Microsoft 365 Step-By-Step Guide Buying a domain and email setup
There are lot’s of steps involved in getting started as a freelance professional or business. One important step is setting up your online presence. In this article we are going to guide you step-by-step through choosing a domain, buying it and getting an email and website setup on it. We have decided this guide as easy and as fast as possible. You will have everything setup in under 30 minutes and get back to your actual business.
Why can’t I use free email or free websites for my business?
You probably have a private email address from Gmail.com or Outlook.com. These are great for private use, but using them for business does not look professional or trustworthy. You want to be taken serious by your customers and clients so it’s worth investing the time and money into a custom domain.
If you are providing your service online and don’t have a brick and morter location then your website is the next best thing. It’s best to setup this all up right at the beginning so people can start finding you in online searches, you can build your online reputation and you don’t have to tell people you changed your email address later on.
Last but not least by using your own domain you have full control over what you do with that domain. Using free providers there are horror stories of emails being deleted, becoming inaccessible or providers shutting down because offering a free service is usually not a long term solution.
The basic elements of a professional business web presence
In the beginning you want to just get the basics setup and concentrate on getting your first customer. For that you will need three things:
- a domain - that’s basically the address of your business online, the text you type into the top of your browser, for example microsoft.com is the domain of Microsoft Corporation.
- an email provider - that’s a company that will let you receive email on your domain, for example Microsoft 365 is the email service we will use in this guide.
- a website provider - last but not least you use a copmany that will host your website on your domain, for example SimpleWebsite365.com is the website service we will use here because it works best in combination with Microsoft 365 and gives you a simple professional website without you having to do much.
What does is cost to have business email and a website?
At the time of writing this guide will cost you about 120 USD per year and includes the domain, email and website. In detail:
- buying a domain with Microsoft 365 costs $15 per year
- the actual Microsoft 365 business email service costs $72 year
- and your SimpleWebsite365 website costs $29 per year
What do I need to consider when choosing a domain name for my business?
Domain names have two parts. The left side should be close to your actual business name and the right domain side (called the “top level domain”) should be .COM if you aspire to have international clients or a country top level domain (e.g. DE or CO.UK) if you are operating locally.
The tricky part is that there are a lot of domains using .COM already and you might have to add some extra words to find a free one (for example smith.com is taken, but smithtraining.com, robertsmith.com or smithllc.com might not). Generally it is easier to find a free domain name using a country top level domain.
Things to avoid to ensure your domain is reputable:
- New top level domains., e.g. smith.online, smith.vip or smith.shop
- Numbers in your domain, e.g. smith4.com (unless your business has a number in it too).
Let's get to work
You’re now familiar with the most important facts and terms. Next follow these step-by-step guides: