Starting Your Blog: Choosing the Domain Name & Hosting

Ever thought of starting your own blog with dedicated domain name? First things that comes to mind is how to and where to start with?

With the increasing density of personal blogs and online businesses, number of people who know these basics have increased.

But still there is huge crowd out there who have the writing skills, talent and passion to go online but don’t know how to start their own blog.

Not restricting it to the personal level only, this tutorial is for all those people out there who will be able to start their own blog from scratch, after this tutorial, hopefully.

Since this is a complete tutorial for newbie’s so each and every aspect will be covered or at least it will be tried to.

Following is the checklist to start your blog from scratch:

  • Getting Domain Name
  • Getting Hosting
  • Making Up the Server
  • Introduction to WordPress
  • Dashing the T’s and Dotting the I’s

Getting Domain Name:

First of all, let’s have a look at what actually a domain name is. Domain name is just like the name of a house, not the address, as you need to visit some place you need name as well as the address and it must be unique.

A domain name can be regarded as the name of the house or building whereas the Internet Protocol (IP) Address  is just like the address of a place.

Domain names are merely unique words ending with specific letters. Be it a region focused name, like for Pakistan we use .pk domains or it is internationally accepted famous names, known as Top Level Domains (TLDs) with .com as most common, it is always unique.

For instance, ProPakistani.Com is a domain, so is ProPakistani.PK.

You need to buy a domain from domain registrars, such as godaddy.com or name.com. When you purchase a domain, you are provided with a domain management panel from where you can change the settings of your domain as where to point it. (we will tell you later about what pointing a domain means) For instance, you can point your domain to the hosting account where your website files are located.

Most people think this is the central part and you really need to find something different. Yes you should, but I read somewhere online, all good domain names and girls are already taken.

And as per my own experience and observation, it is not the domain name that matters but the content. Yes you can disagree with me by arguing the fact that search engines drive you traffic from keywords and good keywords in domain name can drive you handsome traffic but what to do with that traffic when the content is not up to the mark.

So get a good and attractive domain name that is just easy to remember and confusion-less. For example, avoid using characters like 0 (zero) in place O and Z in place of S.

In a single line, good domain name should be something like you do not need to spell it to someone else while passing verbally.

Still there are very famous domains out there which utterly contradict the point I gave above and common example is flickr which is surely derived from flicker without e.

Get the fact that almost 90% (rough estimate) domain names that are ruling the cyber world at the moment do not make any sense, but it took time for them to get settled, and as I said earlier, it is not the name, it is the content that matters.

Surely the next question is where to buy the domain and which is reliable. As you can google, there are many registrars out there but following should be preferred.

  • NameCheap (Recommended)
  • GoDaddy
  • Enom
  • TUCows

So once you have chosen the name and registrar, next part is how to pay. Since the absence of paypal is already being discussed very much and it really effects but still we have another solution. Simply get the UBL Wiz Card for online shopping and you are ready to go. Complete procedure on how to shop from UBL WIZ and Teen Internet card has already been discussed in detail.

Approximate price of a TLD is $10 which is approximately 860 PKR. So keep on calculating how much you really need to start a blog. Note that these are yearly based charges and you have to pay them again after one year of domain subscription for it’s renewal.

Getting Hosting:

So now you have registered a domain name and are ready to go with the next part, infact the most important one, choosing the hosting provider.

Choosing a web host is actually getting some space to put your things online. Hosting accounts are different in types, shared hosting, VPS, dedicated server, cloud hosting, etc depending upon the resources.

Whatever the type is, it’s purpose is the same, to provide you with the resources for your data that will be available online. Once you get a hosting account, you can park your domain here and by accessing that domain name, you can access your data.

As in our case, we are going to start a blog, all your blog data will go here, for instance if you are going to start a wordpress blog, your blog files, including all images, theme files, function files and your blog databases will be kept here.

Now it depends whether you are going to attract the huge amount of traffic like making a news, technology, telecom etc blog or it will be just a personal blog with fewer number of visitors.

In both the cases i would recommend to get a VPS or Dedicated server, depending upon your needs, rather than the shared hosting. Low end VPS are now available at very affordable price so better opt for the territory of your own and be the king than to share with someone else.

