You need to be familiar with domain names. This includes how to select the right one. A domain name is required to establish a website or blog. The process of choosing the right domain is not difficult, even though it sounds complicated. In how do I buy my own domain I will show you what steps are required to verify if someone has registered a domain name and to register it?
This domain registration guide will provide information about domain name extensions. It will also explain how to choose a suitable one for your needs.
What is a Domain Name and How Does it Work?
The Domain Name System (DNS), which is a structure, converts IP addresses to names that are easy to remember. Your website’s URL is what users enter into their browsers to point at your website. In simple terms, an IP address is your website’s GPS coordinates.
Every webpage has a unique Internet Protocol Address. These addresses indicate the website’s location. The IP address is generally a sequence of numbers. It can be difficult to remember all these numbers in order to navigate to a website. So, Domain names come in handy.
A DNS server routes domains to browsers when they are entered. That DNS server interprets the name and determines which IP address it is. It then grabs data from that website and gives it to you. This is a fast process that allows you to locate and view a website very quickly.
Types of Domains
You will need to be able to identify the main components of a domain. These include a second-level domain (SLD), and a top-level domain.
- Top-Level Domains
Domain extensions can also be referred to as top-level domains. They are the sequence of letters located to the right of your website’s top-level domain (TLD), after the dot. The examples below are the most common:
.com – .com is the mnemonic for Commercial. It was first launched among the top-level domain extensions. This domain was originally meant for business and commercial purposes.
.net – The abbreviation for “network” was to serve technology organizations. However, it is now a standard option for business website owners.
.org – The abbreviation for “organization” was to serve non-profit groups, but it soon gained popularity with schools, communities, businesses, and other for-profit entities.
.edu – It stands for education and was developed for colleges and universities. It’s mainly associated with U.S. Schools today.
.mil – It stands for “military”; this TLD was only to serve the U.S. military’s branches.
.gov – The shorthand for “government” is exclusively for U.S. agency use.
There are TLDs that correspond to different countries, like .ca for Canada. There are more than 1,500 TLDs in total, and they continue to increase. Different TLDs have different costs. This should influence your decision when you want to buy a domain.
- Second-Level Domains
A web address will have an SLD just to the left of the top-level domain or extension. It can contain any number of letters, special characters, or numbers you wish, but it is best if they are short and sweet.
Second-level domains are what most people consider when they think about the website name. It’s your unique brand name.
How Much Should You Pay for a Custom Domain Name?
You can purchase domains with a common top-level domain name for as low as $12.99 US per annum up. Wealthy Affiliate, Mailchimp, and Bluehost domains come with free WHOIS privacy and a Secure Sockets Layer SSL (SSL) certificate. This will allow your website to be verified and encrypted.
Domain registrars offer a one-year registration. They also offer multi-year options. You can renew your domain name registration after its initial period is over. The domain registrar will inform you when it is due.
While you need a web hosting plan in order for your site to go online, you don’t need hosting to buy a website. You can purchase and register a domain name today if you already have a website or blog. Once you have your domain name registered, you will have plenty of time to think about how to build it.
If you want to build your website and buy the domain name on the same hosting platform you will get lots of added benefits by starting for free on Wealthy Affiliates such as training, technical support, and a community of entrepreneurs who can advise you.
How to Choose the Right Domain Name
It’s true that there are millions of domain names. However, many popular domains that are easy to remember aren’t available. It’s possible to still get what you need if you use images and follow a simple process.
Your domain name can make a big impact on your online presence. Choosing the right domain name is crucial to building your brand.
Here are the best ways to choose the right domain name:
- Use Only Letters.
- Explore an Advanced Domain Name Generator.
- Check out Domain Length.
- Select the Appropriate Extension for Your Domain.
- Pay for At Least Two Years or More.
- Consider Registering a Name that’s Easy to Remember.
- Make it Distinctive, Not Generic.
- Flee from Trademarked Domain Names.
Use Only Letters
Imagine asking your friends to spell and pronounce a domain name containing numbers and dashes. It won’t work.
These elements can cause you to lose traffic if your domain name isn’t easily remembered or shared with others. YouTube would not be successful today if people had to go to You-Tube.com in order to access the site.
Explore an Advanced Domain Name Generator
To help you get started, a domain name generator is a great tool. Simply type in the words or phrases you want to describe your brand or website and these tools will provide a list of ideas you can review for availability.
Check out Domain Length
It is best to keep domain names shorter. Google, in particular, gives preference to domain names with simple and easy-to-understand terms that deliver what they promise. Search engine rankings may be affected if URLs are full of special characters and numbers.
Your domain name should be concise and convey your website’s concept. Short domains make it easier to understand, have a higher chance of being remembered, and take up less space.
One downside to shorter domain names is the fact that there are fewer available. You might still be able to find the right domain name for your brand if it is original or has other creative elements.
What length should you aim for while selecting a domain name? With a focus on shorter characters, aim for 6 to 14 characters.
Select the Appropriate Extension for Your Domain
Google says that your TLD choice does not affect rankings, but it can impact consumer perception. Many people consider other TLDs less trustworthy.
