Buy domain name and Hosting

In this post we explain how to buy a domain name and hosting.

A domain is a web address. For example, is our domain.

A host provides server space for your site so others can find you on the internet. You could use a free service like Blogger or (the similar name makes it confusing, but suffice it to say, the steps here are for a self-hosted WordPress site and are much more preferrable than a free site you’d get at which does not allow you to earn common forms of blogging income). You get what you pay for. We highly recommend you opt for self-hosting. Trust us, you’ll be so glad you started out on the right foot.

The performance of your blog relies heavily on your provider, so you should choose the best web hosting you can. A good hosting platform keeps your site up and running without interruption, provides security, and integrates with WordPress. We recommend Bluehost or HostGator as the easiest option when learning how to start a blog.

Our preferred site is  (this link will open in a new window so you can reference these instructions as you work) which offers free domain names if you host your blog with them.

hostgator website

The images you see here may vary slightly from the ones you see on your screen. This is because they never stop making site improvements. Don’t worry, the general process is the same.

Step 1: Select your plan

Choose the plan you’d like to start with. We typically go with the “Baby plan” because you get more features that won’t tap out as quickly. Note that all plans come with one free domain which is good. If your budget is super tight (We’ve certainly been there!), go ahead and choose the “Hatcling plan”. You can upgrade at any time.

Just click one of the yellow  buttons to move to the next step.

hosting plans

Step 2: Choose a domain

A domain is a web address. For example, is our domain. You may or may not already have a domain. On this screen you’ll either choose a brand new domain or enter your existing domain.

choose domain name

If you don’t have a domain, enter a new domain name on the left tab. (See tips for choosing a domain below). Make sure .com or the correct extension of your choice is selected from the drop down menu beside it.

If you’ve already registered a domain name, enter it on the right tab (don’t worry, it won’t mess things up if you’re using the domain elsewhere, this only identifies your account).

Tips for choosing a domain name:

  • Go with a .com whenever possible.
  • Make it easy to say and spell.
  • Don’t include hyphens, numbers, obscure terms or confusing strings of words.
  • If you’re not sure what to use, your name is a safe bet to start.
  • Be creative and try a phrase if you’re having trouble finding an available name.


Step 2: Choose a Hosting Plan and enter your account info

On the next section, choose your Account Plan from the dropdown menu. Choose a package based on how far in advance you want to pay. Please note, Hostgator bills a year at a time, but as you can see, it works out to a very reasonable monthly amount. Not bad for your own blog or website, right?

Also, select your username and security PIN number. Make sure you use a working email address because this is where your login information will be sent.

We always skip the other add-ons except Domain Privacy Protection which keeps any personal information private. The only time we would skip domain privacy is if you are using a business address and don’t mind if it’s visible to anyone who looks up your domain. If you’re using your personal contact info (home address, phone, etc.) to register your domain, we highly recommend domain privacy. Note: the Domain Privacy option only shows up if you registered a new domain in Step 2 above. It will not show up if you used a transfer domain.

Step 3: Enter your billing info

Fill in your billing information, confirm that you’ve read the fine print and finish.

After completing your purchase, check your email. You’ll find a welcome email from Hostgator with your control panel (cpanel) login info. Keep this information for future reference.

Now you have to install WordPress on your new site. Check out our post “How to start a Blog“.


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