There are 2 options when it comes to domain and web hosting.. free, or paid.

Free blog hosting are like services provided by Blogger and Xanga etc. You don’t need to pay for the hosting nor domain. In fact you don’t really have a domain, your blog will have URLs like if you are using the free services.

The only benefit of using a free blog hosting is that it’s free. If you are serious about making money with blogging, I suggest you to get your own domain and web hosting instead.

Getting your own domain and web hosting will give you better control and branding from the very beginning. It will also allow more income opportunities as some advertising networks will require you to have your own premium domain website.

You need a reliable host for both your domain and website. Don’t go for a domain and web hosting service provider simply because the price is cheap, find a company that has good reputation.

From my personal experience I suggest you to get your domain from Godaddy or Namecheap. Depends on promotion, a domain normally cost around USD7.95-8.95.

Web hosting I’ll suggest you to go for Site5 or Hostgator. Hosting cost at these 2 companies should be around USD100 per year.

If you would like to look for other option, make sure you do a search on the company and see if they are reliable. Most of the webmaster related forums like Digitalpoint and Sitepoint have constant discussions on the quality of web hosting as well, do some readings if you want to.

Also check that if Fantastico is provided by the hosting service, Fantastico will allow you to install some scripts easily with just a few clicks, including some of the most popular blogging scripts.

Most web hosting company are providing Fantastico nowadays, just make sure they do if you want to save some time.

[Read more about my web hosting advice]

What domain name should I use?

Set the company aside, here comes another important question.. what domain name should you get?

There are 2 groups of arguments when it comes to domain names.. branding vs search engine optimization (SEO).

For branding, you need an easy to remember domain name, don’t worry too much about the meaning of the domain, as long as it’s easy to remember.

For SEO, you need a domain that includes the keywords in your URL. The domain name may not be pretty, but more useful when it comes to competing for a better spot in search engine results page.

There’s no absolute conclusion on which type of domain works better. While search engine is a main source of traffic for most blogs, there are other methods like viral marketing to build traffic.

In the end it’s up to personal reference on which type of domain you want to use, off course it will be best if you can make a combination of both.

I normally go for SEO, as I’m more familiar with SEO tactics than copywriting and marketing. You can see how my domain here works (Malaysia weblog or Malaysia we blog).

What to do after purchasing domain and web hosting?

After your web hosting account is set up, you will be provided your DNS address (normally 2). You will have to forward your domain to the DNS.

Each domain and hosting provider will have different customer platform, so I can’t conclude the exact steps here.

Just find the terms DNS at your customer area and it’s not difficult to figure out what to do.

Most service providers will ask for up to 48 hours for the domain to resolve, but normally they will settle the process within 24 hours and you can start doing things with your domain.

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