There are many hosting companies available on the internet. GoDaddy, Bluehost, HostGator, Dreamhost, A Small Orange are just a few of the popular ones out there. I recommend Bluehost because I have been using it for several years and have been very satisfied with the service.

I’m not a webmaster and I don’t write code, so I need simplicity and easy-to-figure out information. Anybody with a desire to create a website on their own and is willing to do most of the work themselves will find that the hosting part is pretty simple and needs very little attention – especially if you are with a reputable hosting company.

Lifehacker rates Bluehost as one of the top 5 hosting companies on the web. It consistently rates high among techies f95zone. WordPress loves Bluehost because of several reasons – one of them being that it offers auto-install of WordPress! This is a great feature, especially because installing a website onto the server can be one of the stickiest parts of building your site.

Many people use GoDaddy as their hosting site and then wind up using Website tonight as their web builder godaddy email. I have used GoDaddy and Website tonight and was not very happy overall. In fact, WebHosting dot info lists the top 15 hosting companies in the US and GoDaddy doesn’t even make the list. Too bad because the name is so catchy, which is why people go there and get disappointed first. Combining Bluehost with WordPress has been most beneficial to me as a web builder.

Beware! There are some things to watch out for when selecting your domain name. The domain landscape is incredibly crowded. There are over one million domains registered daily (there were 1,263,695 domains registered on 8 Jun 07 according to Domain Tools). The good news is that domains drop, expire, and come back into circulation. You can also still come up with some great names. The bad news is that there is a segment of the domain industry that is more than willing to snatch your domain idea if you take one misstep.

One of the most popular ways to search for the availability of a domain is to type the name directly into a registrar like GoDaddy. It makes sense to check there, because if you confirm the availability, then you can simply register the name right then and there. If you do this, there is absolutely no problem. However, and this is a huge however, if you decide to wait and think on it, you run the risk of losing this name to a domain squatter. In fact I can almost guarantee if you have even a remotely useful domain name, it will be gone. Domain squatters are doing absolutely nothing illegal. They are simply staking a claim of internet real estate albeit with a little inside knowledge garnered from your seemingly innocuous search. Instead of paying $6.95 and some change for that great domain, you’ll be faced with a request for $500 and up depending on how desirable the domain is.

Here are some ways to prevent this. First and foremost, if you even begin to consider looking up domains names, and I don’t care where you look it up, have a credit card in hand and pull the trigger! Buy the name right then and there. If you decide not to develop it, you can sell the domain, park the domain for future use, or let it drop back into circulation losing only the initial $6.95 investment.

Second, if you aren’t ready to buy the domain and prefer to search and mull it over, then do not use a registrar like GoDaddy to search for domains. Using the GoDaddy search option, I lost FossilCreek.com and Webistics.com literally the day after I looked them up. I naively thought it was a freak coincidence. I have since been educated.

It is also important to note that GoDaddy is doing nothing wrong. Their search mechanisms often place previously searched names in the domain suggestion fields on future searches. They just do what they do best, and that is sell a whole bunch of domain names for a low cost. A lot of domaineers use Moniker.com to do domain availability searches and swear by the authenticity and security of Moniker. I haven’t personally used this site, but it has been recommended to me by several different esteemed sources. Again, the best policy is to register the domain if you even remotely like the domain.

In closing it is a real drag to come up with a great domain just to lose it the very next day. When I came up with the name, I had two credit cards in hand with my registrar account information all ready to go. I for sure was not going to lose this one. I don’t know what happened to the FossilCreek website, but I followed up on the Webistics domain name and learned that it sold for $100. Thankfully, it wasn’t thousands of dollars, but it’s still $93.05 that could have gone to my pizza and Diet-Pepsi fund! If you have any questions, tips, or suggestions, please feel free to email me.

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