How to Buy a Domain Name
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Your domain name is your website’s identity; it tells the world who you are and how to find you. People use it to navigate and find your website, so you must buy the right domain name for your business. A domain name can be anything from an easy-to-remember .com name to something creative like .fm or .ly, so picking one out can be overwhelming. In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about buying a domain name and choosing one that best represents your brand online.
What is domain registration?
To register your domain name, you pay an Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)-accredited domain name registrar. When you purchase a domain name through that company, they’ll contact Network Solutions Inc., which manages domains in North America under contract with ICANN. This process costs about $15 for each year of registration. To maintain your environment, you must renew it within 45 days of expiration, or it will be returned to Network Solutions. Your registrar may have promotions or packages that offer bulk discounts on longer registrations.
Why register a domain?
Your domain should be catchy and simple enough that people can remember it without much work. You’ll build your business brand with an easy-to-find website. Plus, an internet presence can make it easier for people in your network—colleagues, customers, and potential investors—to find you. You should also consider what type of domain you want—for example, if you’re selling physical products or providing services locally, it might be better to go with a local extension like .com or .us, but if you’re selling online products or services on an international level (and aren’t fussy about where your customers are), there’s no harm in registering a global top-level domain like .com.
When should I register my domain?
It’s essential to register your domain before you start building your website or any online presence, for that matter. Why? Because if you already have an established brand, then it is worth investing in your web presence. Your customers will be able to identify you better and trust you more. How should I know when to register my domain?: You should write your domain as soon as possible! Preferably before even starting your business so that when it is time, people can identify and trust who they are doing business with.
How do I choose a good domain name?
The first step in buying a domain name is choosing what your business is all about. Once you have that down, find out if that name is available. The process of purchasing your domain is easy once you know how! Registering and then buying your custom domain will set you apart from other businesses and make it easier for people to find you online.
Finding good domains (with examples)
Many people have complained that finding good; short domains have become more complex and more challenging over time. I agree with them, and here’s why: domain investors buy good fields quickly. Their goal is usually simple – get as many generic keywords in their portfolio as possible and sell them later on at higher prices.
What are premium domains?
You don’t want your website to be garbage. You want it to reflect your company and brand in a clear, recognizable way. A premium domain is a best and most powerful way to do that. Premium domains are like elite web addresses: they command trust, recognition, and authority instantly because they’re not just easy to remember but memorable—and, better yet, unique by association. Some are memorable because of their nature (for example, Facebook), others by their creativity (YouTube) or memorability (Amazon). When you buy a premium domain, you’re investing in your business—one that you should make with care so that it reflects positively on your business. Here are some tips for buying one wisely.
Can I use popular phrases as domains?
Yes, however, you need to look up what is trademarked. Do so by going on Wikipedia and typing in the company followed by a space, then your company’s name. This will show you if it’s trademarked and if you cannot use it as a domain. Usually, companies use their acronyms instead of saying what they are, such as Apple is called Apple Inc., AT&T is called AT&T Inc., or FedEx is called Federal Express Corporation.
Registering a keyword-based domain in different TLDs
Although .com is your best bet for getting traffic, you still have options if you decide it’s not right for you. Choosing different top-level domains (TLDs) can help you easily control brand association and build links in those TLDs. To get an idea of how popular certain TLDs are and which might be best for your brand, Google each and see what websites pop up in the results. Sites like Domaining Toolbox give you statistics about how many registrations are made per day for each TLD and links to registrars where you can register domains. When choosing a TLD, keep these things in mind: Who is your audience? Do they prefer .com, or would another TLD work better?
Why you might want to register your own non-English TLD
There are obvious benefits to having your own non-English Top Level Domain. First, there is brand awareness—the recognition value of having an address familiar and easy for users worldwide to type into their browsers. Suppose your business caters specifically to international clients. In that case, it might be worth looking into whether or not you should register a ccTLD in addition to or instead of your standard .com TLD. (A ccTLD is an acronym for country code top-level domain, another word for TLD.
Should I use dot com, dot net, or something else?
Think of your URL as a website’s address, just like you might think of a street address for your home. Think about how people will come across your site and whether you want them to remember your company or brand when they do. So, should you choose .com, .net, or something else? That depends on you—but we recommend going with .com when in doubt.
How do I register my domain?
This seems like an easy question. You want to own your own online identity, so you head to dozens of web hosting companies and ask how much it costs. You hear in response that buying your unique URL (called a domain) isn’t something they offer. Confused, you start asking why and quickly learn that internet registrars are usually third-party companies that specialize in helping people get their .com or .org website addresses—it’s not their job to host your site for you. So what do you do?