When you buy your domain name and hosting from separate companies, connecting them is a little more complicated. In this tutorial, I will guide you on how to purchase a domain name from Namecheap and then connect the domain name with a separate hosting package using Hostgator as my example. We will start with buying the domain name from Namecheap. If you would like to quickly check to see if your domain name is available, click here to use the Domain Name Search Tool toward the bottom of the page. Here’s how to get started.
- Go to the Namecheap website
- In the middle of the page, enter in the domain name you would like and hit the enter button. You will be directed to a new page that will tell you whether your domain name is available or not. If it’s available, continue with the sign up form to create your account and pay for your domain name.
- If your domain name is not available, Namecheap may offer some alternatives or you can submit another name. Continue the process until you have a domain name and an account set up.
- You can also buy your hosting with Namecheap and keep everything in one place or continue on the tutorial and buy your hosting through Hostgator or another hosting company.
If You Buy Hosting With Hostgator
Using Hostgator as my hosting company example, below I will show you how to create an account. (I use Hostgator because I also create websites for clients.)
- Go to www.hostgator.com
- Click on Web Hosting
- Click Choose a Plan: I recommend the “Hatchling Plan” to start. This allows you one domain. The cheapest fee is $3.96 per month for 36 months. You can pay that all up front or be billed for it monthly. You can also choose to pay monthly or yearly. The fees change according to the time period you choose. If you decide later that you’d like to add more sites, you can do so by simply changing your hosting plan.
- Choose a domain option: There are two different domain options. One is to choose a domain name with your package. The other option is to add your previously purchased domain name to your hosting account. Choose one of the options and fill in the appropriate information.
- Create a username and security PIN. Be sure to save this information in a safe place. If you should ever need to call Hostgator, they will ask you for your account PIN.
- Fill out the billing information. You should receive a confirmation email with your login information.
- You will have two logins: one is for billing and the other is for the cpanel. The cpanel is where you will install WordPress, create an email account and manage your hosting.
Connect Your Domain Name to Your Hosting Account
After you buy your domain name and hosting account, you then need to connect the two together if they are not with the same company. Your domain name will need to point to your hosting account in order for your website to be seen online. (If both your domain name and hosting account are with the same company then this is not an issue.) You need the nameservers’ IP address(es) also known as DNS (domain name servers) to connect the domain name to the hosting account. Nameservers IP addresses reside with your hosting company. Your hosting company can help you with this. Your hosting account will also have tutorials on how to do this as well as how to install your WordPress site. The process is really not difficult. Once you have the nameservers IP addresses you then log into your domain name account where you bought your domain name and add the information there. This will point your domain name to your hosting company which will hold your site and all its files. To get the nameservers, log into the cpanel of your Hostgator account. You should see a screen similar to this:
In the lower left corner of your screen, you will see your Account Information. You want to look for the nameservers. The format is xx1234.hostgator.com. Write down this information. Next, log into Namecheap. Then click on Your Domains. You should then see a screen like the one below.
Click on the domain name then click Edit Selected. You should see a screen like this one.
This is where you will add in the IP address to connect your domain name to your hosting account.
- In the left panel, click on Domain Name Server Setup
- Tick the radio button that says, “specify custom DNS server”
- Fill in the DNS information you wrote down from your hosting account
- Click Save Changes
And that’s it! Congratulations! It can take up to 48 hours for the information to update.
You now know how to buy a domain name and hosting, set up a hosting account and connect the two together!
If you have any questions on this process, please be sure to leave a comment below.