From Step One, Here’s What We’re Doing

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One of the really cool things we’re going to be able to do with this project is document every step of what goes into running this site.  My goal would be for the readers to have as much transparency as possible as to what goes on.

As is the case with most things I document, I’m behind already.

But we’ve been working literally around the clock to get this thing ready for today, and now that we’re here I want to take a step back and write up a few notes on the process.  So here’s what we’ve done from the word “go”.  I’ll be keeping this at a pretty high level and linking out to some resources.  It definitely doesn’t go as fast as it will seem in this article, so it may be a good idea to come back to this as a reference later.

1.  Get a domain name 0.5 Find a domain name
Actually, you  first need to find one that’s available.  Any of the domain registrars (places you register domain names) has this functionality, but their pages are usually super busy and full of ads.  I use this WhoIs because, as you can see, it does exactly what I want it to do and nothing else–tell me if the name I want to buy is available.

1.  Now we’re ready to buy a name
I register domains at because they are cheap, and I am cheap.  They provide exactly the same service as other registrars, and once you’ve gone through the process of paying there isn’t much else to it.  There are endless options, ads, and add-ons, but I just keep clicking on the small print that says, “No thanks, let me checkout” until they take my money for only the domain name.  If you are completely new to this, I think their hosting (the place where your site will actually reside) is actually a good deal, just because it makes things so much easier on you.

2.  Get some hosting
Ugh.  There are so many options out there.  Hosting is a very cutthroat business.   Because I have several sites, what I’ve done is bought a large chunk of hosting from HostGator I can divide up into multiple sites. They sell smaller packages as well.  I would definitely recommend someone who has been in business for a while.  Again, the easiest option may be to let host your site…if you do this you’re ready to start building it, and you can read step 3 for fun only. I’m sure it will be wildly entertaining.

3. Change your DNS settings
This is the reason I recommend extreme newbies consider keep their hosting at . Changing your DNS (domain name server) settings at the registrar isn’t really very complicated, but some people immediately freak out when they see an acronym they aren’t familiar with. That’s ok, but we need to help you get over that! If you get hosting elsewhere, you’ll have to go into your settings at your domain registrar and change two addresses. Your host will let you know what these new addresses are. It may take a little while for these to update.

Ok, that’s enough to digest for one article. For those of you who know all this already, thanks for reading all the way to the end. Next we’ll talk about setting up a site–we’re going to focus on WordPress. As always, questions in the comments are more than welcomed!

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One Comment

  1. Amber said January 1, 2009 | Permalink

    This is really handy – thanks!

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