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. It’s what people use to navigate the web and find your website, so it’s extremely important that you 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 at first. In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about how to buy a domain name and choose 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. In order to maintain your domain, you must renew it within 45 days of expiration, or it will be given back to Network Solutions. Your registrar may have promotions or packages that offer bulk discounts on longer registrations.
Why register a domain?
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. Your domain should be catchy and simple enough that people can remember it without a lot of work. 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 important 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 register 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. Registering and then buying your own custom domain will set you apart from other businesses and make it easier for people to find you online. The process of purchasing your own domain is easy, once you know how!
Finding good domains (with examples)
A lot of people have been complaining that it’s become harder and harder over time to find good, short domains. I agree with them and here’s why: good domains are bought up quickly by domain investors. 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. The best and most powerful way to do that is with a premium domain. 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, memorable by association. Some are memorable because of their personal nature (for example: Facebook), others by their creativity (YouTube) or memorability (Amazon). When you buy a premium domain you’re making an investment 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 company followed by a space then your company’s name. This will show you if it’s trademarked and 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 in terms of getting traffic, you still have options if you decide that it’s not right for you. Choosing different top-level domains (TLDs) can help you control brand association and build links in those TLDs more easily. To get an idea of how popular certain TLDs are and which might be best for your brand, Google each one and see what kinds of websites pop up in results. Sites like Domaining Toolbox give you statistics about how many registrations are made per day for each TLD as well as 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 that’s familiar and easy for users around the world to type into their browser. If your business caters specifically to international clients, then 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, which is essentially just 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 when in doubt, we recommend going with .com.
How do I register my domain?
This seems like an easy question. You want to own your own online identity, so you head over to any of dozens of web hosting companies and ask how much it costs. What you hear in response is that buying your own 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?