Registering your domain name is one of the first things (building your website being the first) you will do to establish your online presence and reach out to your audience.
In this article, we will discuss easy to follow steps to select and register a domain name, while also helping you to avoid making common “mistakes”.
Your domain name is your identity on the Internet and it looks something like “www.yourdomain.com.” Most people choose a domain of their own name, or a nickname, especially if it is their personal blog.
Businesses can use their business name to make it easier for their customers to find them on the Internet.
Related article: How to Create Your Own Website and Make Money
Consider these things before registering your own domain name:
- Domain name has to be short, easy to remember, and unique to make you “stand out” from the crowd. (Remember, the more your domain name is unique, less likely it will be taken.
- “.com” is the MOST common type of TLD, and thus, more likely it will be taken.
- “.org” TLD is usually registered by non-profit organizations, “.net” was traditionally used by Internet Service Providers, while “.info” TLD was meant for information resources
- If your “.com” domain name is not available, register a “.net,” or “.org” domain instead.
How to Register a Domain Name Under 10 Minutes:
All these TLD are “generic domains,” meaning they are open to all people and business around the world. Besides generic domains, there are also country-specific domains, such as “.in” (India) or “.us” (USA).
For search engine rankings, I highly recommend you to stick to any of these three types of TLDs as they are appear more professional and trustworthy to Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
What to do if your domain name is already taken?
Here are few tips on how to register your ideal/favorite domain name if it is already taken:
- If you primary domain name is already taken, visit NameCheap (find cheap domains in <$9) or Godaddy and search their site to find a list of similar domain names closely related with your original domain.
- Think about choosing different suffixes or TLDs. There are several options available for you, including “.net,” “.org,” or “.info,” “.co,” and probably more. GoDaddy will list all these available suffixes and lets you know if they are available.
- Try to use “hyphens” between your domain name – If “janesmith” wasn’t available, try “jane-smith,” or “jane-s,” and then search for the list of dot-coms, dot-orgs, and dot-net, etc. In some cases, the domain name you are after may be so popular (think of “weightloss” domain name for example), it would be impossible to find any variations.
- If none of the above alternatives works for you, I highly recommend that you “brainstorm” for another domain name entirely. It could be something simple as “JaneFondaSmith,” or something else that tells what you do, like “JaneFondaSmith-Singer.” The point is to keep on looking for variations and soon you will find a suitable domain name for your website.
- Check to see if your domain name is actually being used. If the domain name you desire is already taken, ensure if it is being used. Often times, many people buy a domain on speculation and hope that someday, someone will buy it from them at a higher price.
- Use “whois” service to contact the person who owns the domain name. Many domain name registration company also offer a free “whois” service to help you know who owns the specific domain name. If your ideal domain name is already taken, the “whois” service will give you the name and address of the person who owns that particular domain name so that you can contact that person, and offer to buy the domain name.
So, now that you’ve finally settled over a domain name you like, it’s time you register!
Remember, only purchase services that you will use. Each domain name registrars often offer a package deal to help you set up and market a website, and sometimes, even help you with the search engine rankings.
These additional services could be helpful, but if you feel that you do not require them now, just go for it – register a domain name.
Few Helpful Tips to Remember
- Registering a domain name is just one part of getting your new website on the internet. You also need to find a “reliable” and “affordable” web hosting company to host your website. That means you will pay a hosting company for the space, using their server, and parking your site.
- Web hosting firms always keep their servers on and connected to the Internet to allow anyone access your site anytime.
- Some companies also host websites. Just consider WordPress as an example. But feel free to look around, read forums, and look for user’s feedback.
Register a domain name: Avoid These Sites
- Some sites offer free domain names in exchange for allowing hosting your website on their server. However, if you choose to switch to different hosts later, these sites will often retain the ownership on your domain name.
- Watch out sites that offer sub-domains. For example, if you are starting a Jane’s Cooking Recipes site, the domain name tripod.com/janescookingreviews/ does not help you lend credibility to your business. Most people often tend to trust domain name.