Now you have chosen an address – or domain name – for your site, you need to find hosting – or a home – for your site. Again, there are many options, and have most of my domains hosted with HostGator. For about $5 a month you can host your site with them, and I have found their customer service to be excellent. You can call them, text them or use chat to ask questions, and have been able to get really helpful advise every time.
Another option is once again NameCheap, and if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed, buying your domain name and hosting here is an easy option. Generally the idea is not to have “all your eggs in one basket”, but for a first site (and there will be more, it is addictive!) it is OK to keep things simple. NameCheap is currently offering a hosting rate of $2.95 per month if you pre-pay 36 months of hosting, or if you prefer a shorter commitment, it is $3.95 a month for a year.
Either of these options comes with a huge pool of email addresses that you can create for your domain, and which are easily set up. This means you can have ‘email@example.com’ as your email address, and then add ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ or ‘email@example.com” or any number of other possibilities. You can either access the mail through the hosting, or set them to be forwarded into another email account.
Generally if you pre-pay a lower level of hosting and then decide you want to build a forest of sites, you can upgrade to larger scale hosting, and apply the pre-payment to the new hosting. The advantage of having the more expensive hosting is that you can host multiple domains (“add-on” domains) within one package of hosting, which brings the per-site cost down dramatically. Be warned that ‘unlimited’ hosting does have limits, but it will take time to find where they are…