Newbies Getting Domains
by Darla Cole

Your First Domain

So you've decided to get a website? 

Getting your space on the web is exciting and rewarding ... it can also be confusing ....... but if you do some careful planning and research, then having that domain name you've always dreamed of is right around the corner.

So ...... where do you begin?  What steps do you need to take to stake out your territory in the world wide web?

First we need to decide on a webhost.  What exactly is a webhost, you ask?  A webhost is the place or "server" where your pages and images that make up your site, will live ;o).

An important decision when considering your webhost is whether you are going to get a domain name of your own or are you just looking for a subdomain?  If you're not set on having your OWN domain name then you can settle for a subdomain or even your isp space which usually provides you with some space on their servers.  Subdomains are extensions of another domain and can usually be obtained for free.  They read something like or

Some downfalls to consider with subdomains:

If you only want a personal, homepage, then you might be willing to accept the limitations above. However, if you're starting a business site, it would be to your advantage to come up with the money for a domain of your own.  Clients do wonder why someone is vs. 

However, if a subdomain is all you require, you can get one from,, and several others.  It is usually an easy process completed online within about 10 minutes.  If you still decide to go with a free service and a subdomain, you might want to consider getting a redirect url service to shorten the url.  Basically, a redirect service allows your webspace to be called up using a shorter, easier to remember name.  You can turn into

Some redirect services you might want to consider are , ,

It's helpful if you lay out a guideline of what you want and need from a host and familiarize yourself with some basic terms.

So let's go to and do a search for "web hosting" and see what comes up.  Keep track of each site that you visit and the services they offer.

Compare the different services you see and ask some basic questions:
Unless you just know that you are going to need alot of space, it's probably best to start off with a small package. You can always upgrade later if you require more.  Something that alot of people do is assume that they will need tons of space.  So they go to these companies offering huge megaspace and pay for that on a monthly basis.  What very few people know is that most people don't use over 20mb of space!  Of course, if you have lots of graphics, and content ... you'll want to start a bit bigger.  A good rule of thumb to judge by is that 20MB web space is equal to about 100 static pages.

For a complete service that meets the needs of the growing online business, which would include ftp (file transfers) emails, a cgi-bin (the place you store scripts to make your site interactive) you can expect to pay anywhere from $10 - $30 a month.  Some hosts offer yearly payments and it's usually cheaper to go that route.    Our company offers a full year of service for only $20.00.  So jot down what you need and then set out and compare who has what and what the charge is.  Shop around until you are sure you're getting something that you will be happy with and that will grow with you as you expand.

So, now that you've decided on where your site will be stored, let's pick out a domain name.  Domain names are important.  They say alot about you.  They're personal  They have meaning.  If you're starting an online business, they should make a statement about your business.  Network Solutions used to be the place to go for domain names, but you have to be prepared to pay 2 or 3x what you would pay with another registrar.  Most hosting sites include a domain lookup form on their site.  We have domain registration service of our own at , but other places you might want to check are or    Think of a domain name you would like and then type it into the search box (domain names cannot contain spaces -- only numbers, letters and hyphens are allowed). 

Some hosting companies offer to register your domain for you.  This is fine, but you should make sure that YOU are the actual domain owner and that you have complete control over your domain name and transfer, if you choose.  Sometimes companies will register the domain name for you, but they maintain control, which meaans if you decide to transfer to a different host at a later date, or you need to make changes, you can't ... or you have to go through a 3rd party to do so.  It's easier to just handle the registration yourself.

Once you decide on the domain name you like and find it's available ... register it.  That's all there is to it!  You'll need a credit card, the domain name of choice and it will help if you have the name servers or IP address of your web hosting company - which is the ip of the hosting company you've chosen.  Usually, when you sign up for hosting, this information is provided to you, or you can ask for it and it's readily available they look something like and or they can also be the actual IP address.

So, we're almost done ... you've entered your domain name choice, you've registered your domain name .... and you're a proud website owner!  Welcome to the world of internet real estate! 

The next step, which I will cover in next weeks article will be designing your new website.  How do you choose a design?  To build it yourself or hire a designer?

Some things to think about until next time ;o)

About the Author Darla Cole, along with her partner Kleavell, own and manage Bronze 2 Platinum Hosting and Technologies. a successful, personal and affordable web hosting company. Darla also manages The Newbie Hangout which is designed to help the new webmaster succeed.