Are you thinking of starting your own online business? If yes, then you need to buy a domain name and do domain name registration first. This might sound difficult but to buy a domain is very easy. Also, it’s important to buy a good domain name that people can easily search for and remember.
If you are confused about how to buy a website domain? Here, in this blog, we will guide you on how to buy a domain name, what are different domain name extensions and how you can choose the right one for your business.
We’re sure that by the end of this blog, you’ll learn how to get a domain name and register it easily.
What is a domain name?
Every website on the internet has a website location which is called the IP address. Let’s take an example when you want to go to a friend you need their GPS location. In the same way, when a browser wants to find a specific site it needs an IP address of it. An IP address is like the GPS coordinates of a website. However, the IP address of a site is not simple.
An IP address consists of a set of numbers that are usually long and difficult to remember. This is where the need for domain names came from. A structure called the Domain Name System was developed to translate IP addresses into names that are easy to remember.
People enter the website domain name in the address bar of their browser to reach a specific website. It can be explained with an example, if the IP address is like GPS coordinates then the domain name is the street address. Some examples of domain names are webmaxy.co and google.com.
When we enter the domain name into a browser, it goes through a DNS server. The DNS server translates the name and identifies the IP address to which it points. Then, it fetches the data for that website and delivers it to the browser. This entire process is very fast and happens within seconds. However, you just see that you’ve entered a domain name and the website is opened.
The types of domains
In this section, we will discuss the different types of domains you can buy. To buy the best domain that fits your need, you first need to understand the types of domains- a second-level domain (SLD) and a top-level domain (TLD).
Top-level domains (TLDs)
Top-level domains (TLDs) are also known as domain extensions. A TLD includes letters and appears right to the SLD after a dot. We have mentioned some of the most popular TLDs below:
- .com: This stands for commercial. It was launched with the purpose of use in business and commercial websites. It is one of the most popular TLDs.
- .net: This stands for network. At first, it was created for use by technology organizations. Now, it has become a common option for businesses of all types.
- .gov: This stands for Government. It was created strictly for use by the U.S. government on its websites.
- .org: Organization was abbreviated to .org. Earlier, it was developed for non-profit organizations but later it became common for schools, communities, and for-profit organizations as well.
- .edu: This TLD stands for education and was developed for colleges, universities, & other educational institutions. Presently, its mostly used by U.S. schools.
- .mil: Military was abbreviated to .mil and it was created to be used by the branches of the U.S. military.
Many countries have their own TLDs like .ca for Canada and for niche domains like .cheap or .coffee. There are more than 1,500 TLDs to choose from and there are many more adding up every year. The cost of different TLDs varies depending on their popularity and other factors. There are some TLDs that have more impact than others and therefore you should make your decision accordingly.
Second-level domains (SLDs)
People think of a second-level domain when they think of naming their website. You should try to choose a unique name that represents your brand and that people can remember easily.
An SLD just appears to the left of the extension or the top-level domain in a web address. It can include letters, numbers, and special characters as many as you want. However, it’s always best to keep them easy and short for people to remember.
A text to the left of the second-level domain is called a subdomain. It can help you organize your website when you have sites that require distinct servers or programs to run than your main website. A subdomain can help you segment your content. For example, when you search google.com it takes you to the Google search engine but when you search docs.google.com it takes you to Google Docs. Google Docs is a subdomain of Google.com.
There are many other common subdomains like “blog” or “mail”. Below we have given examples of two subdomains for your reference.
- support.: A “support” subdomain is used for customer support-based websites of businesses that take customer feedback, queries, and complaints. For instance, “support.nameofbusiness.com”.
- blog.: Some websites use the .blog subdomain to upload their blogs. For example, “blog.nameofbusiness.com”.
Domain name pricing
You need to buy domain name through the domain registrars. Usually, the domain name is registered for one year and it has an option for multi-year registration. When the one-year period ends, you can renew your domain name registration. The domain name registrars generally remind you before the renewal of the domain name registration date. Domain names are also often included in the web hosting plan and if not they are provided by the hosting company.
A domain name with a popular top-level domain such as .com can cost you around $12.99 per year. Make sure when you are buying the domain name it should have WHOIS privacy protection and a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate.
Having a web hosting plan is necessary to put your site online. However, you don’t need to have a hosting plan to buy domain names. For instance, if you already have a business in mind, you can buy and register your domain name now to reserve it for the future. This way you’ll have a lot of time to plan and create your website.
How to choose the right domain name?
A domain name is an important part of your online presence. Therefore, it’s vital to take various factors into consideration while deciding your domain name. Finding a domain name that matches your business can be challenging.
