Domains and hosting are the two mandatory elements when it comes to launching new blogs and websites. What this means is that you need both to be able to launch any kind of site.
Well, maybe not any kind. There still are some possibilities to have a free website, on a free domain, and a free hosting account. But these don’t give you full control over your website, and in most cases not even a full ownership (your site can go down at any point).
The sites we’re talking about here are free web 2.0 site platforms (like Squidoo or Hubpages), and free blogging platforms (like wordpress.com, or Blogger).
Of course, running your affiliate site in an environment in which you’re not even the real owner of the site is not the best idea possible. That’s why even though affiliate marketing is one of the professions with the lowest financial barrier of entry, you still need to invest a small amount of money in a domain and a hosting account.
(For domain registration we recommend using GoDaddy. In one of the previous posts we’ve actually explained how to register a domain at GoDaddy. For web hosting, go only with trusted and dependable providers, like Bluehost, or Site5.)
Once you get a domain and a hosting account there’s one problem that quickly sprouts up … how to connect the two with each other?
Using Nameservers to Point Your Domain to Your Hosting Account
In a nutshell: To point your domain name to your hosting you need to set nameservers (DNS) for your domain names.
This short sentence probably isn’t very helpful, so let’s explain what nameservers are, and how to do the actual setting up.
Quoting GoDaddy’s words: nameservers are the internet’s equivalent to phone books.
Every nameserver maintains a list of domain names and matches them with actual computers (servers) where the sites under that domain names are located. In plain English, whenever someone wants to visit your site they input its address (domain name) in the web browser. The browser tries to connect to the site by translating its domain name to the server’s physical address (IP). This is where a nameserver comes into play and does the actual translating. If everything goes well a visitor sees the site.
Therefore, in order to make your domain visible to the world you have to set nameservers for that domain. Here are the exact steps to take:
1. Get the Nameservers from Your Hosting Provider
Depending on the hosting provider you’re using this information can be stored in different places.
The best thing to do is go to the support section of your hosting provider and search for either “DNS servers” or “nameservers”. This is one of the most basic pieces of data regarding any hosting account, so it’s always easily accessible and not buried somewhere deep.
However, if you’re using Bluehost or Site5 then we can be of some assistance to you, and simply tell you what the nameservers are.
2. Setting the Nameservers for Your GoDaddy Domain
Luckily, this is a very quick operation consisting of just a handful of steps.
- Log in to your GoDaddy account and click the Account Manager (image above).
- Navigate to Domains > Launch and select the domain name you want to set the nameservers for (in case you have more than one).
- Select “Set Nameservers.”
- If you’re going to be hosting the domain with an external host (like Bluehost or Site5) select this option: “I have specific nameservers for my domains.”
- Enter both nameservers’ addresses and click “OK.”
From now on, your domain points to the nameserver you’ve set.
3. Setting the Domain in Your Hosting Account
In the previous step you’ve set everything up on the domain registrar’s side, now it’s time to set everything up on your hosting provider’s side.
In other words, to this point we’ve told GoDaddy to point the domain to your hosting, but we haven’t told your hosting provider to expect a domain being forwarded.
Different hosting providers have different user interfaces and platforms they use for managing their customers’ accounts. So this time it’s really best if you go to the support section of your host and check the information there.
Once you tell your hosting provider to expect your domain you are done with all the setting up, and you can finally start working on your website and then launch it to the public.
Have you experienced any problems while registering a domain and pointing it to your hosting account? Can we help you with something?