I decided that I was going to start My own website with the purpose of generating additional income. I did my research, and did all the reading - and had some harsh discoveries along the way. The first warning is that this process is not as easy as it appears. I spent days reviewing the information I was given, followed the instructions to the letter, and learned more through the actual experience than the reading could ever teach me.
If you are new to web hosting and domain names, before you do anything take advantage of the live chat or phone chat feature. Many times what you are reading is not what you get, even on the best web hosting sites. These sites run under the assumption that you know exactly what you are doing. And many times they are not giving you all the information you need to make the most informed decisions. They may be giving you the information but they are under the assumption that you are experienced with web hosting, and your interpretation may not always be correct. It is better to err on the side of caution -always ask questions. Also, talking with a service representative will give you an idea of their service and problem resolution abilities before you actually have an issue.
First cheaper is not always better when it comes to web hosting Keep in mind all the features that they are offering. Know what key features you are looking for: do they offer unlimited domain names under one hosting plan, what is the amount of bandwidth you are purchasing, do you get to host subdomains, and can you transfer domains. Find out if upgrading is easy as well. I started with one domain, and then found using multiple domains would be to my advantage. Also, you want to check into the refund policy in case anything goes wrong. The best suggestion I can give is to purchase only one month, try things out, and if you are happy then buy the extended plan. Nothing is worse than being stuck with a purchase that doesn't work out - and then getting stuck with the bill.
Cheaper is not always better when it comes to domain names either. Inexpensive or free domain names work well if you are not trying to make a ton of money. The reason for this is because search engines can read free domains as spam because of the way the name is written and people question how legitimate the site is. For example, if you were looking for information about a product are you more willing to trust www.domainname.com or www.domainname.othersite.com?
They can work out to make money, but it usually takes a lot more effort on your part. Also, be aware of the domain extension - is it .com, .net, .org, or something else? Search engines prefer domain names with a .com extension, and I can say this with confidence because I have tried this out myself. My .com name was indexed (found by the search engine) in one day as opposed to the others which took much longer to index. If you choose a service that offers free domains, use ones affiliated with Google or other major search engines. This will make being indexed by the search engines a little easier.
Once you have chosen a hosting company it is time to register, get your domain and pay the bill. When you buy a domain name it is yours for a year - choose the name wisely! There is no way to change the name once it is purchased. If you do get a domain name that doesn't work, there may be ways to make it work. For example, my .net address did not work out, so I ended up getting a .com. But I am still using the .net address - I am just using it as a personal page to link to my primary site at the .com address. Once the search engines find one site, they will find and index the other because they follow site links. Remember if things don't work out you can always alter you plan. The worst that can happen is that you spent a little money, used what you learned from your mistake, and make changes to make you site successful.
When you are learning about web hosting and domain names you are going to make mistakes - that is just part of the process. But if you make a mistake try and see if you can use the mistake to your benefit, and if you can't there may be a way to at least make your idea work. Experiment, try out, and learn - it is a fun process, just know that there will be bumps along the way.