Beginner’s Guide to Buying a Great Domain Name
Buying a great domain name can be a bit intimidating when you are just beginning your online journey, so I have created this Beginner’s Guide to Buying a great Domain to help you make an informed decision.
A domain name is your website’s location identifier on the internet, it is an interpretation of your numeric IP address into memorable words of your choosing. A Domain name is purchased through a Domain Name Registrar, that is, a company that manages the reservation of domain names and points them to the name you choose, if available, when you purchase your domain.
What is the importance of a good domain name?
Your domain name is basically like your physical address, except it is your online (virtual) location. If you were to physically move your business to another physical address, you would have to tell all your customers that you are moving prior to your move and notify them of your new address. Your domain is where people find you when they look for you online, if you changed your domain hosting which is the space where your domain is hosted, you wouldn't have to let people know that you've changed your hosting company. You would simply make your domain name servers to point at the new hosting, all your website information and files would simply be transferred over. You would not have to change anything, so it's important to choose a great domain name that sticks to the memories of people because that stays with you for the life of your company.
Nowadays, most people don't give a second thought to a company that does not own a website, the first thought that comes to mind when someone introduces a business to you is: Oh, what's your website address?
Where to Find Domains?
Most registrars sell the domains and you’d need to then use a hosting provider to manage the creation of your website. Some companies provide both domain registration and hosting services. I will give you a few examples below of the popular ones. My list will not be exhaustive as there are far too many online companies offering these services. The purpose of my post is to point out what you should consider when buying a domain.
You can buy a domain from GoDaddy with domains starting from $0.99 for the first year and hosting from $1.00 per month for the first year during the flash sales periods and going up to $7,99 on renewal, it may seem like a great deal for the first year at least. If ever you want to transfer the domain to another registrar, please be aware that sometimes it can be a bit difficult as the domain may be locked for a certain period.
Google Domains also sells domains, integrates well with Google’s G-suite email service where you can have your emails set-up as …@yourdomain. Google does not, however, offer domain hosting or SiteBuilder tools. Domains from Google range from $12.00 per year per domain.
Bluehost offers domains usually free for the first year if you buy their hosting and it costs you an additional $11.99 per year thereafter for the domain.
LCN is a UK based domain vendor and their domains cost you £0.99 with domain privacy for the first year and then it goes up to £16.74 for a .com domain or £7,14 for a co.uk see table below:
LCN do offer hosting as well, see below for their basic hosting package
These tips below are very important in order to establish your Brand and Credibility online.
The anatomy of a great domain name:
- Your domain name should be short – if it is too long it could get mistyped or misspelt.
- Make it something memorable and catchy – you want to do that so that your brand stands out in people’s memory.
- If you can have your domain name, the same as your niche that makes it even better, a domain name that describes what you do is actually very useful in building your credibility and making your business memorable in the minds your customers.
- Avoid purposeful misspellings is this word just confuse and website visitors
What if My Domain is Not Available?
If the domain name you have in mind has already been taken, you might still be able to purchase it, but it will cost you more than the going rate. This would be because you’d be buying it at a premium price from someone who owns it instead of buying it straight from the registrar. Domains are like real estate – they actually are virtual real estate, so some people do buy domains as an investment in order to flip them later and sell them at a premium rate. You can find these domains at Marketplaces like Sedo.com and Afternic.com which is a part of GoDaddy.
What Do I Do After Buying My Domain?
Now that you have your domain, please note that it is still not a complete website, so you still need to get it hosted I have listed some of the hosting companies above with the price tables. So basically, the domain is like when you have your house plans, you still need the ground to build it on, so you must purchase the land which in virtual terms is the hosting space. Once you have space, you can start building you will need the building materials which is easier nowadays as there are a great variety of Site Builders, some based on WordPress and others are template-based like the ones that Google will suggest if you purchase your domain from them, Wix is one of them. The biggest issue with Wix and template-based Site builders is that they are not flexible and there is no support. You cannot move a Wix site to another hosting company, so it must stay within the Wix servers. So be aware and check before building your website on a platform that will not allow you freedom of movement.
A platform that allows you to start building your website for FREE without a domain name, when you are ready to buy your own domain, you can easily buy your domain within this platform and you have the flexibility that when you have established your brand, you can migrate your domain to any hosting company of your choice at any time. This platform gives you the training and tools you need to build your website and seamlessly create your online brand. Check it out here
Now that you have chosen your domain and you have it hosted somewhere you will begin mapping out where the foundation will be built, in virtual terms this means setting up your DNS (Domain Name Servers) which can be found on your hosting account and you take that information to your Domain registrar account and insert it in the area as shown below:
Please note that you will only need to do the above if you bought your domain from a domain registrar separately from your hosting account, if you bought your domain through your hosting company then, you need not worry as you should have it already set up.
What Follows Next?
Now that you have mapped out where your foundation will be built, as I mentioned above you will need your building materials in the form of Content Management Systems tools such as Site Builder templates as used by Wix and Weebly or WordPress themes which are now very widely used not only for blogs but most websites are built on WordPress as it is user-friendly.
Once you have decided what you are going to use as a content management system whether be it WordPress or a template-based site Builder you then begin to form your blog or your website.
It's worth bearing in mind when choosing your website builder that you have one that has Free images as you will need images for your pages, however, having said that you can also buy stock images online.
I trust that this guide has answered some of your questions about selecting and buying a great domain to represent your business and brand.
Please comment below and share your thoughts and questions, I love hearing from you.