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Web Hosting for Absolute Beginners

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One of the things I realized upon reading through some of the posts I have written so far is that even though I think many of them should be beneficial to new WordPress bloggers, as well as to people trying to make money online through affiliate marketing I still found that I have taken certain things for granted – I have assumed in some cases that my visitors possessed certain knowledge and this may or not not be the case. For example, I glossed over the process of domain name registration and setting up web hosting assuming that anybody reading this blog would already know how to do these things.

Since this may not be the case, I wanted to write a quick post about the two essential steps that eveyone must do prior to starting their new WordPress blog or website. Namely, [tag]register a domain name[/tag] and set-up [tag]web hosting[/tag]. Since this post is aimed at helping absolute beginners  gain the necessary knowledge and confidence to register a domain name and set up web hosting for it, I am not going to go into much detail other than to provide the necessary steps.

Step 1) Register Domain Name.

Since you can not host a website without a domain, the first essential step is to register a domain name. This is quite easy to do. Simply visit any domain name registrar. I use GoDaddy for most of my domain name registration because they are reliable, inexpensive and secure, however other Registrars, such as Network Solutions and Namecheap will work, as well. Once you open a free account with the Registrar, you can then start typing in various domain names to see if any are available. Once you find one, purchase it and it will be added to your account.

Step 2) Find a hosting plan that meets your needs. That sounds more complicated than it is. Really, I would recommend that you purchase a hosting plan that offers cpanel, Fantastico and sufficient bandwidth and storage for your purposes. HostGator, where I am currently hosting this blog, offers three plans (Hatchling, Baby and Swamp) ranging in price from $4.95 to $12.95 per month). Unless you will be uploading tons of video or pushing massive amounts of data, either of the lower-priced plans should suffice. When you sign up for hosting they will ask you what your domain name is – so remember it!

Step 2a) Choose either Linux or Windows Hosting. Without getting into too much detail, I recommend you choose Linux (Unix) hosting. It is more universal and will cause you less grief down the road.

Step 3) Once you sign up for web hosting you will receive an email from your hosting company telling you what to set your Name Servers to. Think of Name Servers as the way you tell your domain name which hosting company will be hosting the website you develop on that domain.  Once you receive the email from your web host informing you of the Name Servers, simply log back into your GoDaddy Account, click Domains->My Domains from the top menu. This will bring up a list of the domains you have registered with this particular Registrar, click the domain name you will use to build your site. Finally choose from along the top icons, the icon labeled ‘NameServers’.

Step 4) You will normally be setting two Name Servers – a primary Name Server and a Secondary Name Server. The secondary one is basically a back-up for the first one. When you go into your Name Servers area, you will have two text boxes, one in which you enter the name of the first Name Server your hosting company sent you and the second is where you enter the name of the Seconday Name Server. Name Server names are usually in the form of: NS1.HOSTGATOR.COM/NS2.HOSTGATOR.COM.

Step 5) Wait. It usually takes a certain amount of time before the domain recognizes the server.

That’s it. Five simple steps and you will have accomplished registering a domain name and setting up hosting for that domain. Once you’ve completed these two essential items, you can then perform a simple three-step install of WordPress using Fantastico and you’ll be ready to start developing your WordPress site.

 [tags]domain name registration, web hosting for beginners, how to set up web hosting[/tags]

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