Monthly Archives: January 2013

I thought the first step “buy a domain name” on the Checklist for Setting Up a WordPress Blog page was a pretty simple thing.  However, in all of the time that I have been setting up blogs for others, I realized that as easy as it was for some, it is a foreign experience to others.

It is a really easy process, even if you have no idea what you are doing.  The first thing is to think of a name. Do you want it to be your personal name or something to do with your business?   In choosing a name the experts (whoever they are!) recommend that the name not be too long and it should also be easy to spell.  I strongly suggest that you use a .com name whenever possible because .com is so imbedded in our brains.  Think about it… Expedia.com! Did that just run through your head like they sing it in the commercial?

When choosing a domain name you might want to think of several options as your first choice may not be available, I don’t know if you have heard but facebook.com is already taken. :)

Now for hosting, the best way I can describe hosting to you is that it is sort of like a house you rent.  It’s the place that your website or blog lives.  It has an address and that address, in the most simplified way I can explain it, is your domain name.  Simple enough?  There are several hosting plans to choose from at HostGator.  If you plan on doing one simple blog their Hatchling Plan would be prefect for you.  In no way do you have to use HostGator I just recommend it personally as I have had my blogs there for years and have been very pleased with their service and none of my sites have ever crashed or experienced downtime.  Over the last ten years, in my travels through the internet kingdom, I have used other hosts and have had problems but we won’t go into that now.

At this point, you might be asking why do I have to buy hosting when I can get a free place, that answer is here if you must know.

Let’s get on with this and head on over to my favorite host on the internet, HostGator and get started.

*Disclosure – Just to be clear this page does contain affiliate links. I have personally use the products I’ve recommend here.

Over here, I explain what hosting is.  It’s basically a place you rent on the internet, your blog’s home so to speak, it’s where all your posts and pictures are stored and when one types in the address it zooms them to your place on the world wide web.

This page is just my opinion in the end the choice is always yours.

So, why should you pay for hosting?

Hosting is Inexpensive – Really!  It costs less than $10 a month so if you are running a business and plan to make money directly through your blog or your are looking for a place to impress potential customers to bring to your brick and mortar business, a couple dollars a month is a very small price to pay.

To Appear Professional – I don’t know about you but I want to put my best foot forward. Seriously, are you going to buy a book on How to Make a Gazillion Dollars on the internet from some guy who has a cookie cutter freebie website say like, gazillion.blogspot.com or gazillion.wordpress.com?  Seem shady, like he might not be invested? Dress your blog for success!  I’m pretty sure Donald Trump doesn’t try to do deals by taking clients to McDonald’s.

It’s Yours! -  Over the years I have heard first hand from people who have had their blogger account shut down (loosing their blog and it’s content,  all that hard work down the drain) because of some rule they might not have complied with in the terms of service or in internet lingo TOS.  Or let’s say you want to use Google Adsense to make money with your blog, did you know that is not allowed if you have a freebie WordPress site?  It’s something to think about for sure!

Moving is a Headache – Let’s say you are just at the point of dipping your toe into the blogging pool, you just want to test it out.  So you start with a free blog to save yourself a couple of bucks and then you decide down the road, that you are a blogging rock star. You will either be stuck in freebie blogger land or you will have to move.  While places like HostGator can help you move your blog to your own host from a free one, the process usually only moves the posts and pictures, you are on your own for all the detailed work of what appears on your side bars etc.  And to top it off it messes with your search engine results as the posts may not have the same address.  So when someone comes looking for you from a bookmark or search results at yourdomain.blogspot.com/istartedoutcheap they are going to get an error page.  And off they go… a potential client or reader, gone.

Whichever way you decide to go I hope I helped you in your decision process.  Feel free to leave a comment or contact me if you have more questions.

*Disclosure – Just to be clear this page does contain affiliate links.  I have personally use the products I’ve recommend here.

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