Getting your own domain name
Why should you get your own domain name? Because it will allow you to grow farther than anything else. Having your own domain name will give you control over the content showed on your website. For example, if you choose to build a WordPress blog using WordPress free services, you won't be able to put any ad units on it. That means if you are thinking of getting any revenue from your website via ads, choosing WordPress is a bad choice.
Choosing the right domain name
There are many good tips a guides for choosing the right domain name that will come up with and google search. You want to keep in mind the domain name you chose will be one you will have to stick with. Why? Because it some time to get traffic to a website and you don't want to do a lot of hard work and then switch the domain name. These are a few rules I feel are good to stick with:
- Keep it short and simple
- Try to stick to ".com" or ".net"
- Easy to type
- Grammatically correct
If you need more help with this you can try How to choose a domain name and 12 Rules for choosing the right domain name. Brainstorm on your ideas for a while. Do not settle on something just because it is taking you a long time. If you find noting is going your way, walk away and think some more later. This might be one of the most important decisions you make after you have decided to build a website.
Choosing a hosting company
For the last thing, you should choose your hosting company wisely. Unless you plan your website content to engage in any adult or prohibited materials, any of the big names should do. Personally, I would avoid GoDaddy.com. Why? I have my reason that are mainly political and irrelevant for this discussion. I would highly recommend bluehost and hostgator for hosting and buying a domain. When we start doing some practical stuff I will use either one of these for demonstrations and screen shots.
So what should you look for? Well, the main thing I look at is:
- Disk Storage size
- Domain Hosting
- Web mail addresses and email forwarding
- FTP access
- SSH access (optional)
- MySQL and php 5 support
- Built in feture (such as wordpress, Drupal, Tikiwiki, e-commerce features etc...)
This list widely depends on what you need from your web hosting provider. We will go into more detail as we go along this guide. In general, it doesn't really matter at this point and you can always switch providers. We will go over all this later on again and again.