Starting Your Blog: Choosing the Domain Name & Hosting
Ever thought of starting your own blog with dedicated domain name? First things that comes to mind is how to and where to start with?
With the increasing density of personal blogs and online businesses, number of people who know these basics have increased.
But still there is huge crowd out there who have the writing skills, talent and passion to go online but donít know how to start their own blog.
Not restricting it to the personal level only, this tutorial is for all those people out there who will be able to start their own blog from scratch, after this tutorial, hopefully.
Since this is a complete tutorial for newbieís so each and every aspect will be covered or at least it will be tried to.
Following is the checklist to start your blog from scratch:
- Getting Domain Name
- Getting Hosting
- Making Up the Server
- Introduction to WordPress
- Dashing the Tís and Dotting the Iís
Getting Domain Name:
First of all, letís have a look at what actually a domain name is. Domain name is just like the name of a house, not the address, as you need to visit some place you need name as well as the address and it must be unique.
A domain name can be regarded as the name of the house or building whereas the Internet Protocol (IP) Address †is just like the address of a place.
Domain names are merely unique words ending with specific letters. Be it a region focused name, like for Pakistan we use .pk domains or it is internationally accepted famous names, known as Top Level Domains (TLDs) with .com as most common, it is always unique.
For instance, ProPakistani.Com is a domain, so is ProPakistani.PK.
You need to buy a domain from domain registrars, such as godaddy.com or name.com.†When you purchase a domain, you are provided with a domain management panel from where you can change the settings of your domain as where to point it. (we will tell you later about what pointing a domain means) For instance, you can point your domain to the hosting account where your website files are located.
Most people think this is the central part and you really need to find something different. Yes you should, but I read somewhere online, all good domain names and girls are already taken.
And as per my own experience and observation, it is not the domain name that matters but the content. Yes you can disagree with me by arguing the fact that search engines drive you traffic from keywords and good keywords in domain name can drive you handsome traffic but what to do with that traffic when the content is not up to the mark.
So get a good and attractive domain name that is just easy to remember and confusion-less. For example, avoid using characters like 0 (zero) in place O and Z in place of S.
In a single line, good domain name should be something like you do not need to spell it to someone else while passing verbally.
Still there are very famous domains out there which utterly contradict the point I gave above and common example is flickr which is surely derived from flicker without e.
Get the fact that almost 90% (rough estimate) domain names that are ruling the cyber world at the moment do not make any sense, but it took time for them to get settled, and as I said earlier, it is not the name, it is the content that matters.
Surely the next question is where to buy the domain and which is reliable. As you can google, there are many registrars out there but following should be preferred.
- NameCheap (Recommended)
So once you have chosen the name and registrar, next part is how to pay. Since the absence of paypal is already being discussed very much and it really effects but still we have another solution. Simply get the UBL Wiz Card for online shopping and you are ready to go. Complete procedure on how to shop from UBL WIZ and Teen Internet card has already been discussed in detail.
Approximate price of a TLD is $10 which is approximately 860 PKR. So keep on calculating how much you really need to start a blog. Note that these are yearly based charges and you have to pay them again after one year of domain subscription for itís renewal.
So now you have registered a domain name and are ready to go with the next part, infact the most important one, choosing the hosting provider.
Choosing a web host is actually getting some space to put your things online. Hosting accounts are different in types, shared hosting, VPS, dedicated server, cloud hosting, etc depending upon the resources.
Whatever the type is, itís purpose is the same, to provide you with the resources for your data that will be available online. Once you get a hosting account, you can park your domain here and by accessing that domain name, you can access your data.
As in our case, we are going to start a blog, all your blog data will go here, for instance if you are going to start a wordpress blog, your blog files, including all images, theme files, function files and your blog databases will be kept here.
Now it depends whether you are going to attract the huge amount of traffic like making a news, technology, telecom etc blog or it will be just a personal blog with fewer number of visitors.
In both the cases i would recommend to get a VPS or Dedicated server, depending upon your needs, rather than the shared hosting. Low end VPS are now†available†at very affordable price so better opt for the territory of your own and be the king than to share with someone else.
There was a time when these hostings were used to be very costly but competition among companies results in benefit of the customer.
You can simply google †about companies providing cheap VPS solutions, also you can visit WebHostingTalk.comís Section for hosting offers as per your budget. Or visit www.LowEndBox.com to find low end cheap VPS solutions.
Keep in mind that at start, a VPS with 512MB Ram, 5-10GB space and 200GB+ bandwidth will be enough for you (forget about CPU share at this moment).
Average price for a low-end VPS is $5 per month which is approximately 500PKR per month. I preffer finding a good yearly deal that will bring handsome discount for you and will also be hassle free as you do not need to worry every month about paying for the server dues.
For analysis and comprehensive guide on how to choose the host meeting your requirement, simply go though the detailed guide, How to choose best web host for you.
So uptil now, we have spent almost 1350 rupees (Rs. 850 for domain and Rs. 500 for web hosting).
Once you are done, now itís time to get a little break since you have already worked alot in choosing the domain name and web host provider.
Note: This is first of many tutorials relating to WordPress and Hosting issues.