Finally sat down to get my Moodle working. It was at this point I realized that the hosting service I was signing up with didn't include a domain. I never dreamed I needed to purchase a domain on top of the hosting fees.
I guess my ignorance is based on prior experience. My .Mac account includes a domain. My educational ISP includes a domain. In my experience, the domain has always been provided. I didn't expect it to be the domain of my choosing; I assumed it would be like my .Mac one. That domain is clearly part of .Mac based on its address. Unfortunately, neither of these sites appear to have what I need for hosting Moodle, and my ISP, Comcast, doesn't provide space.
And so, before I even have my site up and running I have learned to check that the hosting fee includes a domain. I have also learned to check that the host has Fantastico so that Moodle and other good things can be installed with a single click. Finally, I have learned to check to see what type of control panel is provided to help me manage the site. Some hosts have no central control panel. Others have well-organized one.
I'll let you know where I end up.