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So you’re in the market to start a website, but you don’t know where to start. Maybe you’ve seen ads on daytime TV for companies that promise to make it easy for you to get started, only to find out later that the price is way more than what you were expecting. No names mentioned, by the way. I’ve only seen their ads on TV, and heard stories from people who’ve tried them out, so no firsthand experience to report.
Maybe you’ve heard about domain names, but are at a loss on what they are or where to even get started on finding one. Been there myself, I get how daunting it feels.
I’d been wanting to start up a website for years, ever since the dot-com boom of the late 90s and early 2000s when I was in middle school. I read about older kids having their own websites in the magazines I read religiously, and I wondered what that was like. One of them, an issue of Jump, talked about domain names, which is what we’re gonna be talking about today.
I actually still have it knocking around in one of two places I stored my old magazines: one of the two milk crates in my room, or in the basement in a magazine holder that lived under this end table I found in an empty house from two moves ago. That sucker stayed behind at the old house, and tbh, it should have stayed behind in the move there. NVM, I found it in one of the two milk crates, and it was the December/January/February 2000 issue. Yes, that’s literally what’s on the cover. Somehow I didn’t notice it until now, haha.
Since I wasn’t feeling good over the Labor Day weekend, I stayed in to hunt for it, started reading, and I found the domain name reference. It comes from a giant list they called “The Cool Chick Handbook,” pictured above. The 124th item on the list, says to register your name as a domain on the Internet. The whole domain name thing was lost on me back then. I had no idea what it was, how you’d get it, or who tf would want one anyway.
Let’s be honest here. I was an 8th grade girl who had no idea how to use the Internet until the last month of school that year, and didn’t even know what even half of the stuff about the Internet listed in that magazine even meant in the first place. The Internet didn’t come to my house until years later when I was in college, so until then, I was limited to the school’s computer labs, the public library’s hour-long limit, and seeing it at a friend’s house.
Hell, I remember being so impressed when one of my teachers in high school told us about their Geocities website. I visited it so many times at the library, waiting for them to update it. I found it on the Wayback Machine, and it’s so bare-bones and quaint-looking in its’ late 90s glory. Tbh, it’s kinda cute, too. I’m not gonna link it here out of respect for them, since they’ve obviously moved on, and idk if they’d like me blasting them on here.
Eventually I learned what a domain name was when the Internet came to my house in the late 2000s. I thought about it, and wondered what I’d have as a domain name if I ever decided to have my own website instead of the Geocities or the LiveJournal pages. Definitely not my name like in that list, though.
Of course, that led to other questions I had: where do I even get started? How do I know which ones are good, and which ones suck? How much will this cost? I heard of people spending a buttload of money on a domain name, and that clearly wasn’t gonna happen for me.
You may be wondering the same thing: how do I get started on building a website, and where can I find a cheap domain name, and one that isn’t something only Jeff Bezos can afford?
Well then, I’m glad you asked, since you’re in luck. Namecheap is where I got my own domain name, like I mentioned over in the “Hey, I want one!” section. While we’re on the subject of Namecheap, they’re currently offering a promotion for families to get first domain names for their kids or that special someone in their lives. Since back-to-school season’s upon us yet again, why not ring in the year with an investment in them?
My favorite thing about Namecheap’s domain hosting is that they offer encryption and SSL certificates as freebies instead of add-ons, along with Whois privacy protection. This way, you’re not getting weirdos harassing you or calling you at redunkulous hours.
Want to start up your own website, but money’s tight right now? Join the club, haha. Anyways, Namecheap’s got you covered, so snap up the domain name you want before someone else gets it. The icing on the cake is the deals they’ve got going on right now: use promo code NEWCOM598 to get a domain name ending in .com for roughly six bucks.
After you get your domain name and your hosting in place, drop a link to your website below, so I can give you a shout-out, and help you get some visitors.
Over to you, readers. Need help picking out a domain name? You’re welcome to PM me through here if you’d like, so nobody steals your thunder, and we’ll see what we can come up with. Already have your own domain name? Drop it like it’s hot in the comments below, and let’s talk.