Owning Your Podcast Space: Setting up Domains & Hosting

The PodCraft Podcast: Series 3, Episode 1 In the first episode of Series 3 we’re looking at the reasons for owning your own Podcasting space. This means having your very own domain and hosting account on which you can run a website of your own. The big thing here is that aforementioned Ownership, and the control




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The PodCraft Podcast: Series 3, Episode 1

In the first episode of Series 3 we're looking at the reasons for owning your own Podcasting space. This means having your very own domain and hosting account on which you can run a website of your own. The big thing here is that aforementioned Ownership, and the control it gives you over your own content. Let's dive into the detail:

Web hosting for podcasting The principle behind creating your own place in the web is that you don’t want to be building something on somebody else’s land. You never want to put a lot work into something that is owned by somebody else.

Generally the best principle is to own your own brand, own your own content, own your own property and the best way to do that is to simply have your own website which you have on your own hosting account, under your own domain.

What is a Domain?

Domains are essentially the web addresses that every website on the web lives under. A domain name is your top address under which your website lives.  You can choose any domain name that suits your business. It’s very easy to buy a domain, it costs £5-£10 per year but fees depend on the type of TLD. Examples of Top Level Domain (TLD) are .com, .co.uk, .org, etc. It cost hardly anything to buy a domain, the only issue being that most of the good domains are already gone. You might find that your brand or the words that you want to represent your Podcast are already gone.  But you can always use other TLD or just add a few more words around the main phrase.

What is Web Hosting?

Hosting is the process of buying space on a computer (or server) elsewhere the internet. That computer acts as the server which, when anyone then requests to see your website, delivers the files that make up your website to that person. The reason you need hosting is that if you just deliver the website via your own computer, then your own system would need to be on all the time. Obviously that's not practical, so you outsource this job to a Hosting account, a company that deals with Hosting alone. Hosting costs $5 to $10 a month.

I recommend buying your domain with your Hosting because it’s a lot easier to setup. If you buy your domain separately, there are a few steps you have to go through to point that domain at the correct hosting account. The only exception to that is if you already have web hosting, and it allows provision for more than one website or domain. In that case you can simply add your new Podcasting website to that hosting, and you're done.

Mentioned on This Episode


HostGator.com LLC is a world-wide provider of shared, reseller, VPS and dedicated web hosting. They are really good company, good support, good packages and really good prices as well.

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Join our weekly live coaching, plus a huge range of courses & resources, to get your show out into the world!

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Bluehost is a web hosting company owned by Endurance International Group. It is one of the 20 largest web hosts, collectively hosting well over 1.9+ million domains with its sister companies, HostMonster, FastDomain and iPage.

Let Me Know What You Think!

As always, I’d love to hear your feedback! Please drop me a comment below to let me know what you think and if you have further questions about setting up domains and Hosting. Tell me what domain you’ve gone far, I’d love to hear about it.

And also, I’d appreciate it if you give me an iTunes review. It really helps to get my podcast out there to more people.

Thanks again for listening and I’ll see you on the next episode of PodCraft Series 3 where we’re going to look at installing your Podcast website.

Transcription on this Show

Hey folks and welcome to episode one of the third series of PodCraft. I say episode one but there was an episode zero really which was an introduction to this series. So, if you want to get a bit more information on what this series is about, go back and listen to episode 00 of series three, so you can find that at podcraft.net/300 and that will give you an idea of what we’re on about. But basically, the principle is that this series is covering the 20 steps you need to cover to create a peerless podcasting website. So, I’m taking you to everything you need to do to create a perfect podcasting website. This episode, this is the basic stuff, this is domains and hosting. So, we’re going to cover everything you need to do to setup domains and hosting for your website.

