Step 1: Domains

The first thing you need in order to get started is a domain name. Domains are essentially website names. If you don't have one yet, no worries. Pick something that's simple and straight forward.

Choosing Awesome Domains

Domains (website names) start at $3.98/year from Namecheap. Can't think of a good website name? Check out the How to Choose an Awesome Domain Name article.

One tip I recommend is to keep your domain name and hosting separate. Don't be tempted to get domain name packages that include hosting. This gives your website a higher uptime chance and it also allows you to stay nimble.

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Recommended Domain Resources


Domain Registrar and Other Web Presence Tools

There are a ton of registrars out there and a lot of them suck. Namecheap is one of the good ones. Regardless if you're an individual, business, or reseller, they got you covered.

I host a few domains with them and a few email accounts as well. Whenever I've had questions or needed support, they've answered in less than a day.

Normal price for a domain is $10.88/year. Don't be surprised if you find a special price for your first year.

Visit Namecheap

Google Domains

Google's Domain Registrar Service

Google Domains is an interesting registrar option. It's interesting in that the service is in beta and the starting price is more expensive than you'll find in other places.

Advantages include using Googles infrastructure, simple domain management tools, and private registration for free, without private renewals. I have a few domains registered with Google and have been happy with the service.

No issues to date and hopefully it will stay that way as Google has a bad reputation for poor customer service.

Domains start at $12/year.

Visit Google Domains

Another registrar that deserves a nod is GoDaddy. I used them the first 6 years or so I was online. They've really turned their company offering around.

A Note on Security

If you use an untrusted registrar, be sure to check your domain occasionally, even if you don't have hosting. You may be surprise what your domain redirects to!

Here's what my domain was pointing to a number of years back. I have censored the screenshot to make it a little less shocking:

When I saw this I immediately transferred out of this registrar. Moral of the story, don't allow your domain to be auto-parked by their service and don't always go for the cheapest domain special.

And just in case you were thinking it, no, my account wasn't hacked.

Quick Tips for Picking Great Domains

Try to choose something that hints at what your website is about and something you can comfortably grow into.

This website's name, Website Jolt hints at the type of stuff you'll find here. If anyone ventures a guess that this website's topic is, well, websites, then they would have put their deductive reasoning to good use! 😉

Domain Related Posts

The last 3 domain related blog posts are below. To see the posts, head over to the blog page.

How to Transfer Domains – Namecheap to Google Domains

How to Transfer Domains – Namecheap to Google Domains

If you run a website, at some point you will need to transfer domains to another registrar. This is true no matter how advanced you are, whether you're a student, enthusiast, or business owner. In the past, this was a bothersome process with plenty of horror stories...

Domain Name Modifiers to Test

Domain Name Modifiers to Test

If that awesome domain name you want is taken, which the first couple will most likely be, you'll need to get creative on what your new name should be. Here's a list of domain name modifiers you can test when purchasing your shiny, new domain name. This will help you...

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