A lot of people have a passion that they would like to share with the world. However, the thought of actually getting online and setting up your own publishing platform can seem daunting if you’ve never attempted it before. This is because there is a lot of confusion about what is actually needed to get online.
In this article, I will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about getting online in simplest way possible.
How do I choose a name for my website?
Having a good name for your website is important. A poorly chosen name can mean the difference between people remembering you or not.
Obviously, if you have an offline business name that is working well you will want to use that if the name is available.
For example, if you were in the finance industry you could choose tangible words related to money like silver, gold, wallet, cash, etc. If you were in the pets industry you could choose words like fur, meow, bark, etc.
Once you have a list of keywords you can use a couple of free online tools like Shopify’s Business Name Generator and Bust a Name. These tools will take the words you want to use and spit back potential domain names that are currently available.
I’ve picked the perfect name! Now how do I get a web address with that name?
Once you’ve selected your website name you are going to need to purchase a domain name from a domain registrar. I recommend using NameCheap.com. They are simple to use and they don’t bombard you with ads and upsells when you try to make a purchase. GoDaddy is another popular option that often has good deals (and lots of ads).
Simply type in the name you want and purchase it from the site. If possible, you’ll want to purchase the “.com” version of your name because that is what people usually think of when they try to go to a website.
I purchased the domain name but how do I get my own website to show up for that name?
Now that you have a domain name that you’re happy with you will need to use a hosting service in order to make your website accessible to Internet users.
After purchasing a domain name you will probably get bombarded with offers for different hosting services. Ignore the offers. The hosting service that is best suited for you is not necessarily the one that is most heavily advertised.
Instead, you want to read the reviews and compare your different options. Different hosting companies serve different needs depending on your budget, the purpose of your website, and how you want to be perceived.
I have a domain name and I’m paying for a hosting service. How come I’m still not seeing my website show up?
When you purchased your domain name, the registrar you purchased from is hosting it on their own server with a generic page. What you need to do is tell your registrar to point that domain name to your own hosting company’s server. To do this you need to change the nameservers.
This is definitely the most technical part of the process but it’s not difficult once you know what to look for and where to find it. Essentially you just have to copy and paste two web addresses into a couple boxes.
Here is a helpful video that explains the process in more detail. It will vary a bit depending on the hosting company and registrar you chose. If you have any confusion contact your hosting company’s customer service.
I connected my domain name to my hosting service but my site still looks weird! What now?
The final step of this process is to install a WordPress theme on your site. WordPress is what makes your site look pretty and easy to use without any coding knowledge! Most hosting services will have a simple button that you can click to immediately install WordPress on your site.
Once you’ve installed WordPress you get to choose a theme. This is the fun part of getting online because all your work is finally going to become visible.
That’s it! You are now online and can start publishing content. If it’s your first time it may take you at least a few hours to get it all figured out but it’s not nearly as difficult as many people think. So the next time you get that urge to share something with the world, don’t wait. Get yourself online now!
Levi Henrikson is a freelance writer who enjoys Celtic music and percussion, marketing, personal finance, and personal development. He is a proud father and husband.