Purchasing a domain name is the first step towards getting your business online. But once you’ve come up with the perfect moniker for your new website, what’s next?
A lot, as it turns out. Choosing a domain name is just the beginning of creating an online presence. Keep reading to learn the next steps (including what to do if you decide you don’t want your domain anymore):
Sync Your Domain and Web Hosting
If you want to get your website up and running, you’ll need to connect it with a web hosting account. Web hosting comes in a variety of forms, like shared hosting, WordPress hosting, and dedicated servers, so it’s important to really understand your business’ needs before deciding.
For example, if you anticipate having a fairly simple website with low traffic volumes, a shared server will likely do. But if you run a high-volume retail establishment, and you expect those numbers to carry over online, you’ll need something a little more robust.
Once you’ve decided on a hosting service and purchased a plan, you’ll have to change your domain’s nameservers to your hosting company’s specified nameservers. Though it sounds complicated, it’s actually quite easy:
- Log into your domain name registrar and locate your nameservers
- Copy and past the nameservers provided by your host into the box where your existing nameservers are located. If you’re using InMotion Hosting, our nameservers are: ns1.inmotionhosting.com and ns2.inmotionhosting.com
- Voila! Your accounts are linked. It can take up to 12-24 hours for this change to propagate.
Depending on what company you purchased your domain from, you may be able to get hosting from the same source – and typically they will handle the process of linking things up for you. Get a free domain when choosing InMotion Hosting for your website.
Create a Website
Once you have a domain name and a hosting service, you can get started on creating your website. When it comes down to it, there are really two options: hire a website designer to do it for you or tackle the project yourself.
Hiring a website designer will cost a bit more but requires less of your time. In most cases, you will have to provide the designer with your concept, content (images, logos, blogs, etc.), and business information and they will do the rest.
The web design experts at InMotion Hosting can create a mobile-friendly, custom-designed website based on your specifications in just a matter of days.
Creating your own website may sound daunting, but it’s really just a matter of investing a little time and effort. Website creation tools like Website Creator make the process super easy, even if you don’t have any coding experience. Why do we love it?
- A simple wizard walks you through the entire process of creating your website, complete with theme, content, and plugins.
- The included content was written by people in your industry, so the lingo is appropriate.
- Your website, and all of its pages can be worked on in a staging area so you can see how it will look before going live.
- You can preview your content on desktop, tablet, or smartphone before publishing and edit for each environment separately if you want to.
- Because it’s part of WordPress, there is a HUGE community of support.
Other Things You Can Do
Now that you’ve gotten your website up and running, what else can you do with your domain name?
- Create a domain-specific email address. If you’re using your website for business, it’s likely you’ll want an email that matches your new domain name. Why?
Chances are your hosting company will provide at least one free email address to go along with your website, so check with them before signing up for any other services. Here at InMotion, we give you unlimited free email addresses.
- Secure matching social media handles. If you plan on being active on social media, ideally your profile names will match your website name. It will not only make it easier for clients and prospects to find you, but it will create a stronger brand identity.
- If the specific name you were hoping to use is already taken, try adding a qualifier onto the end of it. For example, we might use InMotionHosting1.
- Get business cards. Even if you mostly do business online, you’ll want to have cards to hand out when you meet someone face-to-face. Make sure you get a fresh set printed with your new domain name on them so people know where to locate you online.
What Happens if you Don’t Want Your Domain Name Anymore?
Suffering a little buyer’s remorse? It happens. Sometimes inspiration strikes and you make decisions without really thinking about it.
If that happened with your domain name and what seemed great three days ago no longer sounds so hot, it’s not difficult to fix. There are several aftermarket sites where you can sell your no-longer-needed domain name and they usually only charge a small percentage of the sale.
Choosing a domain name is a fun and exciting process, and it opens up a lot of doors in the online world. If you have a domain in mind, call us today to see if it’s available – we’ll get you a free domain with a hosting account so you can get a website up and running in no time!