Choosing Your Domain Name

Getting Started Part 2- Getting a Domain Name

domain nameNow it’s time to choose a domain name. First, I have a confession to make. I am a recovering domain name hoarder. Some women collect shoes. I collect domain names.

At one point, I had a couple of hundred of them although only about 50 were actually made into sites. The good news about that was Dynadot (the company I buy most of my domain names from) gave me the bulk pricing rate so the domains I bought were several dollars cheaper than they normally were.

The bad news was  that I was paying over a thousand dollars a year for domains I wasn’t even using. So I put myself on a domain name diet and stopped buying them unless I really needed one or needed to renew one I was actually using on a site.

But that’s not your problem, right? You are ready to buy your first domain name.  Note: Once I  figure how to get Cam studio to work on my computer, I’ll put up a video on how to do this step by step. Until then, it’s pretty simple and we will go through it here.

Which Extension to Use

There are so many possibilities to consider. Of course there are the main 3: .com, .net, and .org. If you are in a country other than the US and are targeting the audience in your country, you may want to use your country’s extension.

When you go to register your domain, you will see even more options like .co, .info, .me, .biz, .tv and more. Don’t buy those even though some of them may be cheaper. Only stick with the .com, .net or .org. The reason being is most of those other domains will not rank well in the search engines. Plus, they are hard for people to remember.

Your first choice should always be .com because that’s what most people are going to think it is. If, for example, you have a great crochet business called “Cute Crochet Patterns”. And your website is called CuteCrochetPatterns.net. Well most of your customers are going to assume it’s CuteCrochetPatterns.com and if they go to the .com site and there is actually a site there, they will probably get the sale instead of your .net site.

So go to the domain registry of your choice (Dynadot.com or NameCheap.com are my suggestions to use) and put in the domain name you want to see if it’s available.

So what if your company’s name is already taken in the .com version?

You have several choices. You can:

  • go with .net or .org
  • include a word before or after your company name such as ReallyCuteCrochetPatterns,com or CuteCrochetPatternsOnline.com
  • You can use hyphens (though there is debates in the search world about this being a no no for ranking in search engines). An example is CuteCrochetPatterns.com or CuteCrochet-Patterns.com.
  • The domain registry will give you suggestions if the name you want is taken. See if any of those are good.
  • Go to randomainer.com and put in one or two words that you want in your domain. It will shoot back loads of suggestions for you. Some will not make any sense but I have found some real gems using this tool. Of course, Randomainer will want you to use their registry to buy the domain name. You can if you want. I have no experience buying through them so I can’t tell you whether it’s a good idea or not. I just stick with my trusted to registrars.

Have you found the domain you want? Good! Now go buy that sucker!

Here’s a video that shows how to buy a domain through Dynadot but it’s so simple, you really don’t need this:

In the check out process, they will ask if you want to buy for more than one year. You can if you want. It’s sometimes cheaper that way. And there are debates that it actually gives you a little more search engine love since it apparently shows that you are serious about your site and not a fly by night spammer.

The domain registrar may ask you if you want to use their hosting services. The rule of thumb here is to never use the same company to buy your domain and host your site. So just say no.

It may ask if you want domain privacy. This may be a dollar or two more. I have never gotten it but if you are a stickler for your privacy, go ahead and add it.

That’s it. You have a domain name! If you missed Part 1, click here: Choose Your  Blogging Platform

Next we will go on how to get hosting and add your domain name to it.

Feel free to leave any questions or comments!

Image courtesy of mistermong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Cathy

 

Article by Cathy Ratcliffe

15 Responses to “Choosing Your Domain Name”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Hi my name is Tiffany and I was a domain hoarder, too.

  2. MamaRed says:

    Well done Cathy, Well done. And I *would* have been a domain name hoarder if I wasn’t so busy being a recovering perfectionist. As it is I have several I don’t want to give up … they’re really so dear to me! OOPS, if they’re so dear, why aren’t they being used? Blast, now I *have to* work on the bad case of “I can-itis” again.

    Smile.

    • cathy says:

      I know what you mean. I kept a few domains just because I loved them and I “might” use them someday. I finally had to face the fact that I was never going to use them and let them go. It was hard and I still wonder sometimes if I made the right decision.

  3. Serena @ Get Your Life Straight says:

    OMG, really, you have thousands of domain names?! And I thought I was bad with, like, 5 of them, 3 of which I am not even really using yet 🙂 It’s addicting finding good names for sites, isn’t it? I wanted to add that I have BlueHost for hosting. I like them because you can host an unlimited number of domains for just one price per month. Love that!

    Serena
    Get Your Life Straight

    • cathy says:

      No I had a few hundred of them but it was costing me over a thousand dollars a year for them. I’m down to 40 now and will probably let all except 10 of them go. It is addictive though.

  4. Debi J says:

    I just recently got my down to 25, but I did stop looking for them sometime last year with the exception of the one I bought specifically for this challenge. And I’m proud to say that I put it to use within the first week of purchasing! 🙂

    I’d just like to get back the hours of my life spent hunting down names that the perfectionist (now recovering as well) would be happy with!!

    Love your style of writing by the way. It’s fun!

    • cathy says:

      Good for you Debi! Thanks for liking my writing. I know these type of tutorials are somewhat boring.

      • Debi J says:

        I used to be a computer programmer, so I came over to read your post with very low expectations (sorry), because I KNOW they can be boring. That’s why I was so impressed! 🙂

  5. Pablo says:

    If you need help finding your favorite domain name, then try http://www.domainpuzzler.com . It’s really nice and handy to have!

    Best Regards,

    Pablo

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  1. […] the start. Once you decide on what kind of platform you want your site on, next you will decide on choosing a domain name. We will talk more about that in the next […]

  2. […] Started Part 1 Getting Started Part 2 Getting Started Part 3 Getting Started Part 4 Getting Started Part 5 Getting Started Part […]



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