010 - How to find domain names, hosting, SSL certificate and configuration.

Are you bordered with the process of finding and buying the right domain name for your website? 

Are you bordered about finding the right market for your website? 

What about finding the right hosting service and also the right configuration, tools and settings in order to position your website to the top of its peak?

Do you know that the wrong configuration, hosting services and not knowing all the right tools to purchase for your website and domain name can diminish your website’s ranking value and return on investment (ROI)?

This chapter is an intensive and comprehensive article on how to configure the domain name to your hosting server. It explains some of the top acquired domain name extensions and the domain structure itself.

It explains the characteristics of the hosting server, what goes on behind the hosting server and how these two connected systems (domain & hosting) work. It also explains the reason why using SSL certificate and the HTTPS protocol is mandatory when purchasing your domain and hosting.

This chapter also shows the difference between the two approaches when buying domain names. The branding approach and the exact match name approach. The following shows more of what we will be covering.

·        Knowing the right domain and hosting tools for the job
·         The difference between the branding approach and the exact match approach when selecting domain name
·         The differences between domain extensions like (.net, .com, .info, .org etc)
·         Best way to buy Hosting and Domain name
·         Best way to buy SSL Certificate (HTTPS)
·         Best way to configure hosting and domain name

We will first start by understanding the domain name and hosting structure. Without domain names, it will be difficult to remember IP addresses which are the main addresses of a websites.

Domain names are just easier indexed names acquired from ISP’s (Internet Services Providers) that are pointed to the IP addresses of hosting servers.

Simply, a domain name is a letter or alphanumeric name acquired from ISP’s to be configured and pointed to hosting server.

Instead of remembering a website’s IP address like, we turn to use domain names in place of these IP addresses. So when you type the domain name in an address, the ISP’s searches for the IP address that the domain name points to. 

ISP’s have all the index of world’s website’s addresses in their registers like a school attendant register table. These registries are used by ISP’s to map domain names to their hosting server’s accounts.

Hosting servers are the space or directory space or folder space from hosting companies of a computer’s hard disk which are used to contain the files and information of a website.

These files can be in the format of html, php, text, pictures, videos or any type of extension readable by the computer or any internet readable gadget through the internet.

We learnt how to select the best market in the previous chapters, we are now ready to buy the domain name and hosting server. Buying and configuring hosting and domain name should be very easy to any website builder if they know what they are doing. 

It shouldn’t take anyone more than 10 minutes to configure hosting server after purchasing. 

A domain name should be very simple to pronounce. Domains are considered your websites brand and are recognize by search engines and humans.

Because of this branding purposes, the domain name should not be more than three words to enable easier pronunciation. The best should even be two words or when crazily lucky one word.

Nowadays, it will be very difficult to purchase domain name with a single or short word. These single words have already been purchased by most domain brokers. When choosing domain name, we must consider two approaches.

1.     The branding approach. This is where we use short and simple branded names. Normally these names may not be related to the main market we are targeting. But they make pronunciation very simple and recognizable.

Most authority website owners normally use their initials, short names or any family name.

Example is johnchow.com which is run by the famous internet blogger John Chow. It can also be the name of the product or services or any other short identical phrase related or not related to the company.

Some also try to convert a single keyword to a term. Example is Backlinko.com
Brian Dean the owner of backlinko, knew he wanted to target the keyword “backlinks”, so he just added an O to the name backlink to make it a term.

And he still got the word in that domain. This trick works well because sometimes the meaning of the name may not be in the dictionary for the search engine to understand, but the main keyword may or can be extracted from the domain name by search engines which earns small ranking points. (More about S.E.O and ranking points in chapter 18).

The most important thing about the branding approach is not the name itself but the concept and its USP (Unique Selling Position) about the website.

When you want to use the branding approach, make sure to either use your initials, which will also sell your name to the outer world and also brand you to your product or services.

You can also decide to use any term that will be very easy for people to voice out. Example is Amazon, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and YouTube. What these sites have in common is the simplicity when pronouncing their names.

Another great technique is to try and use vowels which are very stress free to mention. A quick example is, let say you want to write about domain names. And you want to monetize the site with Affiliation packages from domain service providers.

To arrive at a great and simple name, you can use the Brian Dean trick. Thus, adding an “O” or any pronounceable vowel to the word domain to become domaino.com, or domaina.com or domainati.com.

The branding approach domain name doesn’t necessary have to be understood by people. The most important thing is, people should find it flexible to pronounce as a very “loudable” term.