It’s true that there are millions of domain names available. But most of the popular and easy-to-remember domain names are taken by businesses. Nonetheless, if you think creatively, you can still find a domain name that perfectly matches your business.
Below we have given some tips that you should keep in mind before doing a domain availability search.
Make it unique and searchable
Creative, unique, and easy-to-remember domain names are better than common ones. Your domain name is going to be your brand identity and that’s how people will search for your brand. Therefore, it’s always good to choose a domain name that relates to your brand instead of a general bunch of words.
For example, which one of the following would you choose between affordableinsurance.com and cheapestinsurance.com? Probably, none of them as they both sound a bit spammy. The generic words that are used make them sound terrible.
However, if you see domain names like policybazaar.com and insurancedekho.com. Then, by just looking at their names you know what these websites are about. You feel like trusting these sites as they don’t sound spammy. To build up the trust and loyalty of people, you must choose a brand name that sounds credible.
Select the right domain extension
When selecting the extension or TLD for your domain name, “.com” is the best choice if there’s no reason to choose something else. According to Domain Name Stat, “Around 37% of all domains have a .com extension, making it what people expect to see the most.”
Google has confirmed that the choice of TLD doesn’t affect the search engine rankings. But it influences consumer perception. As most people see other TLDs as fake and less trustworthy.
TLDs like .net or .org extensions are not uncommon. They are good secondary options in case you don’t find the .com option available for the desired domain name. If you are opting for other extensions than .com then look for which type of website is in the .com extension. As people might go to the other website looking for your website due to the similarity in the domain name.
Keep the domain length short
You should try to keep the domain length shorter. The search engines like Google can easily pick up simple domain names that are easy to understand and deliver what they refer to. URLs that contain numbers and special characters are often difficult to pick up by search engines.
Make your domain name short while still including the core concept of your website. Short domains are not only easy to read but take up very less space in the marketing content. This also increases the chances of your domain name being remembered by people.
The drawback of short domain names is that they are not easily available. But if your brand is unique then you can definitely find a domain name that’s available. The ideal length to keep the domain name is between 6 to 14 characters.
Choose a domain name that is easy to remember
No matter what domain name you choose, it should be easy to remember. The domain name should be simple so that anyone can spell and type it on the browser. For example, if you have selected a domain name then you can take a group of ten people and ask them if they can spell it.
Also, make sure it is easy to pronounce so that people don’t misspell it. You can ask those 10 friends again if they can pronounce the domain name easily without any confusion. If no one struggles with it then it means you have selected the right domain name.
For reference, look at popular website names like Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, and WebMaxy. Each of these domain names is short and easy to spell. Choose your domain name wisely as you don’t want your potential visitors to end up on another website.
Avoid numbers, special characters, and hyphens
Just imagine a domain name is filled with numbers, special characters, and hyphens. Will you be able to spell it easily without any confusion? Most probably No. Similarly, you don’t want this to happen with your potential customers.
Choose a domain name that doesn’t consist of numbers, special characters, and hyphens. For instance, Facebook wouldn’t have been popular if we had to search Face-b00k.com to reach its website.
Avoid Trademark Infringement
Most businesses get their brand names trademarked. They take trademark infringement issues seriously and file a legal case. This can make you not only rearrange your web presence but also pay loads of money as a fine. You can prevent this situation by using the trademark lookup tool before you finalize your domain name.
Don’t include a year or trendy phrase
Your business websites and domain names are long-term investments. Therefore, you should avoid using any specific year or trending phrases. When selecting a domain name, think about where your business or brand will be in the next five to ten years.
For instance, if you’re selling hair oil presently. It might happen that you start selling other hair products as well in the future. Thus, you should not keep your domain name that relates to hair oil only.
Use a domain name generator
How do I get a domain name? You can find a good domain name easily by using a domain name generator. You just need to give a few keywords to the tool related to your business. The tool will come with suggestions for a domain name with different keyword combinations and domain extensions.
You can also get other important information like domain availability and pricing. Examples of domain name generators are as follows such as GoDaddy, DomainWheel, and Nameboy.
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How to purchase a domain name for a website?
We are sure that by following the steps given above you can easily find a perfect domain name for your business. Now, in this section, we will tell you how you can buy and register your domain name.
1. Find a domain name registrar
For obtaining a domain name, you should first find a reliable domain name registrar. The entire system of domain names is managed by the non-profit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). This organization allows outside companies called domain registrars to sell and register domain names.
You need to find a domain name registrar that is accredited with ICANN. There are many domain names registrars such as GoDaddy, Domain.com, DreamHost, and Bluehost. Check the policies and pricing of each domain registrar before choosing the one for managing your domain name.
