By Emilio Basa
It's remarkable to me that so many artists have Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, MySpace, LinkedIn, Google+, etc., but they don't have their own website. I believe that every musician needs a website. Having your own website is very important because social media sites come and go, but owning your own website is all yours. I remember when Friendster was the hot ticket and when everyone was on LiveJournal. Then it was all about MySpace and now Facebook. In a couple of years, the next social media fad is going to come along. Now don't get me wrong, social media is an awesome tool to communicate with your fans and they are free. But having your own website means that YOU own it and it will be around for as long as YOU want.
Start a website
A domain is the first place you should start. Domain is just another fancy word for website, as well as the term URL and homepage. Buying (a.k.a registering) your domain (website) is you owning your own property in the huge world of the Internet. A domain could be .com, .net, .info, .biz, and several others. These are all considered domains. If you get lucky, your website could simply be your stage name + .com (www.yourstagenamehere.com). I got lucky with my domain in that no one else in the world had registered (bought) the domain.
Register a domain
You can register a domain at websites called registars. There are a ton of them out there, but the most popular ones are godaddy.com and namecheap.com. Simply go to their site and look for the words "register a domain" and click there. There will be a search field with a blank box and the option o f.com, .net, .info, .biz, etc. Type in the domain name that you want and see if it's available. If it is not, the register will give you different options for the domain. For instance, if yourstagenamehere.com was taken, I could take yourstagenamehere.net, your.stage.name.here.com, your-stage-name-here.com, etc. The possibilities are endless. You can name it whatever you want, but try to make it easy to remember.
Cost for a domain
A domain costs around $9.99 a year. For $10 a year (less than $1 per month), you can own your own website!
The next step is to get your domain "hosted" on a server or a web hosting company. That I plan to write about in another article. For now, I hope this article was a helpful tool in giving you the information you need to start your own website.
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