Ok. First things first. It’s not as scary as you would think. To get started with your new website, you are going to do just a few things.
First, you need to purchase a domain name. A domain name is the yourname.com website address that people will use to find you on the web. It’s like your street address.
I recommend GoDaddy.com for your domain name purchase. They often sell domain names for $0.99 for the first year, and then renewals are usually around $17.99 per year.
|NOTE: You have to renew your domain name each year. If you don’t renew your domain name, it will become available and someone else can sneak in and buy it. Set a reminder on your calendar when it is time for your renewal or set up automatic payments to avoid this issue.|
You can purchase your domain name from other domain registrars, you are not limited to GoDaddy.com. I simply recommend them because I have used them since the late ’90s and I’ve never once had any issues. Should you choose to use another registrar, cool.
Next, you need to sign up for web hosting.
I recommend SiteGround.com for your website hosting. I have been hosting my websites with SiteGround for several years. The service has been reliable for me since day one, which I appreciate as a website developer.
When you first look at SiteGround.com, there is a lot going on, so let me break it down for you.
Click the Hosting link on the top ribbon, then select Web Hosting. From there you will want to choose from StartUp, GrowBig, or GoGeek.
I recommend going with the GrowBig plan. This allows you to have up to 25,000 monthly visitors and unlimited websites. Should you decide to pick up a second pen name, start another business, or a publishing company, your website will already be set up to accommodate other sites without the hassle of changing your website hosting plan. This plan runs around $10/month if you pay for the year. Sometimes you can find amazing deals around the Internet, and you can purchase several years’ worth of hosting for a great price.
The StartUp plan is a few dollars cheaper but you are limited to only 1 website and 10,000 site visitors per month. This is also a great option, I simply recommend the GrowBig plan because I have faith in you as an author and business owner and I know people will be visiting your awesome site frequently 🙂
One great feature from SiteGround is that they offer a free SSL certificate. An SSL certificate makes your site have HTTPS instead of HTTP, which means that your site is protected and secure. You need SSL if you are going to add a shopping cart to your site to sell books and/or merchandise.
Once you have purchased your domain name and signed up for your website hosting, the next thing you will need to do is setup your domain name on your hosting account.