How-to: Domain name registration and blog hosting


June 14, 2006 8:30 AM

Domain name registration, web hosting, name servers, blog platforms ….what!?

First of all, why would you want your blog to be on your own domain name and on a hosting account which you have access to? The two primary reasons are:

  1. flexibility, and
  2. the ability to backup.

Plus it’s cool to have your own domain name. What also compelled me was the frequent downtime at Blogspot – either I couldn’t upload images, couldn’t compose a post, or couldn’t comment. All these problems were very frustrating.

Being in the industry, I tend to take it for granted that the majority of ppl still find the web and the way it works to be a very mysterious thing. So here’s my little guide that I hope will be useful for those of you contemplating a blog move to a more fancy location like I have.

(Note: I’m not affiliated with any of the companies listed below and I don’t get commissions whatsoever. They are who I use and would recommend.)


Step 1 – Register a Domain Name

The first step towards claiming your own spot on the Internet is to buy a unique domain name. You have many choices: “.com”, “.com.au”, “.com.sg”, “.net” just to have name a few. “.com” domain names tend to be the cheapest to get.

You can buy one from a lot of different places. An idea of the price: “.com” domain names are typically USD$7-$10 per year. I bought mine from MyDomain.com for USD$8.95 per year.

Step 2 – Web Hosting

Now that you have bought your domain name, you need to buy a place for it to live. Web Hosting serves that purpose. Think of it as a block of space to build your blog on. Again there are many places out there but not all are equal.

A good review site is: WHReviews.com. I use Site5.com and I’m paying USD$7.50 per month on a 1 year contract. Like phone contracts, they get cheaper if you sign on for a longer term.

Note that if you are like the majority of us who are or will be using WordPress, you will be buying Linux hosting and most hosting companies have that as their primary or only option. A good hosting company would also have an automated WordPress installation system which will save you some initial hassles.

Once you have bought hosting, you will be given a set of “name servers” by the hosting company to be associated with your domain name. These are like the phone books of the Internet – without them, your domain name is floating in limbo so to speak. You would enter these name servers into your domain name records through the account which you were given at the place you bought the domain name from.

The name server entries may take up to 2 days to become active, before everyone in the whole world can enter your domain name into their browsers and see your site or blog.

Step 3 – Choosing a Blog Platform

I’ve already mentioned WordPress. There are a few more out there including Drupal, Typepad and Moveable Type. I chose WordPress because many blogs out there use WordPress so community support for it is good.

There are a lot of free WordPress themes (one gallery is here) which you can apply on your blog and then customise to your liking. This is what I have done, with Yue-Chin doing the banner for me.

WordPress also has a lot of plugins to use for catching spam, formatting comments and posts etc. Just to get an idea, see this list at the WordPress site.

Step 4 (Optional) – Customising and Modifying the Blog Template

If you are currently using Blogspot, MySpace, Typepad, Xanga or LiveJournal then hacking the blog template should not be a strange thing to you. Neither is adding custom graphics and images. With WordPress, you can do all this from the backend interface – just like the above platforms.

It also does not hurt to be on good terms with fabulous graphics ppl. 😉

Step 5 – Blog Your Way to Fame!

I'm a C-list Blogebrity

Erm yeah.


Questions? Leave me a comment and I will try to answer them the best I can.

[tags]Wordpress, domain name registration, blog hosting[/tags]

17 thoughts on “How-to: Domain name registration and blog hosting

  1. Leonard

    it’s a good and informative write-up you have here!

    i’m also considering about getting my own domain, but not sure if it’s worth it? ‘cos me not many readers…

    how ah? maybe need your consultation…MSN?

    Reply
  2. mooiness Post author

    Leonard: MSN is mooiness @ hotmail . com . But I’m on it quite late at night, if at all.

    You can email me instead: mooiness @ gmail . com . I can at least answer you during the workday. 🙂

    Reply
  3. sourrain

    Is this blog dedicated to me so that I wont irritate you pretending to be dumb blonde any more?

    so concisee..but I refuse to read..will continue to bug you.And please dont ask me to refer to the blog.

    Reply
  4. sourrain

    I ai been thats why you lup me mar..

    But seriously..I’m still considering whether I want to copy-paste pictures or upload them from flickr..as this will affect my pricing.I even have ideas of header pictures already ok…so I will RTFB later!

    Reply
  5. mooiness Post author

    sourrain: about the pics, do both. For photo blog entries, I use Flickr. For pics to complement posts with, I upload into my hosting area.

    That way you are reducing the bandwidth and storage space used, both of which are factors in what kinda hosting package is adequate for you.

    Reply
  6. Leonard

    well, i’ve add you to my MSN list. hope to see you online…that’s if…

    with the questions i wanna ask, have not thought of it.

    i’m more particular on the cost and trust of server space, the domain name sounds cheap too…

    Reply
  7. mooiness Post author

    Leonard: no worries man. Have a look at the review site that I mentioned and get an idea of the hosting companies that are out there. In general, US hosting companies have the most generous allowance of disk space and traffic.

    Mail me when you got more specific questions. 🙂

    Reply
  8. mooiness Post author

    Hijackqueen: like the way I’ve done it above? The code is this –

    < div style="float:left;">< img src= ..../>< /div>
    Your normal text goes here.

    That should put the image right next to “Your normal text goes here.” (remove the extra space in the beginning of the opening/closing tags)

    Make sure to turn off the Rich-Text Editor in WordPress first. This is done in User Accounts.

    Reply

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