You need a domain and hosting, but you don’t know how to get started.

It can be hard to figure out what type of domain you need and which host is best for your needs.

We have the solution! Hip Gloss Pro offers a free domain when you sign up for hosting with us. Plus, we offer affordable plans starting at just $5.16/month that include unlimited space, traffic, email accounts, and more! Sign up now here.

Keep reading for the information you need to get started today.

What is the difference between a domain and hosting?

A domain is an online address (your ‘name’) that people type into their web browser (e.g., google.com) and a hosting account is a folder where you store the files that your website requires to function correctly that are made available for viewing on the internet. A website requires a domain and hosting to function.

An easy way to visualize this is to imagine growing a flower. You need:

Seed (your domain)

Pot (your hosting)

Soil (all of your files that go in your hosting account)

You must have all three to grow a flower and you must have all three to create a website.

Step 1: Finding a Domain

Taking some time to decide upon your domain is very important. You will want to select something that is memorable and easy for your visitor to type. Short words and .com’s are preferred. One thing to keep in mind: Keep it simple and try to avoid hyphens or numbers so you don’t confuse your visitors.

-Do you have a name in mind?

-Do you know the name of the business you are opening?

-If not, do some research on what your website will be about (this will help you pick a domain name).

-How about using your company’s initials or acronym?

-What words come to mind when you think about your company or content?

Once you come up with your name, you will want to come up with a few variations as well. With billions of websites on the web, your first choice may not be available.

-Is it available?

-Does it end in .com, .net, or .org?

If your first choice of a domain name doesn’t work out, then check out other extensions.

Search for your domain name now: https://www.hipglosspro.com

When you use the domain search tool at the top of this page, before pressing enter, let it load to see if a domain is available to Register or Transfer.

Transfer means that somebody owns it. If YOU own it, you could transfer your domain to Hip Gloss Pro if you like. If you do not own the domain when you see the word Transfer that means that you cannot buy it. If you see the word Register, that means that the domain is available for you to buy.Find a domain

Domain Extensions Summary

There are a number of domain extensions, and the one you select will depend on your requirements and what is available:

-com: The most common extension which stands for “commercial” and can be used for businesses. This extension is the most popular and is preferred since visitors will almost always type in .com by default unless informed of otherwise.

-net: Originally for “networking” and technology companies. This Top Level Domain (TLD) is usually most companies’ second choice.

-org: Most non-profit organizations use the org extension. You may want to use this extension if your website represents organizations such as volunteer, hobby, non-profit, and not-for-profit.

-edu: Education institutions use the .edu extension. Only education institutions have access to use .edu.

-gov: The .gov extension, as you might expect, is reserved for government organizations only.

There are several other domain extensions that we will call “vanity” extensions. Vanity extensions are often not offered or supported by all hosts and vary in pricing from very low to very high.

Step 2: Finding a Hosting Company

Once you have picked out a domain, you will need to buy hosting. You can purchase both from the same company or you can buy them separately. One way is not better than the other, we can think of supportive reasons to back either decision but the choice is yours.

At HipGlossPro.com, if you choose both hosting and domain at the same time, your domain will be FREE. Each time you renew your hosting (annually) the domain will continue to be free. This will be a cost save of $10-$30 a year. Sign up for a hosting plan starting at just $5.16/month now and choose your free domain here.

Why should I consider Hip Gloss Pro for my hosting needs?

Your hosting will be the physical location where your files are stored on the internet. This can be at a number of different companies, but I would recommend going with HipGlossPro.com as it is one of the cheapest options as far as shared hosting goes with 99.9% uptime and we have been reselling and using this service for clients since 2003. Our clients love the unlimited space, unlimited traffic, free email accounts, and super speedy (30 minutes or less!) response time to support tickets.

Hip Gloss Pro has a custom-built control panel called Hespia which is far easier to use and intuitively designed when compared to the old standard, cPanel.

The Hespia control panel has over 500 features including domain manager, file manager, email manager, free (Let’s Encrypt) or paid SSL solutions, PHP and MySQL administration, and much more.

Hip Gloss Pro hosting also comes with “1-click” install of the most popular applications that includes: WordPress, Moodle, Magento, Joomla, Drupal, OpenCart, PrestaShop, and much more. 

What If I Don’t Want to use Hip Gloss Pro?

Some other popular hosts at the time of writing this include – WP Engine, Flywheel, SiteGround, Cloudways, GoDaddy and Bluehost. Of course, our preference is Hip Gloss Pro (for many more reasons than what has been listed here) and it comes with a 30-day free trial, no credit card needed to sign up!

Step 3: Choosing a platform for your website

You will need to determine what type of website you will be creating in order to install the correct platform and files to support your vision.

WordPress: For example, if the website is for a business, then you will probably want to install WordPress which is the most popular and community-supported platform which powers about 1/3 of all websites. We currently recommend using WordPress for all websites that are not eCommerce. Whether you want to have a brochure-style website for a small business, feature your work portfolio, or build a website around a blog, WordPress is your best choice. With over 10,000 plugins, you can add just about any functionality that you can dream up. WordPress is easy to learn and there are many YouTube videos to help you get started.

-Moodle: Moodle is an open-source platform that can be used for designing courses or lessons. It supports video, audio, chats, assignments, tests, etc. You can create a private community with members who have a profile with their own email addresses and everything that they will need.

-Magento: Magento Open Source is a professional industry standard e-commerce platform built for flexibility and high performance, crafted for international online merchants and multiple store instances by some of the most experienced developers in the industry. Magento was bought by Adobe and they are continuing to improve and grow the platform week after week with security and feature updates being released often.

-Joomla!: Joomla! is one of the best options if you are looking for a complex content management system often used for large business websites such as news or magazines which add a ton of new content weekly that needs to be organized and presented in a granular method. There are thousands of templates and extensions available to make your site look however you want. Hip Gloss does not recommend Joomla! and will always direct our clients to WordPress due to the learning curve and complexity when it comes to site errors and resolution. Joomla! currently powers less than 3% of websites worldwide.

-OpenCart: OpenCart is a free e-commerce platform with over 30,000+ plugins and extensions. It is the most lightweight option as far as hosting goes as it does not require any database to operate on. OpenCart will work with any hosting account that has PHP 5.3 or later.

All of the applications listed above are available through the “1-click” application install in your Hip Gloss Pro hosting account under Installer > Applications installer.

In Conclusion

Choosing the right type of platform for your website is essential to get started. Whether you’re looking for a brochure-style website, an eCommerce site, or something else entirely such as Moodle (a course/lesson planner), WordPress will be perfect if it’s not going to be primarily used for selling products online. If you do want to sell items on your website and don’t know which option would work best, Magento might be a good choice since they have more experience in this area than other platforms. To make choosing easier, feel free to Contact Us and tell us about your business/project vision and we will provide you with a consultation for FREE, contact us here.

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