The first thing you need when it comes to getting setup online (with a website) is going to be a domain name. It’s really the foundation for getting yourself a website. So, I’ll be going through some simple tips on how to choose your websites domain name, what makes a good domain name and where to find one.
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First off, what is a domain name?
One of the best ways I’ve seen it explained is to compare a domain name to your street address. It’s the name where people find you online. For example: mine is www.dragonflyave.com or others will be www. yourname .com or www. businessnamehere .com
What makes a good domain name?
1. keep it simple
2. keep it easy
3. keep it memorable
Really, the main thing to point on in terms of what makes a good domain name, is to make it easy for people to find you. (and spell the name correctly)
Another key when choosing your domain name is to make sure it matches your business name (at least to some capacity). If you aren’t sure about what name to choose or what variation to choose, you can always buy multiple and point to one page, just so you have all your bases covered.
You also have other ending options available such as .co, .art, .fashion .app .book
However, I will say that nowadays, there are so many different variations of names + spelling that you could argue that it no longer matters as much. Again, as I stated in the ‘naming your business‘ post, it’s more important what you do than what the name is because ultimately your name just becomes associated with that thing.
How do you get your domain name?
My go-to provider is Name Cheap, it’s cost effective, easy to use and I keep all my domains in one place.
You can always go directly with the hosting or web platform provider such as Squarespace or Bluehost.
Another great option is google domains.
Other well known options are godaddy + hostgator.
I always suggest doing research on what provider is best and reading reviews. Also seeing long term costs. Name Cheap keeps the majority of it’s domains at cost or roughly around $10 every year. Compared to Squarespace which increases the cost of your domain after a year.
Personally, I suggest keeping all your domain names seperate from your hosting in case you need to switch or point your domain to another place.
What happens if someone already owns the domain name I want?
This happens. A LOT. Nowadays, the domain name you want may not even be available. Or if it is, you have to pay much more.
You really have 2 options. Pay more or pick another.
If you have other close variations available then choose another. If you have no sales and haven’t proved your concept, then pick another. If you may change your name later, don’t spend that large sum.
This question is always more difficult to answer because I think it really depends on your situation and what your options are.
For example: A while ago I was watching one of my favorite shows, The Profit. (if you haven’t watched it, I definitely suggest it). Anyways, on this particular episode Marcus (the investor/helper of small businesses) was helping out a Christmas shop, Santa’s Toys. They didn’t have much of an online presence but the website domain they owned was a .net version because .com cost a few hundred dollars. Ultimately there was a discussion about why they hadn’t bought the domain if it would have increased sales and searchablity (especially cause it wasn’t too outlandish). They did end up buying the .com.
So why am I sharing this example. Personally, again it depends on what your business name is, what your business does and how your domain name can affect your online presence. Again, the goal is to keep it simple, keep it clear and keep it memorable. If someone can’t find you, that’s going to hurt you more.
I would take a look at what your name is and the options that are available. Then make the best choice possible.
Do I own my domain name forever?
Yes + No! You have to make sure to renew your domain every year! Most providers give you an option to autorenew. I definitely do that if you want to keep it!
Choosing your domain name can seem like another heavy decision, but do what feels works best for you!
LEAVE A COMMENT! How did you choose your domain? What else do you need to know about domain names?