If you want to have your own website, you will first have to register a domain name. This is your unique website address or URL that people type in to reach your site. It’s not hard to register a domain name, but you should give plenty of thought to choosing the best domain for your site. You must go to a domain registrar to register a domain name. There are many such companies. GoDaddy.com and Namecheap.com are among the most popular.
Choosing the Best Domain Name
People use all kinds of criteria to find a good domain name. If you are starting an online business, you will want a name that is easy to remember and that has some obvious connection to your product or niche. One approach is to look for a domain that has keywords connected to what you’re promoting, whether that be related to weight loss, gardening, pets, sports, movies or whatever your business is related to.
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Whatever type of domain you choose, it must be unique. When you think of a name you like, you should head over to a domain registrar, and see if the domain you want is available. There will be a search box on the front page of any domain registrar that allows you to find out if the domain is available or not.
Choosing the Extension
Part of a domain name is the extension that comes after the dot. The most desirable domains end in .com. After this, .net and .org are the most prized. There are many other extensions as well, such as .info, .us. .biz and lots of others. Many are associated with countries, and you should not choose one of these unless you are from that country.
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If your business does require a local presence, then a country code top level domain would be the way to go. Businesses like flower deliveries, bakeries, local services that provide services in a local community or town will benefit from registering a ccTLD.
Very often people choose obscure extensions because the .com, .net and .org variations are taken. You are better off changing the name a little and sticking with an extension people are familiar with. Placing a hyphen in the name is one possibility. Using more than one hyphen, however, makes the domain name hard to remember and awkward looking.
Registering the Domain
Once you’ve found a unique domain name that you like, you can register it. You will have to choose whether to register it for one year or more. The cost of registering a domain is usually around $10 per year (more information in this Domain Raccoon review of Namecheap.com).
Another option is “domain privacy.” This prevents your domain from being publicly listed, similar to having an unlisted phone number. This will cost you an extra few dollars per year.
In some cases, you can get a free domain name with web hosting. If you are searching for a web host as well as a domain, you may want to seek out such a package. The free domain is usually only for one year, so you will have to pay to have it renewed.
About Guest Author
Karsten operates domainraccoon.com where he gives current and potential owners a price comparison table for domain registrar prices and reviews for all popular domain registrars.