If you’re looking to register a domain name, I usually recommend Namecheap (affiliate link). It’s a simple process, clean interface, and you can always find coupon codes online. Be sure to check out namecheapcoupons.com for the latest Namecheap coupon codes before you buy (or renew) a domain.
What is a domain name?
Finding stuff on the Internet is like trying to find an address in a city. Each building in a city has a unique address, and each website on the internet has a unique IP address that looks something like this: 126.96.36.199.
Because these numbers are hard to remember, we use domain names instead. That way you only have to remember ‘google.com’ instead of remembering 188.8.131.52 (try typing both of these into your address bar–the IP address and ‘google.com’–and you’ll get Google in both cases).
How do I hook my new domain up to my hosting account?
If you have hosting at a place like Bluehost (affiliate link), you can still register your domain name at Namecheap and use it with your hosting account (Bluehost gives you a free domain with hosting, so this can come in especially handy if you’re running more than one site on your hosting account like I do).
Let’s go through the process step by step to get your newly registered domain name hooked up to your existing hosting account.
Once you’ve logged into your cPanel, find the ‘Addon Domains’ link under ‘Domain Management’ and click on it. You’ll get a form where you need to put in your new domain name.
You’re using a domain that is not already associated with your account, so type the domain name in the box provided:
Now you need to verify the ownership. It’ll give you a few options, but the only thing you need to worry about is the top part, where it gives you the nameservers you need to point your domain to.
Now we need to hop over to Namecheap and change the DNS records for your domain. Log in to Namecheap, go to Manage Domains, and then click on the domain you want to hook up to your hosting account.
On the left side of the screen, you should see a menu with an option to ‘Transfer DNS to Webhost’. Click on that. You’ll see a form where you need to put the information from Step 2 above: NS1.BLUEHOST.COM and NS2.BLUEHOST.COM.
Save the changes.
Back at Bluehost, the next step will ask how you want to classify this new domain. Stick with Addon Domain.
Finally, the last step is to tell Bluehost where you want the new domain’s files to live. If you’re on a shared hosting platform like Bluehost, you can have several different folders that all contain code for different domains. Create a new directory with the name of your domain (you can really put anything you want here, but it’s obviously easier to know what’s in the folder if you’ve named it something that makes sense).
Once you click Assign this domain, it may take a few minutes to process the changes, but you should be good to go! Then you’ll see this domain under your list of domains on Bluehost, and can even install something like WordPress at the new domain if you’d like.