How To — Start A Food Blog — Buy A Domain Name & Web Hosting

The first step in building an online business is registering a domain name. It’s like incorporating a company when you want to set up a business. The only problem is, it takes a lot of thinking and patience to find a perfect domain name that reflects your personality, or business, or both.

A domain name is your identity on the web. So try to find a name that’s unique, memorable, short, readable, and brandable (preferably a .com). You will also have to make sure that it doesn’t conflict with other brand names or trademarks.

Recommended Read: How To Choose A Domain Name For Your Blog

Even though you usually get a free domain name when you sign up for a 12-month web hosting plan, I would recommend purchasing a domain name on your own from a domain registrar like Namecheap.com or GoDaddy.com and it costs $10-$15 per year.

Doing so will make it easy to manage all your domain names from a single dashboard (assuming that you will need more domain names in the future).

Web hosting companies offer a domain name free of cost only for the first year, after which they start charging a premium rate. There’s every chance that you might not stick with the same web hosting company in the future, so it’s always better to purchase your domain names elsewhere and manage them separately.

A website can’t exist without a domain name and a web hosting plan. There are a ton of web hosting companies on the web and then there is countless web hosting comparisons, reviews, coupons, and deals of those hosting companies. And almost all of the bloggers recommend at least one web hosting company of their choice.

The problem is, the web hosting provider recommended by ‘Blogger A’ could be the worst rated hosting company by ‘Blogger B’ or vice versa. Again, a good percentage of the bloggers or the “best web hosting reviews and ratings” are biased.

I would say there’s no such thing as a perfect web hosting company. You need to select a web hosting plan based on your actual requirements and budget. If you are unsure about it then the best thing is to get help from your geeky friend or ask on a web hosting forum.

You can also check out my Web Hosting Handbook to know all (almost) things web hosting. Anyway, I’m recommending a shared hosting plan by InMotion Hosting (oh yeah, Minterest is also hosted by them).

Just in case, Shared Hosting is the most popular — and also the most affordable — web hosting plan. It’s super-easy to manage a shared hosting plan and it’s equally good for beginners as well as experienced webmasters.

Shared hosting basically means that you’re sharing your server (resources as well as the cost) with hundreds of other websites. And that makes it affordable for everyone.

The majority of websites on the web are actually hosted on a shared hosting plan. It can cost as low as $1 per month to as high as $25 per month depending upon the hosting brand and their resources. If you are new to blogging or have an existing WordPress.com or BlogSpot.com blog that’s not getting a lot of traffic, a shared hosting plan is all that you need.

Also, shared hosting is good for a personal website or a small business website (assuming that you don’t expect too much traffic every single day, and all you need is an online presence plus business email).

And hey, a shared hosting may also be suitable when you need to host multiple websites — as long as you don’t expect hundreds of thousands of visits an hour to each website.

So let’s get started!

Note: I’m starting a real food blog here (for demo purpose).

1. InMotion Hosting Homepage

InMotion Hosting

Go to InMotion Hosting homepage and click on “Business Hosting” to select a shared web hosting plan.

2. Shared Business Hosting Plans

Shared Business Hosting Plans

InMotion Hosting offers 3 shared hosting plans and I would recommend LAUNCH plan (or their basic plan) for beginners as it’s good for hosting up to 2 websites. If you are planning to start multiple blogs or have existing blogs elsewhere (on WordPress.com or BlogSpot.com) that you might want to import then you may have to opt for the POWER plan as it supports up to 6 websites.

Again, it’s a good idea to pick a 3-year web hosting plan as it offers the best value for money. For instance, when you pay annually, your total cost over 3 years would be around $250 whereas it costs only $106.20 for 3 years (when you pay for 3 years).

3. Choose Your Domain Name

Here I’m registering the domain name via InMotion Hosting itself as I obviously won’t need the domain name after one year (or after publishing this very tutorial).

