Setting Up A Free URL On Namecheap For University Students

STUDENTS

arnold on Aug 21, 2018

***Updated 1/19/2024***

Today we are going to set up a new domain (or URL) for you to use to make your personal website.

Finding the perfect URL for your website or blog is an important first step in establishing your online presence.

Your URL is often the first impression you make on potential customers or readers. It needs to be short, memorable, easy to spell, and communicate your brand identity. Avoid overly complex or confusing URLs with random strings of numbers and letters.

When brainstorming URL options, consider two main approaches. First, you may want to include your brand name or personal name in the URL. For example, if your company is called “ABC Coaching”, you could use abccoaching.com. Using your brand makes it easy for people to remember and recognize your site.

The other option is to focus on keywords relevant to your business or niche. For example, if you’re a wedding photographer, include words like “wedding,” “photography,” your location, and your name. This could be FortCollinsWeddingPhotography.com. Picking descriptive keywords makes it easy for potential customers to understand what your site is about.

One thing to consider is that your domain name is not going make or break your SEO efforts. 

There are pros and cons to each approach. Brand names are recognizable and build awareness, while keywords help with search engine optimization. Ideally, try to incorporate both your brand identity and relevant keywords if possible.

Prioritize simplicity – shorter URLs with fewer characters are ideal. Try to keep it under 20 characters if possible. Using common words makes it easier to remember and type.

Check URL availability by searching sites like GoDaddy or Namecheap for a .com domain when available, as this is the most recognizable. If your ideal .com is taken, try variations like .net, .biz, or your name.

Luckily for us NameCheap.com is generous enough to donate a free URL to any college students with a .edu email address.

You will get this URL for a year. If you are interested in keeping a personal URL long term then you can consider purchasing yourname.com which will be about $10 a year for as long as you keep it. The free .me or the paid .com will both work for this class.

Instructions To Set Up The Free NameCheap URL:

To get started with the free URL Go to:  https://nc.me where you will see the following screen. Enter whatever name you would like and click search. You are not required to use your real name but it is better for our search engine optimization assignments if you do. Also, you must use all lowercase.

Free NameCheap Domain

As long as your URL is available you can click the ADD button next to your URL and then complete your order.

Completing NameCheap Order

Select Github for the add on services. You will then need to enter your .edu email address and then click Finish Up.

Setting Up A Namecheap name Github pages

You will then see the following screen or something similar:

Namecheap email confirmation

Go To Your CSU Email and Find The Email From NameCheap. Open it up and click the link inside that confirms you own a .edu email address.  If you do not see an email after 5 minutes you can try going to https://www.namecheap.com/ and setting up your account there.

Namecheap email verification

This will open up a new window. Click the Register button.

namecheap login screen

Fill out all of your information here.  At the bottom there is a create button which you need to click. Make sure you use the .edu email address that was entered in the previous step. Also, please remember your username and password.  Use the same username and password for every program we use. We will be signing up for a lot of programs this semester! Also, email this information to yourself or start a Google Doc to keep track of the programs we use and your credentials.

namecheap create account

This will bring up an order confirmation.  From here you can click Finish Up.

namecheap confirm order

The next page that comes up is a page to set up a github account.  We are not going to do this.  We are going to use a much more powerful WordPress Content Management System (CMS) for our websites. This is going to involve a little more work and will be covered in our next two assignments.

However, the next two assignments will require you to access your Namecheap account to change your DNS.  I am going to briefly show you how to find your DNS settings.

First, click on the “here” button. This will just take you to the main page to access your dashboard.

NameCheap setting up advanced users

You first need to log in to access your dashboard.

log into namecheap account

This will take you to your Namecheap dashboard. As I mentioned already, in the next assignment you will need to change your DNS settings. You will find them by clicking the MANAGE button.

namecheap URL management

About halfway down the page you will see your nameservers.  If you click on the dropdown arrow you will find the option for “Namecheap Web Hosting DNS.”  Select that. Then click the green arrow to save.

Set Namecheap DNS to Web Hosting DNS

 

 

 

You have now completed your assignment.

 

 

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