Copyright 2014 Susan Broadbelt