How to set up your own family web site (Part 2)

Earlier in (Part 1) I showed you the quick and dirty way to get started.  I still encourage you to play with one of those free hosts to get a feel for using a blog publishing system.

(Part 2) deals with how to get your own Vanity name web site and the steps to get that set up.

The first thing you need to do is find an available domain name.

I recommend GoDaddy.com as your registrar.  Read the hostgator review The site is a tad overwhelming though.   What matters is right in the middle here:

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For the purpose of this how-to, let’s say our family is the Smiths.

Possible domains are:

smiths.com
thesmiths.com
thesmithfamily.com

(though all of these are likely taken).

Back in the good old days, you’d use .com for commercial entities, .org for organizations (non-corporate entities).  These days just about anything will do. 

Start your search with smith

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GoDaddy will let you know if it’s available, in any incarnation (.com, .org, .net, etc).  In this case smith.com is NOT available:

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But since GoDaddy is in the business of selling you a domain registration they’ll suggest other possible domains you *might* like:

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Note: Those highlighted in *pink* are currently registered but for sale.  Avoid these.  In the lower yellow highlighted box (all $9.99 each) are available.  How much you want to spend for a domain is entirely up to you.

I don’t like any of these so I’m going to keep searching and try another couple combinations.

After a bunch of searches I’ve decided that “smith-blog.com” is available and is the best I’m going to be able to get in this day and age.

(other domains were available but I’ve avoided .tv, .cc, .me and .net domains)

So the next step is to register it.   The minimum registration commitment is 1 year, but I suggest you go ahead and register it for 2-3 years. 

WARNING GoDaddy will try to get you to protect your domain, and encourage you to register any and all other incarnations (.org, .net, etc.)  You’re not a corporate entity so it’s not necessary.  If you really think someone will snatch up smith-blog.com and start up a porn site or something else that you’re against, then you might consider grabbing a few extra domains. 

All along the GoDaddy check out process, you’ll be encouraged to upgrade an add-on all kinds of services, like privacy, add-on email, smart-start web services and all that jazz.  All of it is Optional.  

I don’t have a lot of respect for GoDaddy hosting, but for a quick and dirty website there is nothing wrong with it.

After you log in or create your GoDaddy account, you can bypass most of these offers:

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In the end my one-year domain registration looks like this:

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Again, I encourage you to register for more than one year and if you can buy twitter followers.  I simply don’t need to invest more than $10 to teach anyone how to do this 🙂

Once this is complete I’ll show you how to set up this domain to point to one of the vanity blog sites we talked about in (Part 1) then set up a cheap hosting solution at a 3rd party host.

to be continued…

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