Domain names – the first step in building websites

Let's start building a website

Let’s start building a website

The selection of domain names is the first step when building websites. Your domain name is the title that will identify your website. This sounds simple enough and, in most cases, it is, but there are a couple of aspects of this process you should be aware of.

Please note the structure of the first sentence of this post. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) recommends that the title of a post and its first sentence use the same words, the same phraseology. This approach helps maximize the probability of search engines such as Google, Internet Explorer, Firefox, et al, of finding your post. I’m still new to learning about SEO, and will let you know what I learn as we progress. It all has to do with marketing. If you expect to sell any books, I hope you have already begun your own research into marketing. The Marquis de Sade could learn a lot about cruel and unusual punishment by studying marketing.

After I screwed up enough courage to attempt to build my own website, I needed all the information I could find on how to go about doing so. I needed a bare-bones, step by step outline to follow.

I keep harping on research for good reason. This is the only way I know of how to gather what I need to know. Daily, day (and night) long assignations with Google started making my wife jealous, until she saw how in despair I was with such a demanding mistress. But putting in the time is necessary. I know what you’re thinking here. You need every spare minute for your writing. Believe me, I feel the same way. So, unless you intend to hire outside help, which is entirely possible and, at times, necessary, you will have to spend (great word) time learning how to build a website. In fact, that’s why you are reading this now, in hopes that I can save you some time by telling you what I have learned. I hope I’m helping.

I Googled “how to build a website” and found pages of entries on how to accomplish this goal. Of these, the one with which I was most impressed, the one I used, was entitled, “How to Start/Create Your Own Website: The Beginner’s A-Z Guide” by Christopher Heng. He leads us by the hand through all the intricacies of creating a website. There are links throughout his presentation that enable you to further explore individual subjects about which you feel you may need more prompting. It’s a great source. Check it out. Here’s the link:

As I mentioned in the opening sentence of this post, step one is selecting and registering your domain name(s). Christopher Heng (above) warns about the unscrupulous vermin out there who hover online watching to see what domain names are being checked. If you do not immediately register that name they will scoop it up first, and hold it hostage, only to be released after paying a handsome ransom. Luckily, I have not had that experience.

Choosing the right domain name is critical for building an online presence. You want to be found as easily as possible, preferably on page one of each search engine. In my case I choose to use the name of my book, The Riddle of Riddles, because, I felt, it was catchy, and easy enough to remember.

So, select a name that is relatively short, sweet, and to the point, and make it the name of your website. I’ve read, somewhere, that only 5-7% of the millions of domain names that are out there resonate with the public. So, make your domain name count.

Once you’ve selected a name, you must find out if it is available. Google “domain names” and you will find a list of websites on which you will be able to search to see if your domain name is available. Enter the name you selected, with the suffix you desire (.com, .net, .org, etc) to find if it’s available. If it is, you must resister it to make it your own. You can sometimes register your domain right then and there depending on which site you selected. The fees range from about $2 or $3 up to about $10/yr. and must be renewed each year. Depending on how important your website name is to you, you also may consider  registering one or more of the other suffixes listed above, so that no one else can use them. If you do, you can “park” them on your web hosting site where they will be safe. You can also register your domain names directly through the web host that you select. That’s next..FotoFlexer_Photo Quill

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