So what does this mean, when you’re setting up a new website, the principle is that we’re creating a property that we own, we’re creating a place that you own on the web for your podcast to live. Now, the principle behind this is that you don’t want to be creating something on somebody else’s land, you don’t want to be creating, putting a lot of work into something that is owned by somebody else. This is what happens on places like Facebook, places like WordPress.com, on places like Tumblr, that type of thing. People put a whole lot of work into pages  on these websites, creating spaces for their own customers, for their own brand, for their own passion, their hobby but really they don’t own this stuff, this is all owned by somebody else. Now, in many cases, you can get your content off their, you can transfer your audience elsewhere but it’s a lot of work to do that and there’s no guarantee that you can do that. Many websites make it very hard for you to move away from their service. So, generally the best principle is always to own your own brand, always own your own content, own your own property and the best way to do that is to simply have your own website which you have on your own hosting account under your own domain. Now, just to explain what these mean and I explained in the first or in the introductory episode that this episode is going to be a little bit of basic so many people will know about their stuff but many people won’t as well that’s why I want to go through it. So, don’t feel at all ashamed if you don’t know about how domains and hosting works. There are millions of people out there in the same boat, so let’s just go through it.

So, domains are basically the web address that every website on the web lives under. So, for example, PodCraft is hosted in, well, actually slightly complicatedly in a couple of different places. So, the main website that PodCraft is hosted on is called The Podcast Host and the domain for The Podcast Host is thepodcasthost.com. So, you’ll know lots and lots of dot com domain names like google.com, like facebook.com and the like. So, that’s what domain is. A domain is really just your top level domain, it’s the top address under which your website lives. So, you can choose yourname.com or yourname.co.uk or yourname.us whatever you think suits your brand or your website and that would be your domain. Now, buying a domain is really easy actually. There’s plenty of places around the web that you can buy domains at, many web domain shops. It only cost about £10 a year, their fee is very a little bit depending on what the Top Level Domain is, by TLD Top Level Domain, I mean the bit after the dot so when I say .com, that’s the Top Level Domain, the .com or .co.uk is for the UK where I live or you get .us for America, .it for Italy, that type of stuff. So, fees do vary slightly depending on which Top Level Domain you want to go for. But .COMs tend to sell for a between £5 to £10 per year, so I mean it cost next to nothing, it cost hardly anything to buy a domain. The only issue being that most of the good domains are already gone, so you might find that your brand or the words that you want to represent your podcast, the name of your podcast are already gone. For example, PodCraft, my podcast, PodCraft that you’re listening to right now, podcraft.com was actually gone and it doesn’t seem to be for sale. I have looked around, I have tried but obviously I’m not that bothered about getting podcraft.com so I’m not going to spend thousands of pounds for it, podcraft.net is just fine for me, so I bought podcraft.net  and that will do just fine. So you might be able to find an alternative top level domain like .net, .org that you can get your domain on or you can get a bit imaginative and just put a few more words around it. So I could’ve done something like podcraftpodcast.com or podcraftforyou.com, something like that, just add anything to the start or in the end of the main words of the domain and that could give you what you need for the domain.

So, I haven’t said where you can buy your domain yet and that is because I recommend actually buying your domain with your hosting. Now, the only exception to that is if you already have web hosting and you can’t buy web hosting that will work for a few different websites. So it might be that you already run a website and you want to add your existing podcasting website to that. So, it might be that you could buy just the domain on its own and add it to that hosting or it might be that  you’re actually going to add your podcast to an existing website as an, make it a subfolder, so you might have yourshop.com/podcast. So it’s up to yourself really what you want to do, but anyway, I think that to buy your domain, you’ll be buying along with your hosting it makes things a lot easier because if you buy a domain separately then there are a few other steps that you have to go through to point that domain at that correct hosting account so that when people type in your web domain, they type in youraddress.com, it points them at the website that you have then installed on the hosting account.