2.     The exact match domain approach. This is using our main marketing keyword to form the domain name of our website. People normally recognize the services or products of the website with this type of domain name. This is because these names are self-explanatory.

Exact Match Domain is the approach that targets the main keyword of a product or services of a website and tries to use the keyword to gain trust and domain competition online.

(Normally, when we use exact match domain, most search engines recognize our website with the domain name as a keyword.) Most site builders do this because Google gives index points to the domain that has an exact match domain.

And index points are considered some of the top ranking privileges that ascends websites to the top of Google pages.

Ranking with an article that is related to the domain name of the website is easier than ranking for the branding domain.

The disadvantage is your products or services may only be limited to the exact match keywords.

When you choose to write more about other products which are not related to your exact match domain, you might have to use more effort for Google to recognize your articles.

For example, if we were to buy domain name with the previous chapter keyword concept; “best teaching practices”.

We may have to buy name like www.bestteachingpractices.com or www.practicebestteaching.com or other examples from the main keyword. A creative idea to arrive to similar name structure or keyword is to use synonyms as alternative words when the name you are looking for is already bought by someone.

Like when you are buying bestteachingpractices.com and the name is already purchased, you may consider other synonyms from the word best like “top”, or “finest”. So you may arrive at topteachingpractices.com, greatteachingpractices.com or idealteachingpractices.com

Just remember to use synonyms when brainstorming new names to replace already bought names.

The difference between the above two approaches is that, the branding approach will require special alternate marketing style that may not be guided by search engine optimization (S.E.O) or relied on search engines as in getting traffic from email subscribers or pay per click services when beginning.

All you have to do is use any name you wish to use and just stay focused to your market until visitors and search engines recognize your brand from your most viewable articles.

The purpose of the branding approach is to focus on quality contents and rich information that promotes average time spent on your articles from yours visitors or online customers.

The branding approach requires more promotions from other websites with the same niche so search engines can identify the profile information about your website.
The branding approach requires more contents about the products and services of your market.

The idea is to build trust with visitors by writing and solving problems relating to their needs. You seek to write detailed and comprehensive articles to seek authority and authenticity.

The exact match domain approach is normally targeted by niche sites. The exact match approach requires strong keyword research based around the main keyword idea used to build the site. With about 20 to 40 related keywords to an exact match domain name, the site can be regarded as a niche site.

However, most authority sites are built with the branding approach. So choosing a domain name is entirely up to the buyer and their method of choice.

Knowing these differences helps a lot to guide anyone when choosing domain name and writing style. Authority spider encourages and recommends anyone to use the branding approach because of dominance and excellence.

Differences between Domain Extensions
Before we start configuring our domain and hosting, let us go through the steps in choosing the domain name and check out the differences between domain extensions like “.com”, “.net”, “.org”, “.info”, “.co” and more. And also which type is suitable for which market.

When choosing domain extensions, we must bear in mind that, “.com” domains should always be preferred.

For no reasons and through experiences, “.com” domain extensions are most of the time respected as commercial websites and are also favored by most search engines when we want to target commercial markets.“.net” domains are also regarded as business domains.

I normally consider “.net” domains when I can’t find a preferred “.com” for my domain name.

.org” domains are always and normally bought for charity sites, organization sites like NGO sites and philanthropist sites. And they should always be so. As an advice, we should avoid using “.info” domain names for commercial sites.

This is because “.info” extensions are regarded by both search engines and humans to be informational sites. They can be built for personal websites, help informational sites and noncommercial sites.

Best way to buy the Domain Name
When buying domain names, there are many great domain service providers out there in the world that anyone can choose to buy from. Most hosting providers also sell domain names.

Popular sites like namecheap.com, Godaddy.com and Hostgator.com are some of the popular top domain name providers.

Even though there are thousands of domain name providers when you type the keyword “Best way to buy Domain Name” in Google.

Three Best Advices to Buy Domain names

1.     Make sure your domain name is bought for more than three years or preferably 5 years. (Why because websites with more years tells search engines that you are here to stay long and websites with no more than 2 years are not secured in terms of time and legacy.)

2.     Make sure your domain name is attached to an SSL certificate or HTTPS protocol (We shall discuss more about SSL).

3.     Make sure the hosting or domain service provider is rated high and considered secured.
I decided to suggest the top three domain and hosting providers from my experience. You can use any domain name company to your liking. 

I am bringing these three up because of many years I have worked with them and their method of support systems in terms of problems.