There was a time when these hostings were used to be very costly but competition among companies results in benefit of the customer.

You can simply google  about companies providing cheap VPS solutions, also you can visit WebHostingTalk.com’s Section for hosting offers as per your budget. Or visit www.LowEndBox.com to find low end cheap VPS solutions.

Keep in mind that at start, a VPS with 512MB Ram, 5-10GB space and 200GB+ bandwidth will be enough for you (forget about CPU share at this moment).

Average price for a low-end VPS is $5 per month which is approximately 500PKR per month. I preffer finding a good yearly deal that will bring handsome discount for you and will also be hassle free as you do not need to worry every month about paying for the server dues.

For analysis and comprehensive guide on how to choose the host meeting your requirement, simply go though the detailed guide, How to choose best web host for you.

So uptil now, we have spent almost 1350 rupees (Rs. 850 for domain and Rs. 500 for web hosting).

Once you are done, now it’s time to get a little break since you have already worked alot in choosing the domain name and web host provider.

Note: This is first of many tutorials relating to WordPress and Hosting issues.


  • This is nice tutorial and easy too..interesting part would be about installing the blog and all other things, i want to learn that.

  • A very useful post. Anxiously waiting for the next episode. Please also contemplate covering details like when to shift to a VPS? I mean if one starts with a basic sort of plan? Also what’s so bad about shared hosting?

  • Noted and will be explained in the next part, but just to give you a brief note.

    Keep on looking at your server stats, how much resources it is using, including I/O resources, mainly the RAM.

    When you have the VPS, you can check server load and can manage things to balance that while if you are on shared host you will never get notified about increasing load but in most cases you will get a account suspension mail from your hosting provider that you are going over-resources that effects the other customers.

    And when your current VPS load always stays beyond normal, often needs reboot to make it stable, RAM usage goes beyond threshold level, note that it is the time for shift.

    You don’t really need to shift but can upgrade the same plan by asking your hosting provider without any data loss, in most cases.

    Rest will be covered in detail on how to have keep an eye on your server, in next part.

  • If your goal is to put up a blog, why not simply use Google Apps? Aside from the domain registration fee ($10/year for .com, .net etc) the rest is all free.

    Also if you want to write applications you can use Google App Engine which to some extent is free but after a certain limit it can cost $9/month. If you dont want to use Blogger for your blog you can use any of the many free open source blog applications for App Engine.

      • Maybe you need to do more research here. I totally don’t understand your point. What is it about Google Apps that prevents a dedicated domain name?

        I have had hosted .com and .pk domains using Google Apps. If I want I can create a blog using an app with Google App Engine and point http://www.mysite.com to that (I can also point blog.mysite.com or some other name to it instead). Or alternate I can create a blog at blogger.com and in its settings point http://www.mysite.com or blog.mysite.com or whatever.mysite.com to that. No one will even know the realname.blogspot.com address.

            • Shahid, so you think google apps will give me equal amount of control and scalability that i enjoy with our dedicated server(s)?

              Will blogger entertain me with all the features that wordpress has to offer me?

              Okay i agree with you that google sites is a good point to start with, but you will have to move on one day – for scalability, productivity and the functionality.

              On a side note, why you have to differ with us, on 200 percent occasions?

              • — so you think google apps will give me equal amount of control and scalability that i enjoy with our dedicated server(s)?

                You get less control and more scalability. you know this.

                For scalability, just consider the fact that your blog if hosted on the backend at blogger.com will survive all the traffic it receives. Whereas any VPS or shared hosting you get for same amount of money will not. #1 link on reddit.com? No problem.

                You have to give up some control, sure. you don’t get to be root on a server and install your own software. If you want dynamic content, or to run applications, use App Engine to create an application or use one of many thousands of free open applications for your purpose. App Engine will cost more than Rs 0 if you use a lot but it all depends on tasks you run.

                For about Rs 900/year (just the cost of a .com domain hosted with google), I think it gives you unbeatable value for money. For most people reading your blog, it is a better offer than waking up one day to find out someone broke into a PHP script and deleted or copied your database. What do you think?

                — Will blogger entertain me with all the features that wordpress has to offer me?

