What is in a domain name? Would the American Rose Society by any other name smell as sweet? When it comes to choosing a website domain name for your company or organization nabbing the right name is important. It makes the difference between getting found and losing out to competitors banking on your brand recognition. In other words, choosing the right name and learning how to register a website domain name is very important.
Your domain name becomes synonymous with your business in the online arena. Whether you use your company name or a catchy description, it helps people to find you the first time. In turn, they recall how to find you for subsequent visits.
This name remains yours even if you bounce from one web host to the next. Your domain name comes to define you in the online arena. It helps to grow your brand and attract advertisers, investors, and customers. It lends you credibility and helps you build a reputation.
Of course, you first have to register your domain name. There are a few important steps. Here is a brief rundown of what is necessary to properly register your preferred domain name.
Choose Your Domain Name (or Several)
Believe it or not, there are more than a billion websites now in existence. The number continues to grow. What does this mean for your business? It is entirely plausible that a website bearing your name already exists.
It is possible a business in another region shares your name and has created a website using your preferred domain name. Alternately, a squatter may have bought your desired domain name to sell it to a legitimate business like yours for a higher rate, earning a profit in the process.
The point is that you may or may not have access to your domain name of choice, which is, ideally, your business name. If your name is available, there is nothing to stop you from buying it. Even if a squatter owns it, pay more to get your name of choice.
However, it is smart to come up with several potential domain names before you even start searching to see what is available. Consider alternate extensions. Instead of a .com, you might get your preferred name with a .net, .biz, or .org, depending on your business type.
Find an Appropriate Domain Provider
Before you determine how to register a website domain name, it is best to figure out where you want to register your domain name. There are several providers to choose from, such as Google Domains, GoDaddy, or Namecheap, just to name a few. What should you look for in a domain name provider?
For starters, you need to find a registrar offering access to a wide variety of domain names and extension. There are options to purchase additional extensions, alternate spellings, and so on for discounted prices. As with any business expense, pricing is important.
Compare rates not only for the initial purchase, but also for subsequent years, since you will have to renew ownership of your domain name or names annually. Additionally, look for additional extensions or spellings.
An easy-to-use interface is ideal since you may end up managing several domain names. Some registrars provide a slew of free extras. These include redirection, email forwarding, domain parking, and personal protections. This is how the personal information connected to your domain name is kept private.
Consider web hosts that offer domain name registration as part of their service. In some cases the price is included in the cost of web hosting. These services will likely use preferred registrars.
Search Available Domain Names
Now that you have chosen your domain name and selected a registrar, it is time to start searching for your top picks. Most registrars make this easy with a simple search bar that allows you to type in your desired domain name.
You will see immediately whether the name is available for sale, along with the price. Most registrars will also provide information on similar alternatives, such as different extensions or even close name matches are available. They do this whether the name you have selected is available for purchase or not.
This additional information helps you to pick an alternative if your preferred domain name is already in use. It also allows you the opportunity to purchase multiple domain names at a discount. This is to redirect or simply protect your name from unscrupulous parties that might buy similar domains to profit from your success by proximity.
How to Register a Website Domain Name
Once you have found the domain name you want it is time to register. It is as simple as purchasing your preferred URL for a minimum of one year. Often, you get a discount if purchasing multiple years in advance.
In addition, consider purchasing similar names. Buying up the .net and .biz versions of your .com is a given. This is a smart choice, as if customers type in the wrong extension this will make sure they are redirected to your website.
Try to anticipate common misspellings of your domain name so that you can purchase them for redirects, as well. For example, if you purchase JakesAutomotive.com, you might also want to get JaksAutomotive.com, since this is a simple and potentially common misspelling. This is just something to think about.
Choose Your Term
If you are just starting out and the future or your business is uncertain, perhaps you only want to shell out the dough for your domain name for the next year or two. Consequently, if your business is well established, it will save you money and hassle to purchase your domain for a term of several years.
Learning how to register a website domain name is not rocket science. However, it does take some forethought and comparison shopping. When you choose a fitting name, find a suitable registrar, and register your domain name appropriately, you begin to build your online presence. In turn, you maintain your virtual identity for the foreseeable future.