One of the first, and most important things you need to do to build your coaching ‘home’ online is to choose a domain and web hosting.
Choosing a Domain Name
It’s not easy choosing a domain name and this is one area many coaches struggle with. Don’t over-think this, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when choosing your domain name:
- Always choose a ‘.com’
- Shorter is always better
- Your domain needs to be easy to remember and easy to say
- Hyphens are a no-no
- Skip any ‘cute’ or unusual spellings
- Does the domain match your practice?
- What does the domain convey about you and your coaching practice?
Once you’ve decided on your domain name, it’s time to register it. This can be done through the same place you’ve chosen for web hosting or it can be done separately through any domain registrar. I recommend that you keep the registration and the hosting separate.
I register all my domain names through NameCheap (aff link). Many people register their domain names through GoDaddy. I prefer NameCheap to GoDaddy because Namecheap doesn’t bombard you with all those annoying upsells. You can register your domain and keep it moving.
Ninja Tip: Don’t start searching to see if a domain name is available unless you’re ready to purchase immediately. If not, when you go back to pick it up you may be surprised to find that it’s no longer available. There are people who monitor domain name searches, pick them up and then try to sell them to you later for a profit. Don’t give them any ammunition.
Once you’ve chosen your domain name and purchased the URL, it’s time to set up your web hosting and website.
Choosing a Web Host
I hope this won’t come as a surprise, but you should NEVER use free hosting! Even if you’re on a budget and are trying to launch your site cheaply, free hosting is a big no-no! Would you build your house on free land? That somebody could take away from you at any time? I didn’t think so.
You can find web hosting at all ends of the budget from the Toyota Tercel all the way up to the Lexus GS500. (Do they still make that car?)
One of the most important things to keep in mind when searching for a web host is to find a company that has a responsive support team. If you ever have a problem, if you can’t reach your host, that discount price is not such a discount. Check reviews and the contact options your prospective web host offers on their site.
Here are a few of the basic features you should be looking for when it comes to web hosting:
- Disk Storage Space (how much space you get for your website)
- Bandwidth Allowance (how much traffic you get for your website)
- Number of Email Accounts Permitted (this is a little misleading because I recommend you get your email from a separate provider)
These are the webhosts I recommend:
SiteGround (aff link): This is an excellent starter host. I host several sites here and the hosting is excellent! It’s shared hosting, but my sites are secure and fast and their support is excellent. Their plans start at $3.95/month paid annually.
WP Engine (aff link): If you’re ready to step up to managed WordPress hosting, WP Engine definitely deserves a look. And they just bought my favorite theme company so you can expect to get the Genesis Framework included with future hosting plans.
Let me know if you have questions about either of these services since I currently use them all. 🙂