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Every website needs a domain name and a host. There are a few things you should keep in mind if this is your first website.

The difference between domains and hosting

You will need both a domain name and a host for your website, but they are not the same thing. The reason this is important to understand is that you do not need to have both services from the same company. Hosting is the place that your website lives. To think of it another way, if your domain name is your home address, hosting is your actual home.

You can first shop around and find the cheapest domain name registration. You can then find a company to host your site like this one. Then you can point your domain to that server. Oftentimes, you'll find that some companies provide both domain name registration and web hosting.

How to choose the right domain name

Make your domain name something that is easy to remember and easy to spell. It should give people an idea of what your website is about. You want the domain name to relate to your company name or a service or topic area. In my example, techbizgurl.com gives people an idea of what to expect when they visit my site (tech and biz is a topic for sure!)

When a person searches for your website, they can enter your name or the name of your company and Google will likely find your domain name. The .com extension is the most universally recognized suffix to a domain name but you can also use others like .co or .net.

Things to avoid in your domain name

When creating your domain name, you can use letters and numbers. You cannot use symbols like periods, backslashes and question marks. While you can use hyphens, it's not recommended as people often will say your URL and not read it so they may not know that a hyphen is present. It's best if you make the domain name a continuous string of characters.

Choosing a good domain name and registrar can be tough but don't get stuck overthinking it. It can always be changed in the future.