You are just going with the flow, taking care of your business.
One day inspiration strikes! You’re now able to choose the perfect domain name.
So you do a little research.
Find the best domain hosting to support your new project.
You can enter your credit card information at the domain registrar and you’re done! Now you’re done with domain registration. Congratulations!
You think – “I purchased a domain…now how?”
However, the muse left you as soon as it came to you. Now you have a domain.
This guide will help you. Let me walk you through what you need to do to secure your domain, connect it with a working website and an email account. And prepare it for when you decide to sell your baby to make millions.
Option 1 – Connect to a Website
You bought the domain name with big goals in mind. What good is a domain name without a website?
After you have registered your domain name, you will need to sign up for either a good Web Hosting plan or an good Website Builder plan to build your website.
Web hosting or a website designer is like renting a shopfront for your website. The empty building will be your rental. You can then fill it with everything you need. The storefront allows people to come in and browse the shop.
There are many web hosting companies competing for your business. There is no one-size-fits all approach. The expectations you have for your domain and new website, as well as your tech skills will determine your choice. You can read more about the top web hosting companies on our best website hosting services page. I recommend it as your next stop.
What happens if your domain is registered in one location but you decide to use another web host or website builder? You will need to point the domain, giving it instructions for linking up to its new web home.
These instructions will instruct you to go into your domain manager at the domain registrar, and edit the DNS setting (aka “nameserver”) until the DNS records match those in your hosting account/site builder account.
After a few seconds, DNS propagation will be complete (think updating your address record). Once that’s done, you can access your website using your preferred domain name.
You don’t have to learn how to set up a website you own. It’s better to use a good web builder. This powerful and easy-to-use suite includes templates and tools that make it quick and simple to create your website.
There are less website builders than hosting providers and each seems to be targeted at a particular group.
Some are intended for bloggers and publishers, such as WordPress.com. Some such as Wix are designed for small business owners. Some such as Weebly are intended for small businesses and “offline” projects. Google Sites can be used by people who only need a basic website builder.
It all boils down to your preferences and budget.
Connect to Email
You don’t need a website. Many people simply want a customized domain and an individual email address. It allows people to find you and to get in touch with each other. It helps you to create your brand and makes it less dependent on Google, Microsoft and other major email domain providers.
Email hosting is just as important as the web hosting you use to host your website. Many reliable web hosting providers offer the option to bundle both, which can save you money each month. It is possible to connect your domain with a dedicated email hosting provider such as Google Workspace or Namecheap.
It is exactly the same process as for a web hosting account. You won’t be editing the A Records within your DNS settings. Instead, you will be editing the MX Records.
Can you get email hosting for free? You can, and you probably are already doing it! At least for a personal account.
Gmail has nearly 2 billion users. However, their popularity is limited to free users. An old saying goes: “If it’s not paid for, then it’s the product.” Gmail’s free-of-cost capacity comes with the risk of being advertised to and having your data collected for future use by the company.
This, combined with the file size and data storage limitations makes Gmail an excellent choice for casual accounts. However, it is not a good choice for businesses. This is especially true for sensitive information. Gmail uses IMAP email protocol to sync messages across all devices and store them “in the Cloud”. This contrasts with the POP3 email protocol, which stores your information offline and deletes it from the server.
Consider the potential impact of an email you send to someone. An email sent from “firstname.lastname@example.org”, if it is a personal message, would not be inappropriate. But if your reader is expecting to deal with you as a professional business, wouldn’t “email@example.com” look better? It would, of course!
A dedicated email hosting service offers another advantage: they do all the work behind-the scenes. While there are many other benefits, this article will only cover the automation of Mail Exchange records (MX). Once you connect your domain to an email hosting provider they will automatically direct all incoming mail to your mailbox — otherwise your communications would be lost in cyberspace.
Redirect to another website
Are you familiar with the classic children’s book, “If You Give A Mouse a Cookie?”
It is a simple concept: one bite of a chocolate chip cookie can lead to another.
It can be very similar to registering domain names. You already have a great idea for a website title. What’s the stopping factor in securing more? These domain names are not very expensive and you don’t want anyone else to steal your great idea.
But! Although spreading your efforts and experiments far and wide may seem like a good strategy, it can also be a great way of testing what works and what doesn’t. You’ll eventually want all your visitors to go to one primary domain. A dozen sites with few visitors aren’t as effective as a single site that has thousands.
redirects are the answer. A redirect, which will route all your traffic to your final website, is similar to changing your mailing address to move into a new apartment or home.
There are two types: permanent 301 redirects and temporary 302 redirects.
Although the process of setting up redirects can vary depending on which website builder you use, they will have the same effect: They direct your visitors to the page that you want, and not to a “404 not found” page. Once you are ready, you can simply put a redirect from your old domain to your shiny new domain. You can find a guide on how to implement bulk redirects here.
You can track the traffic to your domains using 301 and 302 redirects. Google Analytics offers a variety of tools that can track the stats of your website. You can also use Analytics Tags to collect information about them.
Park Your Domain
Now you have everything you need: A domain name that you love, a design idea for your website, an email hosting service for your communications, and all your experiments redirected back to your main page. What’s next? You can make money online by using your website.
You can make money by simply letting it be. You can sell domain names to make a profit. This is because a small investment over time will pay off when someone uses your domain name. GoDaddy Auctions has the largest marketplace for domain name sales and purchases.
Even the most basic website can be sold for much more than the name. This is due to something Google considers when deciding which websites will appear on their search results page: The website’s age.
Register your domain name and make a basic website. After it ages, you may be able to turn it around and make a good profit on sites such as Flippa. There are many suggestions on how you can build websites and how to make existing sites more search engine-friendly.
If your website is already popular, should you sell it? Perhaps not. You might not. The more people who visit your site, the easier it will be to convert those views into advertising revenue.
Google AdSense will be the first stop to generating ad revenue. You can make a lot of money with it. AdThrive Mediavine and Ezoic will require more viewers to sign-up, but they pay better per click, making them a better long term solution.
You could be earning passive income from your website by joining any of these ad networks. Another popular option is the affiliate market. This can be used in conjunction with ad revenue. You can earn a percentage of every sale by partnering with a well-known business and sending your viewers to their sales pages. Amazon is the most popular affiliate program. However, smaller businesses can offer higher percentages.
Your decision about what to do with your domain and website depends on how much effort and time you put into it. This guide will hopefully answer any questions you may have and point you in the right direction to start your website-building journey.
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- I bought a domain name – Now what?