This article was written to answer some simple questions about websites, domains, email, hosting, and other important internet services. If you’ve ever wondered how sites are hosted and by whom, and how domain names are created, then this article will be helpful.

Where to Start

You will want to begin by finding a domain name for your website. There are a couple of sites I recommend to find a domain name.

If you know the name you want, go to Yahoo’s small business domain search site. If the domain you want is not available, you will be provided a dozen alternative domain names that are available.

When you don’t know what you want to name your domain, consider shopping the auctions at GoDaddy. I like to use the advanced search and I always shop from the bargain bin or purchase close-outs. They will cost you about $22 dollars but you will have to wait a week or two to make sure the sites are “cleared” for transfer.

Before Your Purchase Your Domain

Currently it is more difficult to find an available Twitter account than it is to find an available domain. Before you purchase a domain make sure you can get a Twitter username that corresponds to your domain name. You may think you don’t want Twitter, but it is better to have one and not use it than it is to compete with a Twitter account that is drawing visitors to their tweets instead of your site.

Next Comes Hosting

Choosing a good host is easy. If you are a professional practice you should purchase business class hosting which typically starts at $60 per month. Please contact me and I will provide an estimate to host your domain and website(s).

For other small businesses, shared hosting by a discount host provider is probably sufficient (unless you are going to be an ecommerce site). I personally can only recommend one host, Hostgator (see ad below). I advise you avoid GoDaddy and BlueHost. Be sure to select LAMP hosting (Linux, apache, MySQL and php). Do not select Windows hosting.

Ready for the Site

Now that you are ready for your website you need to decide the how, what, and why of Websites. Teaching you how to create a website is beyond the scope of this blog post. You may however call my office and ask for a free consultation and I can guide your further.