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This article will provide a step by step guide on how to buy a domain name. First, you will need to decide on the domain name you would like to buy, then set up your NameCheap account in order to purchase your desired domain. We will also discuss the importance of hosting; how to purchase web hosting from SiteGround; and connecting your domain name with your hosting.
Why are Domain Names Important?
A good domain name is essential for having a successful online presence. It’s a very important decision as your domain name is an extension of you and your brand – it’s your online identity. Choosing a name that best represents you is one of the first important decisions you will have to make when starting your first website.
Check out our full article on why domain names are important.
How to Choose a Domain Name
Deciding on a domain name can be quite a daunting task, but if you follow these simple rules it will become a lot simpler.
- Use a .com suffix – This is the most common domain suffix and it will increase your chances of ranking higher.
- Make it brandable and easy to remember – If the domain name is easy to remember then it will be easily shared between people and social platforms.
- Try to keep it as short as possible – Aim for 2 or 3 words maximum.
- Avoid hyphens and numbers – These are allowed in domain names, however, hyphens are associated with low-quality websites and numbers can become confusing, whether it’s the number 1 or the word ‘one’.
- Try using a root keyword in your domain name – for example, this website has the root keyword ‘domain’.
- If you can’t get the .com suffix, then go for either .org or .net as the second-best options.
If you are still struggling to come up with your domain name, the sites below will be able to help you come up with ideas. Remember to also keep the conditions mentioned above in mind.
The reason I recommend buying your domain name from NameCheap is that it’s the most user-friendly and simple to use option, even if you’ve never bought a domain name before.
The process of buying is also super easy as you are able to see all possible upsells which by default are not selected; only the essentials like WHOIS protect and auto-renewal. The purchasing process for GoDaddy is a little more difficult as they offer many options (some of which are not necessary), so if it’s your first time buying a domain, NameCheap is the best option in my opinion.
The final and most important reason is the price. NameCheap offers the best price in the long term. For example, the first year for a .com domain will cost £7 with a £10 renewal fee, whereas GoDaddy’s first year is only £0.99 but with the renewal fee at £16 per annum.
Setting up your NameCheap Account
Click on the ‘Sign Up’ button
Clicking ‘Sign Up’ will take you to the page below.
Username – This is a very important part of accessing your account and you will not be able to change it once it has been set.
Password – Make sure you pick a strong password – it’s the first layer of security for your NameCheap account.
First and Last Name – It’s important you input your real names as they will be used later in newsletters and notifications sent by NameCheap.
Email Address – This will be your account’s primary email – it will be used for password resets, order summaries, and the newsletter if you were to opt-in.
Sign me up tick box – This gives you the option to receive newsletters and emails from NameCheap (you can always opt-out later).
Now that you have a domain name in mind and you have set up your NameCheap account, it’s time to see if your domain name is available! If your chosen name is available, you will see something similar to the screen below. You simply click ‘Add to Cart’ and then proceed to check out.
If the domain name you’re after isn’t available (below), you will be able to see other available options by scrolling down. The process of buying one of the alternative options will be as demonstrated above.
Web hosting is extremely important – without it, you won’t be able to have your website online.
There are a few reasons as to why you should consider SiteGround to host your website. The first being that the prices are very reasonable. £5.99 a month is their lowest and most basic plan (which is more than enough to start your first website). Another great thing about SiteGround is that customer support is fantastic. Lastly, the overall user interface and experience are super simple and easy to use.
StartUp: This plan will cost you £5.99 per month. Some of the features in this plan include; 1 website, 10GB web space, 10,000 monthly visitors, Free email, Free WordPress installation, and more.
GrowBig: This plan will cost you £8.99 per month. Some of the features included are; unlimited websites, 20GB web space, 25,000 monthly visitors, Free WordPress installation, and more.
GoGeek: This plan will be £12.99 per month and the features include; unlimited websites, 100,000 monthly visitors, 40GB web space, Free WordPress installation, and more.
Some key features of SiteGround are:
- Instant customer support
- Free website backing and migration
- Supercacher technology
- PHP 7.3 hosting
- SSD hosting
- Free SSL certificate
Linking your Domain Name to your Web Hosting
First, you will need to find your name servers which will be located on your SiteGround ‘Dashboard’ under the section that is titled ‘IP and Name Servers.’
You will then take these name servers and go your NameCheap account ‘Domain List’, locate the domain you want to use, and click ‘manage’.
You will now need to enter your name servers into this section and save. It can take up to 48 hours to update, so don’t worry if it isn’t updating immediately!
You have now successfully connected your domain name to your web hosting. If you have any further questions, or if you come across any difficulties, feel free to drop me an email here.
Now you’ve got this far, you should know how to pick a domain name and register it at NameCheap, purchase web hosting from SiteGround, and lastly connect your domain name to your web hosting so that your site is online and people are able to find it.
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