This how-to guide assists you when it comes to buying a domain name. This, in my opinion, is the most important part of your website because you must choose a domain name that is not only easy to remember but not too long.
What Is A Domain Name?
According to Wikipedia:
A domain name is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control within the Internet. Domain names are used in various networking contexts and for application-specific naming and addressing purposes. In general, a domain name identifies a network domain, or it represents an Internet Protocol (IP) resource, such as a personal computer used to access the Internet, a server computer hosting a web site, or the web site itself or any other service communicated via the Internet.
Buying A Domain Name: Choose A Generic Top-Level Domain
Before you search to see if a potential domain name is available, you first must decide which generic top-level domain (TLD) you will use. Here’s a short list of generic TLDs currently available from various domain registrars:
Most people choose the .com TLD because it’s the most popular. Due to that, it’s sometimes difficult to use a specific name for your website because it’s already taken. However, you can buy a specific domain name from its owner but the price tag can be quite high. I’ll discuss that later in this article.
Should You Buy Multiple / All TLDs For Your Domain Name?
Let’s say you bought example.com. Now you’re wondering should you buy example.net, example.org, example.dev, etc. So should you? Eh, you don’t have to but it’s not a bad idea if you want to protect your brand. If you want until later, someone could buy that name and wait for you to buy it. However, you may not want example.golf or example.me.
Use An Original Name
A problem that some individuals or companies run into while choosing their domain name is choosing one that similar to another company. What do I mean by that? Let’s review an example below.
You decide to choose the name goog.com. However, that’s similar to google.com Even if that name is available to purchase, I would highly suggest you find another name. Why? Because Google will after you for infringing on their trademark and/or brand. They sued the owner(s) behind oogle.com in 2012. Nolo discusses how domain names can quality for a trademark. If you would like to learn more about this, Donut has a fine FAQ section dealing with this topic. Also, ICANN has a page devoted to this too.
Business Name Generators
A great way to find an original domain name is to use a business name generator. You get a list of names by entering words suited to your business.
Using BusinessNameGenerator (BNG), I entered the following: “technology marketing services” and here are a few of my results:
- Services Aspire
- Tech Ambiance
- Tech Tone
Some of these names had a .com TLD available while others were for sale. Your results will be different, but this is a good option to try.
Buying A Domain Name: Consider A Premium Domain Name
According to Namecheap, “are short domains, often made up of just one word or 3-5 letters. They are also known as ‘aftermarket’ or ‘pre-registered’ domains.” Good examples of these types of names:
These names are catchy and short, which is gold when it comes to marketing. So when buying a domain name it’s good to consider if it’s worth the month to buy a premium one. Namecheap wrote a blog post about several companies spending $10,000+ for their premium domain names. While this price tag is expensive for many individuals and/or companies, you can look at the investment as part of building your brand.
Always Choose WhoisGuard
When you buy a domain name from a domain registrar, either WhoisGuard is automatically added for no cost, or you can add it for cheap. What does it do? According to their website:
“WhoisGuard avoids this issues by placing our information in whois and provides an option to redirect email and regular mail to the customer’s real address. During the process of transferring the email, we try to avoid obvious junk email and regular mail, thus relieving the customer from junk.”
When you buy a domain name, you have to input the name of owner, the address of the company, and a phone number. That information is publicly available, meaning spammers or stalkers or anyone could call you, spam you, or come by your place of work.
Domain registrars like Namecheap offer WhoisGuard for free forever.
How Long To Buy Your Domain Name
When it comes to the length of how long you own your domain name, the default is 1 year. However, many domain registrars allow you to add years for an additional cost.
The benefit of this is to 1) save money and 2) less likely to forget to renew your name. Yep, once you buy a domain name you have to renew it every year. It’s like car registration.
I personally use 1 year terms for my domain names because the cost savings weren’t that great for me (but could be for you). Also, I have my domain names set to auto-renew and keep a valid credit card on file. I still get an email from my domain registrar stating it’s time to renew my name.
The Domain Registrar I Recommend
When it comes to buying a domain name I only use Namecheap. I’ve used them for 13 years and always get great support from them. Also, I buy my SSL certs through them and WordPress hosting. Finally, Namecheap has very good prices when it comes to domain names. You can get a .com TLD for $8.88 a year!
Author’s Note: This post originally appeared on my blog Brittbot.
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