Part 0 – The Domain name (TLD) and the Hosting Package for your website
In this tutorial, which will span over 3-5 blog posts, we will learn how to create a COMPLETE website, which is far better than 90% of the websites of the internet (I’m not kidding) for $7 a month.
TL;DR – This page will show you how to buy a domain with Google Domains, and set up hosting with Vultr.com. If you already know how to do this, go to the next post.
The first thing we need to do when starting our own website, is understand the 2 components that come with a website, which are the hosting, and the domain itself. These will be separate initially.
When you purchase a domain through Bluehost, Hostgator, GoDaddy, they offer hosting ALONG with the domain. We will have to purchase these separately, and connect them later, no worries, you don’t need to know how to do that yet, it’s a 2 minute process we detail later.
Firstly, hosting is a computer you rent online. It’s a full computer, which you will access remotely. This is called a VPS. More on that here.
Secondly, a domain (also known as a TLD), is simply the .com .net or .whatever you buy for about $12 a year.
This guide will assume you have neither. I will be using my personal 2 favorites for this guide, Google Domains to register the domain, and Vultr.com to manage the hosting aspect of the website.
So, before we get any deeper, let’s get our domain purchased. If you need help finding a 2 or 3 word domain, Dot-o-mator is an excellent tool for helping people find different available domains from their imaginations. I love it.
Once we have settled on a domain that isn’t taken, let’s head over to domains.google.com and get started. You’ll need to make a Google account first, so if you don’t already have one, it’s time to get a free gmail account.
Once you’re at domains.google you’ll see a screen similar to this. Assuming you bought 1-190 domains they would all be here on this page, but as we probably have none, there is nothing here. Start by entering your domain in the field that we picked earlier. As it is available, Google will show you a screen that looks like this.
You should be able to see your domain for $12 for a regular .com and maybe a few more bucks if you wanted a special .*** instead of .com (I recommend sticking with .com) . So we will complete checkout and now we officially own the domain!
That’s all we have to do for now with Google Domains, but I recommend keeping that tab open on your browser, as depending on how far we go in the guide, we may need it again.
So now we have to create a new account at Vultr.com. As you can see I have included each shot necessary to show how that works, and you don’t have to pay them anything up front, just add your debit card and you’re ready to launch your first VPS (virtual private computer, you’re ‘hosting’ part of the website).
Here are some examples of what setting up an account should look like.
Now that we have both the domain, and the hosting account set up, we are out $12 or so, and we are now going to create the computer that will hold all of our files.
When logged into Vultr, you will have the option to deploy a new server, which should be signified by a button on the bottom right, and that’s what we want to do now. Believe it or not, you’re 1/3rd through the process of going live already.