AskPat 34 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey what's up, everybody? This is Pat Flynn and welcome to Episode 34 of AskPat. This is where I answer your online business questions, five days a week.
The resource I want to mention for you at the top of the show here is Bluehost. They are the domain and hosting company that I recommend if you're just getting started. My affiliate link is AskPat.com/bluehost. [Full Disclosure: I'm a compensated advisor and an affiliate for Bluehost.]
I love them because they're cheap, $3.95 a month, great customer service, one-click WordPress install, and a number of my sites still use them. My main site, SmartPassiveIncome.com, has actually upgraded from shared hosting to dedicated hosting. I just want to give you that information. Again, AskPat.com/bluehost, which has to do with today's question from Janelle. Let's hear from Janelle talking about domains and hosting.
Janelle: Hi, Pat. My name is Janelle. My question is about how many different domains and/or hosting accounts that I should get. I have some already that I'm going to start using for a Spanish book for teachers that I've written. I have a couple of other unrelated businesses that I want to pursue as well to build niche sites for just to see how it works.
Should I be getting a different domain name and hosting for each or can I host all of them on the same Bluehost account but different domain names? Since they aren't related to each other, I wouldn't be able to legitimately link to them, so I didn't think having the same hosting account would be a problem. I'd love to hear what you have to say. Thanks.
Pat Flynn: Janelle, thank you so much for your question. There are a number of different parts to what you were asking. The first part I want to address is you mentioned your personal website. I think it's really important for people if possible to get their personal website, their personal domain now. If it can't be done in .com, .somethingelse would work. I had PatFlynn.me for awhile and then I tried to get PatFlynn.com for two years and the guy who had it wouldn't sell it to me.
Finally he needed some cash and he came to me and so I have PatFlynn.com now, which is nice. I have my kids' names and all that stuff too. It's really important especially now in how important personal brands are. It's good to have that. If you're going to start a separate site or a separate business, you could start your business. For instance, something that Amy Porterfield does, she is a personal brand and that is her business: AmyPorterfield.com. That's her name.
If that's all you're going to do, then you have nothing else to worry about. That being said, you could perhaps purchase the other extensions that go along with your name. I know there's a good jillion of them now, but just get the main ones if you're worried about somebody else squatting on those other sites. For instance, I have smartpassiveincome.com and also smartpassiveincome.net which goes to the .com site. It redirects, however—somebody else has gotten smartpassiveincome.org and they're writing stuff on there that it's not me.
Potentially somebody could get confused, although I do now have that trademark, so I could reach out to that person and I just very may will, we'll see, and say, “Hey, you're using my domain name.” That's actually, now that I'm saying that, is probably something I should do. Anyway, going back to your question, get the other extensions if you can. If it's not .com or .net, or even if you can't get .org for your business name that you want, it's not the end of the world.
As long as you create a brand that's memorable and that provides value, people don't care what that domain name is. They're going to keep coming back. There are other sites like fizzle.co, which uses the .co extension. There's sites that have been around for awhile like erica.biz. That's been doing really well as well. Of course if you have a business and it's not the .com, I wouldn't freak out about that anymore.
I mean, there are very successful sites using other extensions. .net, for example, ProBlogger.net or ZenHabits.net. Again, if you could build a brand around that and create content that's valuable, people aren't going to care what it is. They'll just know it as that and keep coming to it. Of course, you can get the .com if you can get it. Google used to weigh the .coms more than the other ones, but now that's less important.
Just create a brand that's good and a domain name that is memorable and an experience that's memorable. People are going to keep coming back to you. Now another part of your question was, okay, you have your one domain. If you want to create another domain or another website, do you buy another hosting account to host that domain or can you host that domain on the existing host that you already have?
Those are pretty much your options. If you wanted to create a new site, you have the option of just paying for the domain name and hosting it on that same server or you could buy a new hosting account which will have a different server and then you can host your domain name on that. You either have one hosting account or separate hosting accounts for your sites. I think it really depends on what you're doing.
I feel like you can host maybe three or four on one if they're somewhat related and even if they're not. I have niche sites. I used to build niche sites quite often and I would have three or four under one hosting account. Even though they were all separate, it just was a great way to save a lot of money of course and also keep things organized. One login for the hosting account to view all these domains and see how they're doing and keep things fresh and stuff.
I separated them out after three or four because I felt it was important to diversify. For instance, if one server went down, all those sites hosted on that server would go down as well. That was something I experienced last year. In March of last year, my site was attacked, Smart Passive Income, when it was on a dedicated server, a different one than I'm on now. Not only was Smart Passive Income hosted on that, but about 10 other websites including Security Guard Training HQ and other ones.
It didn't do well for me. All of those sites went down. That's one argument for having different hosting accounts, but I think if you have a couple on one or even two or three, it's okay. There's one last thing I want to mention. If you plan on perhaps taking this business and really going hardcore with it so you can exit or sell it, which I would never go into a business saying, “Hey, I'm going to create this business to sell it,” but it's something you might want to keep in the back of your mind.
It's a lot easier if it's not already connected to something that you have that's personal, right? You want to make sure that whatever business accounts you have, you have your business information in there, your business checking account is paying for it and all that stuff so it's separated. Best practices: always separate your personal stuff from your business stuff. Of course if you have a personal brand, your personal is your business where you're just the face of your business.
Of course still you should use your business checking accounts and things like that to pay for it and have your business name be the person who owns it and things like that. Anyway, those are my thoughts on domain names and having multiple. I know some people who have 50 domain names on one hosting account. It gets quite ridiculous and that's scary. You want to diversify a little bit in case something happens to that server. Servers go down from time to time. It's just part of the thing, so diversify a little bit.
If you're just starting out and you want to try a few things, I would put them all on the same host just to try things out. One of them might do really well and then you can forget about the other ones or cancel those and roll with the one that's doing really well for you. Thank you so much for your questions, Janelle. I hope that answers it. There's a lot of things going on there, but I think the most important thing is to really just get started.
Janelle, thank you so much for your question. An AskPat t-shirt will be sent your way. If you have a question out there and you want it answered or you want to potentially have it featured here on the show, head on over to AskPat.com. See the bank of other questions there and use the widget there to ask your own. Lastly, I want to mention the resource again. That is Bluehost, the company that I recommend if you're just getting started out. That's AskPat.com/bluehost. [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.]
It's $3.95 a month for hosting. You have to pay annually though, so it's not like you could pay per month, just so you know. You get a discount going through that link askPat.com/bluehost.
Lastly, as always, I want to leave you with a quote. This is a quote from Mark Twain. He says, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” Make sure that even though you're going to be maybe buying all these domains and worrying about the domains, the domain is just a domain, right? You have to get started and start putting content into those sites, into those domains that you get.
Don't go crazy with buying a whole bunch of sites and trying a whole bunch of different things at the same time. You really need to focus on one of them. If you've spread yourself too thin, you're never going to give any of those things you try out a chance. One thing at a time and just get started. That's really the secret. You're going to go nowhere if you don't at least just get started. All right, take care. Thank you so much and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat.
My preferred company for hosting your website, along with easy WordPress installation. [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.]