I Bought A Domain Name Now What? 11 Amazing Things To Do
Congratulations on buying a domain name! Owning a domain name is an important step in establishing your online presence, whether you’re a small business owner, blogger, or simply want to create a personal website. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps you need to take after purchasing a domain name to get your website up and running.
First, let’s talk about why it’s important to have a domain name. A domain name is essentially the address for your website on the internet. It’s what people type into their web browser to access your site. Having a domain name makes it easier for people to find and remember your website, and it also gives your site a professional appearance.
The process of buying a domain name is relatively straightforward. You can purchase a domain name from a domain registrar, such as GoDaddy or Namecheap. Simply choose a domain name that’s available, pay the fee, and it’s yours. You’ll need to renew the domain name annually or biennially to keep it registered in your name.
So, now that you’ve bought a domain name, what’s next? That’s what this guide is here to help with. We’ll cover everything from setting up hosting for your domain name, to building and promoting your website, to protecting and maintaining it. By the end of this guide, you’ll have a fully functional website up and running with your new domain name.
II. Setting up hosting for your domain name
Before you can start building your website, you’ll need to set up hosting for your domain name. But what is hosting, and how is it different from a domain name?
A domain name is simply the address for your website. Hosting, on the other hand, is where all the files and data for your website are stored. Think of it like the physical location of your website. When someone types in your domain name, they’re accessing the files and data stored on your hosting account.
So, in order to have a functional website, you’ll need both a domain name and hosting.
Choosing a hosting provider
There are many hosting providers to choose from, and it can be overwhelming trying to decide which one is the best for you. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a hosting provider:
- Price: The cost of hosting can vary greatly, from a few dollars per month to hundreds of dollars per month. Determine how much you’re willing to spend on hosting and look for a provider that fits within your budget.
- Server location: The location of the server that your website is hosted on can affect the speed at which your website loads for users. If most of your website’s visitors are located in a specific region, it might be worth choosing a hosting provider with servers in that region.
- Server uptime: Server uptime refers to the amount of time that the server is online and available for users to access your website. Look for a hosting provider with a high uptime guarantee, typically at least 99%.
- Customer support: When you’re setting up and running a website, you may encounter issues or have questions. It’s important to choose a hosting provider with good customer support that can help you troubleshoot any issues you may have.
Popular hosting providers
Here are some popular hosting providers that you might consider:
- Bluehost: Bluehost is a well-known hosting provider that offers a variety of hosting plans at affordable prices. They have a 99.9% uptime guarantee and 24/7 customer support.
- HostGator: HostGator is another popular hosting provider that offers a range of hosting options, including shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting. They also have a 99.9% uptime guarantee and 24/7 customer support.
- GoDaddy: GoDaddy is a well-known domain registrar that also offers hosting services. They have a variety of hosting plans to choose from, including shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting.
- SiteGround: SiteGround is a hosting provider that is known for its fast loading speeds and excellent customer support. They offer shared, cloud, and dedicated hosting options.
Setting up hosting for your domain name
Once you’ve chosen a hosting provider, it’s time to set up hosting for your domain name. Here’s the process:
- Purchasing hosting from your hosting provider: Visit the website of your chosen hosting provider and select a hosting plan that meets your needs. Follow their prompts to purchase the hosting plan and pay the fee.
- Pointing your domain name to your hosting account: You’ll need to point your domain name to your hosting account so that when someone types in your domain name, they’re directed to the files and data stored on your hosting account. This process varies depending on your hosting provider, but typically involves changing the nameservers for your domain name to the nameservers provided by your hosting provider.
- Setting up DNS records: DNS (Domain Name System) records are what link your domain name to your hosting account. You’ll need to create DNS records for your domain name in order to link it to your hosting account. This process also varies depending on your hosting provider, but typically involves adding A records and/or CNAME records for your domain name.
III. Building a website for your domain name
Now that you have hosting set up for your domain name, it’s time to start building your website. The first step in this process is choosing a content management system (CMS).
What is a CMS?
A CMS is a software platform that allows you to create, manage, and publish content on your website. It makes it easy to add and edit content on your website without needing to know any coding.