2. Look for the domain name’s availability
After you have found the right domain name registrar, check the availability of the domain name using the registrar’s search bar. There are many domain names available, you can choose the one which best suits your business. Don’t be set on a specific domain name as it might already be taken. Keep an open mind and have more than one option. Try to include keywords only if it fits well in your domain name.
3. Choose the domain name
Now, you have seen a variety of domain options that are available. You can select the domain name that goes well with your business. If the .com option is not available and you want a specific domain name then you can go for other TLD extensions.
4. Buy the domain name and complete its registration
Once you have decided on the domain name, now you can buy it. Ask your domain registrar to register the domain name and pay for the same. It is not a one-time purchase and you need to renew the registration after one year. The registration fee for a domain name is about $10 to $15.
5. Add domain ID protection
When registering your domain name with ICANN, provide your contact information like name, phone number, email address, etc. Once your domain name is registered, this contact information is made public. However, if you pay for domain privacy through your domain registrar it won’t be available to view by anyone. The domain privacy will protect your information from spammers and identity thieves.
How to buy a domain from another person?
Supposedly, you want a domain name that’s already taken. Then, you can buy that domain from another person by following the steps given below.
1. Find the contact information of the domain owner
First, find out the contact information of the domain owner through the WHOIS directory. But if you don’t find out their information over there then look for the contact information on the domain’s website.
2. Negotiate the domain price
If the domain owner is willing to sell the domain then you can offer a fair price. Do the research and think about the price that would be relevant. You can also hire a broker or mediator to carry out the deal if you really want the domain.
3. Use Escrow
You should avoid wiring money to strangers on the Internet. Try to use an escrow service to ensure there’s no risk and the domain transfer happens smoothly.
Why register a domain name?
Domain names exist since the time web came into existence. The first domain name was Symbolics.com. As per the statistics, today there are more than 300 million domain names and each year more than a million domain names are added.
A domain name plays a vital role in establishing a brand. The two domain names can be similar but can’t be exactly the same. You must try to keep your domain name unique so that your users don’t get confused with different businesses.
Domain names make it easy for people to reach out to distinct businesses. For example, you just need to type “Google.com” instead of Google’s typical IP address i.e. “18.104.22.168”. If you are thinking that domain names and websites are the same. Then, you are wrong as they have major differences.
The domain name is the address of your website and it is what people search to reach your website. It consists of web pages, images, and other files that you have put on your website. Choosing an apt domain name is the first step in building a website.
How to register a domain name for free?
Do you want a free domain name? You can get a free domain name from domain registrars, website builders, and hosting providers. If you purchase any service, they offer free domain names along with it. We have given below some of the best ways to register a domain name for free.
Bluehost is a web hosting provider that can help you get your business online. They offer a free domain name with its web hosting plan for one year. This can help you save some money as you get a free domain name with the web hosting plan.
It is a good option for startups and SMBs that want to choose a custom domain and CMS. The advantage of opting for Bluehost is that you can select any CMS platform like WordPress and Joomla.
GoDaddy is a web hosting provider that offers free domain names along with its hosting plans. They provide services at affordable rates and have added security tools that scan & remove malware. You can integrate your GoDaddy-hosted domain into CMS systems as well. They also offer the service of a built-in website builder that you can use for free. It is a great choice for anyone who wants a free domain, hosting plan, and website builder altogether.
Wix is a drag-and-drop website builder that provides free domain name registration. But the domain name also includes the Wix name. It is a good choice for website owners who have a personal brand and are fine using the Wix subdomain. If you’re someone who’s going to post regularly then you can opt for better choices like WordPress.
Weebly is a website builder similar to Wix. A free domain name with it will be displayed like yourwebsite.weebly.com. This is a great option for basic and temporary websites. Small business owners and online stores can use Wix to build an eCommerce website at a low cost.
WordPress is a website builder that offers a free domain name. However, with WordPress, your domain name will appear like this, yourdomainname.wordpress.com. This subdomain is still recognizable and provides a stronger brand than Wix and Weebly subdomains.
WordPress is among the most widely used content management system. You can easily add plugins and get support whenever you need it. It comes at affordable prices and with many personalization options.
The Bottom Line
A domain name is an important part of a business website. By buying a domain you can establish your brand and build an online presence. You can choose the right domain extension and impact your website performance. In this blog, we have given the steps following which you can buy domains easily.
WebMaxy eGrowth is an eCommerce management platform that can help you manage your eCommerce website. It has plenty of features like a KPI dashboard, conversion dashboard, marketing insights, email marketing, social media marketing, audience segmentation, marketing automation, and a help desk. Schedule a call with our experts to learn more about WebMaxy eGrowth or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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