31 December 2009

Web Hosting and Domain Names

If you are a regular reader of this site, you may recall that I have mentioned from time to time, that I would like to leave Blogger and get my own hosting. Although it is a good platform, I really want to have more control over my own site. As a prime example of this, earlier this year I was going through some old articles on my site and updating some of the affiliate links. Well, while I was updating the third article, I noticed that I had to use word verification to save the changes. I thought that was kind of odd, but I went ahead and completed my work. Later, when I went to check my Email, I saw a message from Blogger stating that I have been locked out of my site, because they considered it a spam site. Yup, I was locked out of my OWN site for at least twelve hours. Obviously they let me back in, but I never received any apology or explanation as to why I was locked out.

This little adventure taught me a few things and one of them was to back-up my site. Just about once a month I export my entire site and back it up on my computer…just in case. It was also after this that I began my first foray into the wonderful and confusing world of website hosting. Although it may seem like the easiest thing in the world to do, to those like me who have never ventured into these waters, it can be somewhat intimidating. With Blogger, all I have to worry about is updating my site with fascinating and intellectually stimulating articles (something I have yet to achieve) and they take care of the rest. However, from my experience earlier this year, I discovered that along with this freedom I lost something very important…control.

So, as I began my search for a host I discovered something that I would need to address before signing on the dotted line: I needed a domain name. For those who may be very new to this game, a domain name is the name you give your website; in other words, it is what you add the “.com” to. Once again, it may seem like the easiest thing to do, but when you choose a domain name, you need to be sure that it is easy to remember and easy to type. After all, the main goal is to get people to come to your site and having a memorable domain name makes that easier. Another thing you will need to keep in mind is the fact that the name you want may already be taken. Unfortunately, this is the case with me, because everyday living.com is already being used. With this in mind I need to come up with another name; one that is somewhat descriptive of my site, yet be easy to remember like drivel.com. Well, I just checked and that name is taken as well. Anyway, I hope you get the general idea.

Once you have your name and you have made sure that it is available, you need to find which company you want to use. The best way to do this is to ask your friends and blogging buddies, because they can give you first-hand knowledge on the companies. Depending on the company you choose, you may be able to register your domain name with them for free. Free is good, right? I think so, but when it comes to domain registration you will need to check the fine print on the contract and be sure that, if for some reason you decide to go with another hosting company, you can take your domain name with you. After all, the domain name is your identity on the Internet and you don’t want to risk any chance of losing it.

Although there are many other factors to consider when choosing your host, picking your domain name will be one of the first things you will need to do. If you can, try and make the name descriptive of your site. You may also want to make the name easy to remember and easy to type. I know there may be some out there saying that most people do not type in URL’s, but rather they stumble upon sites through the search engines. In my case, that is correct, but why make it more difficult? Finally, don’t rush into it, but give it some thought, because more than likely you will be staying with that name for years to come. For a comprehensive guide through this process, please click on any of the above links and be prepared to have your questions answered.


disclosure...Oh, in case you didn't know, this is a paid post

4 comments:

  1. I was on Blogger for a few years, and got fed up. I tell ya, Hostgator is the best. I just added three more blogs to my account there- that makes a total of TEN and Hostgator is able to handle the load without a sigh. I love them. I didn't like Bluehost or Dreamhost. If you ever want to go with Hostgator, maybe you'd consider going through my affiliate link? I get $50 for everyone who signs up through my link! I have helped quite a few people get started and offer help with blogging and using Hostgator's cPanel, etc. I'd be happy to help you in any way, even if you decided not to go with Hostgator. Just let me know. :D

    disclosure.. oh in case you didn't know, this is a sponsored comment (kind of). HEE HEE!

    (Seriously, I LOVE Hostgator! I'll never go back to Blogger again, NEVER not even if they throw me in the iron maiden or use the thumb screws!)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Rebecca: So, you would recommend Hostgator ;-)
    As soon as I can afford it, I will be switching and I will definitely go through your affiliate link.
    Have a Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well, now I want to know just how you back up your own site on Blogger? I'm almost at my one year blogoversary and I never heard of this before, but it sure sounds like a good idea! help?

    ReplyDelete
  4. WillOaks Studio: You go to your dashboard and then click on settings. The first page that pops up is the basic settings. Click the export blog button and it will save your entire site as a file on your computer.
    I hope this helps.

    ReplyDelete

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