Once you have a domain name, it’s time to set up an account with a hosting provider which will allow you to set up an email address using your domain name and a website if you are ready to do so. As I mentioned in my last post, life will be easier if you pick a hosting company first, and then register your domain through them. If you don’t do this, you’ll have to deal with separate accounts and DNS configurations to get things working. DNS stands for “Domain Name Service” and is what allows peoples’ web browsers to find your website. These are hosting companies that I have used –
GoDaddy – well known for their Super Bowl commercials. Hosting is reasonable and I’ve never had any major problems with them, although they do call me sometimes trying to sell me more stuff.
SiteGround – these guys are one of the top WordPress hosting companies around and have great service and good rates. Everything from a basic package to advanced hosting options.
Microsoft Azure – while everyone is familiar with Microsoft, I would only recommend them if you have a high level of technical competence and are doing asp.net development for a highly complex website. If this is not you, or this last sentence doesn’t make any sense to you, Azure isn’t for you.
Amazon AWS – like Microsoft Azure, AWS requires a lot of tech skills, patience, and time. I mention it only because I’ve used it, not because I recommend it for companies just starting out. The only exception to that is if you are a software startup and have good technical resources at your disposal.
These are just a few of the options out there and the ones that I have used. There is no shortage of sites out there that provide reviews of different services, so if you feel like doing more reading and research on web hosting and domain names, Google Search is your friend.
Each company is going to have a slightly different process for registering domain names and setting up hosting packages. They are pretty straightforward, and go something like this –
Search for your domain name to see if someone else has already registered it. If it’s taken, you’ll have to search again with a different name.
Once an available domain name is identified, you’ll be able to register that domain name for anywhere between $5-15 USD for a year. Usually multiyear registrations are available, as well as auto renew. I highly encourage you to turn on auto renew. A domain name is registered to you for a specific time period only, and if that time period ends and you don’t renew the domain name, you could lose it.
After you have your domain name, you can pick a hosting package. There are lots of different options available so it can be a bit overwhelming to find the right one. Important things to look for are limits on data transfers, storage, and email accounts. For a basic site, you won’t need much of these to start, but future scalability is also important. Make sure whatever service you end up going with can scale to larger capacity as your business and traffic to your site grown.
After your package is picked, you can set up your web page and email accounts. You can then configure your smartphone or desktop email client using the host’s settings for email. Hosts will also provide a web interface to email.
With this, you’re all set! And now I have email at firstname.lastname@example.org to start using as my official company email.