Popular CMS options
There are many CMS options to choose from, but some of the most popular ones are:
- WordPress: WordPress is the most popular CMS, powering over 40% of all websites on the internet. It’s a user-friendly platform with a large selection of themes and plugins to choose from.
- Joomla: Joomla is a CMS that is known for its scalability and flexibility. It’s a good option for larger websites or websites with complex content.
- Drupal: Drupal is another popular CMS that is known for its security and customizability. It’s a good option for websites that require advanced functionality.
- SquareSpace: SquareSpace is a CMS that is geared towards creating beautiful websites with minimal technical knowledge. It’s a good option for small businesses or personal websites.
Setting up your CMS
Once you’ve chosen a CMS, it’s time to set it up:
- Installing your CMS on your hosting account: Each CMS has its own process for installation, but typically it involves uploading the CMS files to your hosting account and running an installation script. Follow the instructions provided by your CMS for installation.
- Choosing a theme or template: A theme or template is what determines the design and layout of your website. Most CMS’s have a selection of pre-made themes or templates to choose from, or you can purchase a premium theme. Choose a theme or template that fits the aesthetic and functionality you want for your website.
- Customizing your website’s design and layout: Once you’ve chosen a theme or template, you’ll likely want to customize it to make it your own. This can include changing the color scheme, adding your own logo, and rearranging layout elements. Most CMS’s have a visual editor that allows you to make these changes without needing to know any coding.
Adding content to your website
Now that your website is set up and has a design, it’s time to start adding content. This can include pages and posts, media (such as images and videos), and other elements like forms or maps.
- Creating pages and posts: Pages are the static content on your website, such as an “About” page or a “Contact” page. Posts are the dynamic content, such as blog posts or news articles. Most CMS’s have a visual editor that makes it easy to create and edit pages and posts.
- Adding media: Media such as images and videos can make your website more engaging and visually appealing. Most CMS’s have an easy-to-use media library where you can upload and insert media into your pages and posts.
- Using plugins and extensions to add functionality: Plugins and extensions are additional pieces of software that can add functionality to your website. For example, you might use a plugin to add a contact form or an extension to add an online store. Most CMS’s have a selection of plugins and extensions to choose from.
IV. Promoting your website
Now that your website is up and running, you’ll want to promote it to bring in visitors. There are many ways to do this, including search engine optimization (SEO), paid advertising, and traditional marketing techniques.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO is the practice of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This is important because higher ranking websites are more likely to receive organic traffic from search engines.
Here are some SEO techniques you can use to improve your website’s ranking:
- Understanding how search engines work: In order to optimize your website for search engines, it’s helpful to understand how they work. Search engines use algorithms to crawl the web and index websites based on their relevance and authority.
- On-page SEO techniques: On-page SEO refers to the optimization of individual web pages in order to rank higher in the SERPs. This can include:
- Keyword research and use: Researching and using relevant keywords in your website’s content can help search engines understand the topic of your website and rank it accordingly.
- Title tags and meta descriptions: Title tags and meta descriptions are snippets of text that appear in the SERPs. They should include your main keywords and give a brief overview of your website’s content.
- Headings and subheadings: Using headings and subheadings with relevant keywords can help search engines understand the structure and content of your website.
- Alt tags for images: Alt tags are text descriptions of images that are used by search engines to understand the content of the image. Using relevant keywords in your alt tags can help your images rank in image search results.
- Off-page SEO techniques: Off-page SEO refers to the optimization of factors external to your website that can impact your ranking in the SERPs. This can include:
- Link building: Links from other websites to your website can help improve your website’s authority and ranking.
- Social media marketing: Using social media to promote your website can help drive traffic to your site and improve your ranking.
- Local SEO: If your business has a physical location, optimizing for local SEO can help improve your ranking in local search results. This can include claiming your Google My Business listing and using relevant keywords and location information on your website.
Paid advertising involves paying for ads to be displayed on other websites or platforms. This can be a quick way to drive traffic to your website, but it does come at a cost. Some popular platforms for paid advertising are:
- Google AdWords: Google AdWords is a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platform that allows you to place ads on Google search results pages and other websites. You’ll only pay when someone clicks on your ad.
