Whether you are a business selling products or services, a backpacker wanting to share your travel stories, or just someone wanting to share your knowledge on a particular subject, a website is a great way of reaching out to the whole world.
It all starts by securing a domain name.
A Domain name is a website address that uniquely identifies your site (like thewebsiteroad.com)
Does it matter what name I choose?
The importance of a domain name will, of course, vary depending on what kind of website you are making.
If you’re making a travel blog that you just want to share with friends and family, it might not be worth spending a lot of time and effort on finding the perfect name.
On the other hand, if the website is for your business, the domain name will basically become your online brand and the first thing your website visitors will see, which is of great importance.
How to choose a good domain name?
Finding a good domain name is not an easy task, but here are some pointers to get you started:
Keep it short and memorable – Keeping it short will reduce the risk of mistyping and misspelling. If you can find one that is catchy and easy to remember as well, then you have a winner!
Avoid hyphens – It doesn’t look good and will be harder to remember. It also takes away the uniqueness, so people that want to visit Your-Site.com ends up visiting YourSite.com, which is not your site…
Avoid numbers – Numbers are easily misunderstood. Especially if people hear your site name, they wouldn’t know if it’s numerical (2) or spelled out (Two)
Use a common extension (like .com) – People tend to trust sites with familiar extensions more. .com is by far the most popular one, but if your target audience is only within one country a local extension might very well be better suited (like .no for Norway)
Do you have a name in mind already? Check if it’s available
As you might experience coming up with a good name that is not already taken can prove to be a tricky task.
But don’t give up just yet, maybe one of these domain name generators can spark some ideas?
Where to buy a domain name?
Once you have found an available domain name suitable for your site, my recommendation is to secure it as soon as possible. You never know when someone else might think of that exact same name and buys it before you.
Domain names are bought from domain registrars.
A domain registrar isa company that manages the reservation of domain names.
There are a lot of domain registrars to choose from but here are some factors to consider:
Customer support – You’ll want a friendly support team that is actually available when you need it. Give them a call or send a support request to check their response time.
Domain transfer – It should be free and easy to transfer domains to and from a registrar. A good registrar will not need fees and troublesome transfer procedures to keep their customers.
User friendliness – The domain management system should be easy to use and well documented, ensuring that everything from buying new domains to configuring DNS servers is a breeze.
Personally, I’m using Namecheap as my domain registrar.
They offer competitive prices and an intuitive user interface, but most importantly they provide great customer support – so it’s worth checking them out.
Register a domain name on NameCheap
Step 1: Go to Namecheap.com
Enter your preferred domain and click “Search”.
Step 2: Pick an available domain name
Click the shopping cart and choose View Cart.
Step 3: Check order information
Signing up for more than one year gives a very limited discount, so my recommendation is usually to start off with 1 year.
WhoisGuard is included for free for one year and is a privacy protection service that prevents people from seeing information such as your name and email when they do a Whois search on your domain
Step 4: Create an account
To create a new account, you just have to
- Create a username and password
- Provide your real name
- Provide your email address
- Click “Create Account and Continue”
Step 5: Fill in contact info
Once you’ve created an account, you’ll be asked to provide some additional contact information.
You’ll need to add your first name, last name, street address, city, zip code, country, phone number, and email address.
Step 6: Review contact information
On the next page, you’ll have the chance to review the contact information and add additional contacts if required.
Step 7: Complete purchase
In order to complete the purchase, you just have to
- Enter your payment details
- Click “Continue”
- Review your order details
- Click “Pay Now”
That’s it, you now own your first domain.
Before you move on, remember to verify your contact details in the NameCheap Dashboard or Domain List
Thinking about starting a website in 2020? It has never been easier!
Your website journey starts by registering your domain name.
This guide shows you how to easily secure a domain name with a reliable domain registrar.
The next step is to set up web hosting and start configuring your website.
If you liked this post, or have any questions, please let me know in the comments below.