Category Archives: Domains and Hosting

How to Transfer a Domain Name from GoDaddy to Namecheap

The video is a recording I did last year when I moved a domain from GoDaddy to Namecheap. Some have been asking me how to do this so I thought of sharing my old video.

There are many reasons why bloggers and site owners might want to learn how to transfer a domain name. In my case I just felt that Namecheap had a more user friendly system and, yes, cheaper rates and better special offers.

Here are the steps I followed as detailed in the video above.

1. Login to your GoDaddy account and click on My Account.

2. Click on the Launch button next to DOMAINS.

3. Click on the domain you want to transfer.

4. Click on the Locking icon. Untick Lock domain(s) and click OK. click OK again.

5. Go to Domains>All My Domains and click on the domain you want to transfer again. Next to the word Locked should be Unlocked.

6. Click on the Send by Email link next to Authorization Code. Click OK, then OK again.

7. Make sure Privacy is Off.

8. Go to your email inbox and open the email from GoDaddy.

9. Login to your Namecheap account. Go to Domains>Transfer a Domain.

10. On the white box that will appear, type your domain name (minus http://www.) followed by a coma (,) and then a space. Then copy paste the Authorization Code (EPP Code) that GoDaddy sent to you via email.

Make sure you use your Authorization/EPP Code from GoDaddy as soon as possible. If you don’t it might expire. If it does and your transfer gets rejected, you will get an email informing you about this. Just go back to GoDaddy and submit a ticket to get help with your Authorization/EPP Code.

11. On Namecheap, click Start Transfer then Add to Cart. Click CHECKOUT.

12. Read through some options provided by Namecheap. If you wish, you can Enable WhoisGuard and Automatically Renew. Once you’ve set your options, click Save and Continue.

13. Choose your payment option (Funds, Credit Card, Paypal) and pay.

14. Namecheap will send you another email. Open that and click on the link they tell you to click.

15. That will take you to another page with information about transferring your domain. Down the bottom click I Approve and then the SUBMIT button.

16. Wait a few minutes and go back to GoDaddy My Account. Click on the Launch button again.

17. Go to Domains>Pending Transfers. There should be an Accept or Decline link next to the domain you want to transfer. If it isn’t there, you need to wait longer.

18. Click on the Accept or Decline link. On the pop up box, click on the link Accept/decline transfer now>>.

19. Tick Accept then click OK.

Important Note: You will not always be able to transfer your domain at any time that you please. Registrars have restrictions and you will not be allowed to move your domain when it is close to its renewal/expiry date, when it is very new or when you’ve just changed your registrant information. Make sure to check Go Daddy’s restrictions on these before you attempt to transfer.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

A Non-Techie’s Guide to Choosing a Web Host

After buying your domain name from a registrar, your next step is to look for a host which will store all your blog files for you. This is more for bloggers who opt to have their blogs run on WordPress.org instead of Blogger.

Just like choosing a domain registrar, it’s important that you also carefully evaluate your hosting options. Choosing the wrong host can be catastrophic for your site. Examples of issues or problems that can stem from bad hosts are:

  • frequent hacking incidents due to poor server security
  • loss of site files with no option to recover them
  • poor to no customer support especially after a serious server problem
  • poor uptime

Of course, no host is 100% perfect and immune to problems, but a one host can mean a world of difference to another and good hosts usually weather technical issues better than others. To choose a web host, here are some basic considerations that you should have in mind:

Uptime / Reliability

A host should be able to guarantee that it’ll be up for close to 100% of the time. The reason for this should be obvious. If you’ve got a popular site with a steady stream of visitors, you’d want your site to be around when they get there. Uptime rate is even more important if your site offers a service or sells a product.

Customer Service

You should want to be with a host that will quickly reply to your tickets or have a working live chat service. HostGator is one of those services that has such a feature so you get instant access to a customer service representative when there’s a problem. Ideally, customer support should also not just help you resolve possible issues but be able to address technical questions for you as well.

How do you find out if a host has a good support system if you’ve never tried them before? You can search for reviews on your host options. You can’t miss mentions of bad customer support. Customers are bad to complain a lot about this in forums, blogs and review sites.

