One of the first—and most important—things you need to do to build an online presence, no matter whether you’re an aspiring artist, maker, author, teacher, etc., is to choose a domain and web hosting.
It’s not easy choosing a domain name, and this is an area where many people struggle. But, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when choosing your domain name:
- Always choose a .com and NOT a .net, .org or any other extension. If the .com isn’t available, keep brainstorming and trying new names. If you get stuck, try using a domain name generator like LeanDomainSearch.com.
- Shorter is always better.
- Your domain name should be easy to remember and easy to say.
- Don’t use hyphens or anything you have to explain out loud for people to understand, such as “pet costumes, the number “4” and the letter “u.” (petcostumes4u)
- No unusual or “cute” spelling. (It may work for Krispy Kreme, but it won’t work for you.)
- Does the domain name match or “fit” your business?
- What does the domain convey about you and your business?
Once you’ve decided on a domain name, you need to register it. This can be done through the same service provider you’ve chosen for web hosting, or it can be done separately through any domain registrar.
IMPORTANT: When you’re searching to see if a domain name is available, be ready to buy it as soon as you find it. If you wait, you may be shocked to find that it’s no longer available when you go back to buy it. There are people out there in the business of monitoring domain name searches, picking them up, then trying to sell the name to you later for a profit.
Once you’ve chosen and purchased your domain name, it’s time to set up your web hosting and website.
The first thing worth mentioning is: NEVER use free hosting! Even if you’re trying to launch your creative side hustle on a shoe string budget, do NOT use free hosting!
As the old saying goes, “you get what you pay for.” Free hosts make their money by placing ads on your website and they usually provide little or no customer support.
Web hosting isn’t a huge expense. In fact, Mom Webs (whom I use and highly recommend) starts at just $5.00 a month for a single domain.
As I mentioned above, when searching for a web host, you need to find a company with a responsive support team. It’s not going to do you squat to have a company that offers lots of bells and whistles if your site goes down and you can’t get ahold of tech support. If your site ever goes down—or some other trouble arises—that’s an emergency, and you need a provider who can help you!
Here are a few of the basic features to look for when it comes to web hosting:
- Disk storage space
- Bandwidth allowance
- Number of email accounts permitted
- Number of MySql databases permitted
Recommended Web Hosts: