So you heard all the benefits of having a MLM Blog. And you finally decided that you want to leverage the internet as an additional strategy to build your Network Marketing business. But now the big question. Where do I begin?
Well, the first step is to register your domain name. A domain name will be your blog's unique address and is how people will find you on the internet. And to get a domain, you will have to go to a domain registrar.
Finding a Domain Registrar.
Domain registrars are accredited organizations that sell domain names to the public. There are a lot of registrars out there so do your homework when picking the right one for you. Here's a review of the top 20 registrars put together by bestcompany.com.
Namecheap.com, ranked number 4 on the list, is the registrar I use and recommend. This is the registrar I will be doing the tutorial on.
Over the years I've built many websites for clients, and registering their domain is the first thing I have them do. Not me, them.
You want to make sure it is you that registers the domain, not your designer or web developer. I can't overemphasize this point enough. You want to make sure the account is in your name and that you have control over it.
On a couple occasions, I had clients that let their previous web developer register the domain for them. Mostly because their developer didn't educate them and the client didn't know any better.
This caused some problems when they asked me to redo their sites. When it came time to point the domain to their new website, they weren't able to get a hold of their former developers who were in control of their domains. Unfortunately my clients had to pick and register a new domain name.
I've also heard stories of unethical developers that actually held their client's domain "hostage" for whatever reason.
So bottom line, make sure you are the registered owner of your domain and have control.
Should You Buy a Domain from Your Hosting Company?
Most web hosting companies offer the ability to register a domain when you purchase hosting from them. Some even offer a free domain for the first year.
That may sound like a good idea at first because there are advantages to going with this route.
Buying your domain and hosting from the same company is easier because your hosting provider will set it all up for you. It will be easier to point the domain and hosting together.
Having everything in one place is more convenient and will make customer support easier because they'll have access to both domain and hosting.
It could be harder to transfer your domain. If you ever decide to switch hosting providers, the transferring process could be time consuming.
If you keep the two separate, it's just a matter of pointing your domain to any new web host you want to use.
It's not as secure. If your web host ever gets hacked and they have control over both your hosting and domain, there's a chance the hackers can transfer the domain name away from your account.
If you keep the domain and web hosting separate, it's very unlikely to have both hacked at the same time, which adds a layer of security to your site.
Hiring Web Development.
Many of the large hosting companies offer "Unlimited Website Hosting", meaning you can host as many websites as you want on your one hosting plan. Because of this, web developers can turn around and offer to host their client's websites as part of their website development packages. So in essence, your designer/developer is now your hosting provider. Make sense?
Generally there's nothing wrong with this. In fact I offer it to my clients. But many times they will add registering domains as part of the their packages. That's the part I have issues with. Again, you would be giving those developers full control and from my earlier examples, you know where that could go.
For these reasons, I recommend keeping the hosting and domain separate.
Millions of domain names exist now and there are even people who will buy up hundreds of them with the sole intent to resell for much higher prices. Some of these domains can go for thousands of dollars and people searching for the "perfect domain name" will buy them.
Because of this, unless you are using an obscure word or name, chances are your first several choices will already be taken.
My suggestion is to think about the domain names you want to use first. Then make a list of these names and put them in the order of priority. Just start going down your list and as soon as you find one that is available, buy it.
When thinking of names, don't make beginner mistakes like asking for opinions on your domain ideas on social media and forums. You run the risk of someone registering your ideas before you can, only to try to sell it back to you. Or they might want to just keep it outright if they're in competition with you.
If you need to ask for opinions, only ask close friends or family that you trust.
Ok, so on to the tutorial. As I said earlier, I will be showing you how to register a domain name using Namecheap.com. I've used them for years and haven't had any major issues with them.
I currently have 2 personal domains registered at GoDaddy.com and have set up DNS for clients registered at 1and1.com (which I didn't like at all). In my opinion, Namecheap's interface is much more simple and user friendly compared to the other two.
Go to www.NameCheap.com
Type in the domain name you want to register. Remember to make a list of additional names and order them by priority. There's a good chance your first choice will be taken. Go down your list until you find one that is available. If your domain is available, you'll be taken to the next page.
For more tips and best practices on choosing a domain, here's a good resource from MOZ.com.
