It's been a while since I registered my first domain name and I thought I would follow up my last thread with my personal thoughts and experiences since then. I plan to keep this guide updated so that others might not me the same rookie, and costly, mistakes that I did (and I made plenty). Please note that I will be writing this guide in chunks as to keep my brain from going to mush and riddling this guide with careless errors.
Above all else, even if you don't take anything away from this post, remember: if it sounds too good to be true, it is and do your research before committing to anything.
As of February 24, 2011 I own the following domain names:
earthbound3d.net (personal/tutorial website)
howtominecraft.net (capital venture based on Google hits per month)
minecrafthowto.net (parked domain for the above)
and I am in control of:
reynoldshigh.net (I am the sole maintainer of the high school website; just recently convinced my internship "boss" to ask for real hosting, finally got rid of that awful Google Sites. It's hideous right now because I hated Google templates that much, it's getting a revamp very soon.)
Shall we get started then?
1) The VERY Beginning:
Before even thinking about buying a domain and hosting, ask yourself.
1.1) What is the point/theme [of your website]? Web hosting and registration aren't cheap and they require a certain dedication. If you don't have anything or very very little to say, chances are your site will not stand the test of time. Remember that a site is a huge time commitment. If you don't want to waste your time maintaining (if there is anything to maintain in the first place) a pointless site, don't make one.
1.2) To whom is your site directed/who are you trying to reach? Your audience is very important to consider before making a site and for obvious reasons. Is this a group of people that you even want to deal with? And more importantly, can you captivate this demographic? If your site has nobody to serve except for yourself, just keep it on your computer and off of the web.
1.3) What is in it for me? Let's be quite honest, there is no such thing as pure altruism. If you see a website up, regardless of all good intentions, the author is somehow benefiting from keeping it up there. Even volunteer services pay web designers to make their websites for them (and for their own agenda), we'd be pretty ignorant to say that all functions 'volunteer' are at no cost. Whether it is for profit or recognition, before you begin your site, decide if it is a project that is worth your time and motivation because you will need to be motivated.
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And I haven't even gotten to my negative web hosting experiences yet.. I will finish this soon!