The Well Crafted Website

How Do I Choose A Good Domain Name?

This post covers the topic of domain names and how to choose one for your business.

In this article you’ll learn:

  • What a domain name is
  • Where you can purchase one
  • Tips on choosing a good domain name

You might currently be scratching your head wondering what the heck a domain name is and how on earth you should choose one for your business. Am I right?

This is one of many topics that might quickly snuff your website DIYing enthusiasm as you start to research the process.  It can be very overwhelming trying to understand all of these brand new terms in the process of building your website. But don’t worry! I’m here to clear up any confusion you might have by covering domain names in more detail so you know what they are and how to choose a good one for your business.

What is a domain name anyway?

Think of your website as an online home for your business.

In this way, it is the space your business will reside and it is the place all of your visitors will come to get to know you and spend time with you.

So, if your website is like a home, you can compare the process of building a home a lot like the process of building your website. And even though it’s really easy to want to jump right into the fun design elements of building a home, there are a lot of critical steps that need to be taken before you ever get to that point. The same thing goes for your website! 

First things first. You need an address for your home, right? This is how you direct visitors and family members to find your new amazing space! Similarly, your online home (aka website) also needs an address. This address is known as a domain name or a URL.

There are a lot of websites where you can purchase a domain name. These websites are called domain name registrars. They will help you register for an available domain name and ensure that you maintain ownership over it throughout the years.

Where to Purchase your domain name

Domain registrars are responsible for selling domain name licenses which allows you to purchase your domain name. Be sure to use a registrar that is accredited with ICANN to avoid any possible hiccups in the process. Well-known registrars are all somewhat similar but will have differences between pricing, registration periods, domain transfer policies (the ability to move your domain to a different registrar), expiration policies (are grace periods available if your domain name lapses), and add-on services.

And speaking of add-on services, I always recommend purchasing domain privacy which will keep your contact information private. Without this add-on service, the information will be completely public. What this means is you will end up getting bombarded with spam emails from companies who take advantage of the free contact information available. It also leaves your website more vulnerable to hackers and your personal information out there to be sold to the highest bidder.

Accredited domain registrars

Screen Shot of domain registrar page on Bluehost website
Screen Shot of domain registration page on domain registrar website, Dreamhost
Here are a few reputable registrars to look at purchasing your domain name from:

www.namecheap.com

www.godaddy.com

www.bluehost.com

www.dreamhost.com

www.hostgator.com

 

Tips for choosing the right domain name

Choosing a domain name is one of the very first steps to getting your website going. If you are unfamiliar with the process, you might be surprised by how challenging it can be. Your domain name will affect how visible your website is in various search engines and it will also either encourage or discourage visitors based on some of the tips below. As if that isn’t already a big enough task, you will find that many domain names are already purchased so be prepared to get creative.

  • Choose a domain name that is easy to remember and easy to spell
  • Generally, shorter domain names are better because they are easy to type and easy to remember
  • Choose a domain name that includes keywords applicable to your business and/or location information (ex: chicagocreditrepair.com)
  • Whenever possible, try to get a .com extension for the purposes of credibility
  • Put yourself in the shoes of your website visitor and anticipate any misspellings or confusion that could possibly result from the domain name you are looking into
  • Research similar domain names and see what other businesses come up. There will most likely be other businesses with domain names that are close to yours. Are their services similar to yours? Are they located in the same geographic area as you? You don’t want to lose clients to a competitor this way!

Once you have settled on the right domain name, you might consider purchasing other domain names that are similar to prevent others from licensing them and causing confusion in the future!

Lastly, once you’ve found that dream domain name be sure to snatch it up! They can sell fast and then you’ll end up back at square one. Best part of purchasing your domain name? You are one step closer to the website of your dreams!!  

 

Picture of website designer, Ashley

Until Next Time! Ashley

Until Next Time! Ashley

Picture of website designer, Ashley

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