The cloud certainly makes delivering email to your users easier but, for the vast majority of organizations, there's still going to be some setup required beyond simply activating the service. At a minimum, a domain must be purchased and configured to point to the new email host. The service provider can make this process very simple or they can make quite hard; this is something you should watch for in the provider's customer support forums as well as in our reviews. In most cases, there is a validation phase that will require some technical familiarity, though a few providers go so far as to walk even neophyte users through it step by step. Other solid services bolster excellent support with tutorial articles and videos that also walk you through the process. The worst will leave you to figure it out on your own.
Click the box next to any add-ons you would like. These include 99 cents-per-month domain privacy, which hides your contact information on domain listing sites; SiteLock for $1.99 per month, which “locks” a domain so it can’t be transferred without signing in; Codeguard Basic for $2.99 per month, which offers security features like one-click restores; and Bluehost’s $1.99 per month SEO Tools, (which include features like website submissions to search engines).
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Immediately after selecting your hosting plan, you will be presented with a search bar that you can use to search for a domain. Type a domain into the search bar under the “Create a new domain” label. Then, use the up and down arrow in the field labeled .com to select the domain extension you’d like. Finally, click “Next” to generate a list of available domain names.
A short, one-word name (ex. cat.com), and especially .com domains, will be pricy because simple titles have a lot of potential uses, meaning people probably already check them out on their own. If you are going after a registered .com domain, you will have to contact the current owner, and even then, prices could be high for misspellings and multiple word domains. In the past years, companies and individuals have settled for bizarre names, misspellings, and old tricks like adding “the” or “my” to the front; note, however, that this will also reduce domain performance.
NameStall is a $10 per month domain generator that stands out by allowing you to curate highly customized domain lists. Input a search term, and then customize the list by choosing various criteria. For example, you can choose to include only nouns, or focus on niches like real estate, transportation, design, or travel and hospitality. You can also choose from among 100-plus extensions. NameStall is best for companies needing niche-specific domain names.
Make sure you can control every aspect of your domain name. Many domain name registration companies don’t let you make changes to your domains yourself. You have to enter a request via their support systems and then wait days for assistance. Simple things like changing IPS tags and changing name servers should be possible via your control panel. Make sure you get a control panel and check out what the control panel lets you do.
Even if you’re not running a burgeoning business, there’s the personal branding component to what an email host can offer. Maybe you’re a graduate student building your personal portfolio and publishing your resumé online when your realize Corporate Hiring Managers are less likely to respond to [email protected] Wouldn’t it be nice to reach out from [email protected] instead? Or maybe you’re establishing a side biz to bring in some extra cash. Would you rather folks considering you for freelance work reach out to [email protected] or [email protected]?
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