So, what is hosting? Hosting is essentially you buying space on a computer on the internet. So, that computer then acts as, what you call this, a server which then anyone then request your website,  anyone that says “I want to see this website” then that computer, that server delivers the files that make up your website to the person. The reason you need this is that if you just had the website, your website on your own computer for example, for a start you would need to have your computer on all the time obviously because people might want to see your website at anytime of the day. They’ll say “I want to see this website.com, that website.com” and you have to deliver those files to that person such as the images, the text, the video, all that kind of stuff. You have to deliver that stuff to that person so that they can then view in their browser. But that’s just not practical obviously, you’re not going to have your computer on all the time. The other reason you have to do it is you have to have a hosting account rather than do it on your own computer is that your own computer probably is just not fast enough actually, it won’t be able to deal with the amount of requests that a really popular website could get. So, this means that you’re out hosting, outsourcing, sorry, that to a hosting account, so a company that deals with hosting alone. So, they’ll give a little bit of space on one of their servers, they’ll put all your website files on that server and then every time somebody types in your domain name, that domain name points them to your hosting account who then say “Alright! Here you go! There’s all the files…” and send that person that website so they can see your website at any time of the day. Now, hosting is quite easy, quite cost effective to setup. You can get a hosting for really cheap, so you can get it for between $5-$10 a month, so it really doesn’t cost very much and that is actually very easy to work with. A lot of people get put off by the idea of hosting and domains simply because, I suppose it’s perceived as a little bit of a techie subject. You could never imagine it must quite complicated to setup a website but actually it’s really easy and that’s kind of what I want to get across in this series, that it’s actually really simple, it’s really easy to setup your own website on which you can host your podcast and really own your content. So, you can setup your own space on the web which you own, you manage, you control and it’s so much more powerful.

So, let’s get into details. How do you go about setting this up? So, there’s a couple of companies that I generally recommend for this purpose. These are kind of entry level, so there’s are for newer websites, this is on what is called shared hosting which is kind of the bottom level of the hosting keep but it’s plenty good enough for the vast majority of people. You only move up to more kind of expensive, more complicated hosting stuff when you get a lot more popular and you needed a lot more power behind your hosting account. By this level, shared hosting is perfectly fine and you’re looking to spend $5-$10 a month.

So, the main one I use is called HostGator  and they have a gator, alligator as their logo so it’s a little bit of a strange representation for a website but they’re really good company, good support, good packages, and really good prices as well so I tend to recommend them quite heartily. I use them for a few of my websites and recommend them to a lot of people I work with. So, all you do is you go to the HostGator website, you can get there really easily thru my own at podcraft.net/hostgator, that is an affiliate link, so if you do go thru that, I really appreciate it, it gives me a small commission. You don’t have to at all, you can straight to the HostGator website if you like. By all means, do that if you prefer not to but if you enjoy the work I’m doing here, the support, then by all means go thru the affiliate link and it’s a small thank you, but yes podcraft.net/hostgator. Go to the HostGator website and you’ll see there’s a range of packages, choose one that suits you, the very bottom one I think is the baby package, actually will suit most people or you can move out to the one and it actually gives you the capability to host more than one website on the account. So, if you think you might expand out in the future, then by all means upgrade a little bit, it’s only a few dollars extra I believe. Once you’ve signed up thru the process it’ll ask you to define a domain name as well, so that’s where you can buy your domain name too. So when you sign up for hosting, you can actually buy a domain name in the same process and actually in most cases they’ll give you that domain name for free as part of your hosting so it saves you a bit of cost.

So, that’s basically it. That’s how you sign up for hosting. I’ll give you an alternative if you don’t like HostGator, you can also go to Bluehost. That’s probably my second most recommended one. Bluehost is pretty good as well and always, so by all means go to podcraft.net/bluehost and you’ll find the Bluehost one, same options, very similar background, very similar features, just I tend to use HostGator a little bit more, I’ve just got more experience with them, so more happy recommending them. But most cases you can domain name along with it and then essentially you will move to the next step which is installing our website as well and that’s what we’re going to look at tomorrow in our next lesson.

