Choosing your domain name, registering it, and finding a suitable hosting solution can feel like an overwhelming process. Use the information in this post to help you manage the process without missing a step.
Getting Your Domain Name And Hosting In Order
- Have you created a list of potential domain names that end in .com? Are your chosen domain names all professional and do they support your business vision, brand, and mission? They should be easy to remember, easy to spell, and unique.
- Have you identified a preferred domain registrar service? Is your domain registrar the same provider as your website host? I recommend your domain registrar not be the same provider as your website host. If you did not register your domain name with the service provider who is providing your hosting services, you will need to set up the DNS server entries at your domain registrar account to point to your hosting provider's DNS servers.
- Have you registered your domain name(s) including your primary domain name and any relevant and supporting domain names? For example, mybusiness.com, mybusiness.biz, mybusiness.net.
- Have you double checked to make sure your contact information is correct with your domain registrar? This can be crucial in ensurring your domain remains registered to YOU!
- Have you set my domains to auto-renew? This step prevents you from missing a notification email and accidentally losing your domain name. While there is really no SEO advantage to pre-registering your domain for a number of years (as often erroneously suggested) the benefit of not missing a registration date cannot be overstated.
- Have you chosen to register you domain as:
I believe that you should not use private registration on a business domain. Potential clients may be deterred from trusting you if you do.
- Have you verified your domain information in the Whois database? Unless you specified Whois privacy during the registration process, your contact information should show up on the master Whois database within 24 hours. Have you visited whois.domaintools.com and searched for your domain name to see how it appears in the Whois database?
- Have you chosen a website host that meets your requirements including:
- Web space - the amount of storage your website will require on the web server.
- Bandwidth - the measure of traffic, both into and out of, your website.
- Price - affordable but not at the expense of necessary features/services.
- Support, Uptime and Backup
- Telephone support
- 24/7 Customer support
- An online trouble ticket/help desk system
- Email support
- High percentage of uptime
- Daily automatic back-ups
- Plan provides all the features I require
- Secure Socket Layer (SSL) – protocol used for extra security in ecommerce transactions.
- Have you set up your business email addresses with my website host? It looks professional and has your URL in it, like firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Have you chosen a template, hired a designer, and/or put up a placeholder page so visitors will find information rather than a blank, or error, page? I believe it is more important to have an actual working website, even if it is not complete, than a landing page that says something like "Under Construction". Get up a home page, an about page, and a contact page right away. Don't wait until everything is just right. Get your site open to the public, and search engines, right away.
Once you have completed these 10 steps, you will ready to start creating content for your website and driving traffic. Congratulations!