If you are intending to start a website or a blog, you will need a domain and a hosting account. The domain is your dot-com-address on the web and your hosting account provides the web space needed for storing and serving your site to your visitors.
There are free and there are paid services available on the web. However, there is always some trade off with free services. In some cases, they put advertising on your site, in other cases, they do not provide the same facilities that paid hosts provide.
Choosing a domain name can be difficult these days with almost all of the really good names gone. But, you need to try all kinds of combinations of words until you find a name that is not used and yet is easy to remember and reflects what your site will be about. Despite the difficulties, you can definitely still find good domain names if you are creative. An online thesaurus is a very useful tool for finding word variations.
Most hosting providers also offer domains and you can check whether or not the domain you want is available by simply typing it in at their site. Once you have decided on your domain name, the next thing you need is a hosting account. I have used a number of services over the years – I have started about 20 or so web sites over the years – and I can recommend the Hostgator service as striking a very good balance between price, customer support and the facilities offered.
Once you have registered your domain and setup your hosting account, you are ready to install your content management system (CMS) and I wholeheartedly recommend WordPress for this purpose. I wish it had been around right at the start when I setup my first website; it would have saved me a lot of time. Anyway, WordPress is free and it is fairly easy to install if you are computer savvy. Hostgator have a one click installation option within their CPanel and selecting themes and plugins for the CMS is very straightforward.
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