So, that’s really easy. Don’t worry there’s a lot of tools provided by HostGator and Bluehost to let you install your website in an automatic way. So, don’t worry too much about any technicals there. But that’s our stop. That’s us looking at domains, hosting, all about how website work. So, thank you very much for coming to this first lesson in the series 3 of PodCraft with me and I hope you find it useful. As always, I’d love to get your feedback, please do pop on the show notes and drop a comment at the bottom. You can find this at podcraft.net/301, please let me know what you think. Whether you’ve bought a website, tell me what you’ve bought, whether you gone for HostGator or Bluehost, tell me what domain you’ve gone for, happy to give your website a little bit of a plug at the bottom of the show notes if you do that. And also, I’d love it if you give me an iTunes review as well, I really would appreciate that helps gets us stuff to more people. So, just pop on to iTunes or whatever service your using Stitcher, etc., all the different services, pop on, give me a review on any of them. I’d really really appreciate it. Thanks very much for your time on this episode and we’ll see you on the next episode of PodCraft Series 3 where we’re going to look at installing your podcraft website. Thanks very much!

4 thoughts on “Owning Your Podcast Space: Setting up Domains & Hosting

  1. Hi Colin,

    Firstly, thanks for the great podcast. I’m learning a lot through it.

    Quick question regarding Bluehost.
    Why do you recommend them when the internet is jam packed full of unhappy reviews of this company? It’s not just you; other companies seem to recommend them too, but there are way too many unhappy customers out there posting unhappy stories about poor service, outages, etc.

    I’m asking not to be critical, but because I’m genuinely curious.


    1. Ad, it’s a good question!

      Ok, here’s where I stand. I’ve used Bluehost and never had any trouble at all. I like their dashboard tools, and how easy they make website setup, and their packages are obviously pretty good value.

      I know what you mean on the reviews, though. Having worked in Web tech for over 10 years now, I’ve been with a LOT of hosting companies. Some were good for me, some weren’t. The thing I found was that it didn’t correlate at all with the reviews. I’ve had big problems with expensive and very well reviewed companies, and I’ve had no worries at all with small, cheap ones. The problem is that when a company becomes big and popular, it gathers more and more reviews, and since most people only review to vent their frustration, they’re often bad ones. Bluehost suffer from that, I think.

      I wont totally stick up for them either. I’m sure Bluehost have given bad service in the past, and have let people down. The problem is, I haven’t found a service that’s perfect all of the time, or is even really good most of the time and doesn’t cost a lot of money. As with anything, I’ve found that the more you pay, the less trouble you have (although not always the case).

      But, most people who are looking to start a podcast want to start out low cost. And Bluehost, for me, have always been a pretty reliable, reasonably helpful low cost entry point.

      Of course, I’m always open that I get an affiliate commission from them too, so that helps. But then nearly any hosting company out there does that, so it doesn’t sway who I choose to recommend. Plus, I’d never recommend something that I thought was a bad product anyway, no matter what commission they were offering.

      Anyway, that was a bit long winded, apologies! But hope it answered your question. Let me know if not!


  2. Hi Colin,

    Thanks for the informative reply.

    I appreciate what you are saying. I was also thinking low cost is a good place to start, but then I thought that if I’m starting a podcast I’m planning for it to go long term, and I need to think about what happens after the initial 12 months. In other words, low cost is attractive, but I need to think beyond that.

    As for the reviews of Bluehost, I know what you mean about people venting and happy customers being silent. The only thing is that it does take some provocation to get people to sit down and type a lengthy rant, and I’d hate to be one of those customers that gets stuck in a frustrating relationship with a company that I’m dependent on.

    After some thought, the criteria that I have come up with is that I’d like my host to be someone whom I can sever ties with with ease, someone I can pay via Paypal (I’ve read too many “renewal via credit card without permission” horror stories), I’d love it to be a month-to-month contract until I feel comfortable with the company, and, ideally, I’d like them to be local, British, someone I can get on the phone.
    Cost is important, but not the main priority.

    What do you say? Do you have any recommendations that fit that profile?

  3. Hi Colin – I’ve listened to all of Series 3 via iTunes and I’m ready to set up my web site. A couple of questions, tho: I noticed that you originally recorded the series five years ago. Has any relevant information or your recommendations changed since then? Or have you kept the episodes up to date as your content has changed? Also, the http://www.podcraft.net/hostgator link off this page doesn’t work. Do you now recommend Bluehost over Hostgator?

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