How to choose a domain name and a host

If you want to set up a website or a forum, it can be a process which takes a lot of time. Setting up a blog is usually a bit quicker thanks to blogging platforms, of which there are many free ones on offer.

If you are self coding your blog like I did with my old technology blog, it will probably take just as long as a website to set up. However if you are going to use a blogging system to do all the hard work for you, like Blogger, WordPress, Typepad,Β Movable Type, Drupal etc. setting up your blog is likely to be a lot quicker.

WordPress prides itself on its famous ‘5-minute installation‘ but before you get there, and this is the same for any type of site, you need to choose a URL (domain name) and host.

The Official WordPress LogoSome places offer you free URL’s, like WordPress(.com) and Google Sites, however they often restrict the control you have over your site – for example you may not be able to have ads on the site, or you may not be able to edit themes.

Assuming you want to have a unique URL/web address, then you have the challenge of choosing your URL, and where to host it.

Deciding upon a URL

Choosing a URL can be very hard, however my best advice is to go with your brand. If you are setting up a computer review blog, and it is called ‘ComBlog’, then try to find a URL with ComBlog in it.

Some people would say work out what keywords you want to show up in the search results for, and choose your domain taking those into account, e.g. freecomputerreviews.net; yes such domains may help you in the short term, however once you are established, I think that a branded domain is always best.

Going back to the ‘ComBlog’ example, domains like ComBlog.com and ComBlog.info would be great for your site, as they are short – therefore easy to remember and simple enough to spell.

The type of hosting

The next step is choosing what type of hosting you want. Do you want Windows or Linux? If you just want to run a simple website, I would suggest a Windows powered domain, however if you want to run something like WordPress or many other blogging platforms, you will need a Linux server.

Your host

After that you have to choose who is going to host your site. If you have a server at home/work and that is running 24/7 (as if it goes down, so will your site if it is hosted there) then you could host it there. However for more bandwidth, space and security, you probably want to get someone else to do it.

The problem is, who to choose! You could go to individual hosts websites, and try and work out which one is best for you. Alternatively, you could go to a web hosting comparison site, like Web Hosting Search. Such sites can offer you a very detailed overview of different hosts and what they can provide. They also contain users opinions – helping you further to choose the right company.

One useful tool that such sites offer (specifically Web Hosting Search) is a WordPress hosting comparison. This can help you find hosts that offer WordPress hosting – if that is what you are looking for.

Things to check

Before choosing your host, look at what they are offering you. Are your emails free, and can you have as many addresses as you like (e.g. talk@ComBlog.info, hello@ComBlog.info, John@ComBlog.info etc.)?

Also, how much traffic can your site receive each month? I recommend that you have it unlimited (or as high as possible) as there is nothing worse than your host cutting you off because you are too popular! This happened to Chadrack, owner of WebIncomeJournal.com not so long ago.

Also how reliable is your prospective host? Is your site likely to go offline a lot, or do they have a 0 down-time policy?

Some hosts offer you your domain free if you host it with them, so do look out for offers πŸ™‚

Are you looking to set up a website? What is your advice to those who are, or if you are, is this helpful?

Learn from the best for success in blogging

This is the sixth in a series of articles in which I hope to share with you my knowledge of how and why Technology Bloggers has been so successful, so fast. Learn more about this series by reading our Technology Bloggers success article.

Ever heard the phrase:

Learn from your mistakes, but if possible, learn from others mistakes.

Well, this can also apply the other way around.

Learn from your triumphs/successes, but if possible, learn from others triumphs/successes.

If you learn what works from others, you can be successful much faster, as you can avoid all those newbie blogger blunders. What lovely alliteration πŸ˜‰

Homer Simpson slapping his hand to his forehead, whilst shouting 'D'oh!'

Learn from your mistakes, or better still, learn from others mistakes

So who did I learn from? Many great bloggers that I have been following for some time, as well as myself. I had run three blogs (and still run two of them) before I started Technology Bloggers, and I had learn a lot about what works and what doesn’t in my time.

