Need to register a domain for business and get a simple website up and running in the USA - tips?

submitted by pdxfed edited

Other than "dont' use Godaddy", what do I need to know? I've never owned a domain or had a website of my own before.

  1. Domain registration/host recommendations?
  2. Web hosting recommendations? Should I mix #1 and #2?
  3. Website template creation suggestions? Have fairly simple needs like service offerings and contact forms but want something without rotating construction cones.
  4. What else should I consider? Security? e-mail?
  5. Am open to all-in-one for the above, just would like to understand tradeoffs, what to look for/avoid.

TIA

Log in to comment

19 Comments

rufus , edited

You should als mention the country. Helps if you're a business and not just looking for the cheapest. And maybe get a all-in-one solution if you don't want to set up and maintain mail yourself.

hetzner.de uberspace.de all-inkl.com netcup.de inwx.de are some I use or used.

pdxfed [OP]

Thanks, added US to title and clarified that I'm open to all-in-one solutions if those may fit my need.

Shadow , edited

What's the type of business? Are you just needing a contact page, or is it an online store?

I recently went with square space and I've been pretty impressed with it, but it wasn't cheap. Google around for signup codes.

For domain registration, check out porkbun or namecheap. Email you can use proton or Google workspaces.

ryathal

Depends on what you need for your business. I wouldn't self host if you don't know anything about it. There's plenty of companies that makes having a website for a reasonable cost with significantly less hassle. If you are big enough to have your own dedicated IT team then maybe consider transitioning to a more self controlled environment.

If you aren't online retail, I'd start with a Facebook page. That's free, and gives you the ability to post the important details and have some outreach without spending money.

If you are e-commerce, then I'd start with a company designed to help build sites like that, or even just selling on etsy/eBay/Amazon.

oessessnex , edited

If you create accounts on various sites with an email address on your new domain keep a list of those. If decide to let the domain expire you need to close the accounts beforehand, otherwise someone else can get access if they purchase the domain.

Also you will likely be playing for the domain forever, so just register/renew it for 10 years, maybe you'll also get a discount.

AnAustralianPhotographer , edited

While I don't want to say this is a perfect solution, it is a free solution, and one id checkout early, that said I'd still recommend shopping around to see what best meets your needs.

You could get a Gmail account for the business/ website and then register for a free WordPress site. WordPress is both software you can download for self hosting and a website service where they take care of everything (for free or a price. The free version may end up with the website having ads served to viewers and only has limited upload).

As for design, there are a few free as well as paid templates. They can also get your site a domain like yourbusiness.com , but you can get a free subdomain at WordPress like yourbusiness.wordpress.com

If you wanted to go complex, you could self host or hire a virtual computer to host from a cloud provider, but things like making sure software is up to date and security patches applies are up to you. You might already have a server / network attached storage device which could be the server and get the domain linking to it and have your router forward incoming traffic to it, but it depends on how hands on you want to be.

nycki

I would avoid the .us domain unless you have a good spam filter. If you register with .us, you get put on a public list, and you get calls from people begging you to hire them to design your website.

IphtashuFitz

You get that with virtually any domain/registrar these days if your contact details are public for any amount of time.

Rob T Firefly , edited

A lot of domain registrars nowadays have a privacy-protection feature which will fill the public WHOIS entry with the registrar's own geographical address and a randomly-generated email address which forwards to you. It's easy enough to set up a filter sending any email you get via that forwarder straight to spam, as in all probability you'll never get any email of value from someone who looked up your WHOIS to contact you.

Joshi , edited

I have a personal website, not a business one but if all you want is to display some information and contact details etc then Hover for domain hosting and Squarespace for the website, they are easy to use and relatively cheap for a simple website that looks professional. If you want things like e-commerce or online booking you might want something else although linking to another service from a Squarespace site could work.

I'm currently shifting to self hosting and having troubles with Hover, but for an easy to use service that doesn't require any technical knowledge it works fine. They also offer email@yourdomain.com which I use as my main personal email with no worries.

Please don't just have a Facebook page, it becomes a real pain for non-facebook users, especially on mobile, and it makes you look like a complete amateur.

pdxfed [OP]

Thanks, this is probably the ballpark of my needs, I'll take a look.

Don't have a Facebook so no worries there.

FractalsInfinite , edited
  1. Personally I brought a .site domain from namecheep for $2 a year
  2. Self hosting is cheepest but may require making a call to your service provider or using a dynamic DNS service. Personally I use vultr, though I've heard linode, Azure, google cloud and AWS are all great alternatives.
  3. WordPress is a good option for setting up a website with a ton of plugins and installs available, just make sure to keep your plugins up to date
  4. Make sure to secure your ssh with keyfiles instead of passwords, additionally I followed everything in this guide
Praise Idleness , edited
  1. porkbun. Real solid and no-nonsense. If privacy is your main concern, maybe check out njal.la.
  2. Depends. If what you said is all that you need you don't really need a web hosting service. Static site sounds to be enough.
  3. Cloudflare Pages + something like Hugo(highly recommend, if you are comfortable with using command line tools) will be basically free and solid.
  4. Depends. Ask freely here!
subtext

Honestly GoDaddy is not a bad choice, if you’re willing to pay extra. I set my mom’s website up on GoDaddy because it’s solid, pretty idiot proof, and she can do it all herself with a staging and a prod site and everything. There are cheaper options of course, but it’s hard to be both cheap and good for beginners.

If you’re less confident with this kind of stuff and are worried about being overwhelmed, then GoDaddy can be a good solution.

qaz , edited

You can rent a cheap WordPress site, Mail, and Domain for about €2 a month at Hetzner. It's what I use myself.

Tazerface

Sometimes, brand new domains get blocked by browsers, dns, etc. expireddomains.net is an index of domains available for purchase with some history. No idea about creating a website.

bokherif

A lot of things, which is why you need to do your own research. Chatgpt can answer pretty much all your questions.

nycki

I'm impressed that you found a way to give an answer *less* helpful than 'just google it.' Where do you think chatgpt (and google) get their knowledge?? Threads like this one.

Wet Noodle

Dude thinks chatgpt spawns information into existence