Buying a domain name means you've registered your desired name so that no one can use it.
But it's half of the battle. You need to do few more things to build your site and secure the future of your business.
If you have a domain name but don't know what to do next, read on. In this post, I will be sharing 9 things to do once you have a domain name.
1. Get A Web Hosting Plan
The first thing you need to do after buying a domain name is, buy a web hosting plan to host your site. It's especially important when you've bought the domain name from domain registrars like GoDaddy, Namecheap, etc.
Though most of the domain registrars offer cheap web hosting, you should avoid them. Rather you should buy web hosting package from top web hosting providers like HostGator, Bluehost, DreamHost, etc. They will provide the best service. In fact, it's a good idea to buy domain and web hosting separately.
There are several types of web hosting plans. Shared hosting is the most popular and affordable plan. If it's your first site, you should start with shared hosting. You can change your plan later for free if needed.
Here is a list of top 3 recommended web hosts for shared hosting.
Web hosts like HostGator or Bluehost are more or less the same in terms of service. I use and recommend HostGator.
2. Point Domain Name to Web Hosting
If you buy domain and web hosting from the same place, you can skip this step.
Otherwise, you have to point your domain name to web hosting. It's very easy. All you have to do is, update your nameservers and add domain name to your web hosting.
You can do it from domain management.
3. Build Your Website/Blog
This is the most important step.
To create a site/blog, you need to install a platform on your web host. There are several platforms out there. We use and recommend WordPress. It is the most popular CMS. More than 25% sites of the web use WordPress.
The best thing about WordPress is, it's very easy to use. You don't need to be tech-savvy to use it. It offers one-click installation. That means you are just one click away from your first WordPress site.
4. Create Social Media Accounts
Building social media presence takes times. But you have to create your social media accounts as soon as possible to secure social media URLs.
It is recommended to choose the social media URLs that match to your domain name. For example, my domain name is HostLater.com and my Facebook page URL is http://facebook.com/HostLater. In this way, people can find my page easily. And it will rank higher for the term "Host Later" .
There are several social networking sites. But you don't have to join all of them. Join social media sites based on your audience. Here is a list of common social media sites.
5. Create Branded Email Address
An email address with your domain name increases visibility and credibility of your domain name.
For example, email@example.com looks more professional than firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now the good news is, you can create a free email with your domain name from your hosting panel. It's very easy to create one.
You can also set up an email on your domain using Google apps.
6. Secure a Corporation or LLC
If you have bought the domain name for a corporation, LLCs, partnership or sole proprietorship, you need to ensure liability protection for your business.
But if you've just started a blog, I don't think you need any liability protection.
7. Trademark Your Business Name
Registering the domain name is not enough to protect your brand name.
If you have just bought a domain name for a new brand, you need to register a trademark for it. This will protect you from infringing domain names and other infringing properties when you need to take legal action against someone trying to cash in on your business’ name.
8. Get Business Phone, Fax Number and PO Box
Getting a dedicated phone and fax number for your business is essential when building a company. You can always have these numbers forward calls to your cell phone or home phone or simply get a toll free number for your customer feedback and client services.
A PO Box also helps you avoid the need to give out your home address for your business. This is also helpful if you are leasing premises for your business and would like the freedom to move to another place if the need arises.
9. Start Promoting Your Website
Once your website is live, you need to promote it to let your customers know about your website.
Here are few things you can do to promote your website.
- Hire an SEO expert to drive organic traffic. You can do it yourself if you have SEO knowledge.
- You can go DIY and use social media or try other paid for advertising methods.
- If your business has a strong local flavor, you should also consider putting up flyers and posters and even the odd billboard if you have the budget for it.
- Order a set of business cards solely for your business which should have details of how clients and customers can get in touch for you.
So those are the most important things that you need to do initially after buying a domain name.
Let me know if you have any questions regarding this.
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