Learn how to set up domain and set up hosting for your website.
Follow our simple steps and advice on how to set up domain & hosting for your website!
How to set up domain
One of the first things to set up a domain is to choose the most appropriate domain name for your website and business!
What is a domain name?
A domain is the name that people type into the Internet browser to view your website for e.g. www.letsbuildawebsite.com.au
Most commonly known as the web address or web URL.
Before you can buy your domain name you need to have an ABN number. If your a sole trader, small business etc you need to have an ABN number in Australia to buy a domain name with .com.au
You can apply for an ABN online
Once you have received your ABN number; you can then buy your Australian domain name – com.au
why buy – .com.au?
Because it says that YOU are an Australian business and you live in Australia. It may also help the search engines rank you locally.
Choosing a domain name
When choosing a domain name – think about your business and what your selling – whether it is a product or service.
Try to include a KEYWORD or keywords in the domain name – for e.g. www.letsbuildawebsite.com.au
The keywords “build a website” was added to the domain name intentionally; because “build a website” is a highly searched keyword phrase.
Obviously, your domain name should describe your business in some way!
Buying your domain name
There are thousands of companies you can buy your domain name from. It is better if you buy from a local company e.g. Australia if you live in Australia. It is also easier if you buy the web hosting from the same company otherwise, you will have to point the domain name to your website (which can be tricky).
Please see the article on How to Point a Domain Name to Your Website
An Australian domain name .com.au should cost between $25 – $50 for 2 years. You shouldn’t need to pay any more than that!
- Try to always buy .com.au – this says your uniquely Australia
- Try to buy your domain with the hosting company – otherwise you will have to point the DNS servers
- Try to include keyword/s in your domain name e.g. www.letsbuildawebsite.com.au
See recommended companies for hosting and domain below.
What is web hosting?
Web Hosting is basically storage space for all the content of your website including; the web pages, images, text, videos, shopping cart, database etc.
The web hosting company manages certain elements of your website including; security, databases, emails, backups and more.
How to set up hosting includes:
Choosing the right web hosting company for your website is one of the first things you have to decide. Do some research!
One of the critical elements of any website is how reliable your web host is. You may want to take into consideration the following before choosing your web host!
Location of the web host determines which country the website belongs to
The location of the web hosting server determines the country to which the website belongs. Several search engines, Google included, assign a country to a website based on where it is hosted.
So if you have a country specific domain name or want to rank high on local search engines, you can put your website on a web host located in your country. Though it’s debatable, a country specific domain name hosted in the same country can lead to better rankings in local search engines.
When choosing a web hosting company is important to consider that your web host is, in a way a business partner and that the web host can have a direct influence on the performance of your business.
The impact that your web host has on your business is more involved than you may think, so let’s look at some of the aspects to keep in mind when choosing a web host.
Up-time is the time your website is up and running. The web host should be able to deliver 99.9% up-time.
- Downtime duration
Downtime could include your website crashing (due to unforeseen circumstances) or server maintenance.
Make sure it is clear what downtime there will be during the year; the duration and time of the day or night it is scheduled for.
Will this have an impact on your online business?
- Backup frequency
How often do they back up their servers; every alternate day would be ideal. Can you have access to the backup section of the website so you can do backups after any major update of your website?
- Customer support
Ensure the web host has 24/7 support; in-case your website does crash. In this case; having a local web host is better than one from overseas where it may take days to get a response.
Support may include; phone, live chat or email. Email support should provide almost immediate responses to urgent matters.
- Help files and documentation
Good documentation, tutorials, and even video help are important aspects when looking at a web hosting company.
Price of web hosting is important but not as important as some of the previously mentioned aspects. There is a direct relationship between price and value, and often a ridiculously cheap web hosting price is not good value. Of course, price has to be reasonable, so look at what you get for your monthly hosting fee.
- Your hosting may include:
- The number of domains or sub-domains that can be created
- The number of SQL databases
- Email management tools – The number and ease of management of email address creation, including autoresponders and spam blocking
- Quality site statistics e.g. Awstats
- What other software and scripts are included and if they are auto-install
- If your installing software like WordPress – you have to make sure they have CPanel
Make sure the web host has the ability to upgrade to a higher package with more space and extra data traffic allowances as your website grows.
- Site management tools
Depending on your technical ability many site management tools can be very useful. CPanel is a great site tool; giving you access to the following:
- Changing passwords
- File manager – to edit and upload pages
- Your Email
- web stats – to see your visitors
Setting up a domain and hosting for your website can be a daunting process, so we have listed a few Australian web hosting companies for you!
Recommended Hosting Companies
- All Australian Servers
- CPANEL – if you want to use WordPress and other free software services
- 24/7 support including; phone, email and live chat
- Regular backups
*Please note we do not take any responsibility for these web hosting companies. If you choose to use one of these web companies; you do at your own risk. We are simply recommending these hosting companies based on the experience of previous client’s of Let’s Build a Website.
How to buy web hosting?
You should have either purchased your domain name or ready to purchase your domain name with your web hosting.
Once you have chosen your preferred web host company – all you need to do is a purchase, entering in all your personal details including;
- Domain name
- Credit card details
How do I choose the right package?
You need to make sure that if you are going to use WordPress to build your website or any other software services that you have CPanel.
What is CPanel?
CPanel lets you access a panel of options that allows you to manage different areas of your website; like your database, emails, WordPress and many other services offered to help you manage your website. It just makes your life a little easier!
If you are a small business just starting you probably only need the basic web hosting package offered by any web host company. If you are not sure which one this is; just contact the company directly and they can give you advice. Once your business starts growing and you need to increase space and bandwidth to your website – you need to make sure the hosting package allows for upgrades, which most of them do.
All original content written by Jodi Allbon 2013
Web Designer/Trainer – Adv Dip, Dip, TAE
Jodi is a qualified WordPress Trainer and Designer with an Advanced Diploma in Digital Media (2D And 3D Animation, Web Development) and a Diploma in Web Development. She has been a Website Trainer at the Northern Beaches Community College since 2008 and a WordPress Tutor for NSW TAFE since 2016.
Jodi has developed several web design courses including, a WordPress Beginners Course and Build your own WordPress Website for small businesses. These courses will teach you how to update and manage your website ongoing. Giving website owners more control over their website, thus helping to keep costs down.
View Jodi’s credentials here.