Security

Hosts with servers that aren’t secure are always vulnerable to hackers. You’d be lucky if you get hacked but retain your core files and databases. A severe attack on a badly protected server can easily result in the loss of everything on your blog.

If you’re not a techie, it’s not easy to figure out if a host has secure servers or not. Again it would be a good idea to conduct a thorough Google search on your host prospects.

Ease of Use

Different hosts offer different ways for users to setup sites and manage databases, emails and files. If you’re not a tech expert and you’re new to blogging, go for a host that offers cPanel. This is perhaps one of the most user friendly options.

Data Transfer

In some quarters this is called bandwidth, although experts point out that this is not an accurate term. To make things simple, it’s best to understand the concept by remembering that this is related to the amount of traffic and downloads allowed for your site. The more visitors and downloads you expect to get on your site, the more bandwidth you need.

Some hosts offer unlimited bandwidth but there is no host that can truly provide this. Those that advertise unlimited offers have assessed that it’s safe to offer “unlimited” because most site owners never really consume a lot of bandwidth. Once your site grows in popularity and hits a certain ceiling though, they’ll let you know you’re already consuming too much of the so called unlimited bandwidth.

If you don’t plan to amass hundreds of thousands of followers, it’s okay to go for reputable hosts that offer “unlimited” bandwidth. Or you can go for a host with a limited bandwidth package and then just upgrade or move on to one that offers more when your visitors have increased. Just keep in mind though that moving from a small host to a bigger one can be technically difficult if you’re not naturally good with technical details.

Storage Space

Just like bandwidth, some hosts offer unlimited storage. Again this isn’t entirely true. Hosts bank on the idea that most site owners don’t consume a lot of space. When you do however reach whatever the limit of unlimited is, you will find yourself unable to store more files or publish posts.

Again, you can start with a small storage space plan and then upgrade later or move to a host that offers more.

These are only some of the basic points to think about when choosing a host. The more technically oriented bloggers however might also want to consider such factors as access to .htaccess, secure servers and permission to install scripts. For now however, you can just focus on the factors mentioned above to choose your first host.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Choosing and Registering a Domain Name

 

When you’re absolutely certain you can overcome the challenges of blogging and you’re ready to begin, the first semi technical step to get started is to choose your domain name and to have it registered.

Choosing Your Domain Name

Bloggers have a variety of reasons for the domain names they choose. Most have personal considerations influencing their choice. Those who have been online longer however and those who are more or less acquainted with the ropes of online publishing choose names with one or both of these considerations in mind:

  • keyword match for easier search engine optimization (SEO)
  • strong potential for branding

SEO Considerations

If you’ve found this post without reading my previous posts on market and keyword research, it’s best to go read those posts first to help you understand the importance of incorporating keywords in web pages and blog posts.

There is currently a common belief that if your domain contains keywords that are frequently searched for by members of a market, it stands a chance of ranking better in search engine results pages.

For example, because my domain contains the keyword “blog guide”, it stands a good chance of appearing on search engine results when someone searches for the phrase.

Keep in mind however that the inclusion of keywords in a domain name is only one factor and is by no means the biggest determinant in getting sites to appear on search results. Also, because SEO is an ever changing field, keywords in domain names may or may not remain determining factors in search results in the future.

Domains For Branding

There are also bloggers that snub the use of keywords in domain names and choose their names based on branding considerations. This simply means they want a name that is so unique that people will eventually be able to quickly recall and associate it with their business.

Domain Registrar

Whether you choose a keyword-based domain name or one that carries your brand, you need to get it from a registrar. There are many registrars out there. Two of the most popular ones are Namecheap and GoDaddy.

There are a couple of points you need to consider when choosing a registrar:

  • Accreditation – Pick a registrar that is ICANN accredited. This will ensure that you’re with a registrar that complies with good business standards and policies.
  • Reputation – Needless to say, a good registrar has a good reputation online. Search for reviews or even complaints on a registrar you’re considering to find out its reputation.
  • Terms – You’d want to know if registrars have restrictive contracts or difficult policies for transfers should you decide to leave.
  • Fees – Aside from the cost of the domain, different registrars slap different fees for such extra services as privacy protection.
  • Dedicated Business – Some companies offer both hosting and registration services. There are those who advice however, that it is best to have separate companies handle your registration and hosting. This is simply to ensure that if something happens to your host’s company, your domain has the chance of remaining intact.