Choose Your Domain Name

It’s a food blog so the best name that I could imagine is “mKitchen” (as it mimics Minterest in one way or the other). However, when I tried mkitchen.com it was not available. So I checked the synonyms of the word “Kitchen” and got the word “Kitchenette” which means “a small cooking area”.

You can use the “I already own this domain” option if you have already purchased it (say from Namecheap.com or GoDaddy.com) or own it elsewhere.

4. Check The Availability Of Your Domain Name

Check The Availability Of Your Domain Name

As you can see, mKitchenette.com is available so I added it to the cart.

5. Enable Domain Privacy Protection

Enable Domain Privacy Protection

When you buy a domain name (no matter where), your address, email, phone number, company name, domain registration date, and hosting details will be publicly available on the web so that ANYONE can fetch those details by using a simple WhoIs Lookup.

With Domain Privacy Protection, your personal details will be masked and will be replaced with the contact information of the domain registrar (InMotion Hosting in this case) and it helps to prevent telemarketing/email spam.

6. Disable Domain Privacy Protection

Disable Domain Privacy Protection

I haven’t enabled domain privacy protection for any of my domain names and hence I chose to disable it for mKitchenette.com as well.

7. Enable/Disable Domain Privacy Protection

Enable/Disable Domain Privacy Protection

Review your Domain Privacy Protection status and click “CONTINUE”.

8. Upgrade Web Hosting

Upgrade Web Hosting

Turn down any web hosting upgrade offers as you won’t need it.

9. Select Data Center

Select Data Center

Review your domain name, web hosting plan and term, server location (ignore this if you don’t know what it is), and of course the final price and click “CONTINUE”.

10. Account Creation

Account Creation

Enter your email address and click “CONTINUE” to start the account creation process.

11. Account, Billing, & Payment Information

Account, Billing, & Payment Information

Enter your name, address, company name (optional), phone number, email address, and payment information and click “REVIEW MY ORDER”.

12. Review Your Order

Review Your Order

Make sure that everything is correct and click the “CHECKOUT” button.

13. Account Confirmation

Confirmation

You will see the confirmation that your order is in process, and will receive an email confirmation as well.

14. Account Verification

Account Confirmation & Verification

As you can see, your account will be activated after verification by phone.

14. Billing Receipt

Receipt

 

When the account is successfully verified over the phone, you will get the receipt as well as the account activation email.

15. ICANN Contact Verification

ICANN is the acronym for Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which is a non-profit organization that is in charge of maintaining and coordinating the Internet, namely the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and the Domain Name System (DNS).

ICANN Contact Verification

Also, you will get a verification email from ICANN. All you need to do is, click on the verification link provided in the email.

Verify Contact Information

It will show your contact details, and if it’s correct then click “Verify Information”.

Verified Contact InformationNow that your contact information is verified.

16. Account Activation & Get Started

 

Get Started

Get started by setting a password for your web hosting account. InMotion Hosting calls their dashboard “AMP” (or Account Management Panel) and it’s from there that you manage your web hosting account (including contact & billing information, account password, support ticket, bill payments, domain names, etc.).

17. Set Your Password

Set Your Password

Set a strong password for your account. Ideally, it should be a combination of alphabets (upper cases and lower cases), numbers, and symbols (@#&^@#).

18. Set Password Confirmation

Set Password Confirmation

If it’s accepted then you will see the confirmation that it’s set.

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Mahesh Mohan

Hey there, I’m Mahesh (@maheshone) — Chief Content Strategist @ Minterest and an organic marketing evangelist. I write about tech, marketing, and everything in between that truly excites me. Outside of that, I’m equally passionate about the financial markets, and also spend A LOT of time doing random things. Also, the Chief Everything Officer (@Infirn Labs).

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Meet The Blogger

Mahesh Mohan

Hey there, I’m Mahesh (@maheshone) — Chief Content Strategist @ Minterest and an organic marketing evangelist. I write about tech, marketing, and everything in between that truly excites me. Outside of that, I’m equally passionate about the financial markets, and also spend A LOT of time doing random things. Also, the Chief Everything Officer (@Infirn Labs).