                List me the features you NEED that you think you cannot get from google backend (and I dont just mean blogger). for starting, you don’t have to worry about load balancer, DDOS protection, Anti-spam, people trying to hack your content because your version of ssh is too old. You dont have to worry about your mail server being blocked by RBL. 0 holes. 0 attacks.

                Google does not force you to 100% use their infrastructure. Don’t like blogger comments? Use disqus or something. Edit your own blog template, no one stops you.

                — Okay i agree with you that google sites is a good point to start with, but you will have to move on one day – for scalability, productivity and the functionality.

                That depends. Some people are 100% satisfied with what Google offers, ever since Google Apps was offered and especially after App Engine. They see no reason to leave. Some I know are unhappy because of new App Engine pricing, but even for them it is hard to find good hosting for apps that cost less than $9/month.

                — On a side note, why you have to differ with us, on 200 percent occasions?

                If you go up and read my original comment, I did not disagree with anything. I pointed to an alternative not mentioned by Ahsan. So I don’t understand this accusation?

                Do you really think I am wrong when I disagree? Why? Take it to email if you dont want to post here. I don’t understand, do you just want people who 100% agree with you when you post? People have different opinions, or is that “banned” too? I disagreed with you and look at what I have in my comment: information your readers could use to make a better decision.

  • I disagree. Starters should go for shared hosting. It is cheap and easy to manage. I have been on shared hosting for 18 months and never had any problem.

  • I have hosting plan unlimited for 2 years. Any body wants to start blogging with me ? contact
    rajoka[at]live.com.

  • One must know wordpress setup. Creative designer and passionate blogger. If you want to spread your word.. just start your blog free with me…
    I have 2 year unlimited hosting
    domain name wikineeds.com.
    contact me at
    Mehmood Rajoka
    rajoka[at]live.com
    03006533434

  • @Shahid Saleem

    Boss, i respect your thoughts and understandings, but in my humble opinion, here are things blogger won’t offer me…

    – No bots other than google are allowed on blogger
    – you can’t change/edit/alter robot.txt
    – You won’t get the plugin support that we do have from wordpress community
    – Other applications, for instance Vbulliten, can’t be installed there (i suppose)
    – We shifted from our previous domain propakistani.com to propakistani.pk with htaccess rules, if i were on blogger – tu that was something not possible.

    And at top of all – with our own server/hosting and an application like wordpress is second to none when it comes to SEO.

    Since our inception, i have spent ZERO rupees on SEO or anything – still, i believe we are doing pretty good.

    Last thing, as a cheaper alternate, blogger or google apps is good. but when it comes to comparison, you may need to favor wordpress.

    Sorry if you were offended by my earlier comment

    • I went to Yahoo and searched for a unique word that I posted on my blog in late 2009. Yahoo had a link to the page (yahoo search powered by bing). So even if you cannot change robots.txt, other sites can index you. I tried to use wget to mirror my blog, wget checks for robots.txt and does not download if it is restricted. Guess what, it downloaded pages without complaint.

      – You won’t get the plugin support that we do have from wordpress community

      How many times are plugins cause of problems for wordpress setups and upgrades? Too often. See below of my comment for why.

      – Other applications, for instance Vbulliten, can’t be installed there (i suppose)

      You can find many free (and paid) forums softwares for App Engine. Easy to integrate Adsense too with them.

      – We shifted from our previous domain propakistani.com to propakistani.pk with htaccess rules, if i were on blogger – tu that was something not possible.

      I can easily think of one way to do it with App Engine but it is not “native” to blogger, true. I have not investigated how to do it with Google Apps, there might be a way to redirect.

      For SEO, what makes you think wordpress has anything to do with your SEO success? Anything wordpress puts in your page template you can have placed in google blog. Again I said it before, you can use app engine for blog and that gives you even more control.

      You left out main thing I thought you would mention: log files. No log files with Google (except App Engine), but you get analytics instead.

      I will NEVER prefer any PHP software, ever. go to any exploits notification list for exploits in past five years and count the number of times PHP software is there. Even wordpress has problems. Do you think you can set up a wordpress install and walk away from administration duties for a year, two years?

      Lastly, consider things based on what the average reader of your website is capable of. Are they capable of learning enough linux, apache, knowing how to configure php accelerator and all security related to that JUST for their own site? How much time between they get their credit card and make payment and the time they launch site?

