How to buy a domain name - a short guide

Posted by Bcon on October 23rd, 2019

A website domain is something like a virtual home for your business - a name of your website that represents the business online and is used to reach it. Millions of domains have been created and are in use worldwide. 

From regular .net or .com extensions, we know see more unique and creative domain names with .guru or .pro endings and so on. A good domain name will not only represent your business but help people find it in the search engines.

In this article I want to explain the process of buying a domain for your website in a few simple steps. The price for a domain name can go from a few dollars to even hundreds of thousands. 

Why you may ask? 

Well, there’s a number of factors involved - reputation, credibility, branding, catchiness and so on. I’ll discuss all of these points in one way or the other. 

So, without further adieu, here’s my quick guide on choosing a domain name for your website.

Steps to buying a domain name for your website

  1. Visit a domain registrar’s website - in reality, there’s not many companies who have the authority to register new domain names, even though it may seem otherwise. 

Only those who are authorized by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers can do so. 

You see, ICANN monitors how domain names are created throughout the world wide web and are the only ones who can give their approval for domain dealers. If you’re looking to buy a domain for your website, registrar websites are the ones that you need to go to. 

One of the more famous sites is GoDaddy.com which features many tools for those interested in buying a domain. You can search for a new domain on the spot, transfer an older one to their platform and enjoy many other tools.

  1. Decide on a few domain addresses - when choosing a name, decide on a few variants you would like to use. There’s a huge chance that some of them might already be owned by someone, so at least you’ll have a plan B to fall back on.

It depends on your niche really, but try to think of a few ideas for an effective name - catchiness, simplicity for pronouncing and typing, creativity should be factors to follow. 

  1. Check their availability - after you decide on your favorite options, check for their availability on a registrar’s website. Usually you’ll find a search box of some kind to check the names. 

For the sake of consistency, I wanna mention GoDaddy.com once again. 

With their search tool, you can enter either a keyword or your brand name and the system will automatically suggest domain name along with approximate prices. This will make the decision making process for you much easier.

  1. Select the domain and a plan in terms of length- after you find your dream name, the registrar will usually have a few plans that are for it, including the time you wish to rent it for, protection for your domain, as well as their hosting services for your domain.

Usually the plans include options for 1 year, 2 years and up to 10 years of domain rentals. It’s great that there’s flexibility in terms of long term domain investments, however, I’m sure that most people will rent it for a single year or two.

So, find the offer that fits your vision the best.

  1. Choose the best offer cost-wise - after deciding on the plan you’ll see a number of offers not only in terms of years, but different costs as well.

You see, some domain extensions (usually traditional ones like .com or .co.uk) are far more expensive extensions that other less known ones. Some examples could be: .football, .fashion and so on.

Depending on your niche however, you can obtain a domain for relatively cheap price with a cheaper extension, that will still make sense and be catchy. You just got to be creative.

Why a good domain name is important?

There’s quite a few reasons for buying a domain with a good name:

  • Changing hosting providers - if you change your hosting company in the future, clients who knew your business will still find you through the same domain name. So, it’s a definite investment in to the future, since your name sticks with you even if you change hosts.

  • Credibility - a unique domain gives you credibility and credibility is everything for a business website. No one wants to be involved with a company that does not even have a proper domain to the name.

  • Descriptiveness - a simple, clear business name will be more memorable for people it’s simple as that. If it contains a keyword or phrase that describes your products - even better. You might even get some unexpected traffic from organic searches (search engines and so on).

  • Advertising - lastly, a good name usually helps with increasing a website’s marketability and in the same lane, it’s friendliness towards ads. You’ll seem as a much more respectable website if you have a good domain name.

Domain names: should I buy a new one or settle for an older one?

This is a pretty logical question that comes to mind for those looking to buy a domain for their websites. There are both advantages and disadvantages in each case, so I’ll talk about them briefly as well.

Buying an original name - everything from scratch

An original name is a popular choice among many users, since it’s the first step towards building a new and unique identity for their businesses. A typical purchase of a domain name involves renting it for a specific period of time - be it 2, 5 or 10 years. 

While it’s great that you get the opportunity to grow your brand and reputation, it takes A LOT of time to get valuable visibility and traffic. This especially relevant if your domain name is optimized poorly and fails to encapsulate the things that people are searching for.

Buying an existing name - an easier start, but more responsibility

Like I mentioned previously, an older domain will have fewer problems attracting traffic and getting visibility from search engines than a new website that has zero SEO optimization. Moreover, some of these domains may already have some valuable content on them, which will definitely give new owners a boost start.

The main disadvantage of buying an older domain name is usually the price. Especially if we’re talking about a domain that’s keyword-rich in an expensive niche, the prices may reach several thousands at an auction.

An existing domain certainly has some clear benefits but there is some buyers risk still. If you decide to make a purchase for a used domain from a marketplace, you have to make sure that it had a “clean” history. 

That means no associations with bad reputation websites, no malware infections or low-quality backlinks. These things will cripple your business, so you can consider the advantages of older domains pretty much useless if you make a mistake.

To sum it up

Today I talked about a few useful tips for choosing a domain name as well as why it’s important to have an effective name for your business website. Catchiness, simplicity and creativity are key throughout the decision making process, in order to not have problems getting visibility and traffic

Bcon

About the Author

Bcon
Joined: October 22nd, 2019
Articles Posted: 7

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