For example, my ‘recent commenters’ widget on my philosophy blog showed me how important competition is. A lack of comments on my social blog and now retired technology blog taught me that not giving readers the ability to comment was probably a bad idea. My comment enabled, WordPress powered philosophy blog affirmed this.

But as I mentioned earlier, most of my leaned ‘success strategies’ are from other bloggers. Justin (from Dragon Blogger) taught me how it was important to create a comment policy. Justin and Ari, (from AriHerzog.com) taught me that GASP (Growmap Anti-Spambot Plugin) is one of the best anti-spam plugins available.

Chadrack (from Web Income Journal) runs a monthly top commenter contest using a ‘Top Commenters’ widget, this showed me that it would be wise to add a ‘Top Commenters’ widget to Technology Bloggers to thank commenters and encourage competition. Chadrack and Diana (from Elephants Eye) showed me the importance of reading your commenters responses and replying to them if you feel their comment needs a reply.


Lillie (from Lillie Amman’s Blog) compiles a list each month, thanking her readers for their comments, I used a similar method to thank our readers in my the importance of comments post.

One of the most important lessons I learned is that you need to be kind to your readers and writers. For that reason, Technology Bloggers is a dofollow blog. We have dofollow comemnts and use KeywordLuv luv to help you get the most out of your commenting experience. We also use dofollow CommentLuv πŸ™‚

A whole host of great blogs, as well as past experience has shown me that it would be wise and fair to be a 100% dofollow blog.

You are not on your own out there, their are other bloggers too. Find the successful ones, learn why they are successful, and then use this to make yourself successful.

Over and out!

How promoting your blog’s launch is key to an early success

This is the second in a series of articles in which I hope to share with you my knowledge of how and why Technology Bloggers has been so successful, so fast. Learn more about this series by reading our Technology Bloggers success article.

They say that if your parents give you a good start in life, you will go far. It is of course possible to go far by yourself, but a good start significantly improves your chances of greatness.

I believe that you can apply this ethos to blogging too. A good start to a blog, usually (with exceptions of bloggers who lie/cheat etc.) helps towards guaranteeing the success of a blog.

For a blog to be given a good start, one key thing is needed: promotion. Promoting the blog can be done in various ways, as I am about to explain.

Social Media

10 years ago, blogging was in it’s infancy, and you could argue that social media didn’t even exist. Now social media is one of the most powerful tools that a blogger can have in his inventory.

I believe that social media played a part, (not a massive one, but a valid one all the same) in the initial success of Technology Bloggers, via helping promote the blog.

Technology Bloggers has a Facebook page. Now this would be a missed opportunity if I didn’t use this article to get a tiny plug for the page in, so here it is. Please like Technology Bloggers for updates straight to your feed. How? Click ‘like’ on our sidebar button, it really is that simple!

Anyway, we also have a Twitter and YouTube account. These all established the blog across the social web before the blog had even started posting.

Twitter's LogoAt the time the number of people following our social media pages was relatively small, but, if just a few people are subscribed and visit the site, see the great content, cool design, dofollow links etc. and tell a few friends or even better, blog about the blog, then that’s a lot of traffic gained from a relatively small number of subscribers.

Social media only played a small part in our promotion though. This technology blog had a lot more than that to get it off the ground!

about.me and Technorati

When the blog launched, I registered Technology Bloggers with Technorati and about.me. These further advanced Technology Blogger out into the world wide web.

Again only a few people are likely to have initially found Technology Bloggers via our about.me profile, or our via searching for technology articles in Technorati and having our blog come up. Hoverer, again these few people all add up.

Friends Sites

The majority of our Technology Bloggers traffic initially came from referrals from sites that I regularly visited and commented on or guest blogged for. The importance of comments is very great.

Comments can help to generate you a lot of positive traffic, and valuable links. The people who’s blogs you comment on are likely to visit your blog, so too are the commenters of that blog, especially if it is one with a ‘tight community’.

