Link your domain name
Instructions to link your newly purchased domain name to your website
CHEAP IS GOOD!
As an indie writer not receiving any money for my work, I always look for cost-effective ways to do things. After a few years of looking around, I have assembled a collection of free softwares and tools to facilitate my work and still produce a quality product at a very low price.
Today, I’ll present an economical way to build a professional website. It’s basically a three steps process:
A – You buy a domain name which will be the key for visitors to land on your site. A naked domain name looks like this: www.mydomain.com.
B – You choose a free web platform to build your site. The platform will provide a site builder tool that you can design to your taste. In my case, this domain host is New Google Site.
C – You place your content on the site.
It’s that simple, although there could be a few snags along the way. So, let’s review these steps in detail.
1 – Buying the domain name is easy. Just take your credit card and go to Google domain or Namecheap. The cost for both suppliers is reasonable, and it’s a one year transaction. On Google domain, your domain will cost you CA $17 with a negligible increase on the annual renewals. Namecheap prices vary between CA $8 to $13 depending on their daily mood. These prices are for ".com" name.
2 – After the name is bought, Google will want to verify that you really are the owner of that property (domain).
If the name was bought from Google with a Gmail account and if you use that same Gmail account for verification, the process is automatic, immediate and painless. This is done on Google Domain/ manage my domain.
If the name was bought from NameCheap, Google will give you a verification string to be inserted in the Advanced DNS of NameCheap.
3 – You will need to customize the parameters on Google domain DNS manager or Namecheap Advanced DNS.
On Google domain/manage my domain, click on DNS and insert the following two records in ‘custom resource’ records:
a -name: @ type: A TTL: 1 h Data: 126.96.36.199
b -name: www type: CNAME TTL: 1 h Data: ghs.googlehosted.com
On NameCheap, the 3 following records need to be inserted in Advanced DNS manager:
a -type: A host: @ value: 188.8.131.52 TTL: automatic
b -type: CNAME host: www value: ghs.googlehosted.com
c -type: TXT host:@ value: google-site-verification= eojklsmnp42 TTL: automatic
Notice the TXT record above, this is the verification string given to you by Google.
4 – We will use New Google Site to host our site. It offers the best value for a basic site, with no bells and whistle. Here are the advantages:
- free hosting, no cost
- 15 Gb of storage space, shared with your Google Drive.
- fast and easy to learn and to edit
- ideal for newbies who wants to build a website for the first time
- no software to install on your computer
- it will integrate seamlessly with Google apps
- the administrator can access it from any computer
- the administrator has full control on page access
In the same Gmail account used to buy your domain name, go to Google sites login, click on the red dot at the bottom right to create a new site. Create the site and just write ‘Test’ in the heading, leave the rest of the site blank.
5 – in your New Google Site, click on the three vertical dots in the top menu and choose ‘custom URL’. A windows will open where your write your domain name: www.mydomain.com . If you bought your name from Google, it should be accepted right away. If you bought your name from NameCheap, Google will want to verify that it is your property, click on ‘verify your ownership’. This will take you to Google Webmaster central who will generate a verification string that needs to be inserted as a TXT record in NameCheap Advanced DNS manager. A Google name should work in a matter of minutes, a Namecheap name can take a few days to work because of the Google verification process.
It looks complicated but it is not. If you don’t feel conformable to do it on your own, feel free to contact me. I’ll help you for a modest fee (a coffee).
Free and easy is the best deal you can get, just what an indie writer needs.