- Facebook Ads: Facebook Ads allows you to place ads on the Facebook platform and target them to specific audiences based on demographics and interests.
- Instagram Ads: Instagram Ads allows you to place ads on the Instagram platform and target them to specific audiences.
Traditional marketing techniques
In addition to digital marketing techniques, there are also traditional marketing techniques that can help promote your website. These can include:
- Networking and collaborations: Networking with other businesses or individuals in your industry and collaborating on projects or events can help promote your website.
- Content marketing: Creating and sharing valuable, relevant, and consistent content can help attract and retain a clearly defined audience and drive profitable customer action.
- Email marketing: Building an email list and sending newsletters or promotional emails to your subscribers can help promote your website and drive traffic to it.
V. Protecting and maintaining your website
In order to keep your website running smoothly, it’s important to regularly back it up, keep your CMS and plugins up to date, and protect it from cyber threats.
Backing up your website
It’s important to regularly back up your website to protect against data loss due to server crashes, hacker attacks, or other unforeseen issues. Here’s how to do it:
- Why it’s important to regularly backup your website: Having a backup of your website allows you to restore it in the event of data loss. Without a backup, you could lose all of your website’s content and have to start from scratch.
- How to backup your website: There are many ways to back up your website, including using a plugin or extension specifically for this purpose, or manually backing up the files and database on your hosting account. Consult your hosting provider or CMS documentation for specific instructions on how to do this.
Keeping your CMS and plugins up to date
In addition to backing up your website, it’s also important to keep your CMS and plugins up to date. Here’s why:
- The importance of updating your CMS and plugins: Updating your CMS and plugins can help fix bugs, improve security, and add new features to your website. Failing to update them can leave your website vulnerable to security threats and can cause issues with functionality.
- How to update your CMS and plugins: Most CMS’s and plugins have an automatic update feature that will update them for you. You can also manually update them by downloading the latest version and uploading it to your hosting account. Consult your CMS or plugin documentation for specific instructions on how to do this.
Protecting your website from cyber threats
Finally, it’s important to protect your website from cyber threats such as malware and hacking attempts. Here are some ways to do this:
Common types of cyber threats: Some common types of cyber threats include malware, phishing attacks, and denial of service (DoS) attacks.
How to protect your website from cyber threats: To protect your website from cyber threats, you can:
- Use a security plugin or extension: Many CMS’s have security plugins or extensions available that can help protect your website from cyber threats.
- Use strong passwords: Using strong, unique passwords for your website and hosting account can help prevent unauthorized access.
- Keep your CMS and plugins up to date: As mentioned earlier, keeping your CMS and plugins up to date can also help protect your website from security threats.
- Use a web application firewall: A web application firewall (WAF) is a security tool that monitors and protects your website from cyber threats. Some hosting providers offer a WAF as part of their hosting package.
By following the steps outlined in this guide, you should now have a fully functional website up and running with your new domain name. Don’t forget to regularly back up your website, keep your CMS and plugins up to date, and protect it from cyber threats to ensure it stays running smoothly. And don’t forget to promote your website to bring in visitors! With a little bit of effort, you can turn your new domain name into a successful online presence.
As you continue to work on and grow your website, there are a few additional things to consider:
- Monitor your website’s performance: It’s important to regularly monitor your website’s performance to ensure it’s running smoothly and efficiently. This can include tracking website traffic, analyzing user behavior, and monitoring website speed.
- Analyze and optimize your website’s content: It’s also important to regularly analyze and optimize your website’s content to ensure it’s meeting the needs of your target audience. This can include conducting keyword research to identify relevant keywords to target, analyzing the performance of your pages and posts, and A/B testing different elements of your website to see what works best.
- Consider implementing additional functionality: As your website grows and your needs change, you may want to consider implementing additional functionality. This can include adding an online store, integrating with external services, or customizing the functionality of your website with custom code.
- Keep learning and staying up to date: Finally, it’s important to keep learning and staying up to date with the latest trends and best practices in website development and online marketing. This can help ensure that your website stays relevant and effective.
We hope this guide has been helpful in walking you through the process of setting up a website with your new domain name. With a little bit of effort and the right tools, you can turn your domain name into a successful online presence.