Website Hosting and Choosing the Right Name for a Blog or Domain

29 February 2008

Technology

Summary. To create a home on the Internet and establish a web presence you can create a blog (for free) or create a website. Having a blog will give you a short and somewhat personalized address such as, resourcesforlife.wordpress.com. Having your own website and domain name will allow you to have an address such as www.resourcesforlife.com. In this way, you will not be dependent upon another domain hosting your website.

Free. Check for an available blog name with WordPress. WordPress is much better than Blogger because you can easily create and manage a full website with pages and a blog or journal.

$50 per Year. If you want a more personalized name for your website, you can register a domain name and have it point to your page. This can be done through Network Solutions. So, when people type in that address it will forward to your WordPress website. For example, typing www.gregory-paul-johnson.com goes to www.resourcesforlife.com/g as the destination. This costs $35 per year to register the name and $12 per year for the forwarding.

$160 Per Year. For a little more money, it is possible to have your website hosted at your own domain name. Check for a domain name with Network Solutions, then request the Advanced Hosting Package. Enable the WordPress feature to use WordPress as your website content management system. If you want to upgrade to the $160 per year hosting plan, you can do this later if you want to start with the $50 per year plan (mentioned above).

Picking a Name. When choosing the right name for a blog or a domain, consider the following.

  • Using your own name or business name if it isn’t already taken.
  • Use a unique made-up name can be something easy for people to remember. Mixing non related words can be a good idea, such as “thought garden.” Consider using Band Name Maker to generate a unique name. Enter a word (or words) that you’d like to be part of the name, then let the Band Name Maker website generate some suggestions. You may want to do a little research (such as a Google search) to determine how unique the name is. Be sure that nobody else has already invested a lot of time and money building a brand identity with that name.
  • Use a nonsense name such as Curbly.com that will eventually grow to have a brand identity and recognition.
  • Use a non-English word, words, or a short phrase since many of the non-available domains are in English.
  • Use a generic name such as Resources for Life that will cover a broad range of subjects. This way, you can determine the website content later and add anything you like since the name is wide open.
  • Use a name that conveys a specific topic such as book review world if you plan to focus only on book reviews.
  • Be sure to pick a name that is available as a .COM domain since these are the most established. You might also consider a different domain extension if that works better for what you are doing.
  • Pick a few possible names and then review them with someone you trust to get a second opinion.
  • Always have the name of your website be identical to the website address. If you use forwarding domain names, have them forward to your main domain that has the same name as the address. For example, if you want your website name to be Organic Living then don’t use www.SustainablePlanet.com as the domain name. This just creates confusion. Also, search engines give preference to a domain that has content. This ranks higher than a domain that forwards to another site. If you buy www.OrganicLiving.com and it forwards to www.SustainablePlanet.com, when people do a search on Organic Living they won’t find it.

    About Gregory Johnson

    Greg Johnson is a freelance writer in Iowa City and also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. He also manages IowaCityWebDesignArtist.com and many other topic specific websites.

    View all posts by Gregory Johnson
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