The following companies were chosen from the highest customer satisfaction ratings, reputation among web hosting review sites and years of my personal experience.
In fact, it is never advisable to buy hosting from a company that makes domain configuration very tedious to you the user.

The following 3 hosting providers are all very good and have been managing some of the top websites in the world.

1.    Namecheap.com
2.    Hostgator.com
3.    Godaddy.com

These three domain and hosting services are all rated high and should be taken into consideration. However, to my experience, namecheap.com has been one of my favorites for years now.

Using Namecheap is very easy to set up and configure. In fact, any beginner can set it up within minutes of registration.

The next paragraphs will show the settings on namecheap. You can mimic these settings to Hostgator or Godaddy. They are very related and similar.

Hostgator is also very great with affordable prices. Godaddy manages more than 50 million domain names and are regarded one of the top domain and hosting providers in the world.

The choice is yours. I normally use Godaddy when I want to create an asp based website.

Best way to set up your domain name

Before we proceed, I hope you have brainstormed and chosen your preferred domain name. If you have not. Please take this time to think about a great name for your authority website.

I will advise you to use the branding approach because of the authority spider model.
The easiest approach is to use your name and target your product or services on what you can do best. If you want to use the exact domain name approach, you should try to find at least three letter word domain or two if lucky.

Whether you use the branding approach or the exact match domain approach, just make sure the name is not very long and not more than three long words.

So I am guessing you have found your chosen market based on the previous chapter about “how to select the best market for your website”. And that we are self-prepared financially to get our website going. So let setup the domain name.

Because most top hosting services provide the same processes when registering and configuring, the configuration setup below is taken from namecheap.com domain and hosting settings page.

1.    1.  Choose your domain name. The following is what you see when you go to namecheap.com

First you should check whether your chosen domain name exists. Once you find your domain name, you should select it and add to cart.

Purchasing domains and hosting is easy as cake with Namecheap. Their payment options ranges from credit cards, debit cards and even bitcoins.

Yes you can make your payments with bitcoins.  

Once you find your domain name, you should add to cart. After adding your domain name to the cart, bear in mind that, you need to purchase SSL certificate.

Buying SSL Certificate (HTTPS)
SSL certificate is secured end to end protocol used by ISP’s and browsers to encrypt data so when sniffed by hackers or intruders, wouldn’t be easy to crack or read.

HTTPS (or Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure) is the answer to the data protection issue. SSL is used on sites that feature eCommerce, banking, and even just a login page, https protects data by encrypting it before sending it either way by using an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certificate.

Google now support SSL and requires most website owners to secure their data with this protocol.

Google has even gone an extra mile by releasing ranking updates which improves the ranking of websites with the https protocol. It is recommended to purchase an SSL certificate for your website so your website earns this security point.

Namecheap has joined with COMODO SSL Certificate to come out with a great promotion called PositiveSSL. This promotion only charges you currently as I write this line, $1.98 the first year.

It’s issued and setup in minutes and has 128/256 bit encryption level, 99.3% browser compatibility, FREE static Site Seal, $10,000 warranty as described on their purchasing page.

So you should purchase this certificate or any higher one. When you purchase the certificate, your personal information is attached to the data which will be imported to your hosting platform to create your public and private encryption keys.

All these process is automated by namecheap whilst most hosting panels requires you the website builder to do.

These settings are sometimes very tedious for a beginner. I personally use this promo because of its speed and quick installation.

I am assuming you are using this package. However if you wish to use other hosting platform SSL certificate, the settings are available to read on their websites. Just make sure your SSL is always purchased on the same hosting account of your choice.

Steps to Buy the PositiveSSL Certificate from Namecheap
When you enter your domain name on the purchasing page of namecheap, make sure you scroll down and add the PositiveSSL promo package to your cart. This is shown below.

Now you have added your domain name and your positive SSL. Make sure you also add your hosting service. The best approach and cost effective way is to at least purchase 3 to 5 years of domain time.

This is also part of the 200 Google ranking factors as discussed when learning Search Engine Optimization (SEO). We shall discuss more about S.E.O in chapter 18.

When you finish entering all your personal information and added all the necessary products aside your domain name, you should purchase your domain to your account.

Just make sure you provide legitimate information of yourself or company like your address and phone number because this information will be used in the future to store Meta data information about your domain name and website.

Google may even use this information to recognize your site. Just enter the name and purchase it. After purchasing, there is a small configuration you need to do.