Domain Name Extensions

Which extension should you go for? A .com, .net, .info, .biz, .org, etc.? I would personally go for a .com because this is what most people commonly associate with website addresses. When people talk about websites and blogs, what is foremost in their minds is .com. It’s also cheaper than some of the other options.

Then again, there are instances when a geo targeted extension would make better sense. For example if you own a business in Australia, it would make sense to have a .com.au extension.

Ready to buy your blog domain? Start researching for options now.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Blog Ownership – Free Blogs vs. Self-Hosted Blogs


Before you setup a blog, you need to first think about blog ownership. If you’re a total newbie to blogging, you might not think this is sensible at all. Isn’t the blogger automatically the owner of his blog?

The answer isn’t as simple as you think. Online, it’s possible for you to own the text, images and thoughts in a blog, but someone else might be the owner of the platform you use for blogging and of the domain where your content is. Of course, it’s also possible to choose full ownership over both your content and your domain.

Free Blogs

When you don’t own your domain, you are most likely blogging using a free service or platform. Obviously, when you have a free blog, you don’t pay for anything. You just create and publish content.

You’d know if you’re viewing a free blog if the URL (domain name) that appears on the address box of your browser looks like this:

http://yourblogname.blogspot.com OR http://yourblogname.wordpress.com

Notice the portions blogspot.com (blogger.com) and wordpress.com? These are free blogging services that you can use without having to pay anything. The only catch is that the service’s name has to be retained in the domain name. It’s never going to be just http://www.yourblogname.com.

There are other free services you can use to start a blog but Blogger.com and WordPress.com are among the most popular.

Self-Hosted

When you’ve paid for a domain name and for space to store or host your content files, what you have is a self-hosted blog. You own both your blog’s domain name and the contents in it.

You’d recognize a self-hosted blog when you see one because the domain name that appears on the address box of your browser usually looks like this:

http://www.yourblogname.com

Most self-hosted blogs run on WordPress.org which you’ll have to download and install. We’ll tackle how to buy a domain, how to setup hosting and how to install WordPress in another section.

Free vs. Self-Hosted

So what’s the best option for you? Many web experts will tell you to go straight for the self-hosted option. This is because of several advantages to it:

  • You have full control and you can do almost whatever you want with and in your blog. I’d like to stress “almost” here because every service has terms and conditions, even paid ones. Self-hosting however simply gives you greater freedom than free options. Policies of free services can restrict many activities, such as monetization methods, among others. Free services can shut down a blog even without proper notice if you break their rules.
  • Self-hosted blogs have domain names that look more professional. This is important if you’re running a blog for your business or to showcase your services.
  • You’re given more means to customize. You can dramatically change your theme or add tons of different functions and features.

Despite these obvious advantages, I wouldn’t always recommend the self-hosted option especially for beginner bloggers because there are disadvantages to it too:

  • You’re in charge of regular maintenance which can be technically challenging and time-consuming.
  • You have to resolve issues on your own which will again be a problem if you’re not tech savvy. Some of the most difficult issues include hacker attacks and blogs that break after an update.
  • No host truly offers unlimited file storage and bandwidth. This is true even among hosts that say they do. You will have to eventually pay a lot once your files and number of visitors increase.
  • Crucial mistakes, which can have far reaching consequence, can happen when you immediately start a self-hosted blog with little knowledge about how things work. Not setting a preferred permalink structure and then setting it at a later point in time is an example of a critical beginner error.

For beginners, I would suggest starting a free blog first. This will help you both practice market research and get comfortable with some of the minor technical aspects of blogging. In the meantime, a good way to prepare for the self-hosted option is to start reading more about it.

Once you’ve become comfortable with publishing online and you’ve come to accept the possibilities of encountering challenges, then you can go for a self-hosted blog. If you’re bent on taking blogging seriously though, I recommend not taking too long to shift from a free to a self-hosted platform.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS