How To Buy A Domain Name
For anyone considering owning a website, one of the first things they need to do is to buy a domain name. It’s not a big expense with the average domain name costing about about ten dollars, and the buying of the domain is a really quick and simple process.
The deciding which domain name to choose however, is the bit that can take a bit longer!
First, for the true beginners – What is a domain name?
The domain is the address for a website. Just like your street address makes it easy for people to find you, a domain name makes it possible for people to find your website.
It’s also known as the URL, and it is the address you type into the address bar at the top of your browser when you go to visit a website. For example google.com is Google’s domain name and ruwinning.com is my domain name for this site.
How do I buy a domain name?
To buy a domain name you need to visit a domain registrar. They’re the companies that are licensed to sell domains. If you do a Google search for ‘domain registrar’ you’ll be spoiled for choice, but I can tell you that one of the most popular domain registrars is Godaddy. Their prices are cheap, they keep things simple and their service is good.
Things to know before buying a domain name
The following are just a few things that might be helpful for you to know before you head off to buy your domain name.
1. Stick with a .com domain unless you have a reason for buying a different extension.
Because .com domains are the original, and still most commonly used domains, people are more likely to remember your domain name correctly. For example, let’s say you register www.banana.me . There’s a very good chance that when relying on memory, your readers are probably going to remember banana but not the .me . So they’ll type banana.com in the address bar and then when they don’t find your site they’ll either think they’ve gone bananas or you’ve done a runner, and the owner of banana.com just got themselves a new visitor!
2.When NOT to buy a .com domain
One of the reasons to not go for a .com is if your website is country specific and you want to have your domain reflect that. For example google.com.au. The .com.au extension shows that this is an Australian domain.
The other reason is if your website is for a charity or some other organisation where the .org extension would be appropriate.
Apart from those two exceptions a .com is the standard recommendation all the way.
3.Try not to buy a domain with dashes between words
It’s tempting if you can’t get your domain in a .com, to buy it with dashes between the words. For exampe www.my-great-website.com. This not only looks messy, but again makes it difficult for people to remember your website address. Which brings me to my third piece of advice…
4.Make it easy to remember
The easier it is for your readers to remember your domain name, the better. Short dot com domains are hard to get these days without paying a hefty price, but something catchy or alternatively very relevant can work well. For example if your site is about fly fishing and you managed to buy flyfishing.com (good luck with that!) then that would be perfect. Alternatively something catchy that makes it easy to remember. Perhaps something like… fishybits.com or flyingfish.com could work.
You get the idea… 🙂
Buying domain names can really be fun. I enjoy thinking up names and searching for them (but maybe I’m just a bit weird…). Get creative and go have some fun on Godaddy and see what you can come up with.
P.S. Here’s a little bit of trivia for you. Did you know that at the end of 1985 there were only six domain names registered? If you’d like to know more about the history of domain names you can read all about it on Mashable.