.com is the best extension or TLD to use for your domain name. Nearly 43% of all domains include a .com extension. This makes it the most popular extension.
The .org and .net extensions are not common, so they can be great secondary options if the perfect name is not available.
You can also check what type of website is currently available on the .com extension if you decide to go with another extension than a .com extension. There is a good chance that someone will find your site accidentally. Avoid any site that contains inappropriate or fraudulent content.
Finally, you should avoid domain extensions such as .space and .club.
You can imagine where your company or brand will be in five, ten, or 15 more years. It is possible to expand your services if you offer basic SEO services right now. Marketing or digital marketing might be better termed than “SEO Services”.
You should avoid domain names that include the latest catchphrase or a year.
Consider Registering a Name that’s Easy to Remember
Your chosen domain name must pass the first test. Make sure it’s easy to pronounce so that word-of-mouth marketing is possible. You can use this same “10 friends” test as a guide. Write down the domain name and ask your friends how they pronounce it. If there is no struggle, you have a winner.
Think of the most popular websites like Reddit or Yahoo! Each site is concise and easy to read. If you make poor choices, it’s likely that most of your visitors will visit another website.
Make it Distinctive, Not Generic
Creative and memorable domain names are always more effective than generic ones. Your domain name is the way people find, remember, and spread the word about your business on the internet. It is much better to have a domain address that is consistent with your brand and not a collection of keywords.
For example, can you tell the difference between cheapvehicleinsurance.com and lowcostautoinsurance.com? Which one would you trust when you were shopping for insurance? Both sound a little stale and very generic.
On the contrary, you might know where the domain canva.com will land you. This company has invested heavily in its brands and domain names. You can trust these websites to be legitimate.
Even if you don’t have a lot of trust or loyalty, you can get started by picking a strong domain name that matches your brand.
Flee from Trademarked Domain Names
Both major and smaller brands raise issues when others use their trademarked name. Even if you make an innocent mistake, the legal fees associated with a lawsuit and having your web presence rearranged could prove costly.
You can avoid this by using the trademark lookup tool prior to finalizing your selection.
Steps for Buying a Domain Name
Let’s assume you have a list that is catchy, memorable, and brandable. Here are the steps required to register and buy your domain name.
1. Consider a Trusted Registrar.
Before you can get a domain, it is important to find a registrar that is accredited with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. (ICANN) is a non-profit organization that coordinates all numerical spaces on the Internet.
2. Locate a Domain Availability Tester Tool.
The next step is to find a domain name. It should also include a domain availability tool. This will show you whether the domain you desire, such as sitedomains.com is available.
3. Select the Best Domain Name Option.
If you check for available domain names, it is common to find that most of your choices aren’t available. Here are some options for what to do when this happens.
- Keep searching: Continue to search until your creative juices run wild.
- Choose a different extension: If your preferred extension doesn’t work for you and you are set on a particular name, you can consider the .net/.org.
4. Complete the registration of your domain name by purchasing it.
Once you have decided on a domain, it is time to purchase it. Wealthy Affiliate, Mailchimp, and Bluehost allow you to find out the annual cost of your domain name and any discounts.
To register the domain name, you will need to fill out your contact information (including an email address) during the checkout process.
If this is your first time buying a domain name and you want to talk with someone about what to choose and how to build a website? Click the banner to read more about the Wealthy Affiliate hosting and learning platform. Free to try.
5. Verify that you are the owner of the new domain
Although it may seem like the final step in the process of purchasing a domain, you will need to confirm your ownership. This step lets you send emails using the domain (email@example.com, for instance) and stops other people from using it without your permission.
After you have made your purchase, you will get a verification email. Once you have received your confirmation email, simply click on “Verify Domain” and follow the steps to activate your domain.
A Domain Purchase from a Person
The domain name that you desire might be already owned. These are the steps to buy a domain name that you absolutely must have if you’ve found one.
1. Search for the Original Owner’s Info.
The WHOIS directory allows you to find the contact information of domain owners. If your domain isn’t listed on the WHOIS directory, you may still be able to reach them through information found on the domain’s site.
2. Enter into a Price Negotiation Deal.
When you get in touch, be prepared to offer a fair price. You can do some research to find out the exact price. If you need the domain urgently enough, you can even hire a brokerage to facilitate the sale.
3. Consult an Escrow Agent for the Transactions.
Avoid sending money to strangers over the internet. Instead, make use of an escrow agent to ensure that both sides are satisfied and that the sale is as risk-free as possible.
Transfer your Domain name to Build a Website
You can transfer your domain to Wealthy Affiliate and link it to your WA account, no matter where you bought it from. An easier option is to create a free website in Wealthy Affiliate on their SiteRubix facility (for free) and when you buy a domain name from them just move your website across in one click, too easy.
Once you have connected your domain, you can use it with a WA website or custom landing pages. Wealthy Affiliate has a powerful site builder that you can use to create a unique website for your brand. And you can find a domain that is unique to your site.
You can register a custom domain that will make a big difference in your online presence, no matter if you’re creating a blog or an online portfolio.
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