Today, it's almost negligent to not own a website or at least a domain name; even if you are not a business owner.
A bad website with a good domain name can fetch returns well above that of real estate or just about anything else. If you are a business owner, professional, author or artist you definitely need a website.
Here's some basic info you should know.
Before we talk about domain names we need to discuss hosting.
Your website needs a physical computer to reside on. This is called your host. You could host your website yourself but it's expensive and challenging so the easy way is to just purchase hosting. You can pay yearly or monthly.
Your domain is the address your viewers type to see your website.
However, your domain name is programmed at your registrar (where you bought it) with another address called the nameserver address which is programmed to take you to the specif host computer.
When you purchase a domain it is likely set to the registrar's computers which may or may not be your host. If they are your host, then you are probably ready to start building your website.
If your registrar and host are different (common), you need to enter your host's domain server addressing (they give it to you when you buy your hosting) into your domain server addressing field at your registrar.
This is not hard, but seems scary when you've never dome it.
When setup correctly, someone types your domain name into their browser, your domain name is setup with your name server addressing to take the visitor to the specific computer that holds your website (your host), your host then serves your website to the viewer. All good!
Great Web Hosting
If you want a great web hosting service, I highly recommend Insty.me.
I've have tried at least a dozen web hosts, all with varying degrees of issues.
They all have had outages and problems.
I've been using Inty.me for 2.5 years now and I have never had any of my sites go down - not even once (which I kind of expect at some point, for some reason). They are more expensive than budget hosting (which I do not recommend unless absolutely necessary) and they provide auto responder services, publishing tools, PLR and are super nice and responsive.
Their web hosting alone is worth the money. They will also sell domain names, which makes setting up everything super easy.
If you want to save some money but still want good service, buy your domains at Namecheap.com and get Bluehost.com hosting. You need to make sure your domain name servers at Namecheap are set to point to the Nameserver address that bluehost gives you.
If you have already purchased your domain name at godaddy, you can still get insty.me or any other web host you want. You simply enter the host's nameserver address to point to the domain to the host's computer.
I'm not a big fan of Godaddy, but if you already have them and everything is fine, then stick with them. If you want to upgrade your hosting or want auto responder services then, again, I recommend changing to Insty.me. You can't beat 100% uptime!
I rarely buy any extensions but .coms. There are reasons to buy .nets, .infos, etc but they don't have the perceived value of a .com. Not even the new .whatever extensions.
Since a lot of the good domain names are already taken, finding a good one can be very challenging. You can pay someone to locate and bid on an established domain, but that can be very expensive.
Coming up with a good domain can be done if you spend a little time and are creative. I suggest focusing on the benefit your business provides. For example I recently picked up assistedwealth.com and risingvibes.com.
I can find two word domains all day long, but it took me years of practice and learning. Anyone should be able to find short three word domains fairly easily.
Domain And Hosting Support
I provide domain and hosting support as a free service to my clients.
Not only can your domain and website be a great investment, to a lot of people , it's a very necessary tool to sell your books and other products as well as sharing your news, accomplishments and disseminating helpful information to your followers (which you should be collecting and helping).
If you have any questions about domains, hosting or setting up and publishing your website, please contact me here or on Facebook.