If you are brand new, I’m starting a series of blogs to help you get up and running with your own website. I’m assuming you have started with a free site like Blogger.com or WordPress.com and want to branch out on your own domain.
Step 1. Get your own domain name. If you started with Blogger, your blog’s web address is mysite.blogspot.com. If you want to jump out of the nest, you need to register mysite.com. The question is, does someone else already have that name? Simply browse to GoDaddy.com and type in your desired name in the search box to see if it is taken. If not, then great, grab it. If someone has it already, you have several options. Maybe the .net version is available or the name with a hyphen might work such as my-site.com. Keep working with the variations until you get one you like that is available. At GoDaddy, domain registration runs around $10 for a year.
Step 2. Find a host. Your website needs to reside on someone’s server. I like to host my website on a different website than the one who registers my domain name. The terms of service for some registrar/hosting companies suggest that if the company is the registrar as well as the hosting company, they may own your content. I recommend Hostgator because you can host several websites on one account. If you plan on having more than one website, start with the Baby account.
Step 3. Assign your DNS servers. Once you get your hosting account, they will provide the DNS or nameserver account names. If you got your domain name at GoDaddy, after logging in to your account, browse to the Domain Manager where you will see all your domain names listed. Click on the desired name and then click the Nameserver icon. Enter the nameservers provided by the hosting company. This information redirects browsers to your hosting company where your website is residing.
Now you are ready to start your blog. I’ll cover WordPress, the most popular blogging software, in the next blog.