When I started out on the internet it was GoDaddy. If you wanted a domain–GoDaddy. If you wanted web hosting–GoDaddy. So, naturally enough I got my domains for around $9 from GoDaddy and I had them host my one or two very primitive pages. At the time hosting with GoDaddy was around $9.95 per month per domain. It wasn’t until a couple of years (and several domains) down the road that I began to realise that GoDaddy, whilst excellent, were maybe no longer offering the best value and the most features for hosting. In particular, at that time, since hosting each domain meant having a separate account–now with over 100 domain names in my portfolio, that was going to get very expensive.

So I searched around, read a lot of web hosting reviews and narrowed my list down to just a few–my web host shortlist if you like. My technical knowledge is limited and so I needed a simple, easy to use web host, as well as one that was not going to be too expensive GoDaddy email login. But mainly, I wanted a web hosting service that allowed me unlimited domains, or sub-domains at a fair price. I was decided on Hostmonster and even recommended my brother take out an account with them (which he did) and then, just as I was about to sign up myself to their excellent unlimited hosting package and begin moving everything across to them LunarPages came out with their unlimited sub-domains package at a lower price than Hostmonster.

For me, that was the clincher and I signed up. And whilst I have not had many dealings with Hostmonster on my brother’s account, and can’t say with any certainty that LunarPages  are truly better or worse than Hostmonster, what I can say with absolute certainty is that I have not regretted my choice for an instant.

 I have had no single issue that was not either my own fault, or which has not been immediately–and I mean immediately–resolved. The pricing is completely transparent. Communication, which one might expect to be a little vague with an internet organisation, has been super fast and helpful. And now that I have signed up on a four year unlimited bandwidth and unlimited storage deal, I am only paying $4.95 a month. Fantastic.

The first thing you want to do in come up with a domain name that fits your business. For instance, if you are a plumber in Baltimore MD, a great domain name would be baltimoreplumber.com. If you already have a business name that people know and trust, try and get that domain (ex. innercityplumbing.com).

To purchase a domain name go to godaddy.com. GoDaddy offers a service called Website Tonight which I highly recommend for small businesses just getting started in the online world. When you get to godaddy.com click on website then find the website tonight product. Most small businesses just starting out can probably go with the “Economy” package which includes a 5-page website and hosting for up to 36 months for only $2.99 a month. When you add this package to your cart, you will then be able to choose from other GoDaddy programs that are offered as “upgrades”. Additionally, you have the option to choose a domain name.

By purchasing the Website Tonight package, you will receive a discount on your domain name. Search for your ideal domain name and see if it is available. Once you have found a domain name you are happy with add it to your cart. Work yourself through the rest of the check out process and that’s it! You have taken the most important step in getting your small business online.

If you want your domain name to be “godaddy.com” for example, you know that it’s already taken but you could choose “godaddy.net” or “godaddy.org”; however, if the company who has the “.com” was smart, they would have also purchased other extensions so that there was no competition with the name (which by the way GoDaddy did). However, you could (remember this is just an example) try spelling it differently like”goedaddie.com” of course this is an odd spelling so it may not be what you are looking for.

There are about 75 million active domain names today and if you are trying to obtain a name that will get you your niche in the market then you need to put some thought into the name. Once you get your domain name, it is good for a certain period of time. When that time is up, you need to either re-register it or it can become registered to someone else. If money wasn’t an issue, you could contact the owner of the domain that you want and ask if they are willing to sell; chances are that they are not, but you can certainly try.

When you get your domain name, the registrar (godaddy.com, network solutions or any number of others) will verify through a data bank (WHOIS) to verify if the name you have selected is available. The registrars are overseen by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) who are a non-profit group which administers the naming system for the Internet.

The name of your site is important so have several names ready when you are going to request a name. Whether you get your domain name for a blog or for a website in which you will sell a product or service, the sooner you get your name established as yours the better.