Your host for your website is the space you lease from a landlord. Your business is located there with a unit number, but without a sign or directions to your unit, there’s no way people are going to find you. On the Internet, it doesn’t matter so much “where” you are, but how people are going to “find” you.
HOW DO I CHOOSE A GOOD DOMAIN NAME?
The next couple steps after you have decided on your business plan and done your research is to register your domain name and find a host for your website.
It’s getting a bit complicated, isn’t it?
The best way is to picture it this way. Your host for your website is the space you lease from a landlord. Your business is located there with a unit number, but without a sign or directions to your unit, there’s no way people are going to find you. On the Internet, it doesn’t matter so much “where” you are, but how people are going to “find” you.
A domain is the address you enter into your browser to find a particular web site. That’s the way the Internet specifies the location of your website. For example, http://www.domain-name.com
Since your domain name is the means by which people will find your business online, it’s one of the most important things you want to consider when you’re starting out.
A well selected domain name points potential customers in your direction, advertises for you with every email you send out, and it magnifies your branding. A good place to start when deciding what domain to register is from your keyword and market research you have done (from the previous article).
If you have done your research thoroughly, you should have a lot to work with. Just make sure your domain name is related to your niche and business and must serve to promote your online business and presence rather than detract from it.
You will want a domain name that is easy to remember and it’s better if it’s short and succinct. Try not to use initials though. You will also want to ensure you prioritize getting a .com domain, preferably without the country suffix (ie: .com.sg).
You don’t need to have a website before you think about your domain name, just get one as soon as you think you have one that works.
To register your domain, you need to set up an account with a domain name registrar. There are plenty out there like GoDaddy, namecheap, and so on. They offer generally the same services, just find one that doesn’t charge you more than US$10 per domain.
Remember that even if think you have the perfect domain name, there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to register it. Someone else may have already beaten you to registering the name. If that happens, you may have to tweak your name a bit. You could change the word order or add hyphens between the words. As a last resort, you could use a .net instead, but try your best not to do that.
The next thing you need is a host for your website. There’s many companies offering hosting services with a variety of hosting plans so you’ll be spoilt for choice. Regardless of who you decide to host your website with, the most important consideration is reliability. Whenever your hosting company goes down, it’s like having your landlord lock the doors to your office space. You can’t conduct your business and your customers will be turned away. You can imagine how bad that would be for business. An indication of a web host’s reliability is it’s reported “guaranteed up-time”. The higher the percentage, the better. Also, look for a site that provides a history of their uptime. All sites will have some downtime for maintenance and other issues can occur, but you want your site to be available consistently.
You should consider the Disk Space your hosting company offers as well. Images, videos, emails all take up space so you need to think about how much space you will need to hold all that information when you’re starting out. Many plans offer unlimited storage nowadays and the cost for these plans is not high. I would recommend that so you’ll never have to think about getting more when you run out. It’s important to choose a reliable web hosting company that allows business sites and offers a variety of packages so that you can upgrade as you grow.
Having the ability add a larger number of add-on domains is also something you want to consider. You don’t need to get a separate hosting plan for every domain you buy. All of your domains can point to the same host. Like how you can sub-let your office space to another company, different domains can point to the same address.
Other minor considerations include bandwidth. This is the amount of activity on your site so the more visitors you have, the more bandwidth you need. Many packages provide unlimited bandwidth, but 2 GB should be more than enough to start. You‚Äôll probably want at least one pop3 email account associated with your site, but having at least several can help you organize your incoming email. Additional services such as databases and included software can be considered as well. One hosting company we recommend is HostGator.