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So the last post was about niches. Have you got yours figured out? Oh and don’t forget you can get the downloads that go with this series at the bottom of the post. They are really useful downloads that you can fill in and create a folder of your blog. Today we are onto domains and hosting.

Before I had a blog, and probably for several months in, I couldn’t get my head around domains and hosting. It seemed like it was just constant invoices coming into my inbox. So I will try and explain this as simply as I can.

A website or blog has three parts. No matter what platform (WordPress, Blogger, custom made by a designer) it’s made in, a website is a bundle of files and folders, that’s one part.

 

 

They have to sit on a computer that’s always on, has security, lots of space, a few other gizmos and whizzy things. It hosts all your files and folders. So this is you’re hosting and the second part. Website addresses are actually a bunch of very boring and unmemorable numbers. As it’s not that easy to say 78.129.227.49 …that’s my domain, not very pretty or memorable is it.  So they are converted into bits we recognize, words. When you type in the domain address or click on a link in a search engine you’re telling the computer to go fetch and show you the files and folders that are linked to those bunch of numbers. So your domain is the third part.

Just to confuse you, even more, each part can be with separate companies or you can have it all with one company. You will have a bill for the domain name which has to be renewed each year although you can buy the years in bulk. You will also have a bill for the hosting which can be monthly or yearly. Lastly, if you have your blog or website designed you will have a bill from the designer.

So you will need to source somewhere to host your blog and also have a domain name. From the last post you might now have a list of potential blog names. We will come back to setting up your hosting and domain name.

So where should you go for your hosting? Hosting can be scary and shouldn’t be something you are constantly worrying about. You want it to be secure and also for there to be help available when you need it.

 

I personally use a local company, Cloud Above. I manage lots of sites for my clients and Cloud Above go above and beyond with their customer support. Being local also means I don’t have to work out time zones and if I need to I can literally call in and talk through things. That doesn’t suit everyone and not everyone needs that. If it’s just you and your blog go with a hosting company that is recommended by fellow bloggers.

I have asked lots of other bloggers from various niches which hosting they use and recommend and the answer kept coming back as Siteground.

“Very reliable”, “Amazing and fast customer support! No downtime so far!”, “I’ve been with Siteground for years, and I am so, so, so happy ” are just some of the replies I got.

Siteground has three plans for you to choose from.

  1. If you are just starting and you have one website the StartUp plan is the one for you.
  2. If you want to have multiple sites then the GrowBig plan is the one you should look at.
  3. The GoGeek plan is for those with e-commerce and/or larger sites.

All of them include free domain registration.

 

Here are all the posts in this series so you pick and choose where to go next
What is a Successful blog
Deciding your niche
Domain and hosting
Sorting your categories and tags
Picking a platform
Plugins
Choosing a theme
Must haves for your blog
Content
What will readers want to read
Writing for your reader
Photos and graphics
Blog style