First of all, remember that a domain is the name of your site. Hosting is where your site is located on the internet. In real life, a domain is analogous to the name of your business, and the hosting is the mall where your store is located.
For several reasons, you shouldn’t get your domain and arrange for hosting from the same company.
Here’s what you do:
- Start a login and password file.
- Buy domain name. We like NameCheap because they are reliable and cheap. Save your login and password.
- Buy hosting. For beginners, we really like the shared hosting plans with Hostgator. They’ve got great service and support, they’re affordable, and they’re great for a blog. Save your login and password.
After you purchase your hosting plan, you will get a welcome email. Make note of the nameservers. And save your login and password. Yes, we’re nagging.
You now have a domain name and a hosting plan – from two separate places. It’s time to get them together.
- Log into your domain account. Yes, you’ll need that login and password.
- Find where you change your nameservers.
- Add your two nameservers.
NOTE: For Namecheap, go to “Manage Domains”, click on the domain you want to ‘point’. On left hand side, under “General” click on “Transfer DNS to Webhost” or “Domain Name Server Setup”. Go to “Specify Custom DNS Servers” and enter the two Nameservers from Hostgator.
If you’ve bought through NameCheap and Hostgator, you can now go to your website – type in your website address – and see that you’ve connected the two, because a “Hostgator” welcome page will be there. It may take 24 hours for the final “propogation” to happen so you can add your blog. Think of it like a wedding – you’ve married the two, but the honeymoon may not start right away.
Even before the marriage is consummated, you can contact Hostgator via chat or their email (support AT hostgator.com) and they’ll install your blog for you. You can also do it yourself, which I’ll detail in another post.
Disclaimer: We are affiliates with most of the companies we mention, which means we sometimes get commission if you buy through our link. We really like it if you do; it helps keep our costs low. And it helps to pay for that sixth set of braces.