Guest blogging is also a great way to get traffic quick. On behalf of Technology Bloggers I have guest blogged in an attempt to raise the blogs profile. Finding high traffic, good quality sites with large reader numbers, which allow guest posts is a gift.


Guest blogging is very very useful as it helps to get you known around the blogosphere to both bloggers and comments. It also helps you to get quality, keyword rich backlinks to your site. Guest blogging can also give you a new perspective on blogging and a sense of direction.

My Other Sites

If you are thinking of setting up a blog, website or forum you would be daft not to use your existing sites to help promote the newbie. I did exactly this for Technology Bloggers at it’s launch. I wrote about it and linked to it from my website (Christopher Roberts Website) my social blog, my philosophy blog and my (now archive) technology blog.

To sum up…

When starting a blog it is really important that you promote it in as many ways as possible. You could look at financial advertising, or simply just use social media, online profiles and links from your own site. Build yourself a reputation up and promote your blog in as many ways as you can think, and you are sure to have a smooth and fairly rapid launch.

If you are looking to start a blog, good luck. Also stay tuned to this series, as you may find some more useful info in next weeks article. Finally if you ever need any help, contact us via our contact page.

How your reputation as a blogger helps lead you to success

This is the first in a series of articles in which I hope to share with you my knowledge of how and why Technology Bloggers has been so successful, so fast. Learn more about this series by reading our Technology Bloggers success article.

When starting a blog, website or forum there are two ways you can do it. In the dark, or with a reputation. 99% of the time, it is better to start a site with a reputation, as I have found that your online history can significantly affect the success of your next blog.

History provides you with many things; especially experience, reputation and knowledge. When I founded Technology Bloggers I had already run a technology blog for almost two years. This had given me a lot of experience in the area, specifically things like where to get ideas from, keywords to use to help my articles get found in the SERP’s, how to write interesting tech posts (I hope!) and many other things.

Christopher Roberts Technology Blog had also given me a reputation. This reputation has been carried with me to Technology Bloggers, so people who liked my writing before are likely to have follow me – give me a shout out if you did πŸ™‚

The reason that I said 99% of the time it’s better to start with a reputation, is because very few people manage to get themselves a bad reputation, sometimes unintentionally.

Tracks in the Snow

We will forever be known by the tracks we leave - our reputation

Apart from blogging, another way to build up a good reputation is as a commenter. I comment on loads of blogs, as I think comments are very important. If you have had me comment on your blog or have seen me comment on a blog, then you will probably know that I have a reputation for challenging the author, and sometimes writing almost article length comments.

Challenging the author gets you to know people better in the blogosphere as those sort of comments jump out at people much more than ones like “Great article, cheers!” do. Don’g get me wrong though, I only disagree if I don’t agree with the author. If I like your content I will congratulate you too!


Commenting also has another element. By placing your link on other peoples blogs you are getting some effectively free publicity. People read you comment, like your style, check out your blog. It’s that simple! Sometimes πŸ˜‰

If you are new to blogging, don’t worry if you have no reputation, look for blogs that you enjoy reading, and ones which also write in your niche and comment on them, that should, in some way help to build up a good reputation for yourself – providing they are good comments.

I have been into blogging for just over two years now, but I have also built (and currently maintain) many websites; these have further advanced my reputation as a writer. Some people may not know me from my blog, but as the ‘maintenance man’ for the Royal Marines Association, City of Wolverhampton Branch’s website, for example.

My social blog and philosophy blog along with my website have also advanced my ‘audience base’ and they have hopefully also strengthened my reputation as a blogger.

By the time I started Technology Bloggers I had (and still have) a lot of powerful contacts within the tech blog industry. These people can be fantastic resources in times of crisis and trouble, one of the other reasons that I highly recommend interacting with other online.

Basically what I am trying to say is that it is actually years of building and preparation that is part of the reason why Technology Bloggers has been successful. If you are new to blogging you may find that it can be hard to start with, but by guest blogging, commenting and interacting with other bloggers, can get you there!