    • Oh, and for the record, I use both solutions. For my wife domain it is almost 100% on Google (remaining part is nameserver which is elsewhere). For my things I have part on Google and part on dedicated hosting. For one work client they have website on VPS but mail and everything else on Google. For another they are 100% VPS.

      • uncle shahid saleem ap apni website toh batayein mujhe ap ke site dekhne hai kaise hai

  • Hi,
    I want to ask that if a person hasnt dont any kind of studies in computer science or IT but has a good know-how of computers and internet then,under this scenario,will he still be able to produce a well earning website/blog(say,rs.50k monthly).I also want to start my own blog and i am considering blogger.com for a start.
    I thrive on the computer-internet duo and this is my only life line.this coupled with the fact that i am always learning and thinking suggests that i may be able to produce some successful blogs.
    any further comments or suggestions will be much appreciated.
    Thanks.

  • Hello Every,

    (all good domain names and girls are already taken.)
    it’s true :p

    Nice work Ahsan Javed But dear Buying a VPS at this stage is not a good idea. managing a VPS is hard job come on 5$ vps/month plz tell me where i buy it :p
    good VPS 512Ram 30GB spcae 500GB to 700GB bandwidth with Cpanel license 25$ to 30$ per month
    remember if you buy a Cpanel you must buy a Cpanel or DirecAdmin which is separate from VPS cost.
    But if you buy a VPS from offshore hosting VPS+Cpanel cost you 20$ to 25$ per month but risky.

    SO STRONGLY SUGGEST new Bloggers at this point of stage buy a good sheared hosting account from good host take your time do some research.

    In Pakistan many host have Alpha Reseller account. in some way its good in other ways it not Even 2 year age we start with Alpha Account now MASHALLAH we have our own server :p
    and several VPS machines :p and i always love to play servers :)

    For SEO if you are from karachi contact me. our university start a courses about SEO

  • You can research on your own, I am in blogging since 5 years. Take my 1 rupee advice,
    If you want hosting in Pakistan

    Go with NEXUS.PK only
    Server Sea guys really cheap ones

    Second if you want hosting in US
    Go with Blue Host / Host Gator

    I found these hosts reliable and they provide satisfactory support.

  • @Zobia Javed thanks buddy :)
    hmmm NEXUS.PK most of our client complain about them that they stole there domain or they also charge if you request them for domain’s EPP

    BlueHost or Hostgator they are unlimited so it’s mean there is linode limits it’s Linux term like limiting your email data, visitors per second, FTP uploads, SQL quires per second & many more

    We also offer Unlimited :D but it’s marketing term actually we give you 200GB space and 600GB Bandwidth :p
    and we know you never ever reach that numbers so there is NO LINODE limits in our host :p
    if you fill out your storage & bandwidth limits which is not possible we add more free of cost and even without telling you, i feel its important to tell you

    • There is a sayings. If you want to live better in the world then please try more to prove yourself correct. But never try to prove someone else wrong.

      I used Nexus.PK for almost five years, It handled 35K visitors per day on one of my click bank affiliate site. My products were even hosted at that account download size for approx 340 MB.
      It worked like a charm.

      • can you provide me the domain you host with them?
        and i have a phone recode emails recode between my clients and Nexus.
        they demanding there normal domain renewal fee if someone request EPP code and ICANN rule there is no charges and everyone independent to move domain any where :)

    • I have had a very bad experience with nexusdotpk, their servers lack in security, ports are open which most of the hackers use as back doors, theisre is no security against DDOS attacks, same is with creativeon

  • Awesome tutorial on domain and hosting and I like your thought which you are written in your blog “all good domain names and girls are already taken.”.

  • very good article..
    I just want to ask that do you know when and in which months the Discounts are offered on domain name purchases by Namecheap…
    plz tell

  • Blogging is quite interesting stuff, but it’s all in vain if you can’t find a good hosting and a
    perfect domain for your website. If you are thinking to lunch a good blog in
    Pakistan then grab .PK domain its specially designed top level country code
    domain name (ccTLD) for Pakistan. It will help you to target Pakistani audience
    over internet.


  • close
    >