When you get to this page, you will be given a choice of other domain extensions, or Top Level Domains (TDLs). I recommend that you just stick with the .com extension. It's the most recognized and trusted domain extension around the world. Here's a link if you want to learn more about domain extensions.
Click the highlighted "cart" button for the .com extension. Then click the "View Cart" button which will take you to the Shopping Cart page.
Domain Registration. You can choose to buy your domain for up to 5 years and can also choose if you want to auto-renew when it expires.
ICANN fee. ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) charges a mandatory annual fee of $0.18 for each year of domain registration, renewal or transfer.
Advantages of Privacy Domain Registration.
- Identity theft continues to be a common problem. We go to great lengths to protect our privacy when it comes to banking, phone numbers, and even the information we share on social media. The same precaution should be taken with domain registration information.
- There is enough data contained in a WHOIS domain record for a skilled thief to start causing problems, and enable them to dig deeper into your personal data for the purpose of identity theft. Using domain protection covers your tracks with the info of your proxy service.
- Listing personal contact information for your domain is an open invitation from telemarketers, sales people, spammers, and con artists. There are countless services that scrape WHOIS data for contact information, specifically from recently registered websites.
- It doesn’t take long after a domain registration to start getting a flood of calls and emails about SEO services, content optimization, social media marketing, mailing services, virtual assistants, freelance opportunities from people overseas, and more.
- What’s worse, there are scammers who may contact you when your domain is nearing expiration, with “renewal services” that actually do nothing to renew the domain, or that transfer it without your knowledge, and can cost the owner hundreds of dollars in bogus “services.” Be wary of any items received in the mail regarding your domain, and always contact your current registrar before responding to such solicitations.
- When you use private domain registration, your registrar typically creates an alias or unique email address that is used in place of your own within the WHOIS database. This email address does not remain constant and will be updated fairly often. This is done to keep away unsolicited email from spammers.
Downside to Privacy Domain Registration.
- When you want extra protection from a service like this, you’re likely going to pay for it. Prices can vary greatly from one provider to another, from a few dollars a year to a few extra dollars per month. The cost isn’t regulated by anyone, so the private registration services get to determine their rates. On one hand, you’re paying for them not to publish your information. On the other hand, how much value will you get from that privacy? You have to decide whether or not it’s worth the added cost.
- You can pay to have your personal information kept private in the WHOIS record, but does your provider really keep your information private? It is entirely possible that your registrar can sell or distribute your content information by other means. While there are ICANN policies in place,registrars have violated these in the past – so there’s nothing necessarily stopping less-trustworthy companies from sharing your registration information if someone were to contact them and ask for it.
- Private domain registration can be set up at any time, but if your domain was previously registered without privacy protection in place, your information might still be public.
- Whenever you opt for privacy or WHOIS masking, you should understand the implications of putting someone else’s information down as the registrar of the site. In the eyes of the registry (ICANN or CIRA), the individual or organization listed as the registrant for the domain is technically the legal owner of that domain name.
This is entirely up to you as it’s not a requirement to get domain privacy protection. If you value your privacy and don't want spammers to collect your information, this is a small yearly investment to receive those benefits.
Premium DNS: This is also an optional service that NameCheap.com offers. Click here to learn more.
After making your selections, click "Confirm Order".
Create an account and place your order.
Go to your backend Dashboard after your account and order is processed.
Under "Recently Active in Your Account" you will see the name of your newly registered domain name.
Click the "Manage" button.
Scroll down a little until you get to "Nameservers". Namecheap will assign you a default DNS server and should you also choose to use Namecheap.com as your web host, you won't have to do any other setup as Namecheap will do it for you.
If you will be using a different web hosting service like Bluehost.com, after you purchase a hosting package with them, they will give you their own DNS which I included below.
I will cover this in a future article.
When you get the DNS from your preferred web host, come back to your Namecheap dashboard, click the "Domain List" tab on the left, scroll down to "Nameservers", click the drop down and select "Custom DNS".
If you already have a web host and don't know how to find your DNS, just contact them and they'll provide it for you.
Once you have the DNS from your web host, click the "Add Nameserver" link and paste in the DNS one at a time (see below).
This will now point your domain to your web hosting provider. And that's it!
In my next article, I'll be going step-by-step on how to get hosting from Bluehost.com and how to install WordPress. Stay tuned!
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