Your first step is signing up for website hosting and a domain name. BlueHost (BH) is usually running an introductory rate of $3.95/month for web hosting. This fee includes registration of one domain name (your website name). If you don’t see the introductory rate when you go to the BH website, try typing “bluehost” and “coupon” in a Google search — this will usually lead you to a coupon website from which you can access BH’s introductory rate.
On the “select your plan” page, choose the “starter” plan.
The next screen is the domain name registration page. Most therapists in private practice will want to use their name and license title as their domain name, for example, jacquelineoconnormft.com. Using your name and .com (not .info, .biz, etc.) makes your site easier for prospective clients to find when they search. This is what the domain name registration page looks like:
The next page should confirm that your domain name is available and ask for your contact and billing information. Partway down this page there is also a “package information” section. I strongly recommend that therapists add the “Domain Privacy Protection” option (see the screenshot below). This ensures that when someone looks up the owner of your domain name (listed in a publicly available directory), they will see only BlueHost’s contact information rather than your own contact information.
You may be interested in some of the other options offered in this section though none of the others are absolutely critical. As an alternative to Site Backup Pro I install a backup plugin directly on your website which creates backup copies periodically and leaves them on the BlueHost server. I also keep copies of the design files and images that I’ve used to build your site.
SiteLock is an extra security feature. You can read about it here: http://www.bluehost.com/sitelock . If resources permit it is certainly a good feature to have.
And don’t forget — you can lock in the introductory rate for three years. See the first item “Account Plan” in the screenshot.
As part of the signup process you will be asked to create a password. After your account is set up you will email your domain name and password to me so that I can begin setting up your website.
If you have questions as you’re signing up for web hosting please don’t hesitate to call or email me.