NameCheap is the preferred domain registrar. They offer very cheap registration, have a slick easy to use interface and offer free WhoisGuard forever (this is important to protect you against what would be the inevitable inundation of spammers and scammers filling your inbox).
The first step in registering a domain is finding a domain name for your website. I don’t have a clue what kind of niche or business you’re looking to start, so here’s a couple of resources that can help you find that catchy name:
I will tell you this – generally, shorter domain names are better. And if you are trying to target a specific keyword with your website, try include some of the words in your domain name.
The second point to consider is what your TLD should be and this entirely depends on the type of website you would like to build. If you are building an affiliate website with global reach it’s best to use a “.com” TLD, if you were building an ecommerce site or local services marketplace site in say, Australia, then you would get a “.com.au” domain TLD.
For our example, I’ve chosen the domain name: wowmyfirstwebsite.com.
Make sure you actually select the “.com” domain name version of your website. I don’t know why, but for some bizarre reason NameCheap will always have a random TLD that nobody wants in the main section. Ahh, good ol’ capitalism 🙂
After selecting your desired domain name, click on View Cart. Then you’ll be taken to the following screen:
Select Auto-Renew for your domain name registration. You don’t want it to expire on you because you forget to pay the $12 dollars to renew it. Trust me, it’s happened to me and I’m still haunted by the pain of forget.
You should also select WhoisGuard and set it to Auto-Renew, this is a service that many other domain registrars charge a fee for and is an incredibly valuable feature. Just do it then click Confirm Order.
On the next page scroll down and check that you have Domain Registration and Free WhoisGuard selected.
They should automatically be selected, but it pays to certain! Then click continue.
On the final page you should receive a summary of your order. If everything looks ok then proceed to enter your payment details and complete the payment.
Siteground is the recommended hosting provider. They have one of the best reputations in the hosting industry, provide affordable plans and offer an easy to install and configure speed optimization plugin.
Once on the page, select WordPress Hosting as shown below:
Once you’ve selected WordPress hosting, you’ll be presented with the following plan options:
Select the Start Up option at $4.95 per month. This will be billed annually and after the first year will increase to $14.95 per month. By that stage though, you should have some cash flow 🙂
You’ve probably noticed that it recommends up to 10,000 visitors per month. Once you reach that level, it’s easy to change your plan option and scale up to GrowBig.
After you have selected the StartUp option you will be presented with the following page:
You should select get new hosting account, then I already have a domain (you’ve just registered one at NameCheap – we will need to point the nameservers from there to your new hosting which I’ll show you how to do later).
Make sure to enter the domain name you just purchased at NameCheap. Throughout this example we are using the domain name: wow.myfirstwebsite.com. You can see this entered in the example above.
Now you can scroll down to fill out the billing information section. You should choose a server location that is closest to the visitors you will be targeting with your website. If you were setting up a website to target visitors in Australia then you should choose Singapore, otherwise I would go with Chicago.
After you’ve paid you will receive two emails from Siteground. The first one confirms your purchasesand has a reciept attached.
The second one with the subject line: “Important Information About Your New Hosting Account” contains your domain name server information that we need to enter into NameCheap. I’ve blacked these out for privacy:
Once you’ve found these nameserver details, go back to NameCheap and click on the Domain List section of your account.
You should see your new domain listed there. Click on the Manage button on the right side of the screen. Now you should see the following screen:
Navigate to the “NAMESERVERS” section and change it to Custom DNS. Then enter your two new name servers that were sent to you by Siteground. They should always start in ns1 and ns2. The site will take up to 24hrs for your nameservers to propogate, so don’t be alarmed if you can’t see your website earlier than that.
You’ve just successfully setup your website ready to have WordPress installed and configured. We’ll tackle that in Chapter 2: Installing and Configuring WordPress.