Your domain name and purchased information will be sent to your mail after paying. We shall come back to that later. For now, let us continue to the hosting part.

Hosting Services
Most of the time, the hosting service is purchased with the domain name. People like to use this strategy because of promotional benefits and easier configuration.

This easily helps the domain to be pointed to the hosting server. It is always advisable to use this approach when building websites as a beginner.

The drawback to this approach is based on the fact that, when there is a problem with the service provider, both your domain name and hosting platform will be malfunctioning.

The advantage to buying the domain on a different server and buying the hosting on a another server is opposite to the advantage of the first one, which is when one service goes down, you have the option of finding an alternative server to the hosting.

And one disadvantage is that, most beginners find it a little bit difficult to map the domain to another hosting server. And they turn to contact web administrators to do the job for them for a fee.
I will personally recommend any beginner to buy both the domain, hosting and SSL certificate on the same hosting provider.

The following shows how to easily configure the domain name to your hosting server on the namecheap.com platform.

How to map your domain name to the same hosting server with Namecheap.

I am assuming you have already bought your domain name. And you are about to buy your hosting server.

With Namecheap, you should hop on to the hosting menu on the site, click either the shared domain menu for starters which is also cost effective for now.

This will take you to the hosting packages. You should select your preferred hosting package according to your budget, pocket or expectation. 

I normally go with the professional package for a start. Because it gives unlimited bandwidth, 50 gigabyte of storage, and at the time of writing this book, it cost about $19.88 the first year. Which is very cost effective and what I will recommended.

So when you select any of these hosting packages, add to Cart and you will be taken to another page where you will be asked whether you want to add a domain name to this hosting service.

You should do so if you are a beginner and you have also already brainstormed and arrive at a great domain name which is also related to your market and your talent. You must also make sure this market will make you profit as discussed in the chapter selecting the best market.

So enter your preferred domain name in the box, you should see the message, this name is available when you are lucky.

Add the name to your cart and continue to the other products, the SSL Certificate, the domain name and the hosting. They will send you information about your passwords, and other configuration information.

Note, you can also try other hosting and domain services like Godaddy.com, Hostgator.com, dreamhost.com, Rackspace.com and a whole lot of them if you type hosting services in a search engine.

NOTE: I used namecheap as an example because, namecheap is what I have been using and works great for me. You can select any hosting provider of your choice if you are conversant with it. The next step is to point the domain to your hosting service.

How to point domain name to a hosting service.

When you buy both your hosting and domain name from namecheap, setting up the configuration is very straight forward and very easy to do. However, you might choose to buy the domain name with SSL certificate first and come back to buy hosting service later.

The average time to set this up is 5 minutes. The following process shows how;
1.     Sign in to your hosting account website by using the password you used when signing up.

2.     After you are logged in, hover your mouse on the top menu “Hosting” and click on the shared hosting sub menu as displayed below.

    This will take you to the next page which displays options for selecting your                 domain. If you purchased the domain already, you should click on the “Use a                 domain I own with Namecheap” as shown below .

Or click on the Purchase a new domain, enter your preferred name, add to cart and move on the next page.
  3.     Click on Domain List which will list all your domains on the service.

If you bought the domain with a hosting package, the hosting icon will be displayed. Your purchased domain will be showed.

At the bottom or right side of the listed domain, depending on the size of your computer screen, click on the button manage which should take you to the domain control panel page for configuration. Scroll down to the Nameserver section.

If you bought the domain name and hosting on Namecheap or your service provider, then this settings should be very easy to configure.

Click and select the Namecheap web option which will display a dropdown list of all available Nameserver options. Select the Namecheap Web Hosting DNS if you bought the domain name and hosting at Namecheap.

Save your configuration by clicking on the small correct icon at the right side of the Nameserver configuration section to save your domain information.

The above configuration is the easiest part of setting up a domain and hosting service for your website if you purchased your domain and hosting at the same place.
Namecheap will auto configure your system for you without any hassle. 

This is recommended if you want to finish launching your website within a day.
The above configuration is performed to map the purchased domain name to namecheap’s hosting service. This is why the Namecheap Web Hosting DNS is selected on the NAMESERVERS part.

This configuration normally takes 24 hours. Personally whenever I make this configuration and goes back on the web browser to check my website. I see the domain configured.

Now that we are done with setting the domain and hosting part. It is on our part to install the Cpanel Account.

Thanks for reading this post.

How to configure CPanel and Mail