The first step to creating your very own presence on the Internet, is by purchasing a web domain name & choosing a hosting service. I am going to show you, quickly & easily, how to buy a web domain!
Your domain name, this is your web address, can be your online identity and brand. Purchasing a domain name is pretty simple. If you are unsure of what to call your domain, read this article to help choose a successful domain name.
3 Steps to Purchase A Domain Name
#1. Choose a Website To Purchase Your Domain Name
Once you have decided on a domain name I recommend one of three sites to purchase your domain:
The cost will probably be the same for all the sites (about $12/yr for a “.com” extension), but different companies offer different services that might fit your needs better.
- Where I purchased my domain, it was recommended because they are pretty good about not trying to upsell different services or filling your inbox with lots of e-mails.
- This is probably the most popular service I've seen mentioned by most bloggers which is in part due to their webhosting services too.
- Yes, that company with those dare I say, “provocative”, commercials during the Super Bowl.
- This site also offers a hosting service, but you will probably get a better experience at another service like Bluehost or where I host my domain.
#2. Check Domain Name Availability
To purchase a domain name, you need to check its availability.
I want to see what extensions for “howtobuyawebdomain” are available.
Below is a screenshot of looking for a domain name on Namecheap.
There are several extensions (.com, .net, etc) available. The .com extension has already been taken, but you can see there are more options below and they have different prices. So, I could purchase “howtobuyawebdomain.xyz” for $1 for the first year or “howtobuyawebdomain.tech” for $4.88 for a year.
#3. Purchase the Domain Name
I decided to purchase “howtobuyawebdomain.xyz”.
You can reference the screenshot below, to ensure you can keep your domain name one year from now & to also protect your identity.
Make sure you have “Autorenew” on for your domain registration & Whois Guard.
- That $1.00 fee is my registration fee for 1 year only. If my (or your website) gets popular and I do not renew domain name on time, somebody else can buy it instead.
- Wouldn't it be cool to buy Nike.com because they overlooked this crucial step & you made the website about your content instead?!
- The “Whois Guard” protects your identity. It prevents people from seeing that the domain is registered in your name & getting access to your personal information.
Choosing a Webhosting Service
Just as a domain name is your online identity, choosing a webhosting service can be just as important to growing your footprint on the web. Buying a domain name is truly just the beginning of your internet adventure.
All the hosting services I will mention, use WordPress as the web editing program for your website.
The three sites I listed for purchasing a domain name (Namecheap, Bluehost, & Godaddy) all have hosting services available as well. I use Wealthy Affiliate for my hosting needs as they also offer lots of easy-to-follow training material for building a blog & internet business.
As I was new to the online blogging world, I chose Wealthy Affiliate as they have online tutorials & a community forum to help you create a quality website. I find this material to be really helpful & I currently belong to Wealthy Affiliate for their hosting services and the support you receive from its owners & community members.
If you are a beginner to the online realm, I recommend Wealthy Affiliate. For $45/month or $359/year, you get lots of training plus the easy-to-use hosting interface that makes building a website easy & secure.
There are some drawbacks to Wealthy Affiliate. As it is intended for beginners & amateurs, you do not have as much access to website editing & activating apps that require outgoing connections are restricted. You can contact WA support & they will grant further access on a case-by-case basis. For the average user, this restricted access isn't a dealbreaker.
In the future, I may consider changing hosting services. The most mentioned service in the blogging world currently, is Bluehost. You can get hosting services cheaper than Wealthy Affiliate (albeit without the training lessons) and you have full access to editing your website. If you have done any research on building a site with WordPress, you have probably seen the program “C-Panel” mentioned. You do not have this function with Wealthy Affiliate, which means website creation is easier but you get the drawbacks as mentioned above.
I hope this tutorial has been helpful. If you are still unsure about which hosting service to use, please research the company that you feel is the best fit for your needs.
Please leave a comment or question, if you have your own experience or recommendation for purchasing a domain name or using a webhosting service.
Josh founded Money Buffalo in 2015 to help people get out of debt and make smart financial decisions. He is currently a full-time personal finance writer with work featured in Forbes Advisor, Fox Business, and Credible.