Updated: March 30, 2017
Finally, it's time to get your blog set up.
Grabbing a Good Domain Name
Before you even purchase web hosting you want to make sure you grab a domain name that you are happy with.
What Makes a Good Domain Name?
- It isn't complicated
- It's easy to say
- It doesn't look like a different word
- Not too specific
Let's look at each of these points a bit closer.
1. It Isn't Complicated
The shorter the domain name the better, but you don't want it so short that it's complicated.
For example, you might be able to nab xcyzr.com but that is way too complicated. Nobody is going to remember what they need to type in or search for to find your site.
If you have trouble typing it in then assume everybody else will as well.
2. It's Easy to Say
I used to run a web design community called Drawar. The idea was that it was going to be a site where people could do sketch battles where they improve upon someone else's drawing.
The problem with the name was that whenever I would see someone they would ask me how to pronounce it.
Not only should your domain be easy to spell but it should also be easy to say.
3. It Doesn't Look Like a Different Word
When you come up with a cool domain name look closely at how it looks on the screen.
Pen Island Pens are using the unfortunate domain name penisland.net.
4. Not Too Specific
Back when SEO people were insane they would advise you to get very specific with your niche. So if you were teaching people how to grow oranges you would want to get the domain groworanges.com.
But what happens when you start teaching people how to grow apples and watermelons? Your domain name has locked itself into one fruit.
Don't be worried about going so generic that people aren't sure what your site is about. First and foremost you want to be happy with your site.
My favorite domain name goes to my personal finance blog, Struggle.co. What is Struggle.co supposed to mean? Can you tell what type of blog it is just from that?
Maybe not and I'm okay with that.
My rule is to always give yourself room to expand or change because it happens all of the time.
Finding a Good Domain Name
Finding a good domain name can be pretty difficult today because so many quality domains are already taken.
What I usually do is think about my blog's niche and what words immediately pop up into my mind.
I write those words down and see if I can have some play off each other.
If I'm struggling, I'll head over to Thesaurus.com and find adjectives.
When I find some words that I really like I go to Namevine to see what is available.
Purchasing Web Hosting
Initially, who you choose as a web host won't have that big of an impact because your blog won't be receiving any traffic.
However, your blog could grow very quickly and who you have as your web host can have a huge impact on how much aspirin you buy.
To put it simply, it's easy to think that this blogging thing is just a small experiment and so you don't want to spend much money on it, however, down the road when things are rocking and rolling you'll want to be with a web host that doesn't make you want to move.
Because moving your blog is a huge pain in the ass.
With that wonderful advice aside there are two different web hosts that I am going to recommend depending on where you are at in your blogging journey.
Just Getting Started / Low Traffic (Less Than 50k Pageviews Monthly)
If you are just getting started or you have a low amount of traffic I would recommend Siteground due to the customer service and reliability of their servers.
Please note that I do make a commission if you use that link to purchase your web hosting but I can get a commission from recommending any web host so it's in my best interest to make sure you are set up with the best one.
Siteground's prices are comparable to other low-cost shared hosting providers but because they are an independent company and not part of a giant conglomerate they can dedicate resources to awesome customer service.
Eventually, your blog will grow to be too big for shared hosting because you'll notice your site's performance is terrible and you are just bringing down your neighbor's sites.
This is when you want to look at web hosts that offer more dedicated features.
For when you don't want to mess with the tech side of things I recommend WP Engine.
They've been in the game long enough and are one of the only web hosts completely dedicated to WordPress.
They know what they are doing.