I Have a Domain Name – Now What?

have a new domain now what

After picking up a new domain you might be wondering what to do after buying a domain name.

With your own domain name you’re just a few steps away from getting your new blog or website online so that you can start sharing content with people from  all over the world.

There are just a few simple steps to get started and in less than an hour it is very likely that you can have your own website up and running.

There isn’t any need to hire a professional or some sort of WordPress wizard just to set up everything with your domain, actually a very straightforward process and as long as you follow this guide then you shouldn’t run into any problems along the way.

If you do happen to have any more specific questions, don’t hesitate to let me know down in the comments below and I’ll be sure to reply as soon as I can.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at my quick guide at getting you started with your website once you’ve already picked up a domain name.

What to Do After Buying a Domain

Set up Your Web Hosting

web hosting set up

For those of you reading this before actually buying a domain one thing that I want to mention is that some web hosts actually provide a free domain just for signing up with them.

I know that when I signed up with Bluehost I was able to take advantage of this offer and a few other hosts after this as well so try to keep an eye out to see if this is applicable to you.

For those of you that already have a domain, you’re going to want to go ahead and get your web hosting setup so that you can get your site or blog live as soon as possible.

There are quite a few different web hosts to choose from and there are plenty of articles online reviewing all of the different types, but if you don’t feel like combing through thousands of words just to find some specific information, of the different hosts that I recommend are:

  • Bluehost (a good choice for beginners on a budget)
  • HostGator (another reasonably priced beginner hosting)
  • Siteground (my personal favorite, great for a wide range of websites)
  • Namecheap (great support, good prices)

There are some other options out there but these are the different hosts that you’re likely going to see recommended the most and I’ve used all of them over the years without any major issues at all.

Related

Do You Really Need Web Hosting?

The short answer is: yes, you definitely need some sort of web hosting plan if you want to get your website online for other people to see.

In case you don’t know what it is, web hosting is basically a physical server somewhere in the world where are all of your website data such as the text content, images, website themes, plugins, videos, and everything else that you upload is stored.

What you’re paying for is a spot on a remote computer where all of your files are kept so that they can be presented in website forum whenever your domain is called to online.

There are actually quite a few different types of hosting plans and they really range in price from budget-friendly to very expensive depending on what you’re looking for.

The most popular types of plans include:

  • Shared hosting
  • Dedicated hosting
  • VPS hosting

When you’re just getting started I would recommend going with a shared hosting plan because these are the most affordable and they’re good enough for beginners that aren’t going to be getting a lot of traffic at first.

As your website grows you can always upgrade in the future to something better if you ever need to.

Quick Recap

To get started you need to setup your domain with some web hosting.

For beginners, I recommend going with shared hosting and the best shared hosting providers that I would suggest taking a look at include:

  • Bluehost
  • HostGator
  • Namecheap

Connect Your Domain With Your Hosting

hosting welcome guide

For those of you that buy a domain and hosting from the same provider, everything should be set up for you quite easily so you can just move on to the next part of this guide.

If you bought them separately, then you’re going to have to point your domain to the nameservers of your host so that they can be connected.

There are quite a few people that recommend buying hosting and domains from different providers because it does help to make your website more secure and also easy for you to transfer your site between different hosts if you ever wanted to.

I agree with this as well and it’s better to have your online presence spread out a little bit just in case something goes wrong with one aspect of something you’re using.

Connecting your hosting plan with your domain is very straightforward and to start you just want to login to your hosting account.

When you signed up with new hosting you should have received an email with your login information and after signing in you going to want to find out where the nameservers are displayed and copy them for the next step.

Once you have copied the name servers you going to want to login to your domain provider website and here you’re going to be able to edit the name servers.

Simply paste the corresponding nameserver into its proper place, save the settings, and after a few moments they should be connected and you’ll be ready to move on.

Depending on who you signed up with you should be able to find your nameservers in the welcome email that you got or otherwise they’re available in the cPanel section.

If you’re having any trouble, do a quick Google Search to see if you can find out where your nameservers are located or just send a quick email or live chat with the support that your host has to offer.

Install WordPress

wordpress installation

The easiest way of managing the back end of your website is to use a Content Management System, otherwise known as a CMS.

This is basically a software that you install onto your web host that allows you to has your domain display a theme where you can also showcase all of your content in a streamlined and efficient manner.

Without using something like WordPress you’re going to be stuck fiddling around with HTML and other hard to manage aspects of running a website without using one of these platforms.

There are actually quite a few different blogging platforms to choose from but WordPress is the most popular with a significant amount of websites around the world using it and hundreds of different themes and plugins to choose from.

These days plenty of hosts offer one click installation with WordPress so it’s a very simple process in getting your website set-up so that you can start creating and sharing content.

To get everything up and running with WordPress I recommend checking out one of the following in-depth guides:

Choose a Website Theme

wordpress themes

After installing WordPress you’re going to be able to finally login and start posting content onto your website.

The problem here is that with a fresh installation your WordPress is going to be using a default theme and these tend to look very generic and unprofessional so you’re going to want to consider changing the theme right away to something you like.

Changing the theme is really easy and there are a wide variety of different free themes and  paid premium themes to choose from.

