Every entrepreneur with a growing business needs technology that helps them build their business without needing an entire IT department. We are often asked for recommendations about technology solutions, so we thought we would make a list of the most common requests we get in regards to setting up your domain along with our answers. We hope this will make it easier for you to get answers to your IT questions so that you can focus on building your business. Feel free to ask for clarifications. Just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions.
I’m lucky in that my husband is an IT professional and trainer with 30 years of experience. So, he serves as my personal technology support person. However, I realize that most of you don’t have that convenience. So, over the next few weeks and months, I’m going to provide you with recommendations to get everything up and running and provide you with a stable technology foundation.
Everything I recommend is a product that can be set-up and maintained by a non-geek. I also try to select products and services that are low cost and provide great value for the price. In these posts we link to goods offered by vendors to help the reader find relevant products. Some of the links may be affiliate in nature meaning that we earn a small commission if an item is purchased through this link. Please read our full disclosure here.
This week we’re going to talk about setting up your domain in order to host a website.
What Domain Registrar do you use?
We use Dotster.com. We have found them to be reliable and cost effective. Their site is easy to use to register and manage your domains. You can search for available domain names, and once you have an account you can register the domain or domains of your choice and begin using them. Another excellent choice would be GoDaddy.com.
Which hosting provider do you use?
Your choice of hosting provider directly effects the performance of your websites. They must be reliable, provide powerful servers, and have plenty of bandwidth. There are hundreds of them out there. We use SiteGround for our hosting provider. Their starter hosting plan is very reasonably priced and will provide plenty of performance for most of our readers. SiteGround has the capabilities to handle huge sites, so their services and plans can grow with you. We really like their customer support. SiteGround is very responsive and extremely knowledgeable. We have heard many stories, and seen firsthand for ourselves, that they truly go above and beyond for their customers.
As your hosting provider, SiteGround also provides email addresses. 250 emails are included for each domain with their packages. This gives you plenty of emails, such as ‘email@example.com’ or ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’, to help you start and grow your business. As you grow and add employees, it’s easy to add additional emails.
These addresses can easily be connected to a variety of email services including SquirrelMail, Outlook, and Gmail. They also provide the ability to forward any of your domain addresses to any other address you may want. Just note that if you reply to an email that has been forwarded, the reply will come from your standard email address rather than your domain address.
What Should I Do to Get My New Domain Working?
First, login to your hosting providers control panel. With SiteGround, that is called cPanel. The main page of the control panel will show the names of your Name Servers. They will start with NS1 and NS2. Copy paste the two names to Notepad. Second, login to your Domain Registrar account, find the new domain name, and look for DNS Settings. You want to change the DNS Nameserver names to the ones you copied to Notepad. Having done that, be sure to save your changes.
Third, you need to enable SSL security on your website. To do that, return to your hosting providers control panel. Look for a section or area called Security. Many hosting providers use an SSL security tool called “Let’s Encrypt”. Find that icon, click on it, and then click “Install” next to your new domain name.
If all of this seems a bit overwhelming, that’s understandable. Your hosting provider should be able to help you through these steps. Look for an FAQ or tuturial on DNS and SSL.
The Rest of the Series
Check out these posts that cover other technology topics that are important in establishing a robust, stable online business.
Plugins to Make Your Life Easier (coming 5-25)
How to Choose an Email Management System (coming 6-29)
Social Media Management Basics (coming 6-27)
These are additional technology posts that you might find helpful.
Or check out these posts on business building and growth:
Still have questions? Comment below or send us an email at email@example.com.