If you’re on a tight budget then you can just stick to using a free theme when you’re starting out but I would definitely recommend upgrading to a premium theme because these are much better looking and also will help people to take you more seriously if you’re serious about growing your website or blog.

When it comes to the best premium WordPress themes I recommend taking a look at these different providers:

All of these providers offer really nice, mobile friendly, and good looking themes for quite reasonable prices as well.

After deciding on a theme, downloading or purchasing it, you’re going to now want to install it onto your WordPress.

Installing a WordPress theme is pretty easy and I recommend checking out one of the different  guides online for a more in-depth look at how to do it properly if you’re not sure.

Depending on the theme you pick up, it might even come with some install instructions so that you can just follow the directions and get your theme quickly installed.

Along with a website theme you might also want to consider getting a logo.

Having a logo on your website is really going to help with branding as well as making your site or blog more recognizable online so even when you’re just starting out it’s still something worth considering.

Depending on your designing skills, you could always decide to just create your own logo or check out one of the online logo designing tools available if you need a little bit of help.

Alternatively, you can also find a logo designer relatively cheap on websites like Fiverr or if you’re looking for something better quality and worth the money then you can check out some of the amazing designs available at 99designs.com.

Set Up Your Email Account

Once you’ve got everything else set up you can finally start diving into some of the specifics of getting your website and online web presence completely ready.

What I recommend doing is setting up an email account with your domain because it’s going to look a lot more professional than using something at Gmail or Hotmail.

Having an email related to your domain also helps with branding, online visibility, and people are going to take you much more seriously when you reach out with a branded email for building links or just general contact.

To set up your email, you’re going to have to head into the cPanel of your hosting and create a new email account.

This is free, easy to set up, and I recommend using your first name as the email with your domain at the end so something like “john@johnsblog.com” or similar.

Get Started on Social Media

different social media channels

Along with connecting with your audience, social media also allows you to promote your content without having to rely as much on Google search and other search engines for traffic.

Most people are bound to see some sort of benefit to using social media and it’s especially important to start using it from the beginning so that you can grow your social following and learn how to use the different platforms at the same time.

There are quite a few different social media platforms out there but some of them are better suited than others for interacting with your audience and promoting your content.

The platforms I recommend getting started with are:

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Instagram

Depending on your niche or website topic you might also want to consider going with:

  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest

Even before selecting a domain it’s a good idea to check these different social media sites to make sure that you can find a matching or similar name to the URL that you choose just to make it easier with branding and online visibility in the long run.

Start Posting Content

quora case study

In the online marketing world they say that content is king and the long-term success of your blog or website depends on the quality of your content and how well you’re able to promote it.

Without quality and engaging content you still might be able to get visitors to your website or blog but this doesn’t mean much if you’re not able to convert that traffic into something meaningful.

This could be a product sale, getting someone on to your email list, getting a new client, generating leads, or anything else that you’re hoping to achieve with your website but if the content isn’t good then none of this is going to happen.

Along with writing some blog posts there are also some important pages that you should have from the beginning on your website or blog.

These different pages include:

Depending on what your website is about you can choose to add one or two of these different pages as long as it’s relevant to your content and what your goals are.

I would recommend starting off with an about page, privacy policy, contact page, and you can move forward from there depending on the other pages that you might need.

Even if you’re not creating a blog, and just a website focusing on specific products or services, you should still have a blogging page just because this content is going to allow you to reach a wider audience and you can also use blog posts for building links and social media promotion.

Getting Your Website Indexed

google

With a brand new website you can’t expect too much love from Google and other search engines at the beginning but there are some things you can do to make it easier for you to get discovered and start ranking online.

There are plenty of different traffic sources but search engines are the most reliable and easiest long-term way of driving traffic to your website or blog so whether you’re a beginner or a professional this is definitely the method that I would recommend focusing on.

To make sure that your website is able to be discovered by search engines you want to start off by creating a sitemap and submitting it to the different search engines.

Once you have finally submitted your website it will eventually become indexed by the different search engines and over time it will start to rank better and you will start to see traffic trickling in.

Promote Your Website

apple computer

With a brand new blog or website you shouldn’t expect too much traffic from the beginning and when you’re first getting started a good idea to promote your website both offline and online so that you can start to grow a dedicated and loyal audience.

There is really too much information to cover in this section about promoting your website but there are plenty of online guides and tutorials that I would recommend checking out that covers  the topic more in-depth.

However, once your website is finally live you can definitely share the link with your friends and family as well as anybody that you’re currently friends with on Facebook so that they can see what you’ve created and hopefully they will share it with their friends and family as well.

This can help get the ball rolling and even just a little bit of traffic at the beginning is definitely going to help inspire you to keep writing new content and continue promoting your website or blog in the long run.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully this in-depth guide has helped you get your website started after you’ve gone ahead and picked up a domain.

Don’t hesitate to leave any comments or questions down below regarding what to do after buying a domain name if you’re still not sure about anything or if you are just looking for further guidance.

This is just one of the first of many steps you’re going to be taking if you’re hoping to develop your website or blog into something serious and profitable so as long as you’re willing to do the research and spend the time and effort that’s needed then you’re already well on your way to success.

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